The SB Nation Fan Pulse preseason poll is out! If you haven’t heard (come on, it’s been tagged to the front page for a month), SB Nation is kicking off a new poll this season that is voted on by YOU. Each team site gets its own ballot, and the ballot is voted on by the anyone who visits the specific team site and wants to vote. In total, 41 different team sites turned in a ballot (minimum of 50 voters required), so there’s actually a good amount of representation from across the country.
Just like any other poll, it will be released each week. This means if you’ve signed up, you’ll receive an email after the last games of the weekend finish up to remind you to get your vote in. Any questions? Let us know.
Alright, let’s get this thing started. Your inaugural preseason Fan Pulse Top 25!
There’s Auburn, sitting at 18 smack dab between Wisconsin and Iowa. For the superstitious Barners among us, that feels like the perfect spot for Auburn to be overlooked in preseason, only to make a deep run at winning the SEC in November.
Unsurprisingly enough, Clemson grabbed the top spot. In fact the only ballots they did not take 1st in were from Roll Bama Roll and On the Banks, the Rutgers team site.
- Auburn ranked anywhere from 14th (College and Magnolia) to 20th (CougCenter) on different ballots. The ballot with the second highest ranking was 16th from Roll Bama Roll.
- RBR ranking Auburn higher than average is rather strange. In several cases where both team sites from a rivalry posted ballots, fans usually voted their rival lower than any other ballot. Florida State ranked Florida 13th, Georgia Tech ranked UGA 6th, Iowa State voted Iowa 21st, Minnesota voted Wisconsin 22nd, Michigan State voted Michigan 10th, Pit voted Penn State 17th, Texas and TCU voted not-rival Texas A&M 13th, and Texas A&M voted not-rival Texas 15th(!).
- Alabama gave UCF their lowest vote at #18.
- As expected, almost every single school’s highest vote came from their team site. I mean, it’s called Fan Pulse.
- The biggest disagreement came in ranking three schools in particular: #8 Florida, #9 Texas, and #10 LSU. Some of the variance undoubtedly comes from these schools having multiple rivals, all who had ballots for this poll, but these teams also each have major question marks that I think fans across the country recognize. Not to say that these teams will be hampered by their questions, but I think because they are fairly high profile, it caused some polarization in the voting.
For Florida, there will be a lot of pressure on Felipe Franks to take the next step. He will need to be a top tier quarterback in the SEC if Florida is to make a run at Georgia in the East, and not everyone is sold on that. Also, there’s the question of if Dan Mullen is really the coach to lead a top 10 team. The only time his Mississippi State teams entered the top 10 was in 2014, when they debuted as the #1 team in the first ever CFP Poll, but by season’s end the finished at #11.
Are the Longhorns really back? Sure, they laid the wood to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, but they still finished the season 32nd in S&P+ last year. Like Franks, Texas QB Sam Ehlinger has high expectations this year, and he will have to meet those for Texas to not fall short of their top ten dreams. They are preseason 36th in S&P+, so there seems to be some discrepancy there between the analytics and our voters.
Finally, LSU. It’s almost never pretty for the gold Tigers, but damn it if they don’t usually get the job done. Coach O pulled a 10-3 season together after he was on the hot seat going into last season. LSU will be in an interesting place in the Fan Pulse rankings, because if they keep winning ugly games where the offense does just enough to get by, they’ll probably sit in the 7-10 range for most of the year. I think everyone expects a 10-2 or 9-3 regular season, so there’s not much they can do outside of beating Alabama improve on their spot.
Do you want to be a part of Fan Pulse for College and Magnolia? It’s not too late! Sign up now and you can be a part of the poll that will come out after week one.