Every season there’s another example of how preseason polls are quite terrible at predicting who are actually the best teams in college football. Florida State, undefeated and number one heading into the conference championship game, were outside the top 10. Florida, who finish the season at 4-8 were the number 10 team in the nation when the polls came out.
USC were the number one team in the country when the season began last year, but they ended up with a 7-6 record, being the first number one team since the 1960’s to lose five games or more in a season (Ole Miss in 1964 with a 5-5-1 record). Alabama didn’t finish at number one, but 11-1 isn’t that bad, and breaks the curse of preseason number one teams losing at least three games during the regular season.
This is the AP Top 25 at the beginning of the season:
|2||Ohio State (1)||0-0||1365|
And this is it now:
|1||Florida State (58)||12-0||1498|
Four teams in the current top 10: Auburn, Missouri, Baylor and Michigan State, weren’t in the top 25 when it came out before the season began. Auburn and Missouri didn’t even get any points at all, while Baylor and Michigan State just missed out on making it in to the top 25.
How did the Coaches Poll do? Same thing. No Auburn or Missouri, not a single point for them. Michigan State and Baylor did get to score some points, but not enough to put them in the top 25.
Notre Dame, Michigan, Boise State, TCU, Northwestern and USC were also in the top 25 when the year began. The voters didn’t see Fresno State, Duke, Northern Illinois, UCF and Arizona State coming as well. Next year we won’t have any more BCS standings but the CFB playoff committee releasing standings once in a while, but we’ll still have the preseason polls which act more as a way to cause some hype before the season begins than anything else of value or indicative of a true power ranking in college football.