Home Column: Don’t Take Preseason Polls Too Seriously

Column: Don’t Take Preseason Polls Too Seriously

by coach___cooper

Photo courtesy of Texas A&M athletics

The preseason AFCA Coaches Poll was released on Monday and the Associated Press (AP) will  be following soon.

While many college football fans understand preseason polls do not mean much, some casuals still put stock into it. It is worth noting that since 1991, every national champion has started the season ranked.

Obviously, a team starting ranked is no indication that it will end there. In 2021, more than half the teams ranked in the AP’s preseason poll did not finish ranked.

Here’s a closer look at last season.:

2021 AP preseason rankings

1) Alabama

2) Oklahoma

3) Clemson

4) Ohio State

5) Georgia

6) Texas A&M

7) Iowa State

8) Cincinnati

9) Notre Dame

10) North Carolina

11) Oregon

12) Wisconsin

13) Florida

14) Miami

15) USC

16) LSU

17) Indiana

18) Iowa

19) Penn State

20) Washington

21) Texas

22) Coastal Carolina

23) Louisiana

24) Utah

25) Arizona State

Teams that started ranked and finished unranked

6) Texas A&M

7) Iowa State

10) North Carolina

12) Wisconsin

13) Florida

14) Miami

15) USC

16) LSU

17) Indiana

19) Penn State

20) Washington

21) Texas

22) Coastal Carolina

25) Arizona State

The AP Poll has long been more respected than the Coaches Poll due to the fact that the press can pay attention to many teams while coaches cannot. As seen above, 14 of the teams that started ranked in 2021 ended the season unranked. This is why one shouldn’t put too much stock into preseason rankings.

While some think rankings should wait until a few weeks into the season before being released, preseason rankings are good for the brand of college football. They excite fans for the season. While you shouldn’t put much value into the preseason rankings, it does give us something to talk about. This column is evidence of that.

Which team ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll will finish unranked? Leave your answer in the comments section below.

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