Alabama Players

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:

RKTEAMRECORDPTS
1Alabama (58)0-01498
2Ohio State (1)0-01365
3Oregon0-01335
4Stanford0-01294
5Georgia (1)0-01249
6South Carolina0-01154
7Texas A&M0-01104
8Clemson0-01083
9Louisville0-01042
10Florida0-0894
11Florida State0-0845
12LSU0-0802
13Oklahoma State0-0755
14Notre Dame0-0748
15Texas0-0677
16Oklahoma0-0579
17Michigan0-0531
18Nebraska0-0382
19Boise State0-0328
20TCU0-0323
21UCLA0-0286
22Northwestern0-0199
23Wisconsin0-0185
24USC0-0134
25Oregon State0-0129

And this is it now:

RKTEAMRECORDPTS
1Florida State (58)12-01498
2Ohio State12-01418
3Auburn (2)11-11387
4Alabama11-11294
5Missouri11-11281
6Oklahoma State10-11197
7Stanford10-21067
8South Carolina10-21066
9Baylor10-11020
10Michigan State11-11002
11Arizona State10-2843
12Oregon10-2815
13Clemson10-2813
14LSU9-3690
15UCF10-1621
16Northern Illinois12-0596
17UCLA9-3510
18Oklahoma9-2503
19Louisville10-1482
20Duke10-2348
21Wisconsin9-3299
22Texas A&M8-4186
23Texas8-3156
24Fresno State10-1124
25Georgia8-4111

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.

Image: Source