It might not count for anything, but that isn't going to stop USA Today Sports from pumping out a coaches poll every week this season. It is even teaming up with Amway for some sponsorship coin, which just seems so friggin' appropriate.
While it bears no weight on the selection process for the new playoff, you can bet the public will use it as a check on the playoff committee's rankings. And you know those little numbers are going to show up next to teams' names on your TV, too.
So let's go ahead and drop some reaction bombs about the preseason rankings, just like the good old days. It will get the blood flowing.
*Oklahoma checks in at No. 3. Apparently the sports information directors are rewarding Bob Stoops for his offseason yapping by begging him to fail.
The Sooners very well might end up the season ranked third, or even higher. An undefeated season is definitely attainable with that schedule.
Even so, this is not the third-best team in the country. OU has good talent, but the roster is a notch below some of the other teams below it in the rankings – Ohio State, Auburn, etc.
*Other teams that I consider significantly overrated (i.e. five spots too high or more) at this point:
- Michigan State – Nice team with a great coaching staff, but Sparty hasn't recruited on the level of the elite squads;
- UCLA – Very good talent, but I don't see enough playmakers at the skill spots on offense;
- Baylor – Don't underestimate the losses on defense;
- Wisconsin – The Badgers actually have a shot at finishing really high in the polls at the end of the year, but that's more a function of a Charmin-soft schedule;
- North Carolina – Uh, what?
- LSU – Lots of unknowns at quarterback and wide receiver, but that hasn't stopped Les Miles' richly talented teams in the past;
- Florida – Sucky bunch of suck last season, but doesn't mean the Gators don't have players;
- Notre Dame – Not an ND fan, but I love how Brian Kelly has built this team, especially along the lines.
*The Pac-12 checks in with half of its teams in the top 25. If that's an adequate measure of the depth of the league – and I believe that it is – there should be no debate as to which teams have the toughest road. The Pac-12 champ will have played nine games in that league and a conference championship game on top of that. That is a brutal schedule.