With just a few days before the 2019 college football season kicks off with two Week 0 games (stupid name), the Associated Press released everyone’s favorite rankings to critique; the preseason.
While Clemson at No. 1 and Alabama at No. 2 foreshadows a championship match more highly expected than LeBron versus the Warriors from from 2015-2018, there is plenty to find interesting about this year’s poll.
Let’s start with what matters most; the Big 12 (that is the entire point of this website). Three squads from the once ridiculed conference (thanks Pac-12) made it into the top 25, with three more in the “receiving votes” — or RV — category.
|Oklahoma||No. 4||1,331||No. 3||No. 8|
|Texas||No. 10||1,005||No. 4||No. 22|
|Iowa State||No. 21||302||No. 8||NR|
|TCU||No. 31||57||No. 13||NR|
|Oklahoma State||T-No. 42||3||No. 23||NR|
|West Virginia||T-No. 42||3||No. 23||NR|
While the AP poll has no real influence on who makes the College Football Playoffs and becomes irrelevant for the last month or so of the season, it is the poll college football fans turn to most until that point. With that in mind, there are a few interesting takeaways from the first AP poll of the season.
See it to believe it
While Texas is ranked No. 10 overall and has six voters believing they’re a top-five team, not everyone has bought in to the Longhorns being “back” just yet.
Texas has five votes outside the Top-12 and four voters actually put Iowa State ahead of Tom Herman’s bunch. I’m not sure which of those is more interesting; Jon Wilner who has the Cyclones at 8 and Texas at 10, Tom Bragg who has Iowa State at 10 and Texas at 11, or Soren Petro who has Iowa State at 16 and the Longhorns at 18.
We won’t have to wait too long to figure out if this Texas squad is “back” or not; LSU comes to Austin in week two.
All over the map
Speaking of the Cyclones, this is a momentous occasion. It’s just the second time ever Iowa State has been ranked in the preseason. The last time was in 1978, so I’m not exaggerating when I say, it’s been awhile.
On that note, I don’t think there’s another team in the poll with the high-to-low to match Iowa State. As high as No. 8 and as low as unranked. In fact, the most votes they got for a single position was NR with 12. That’s probably fair as the Cyclones are currently built upon expectations that are higher than the team finished in the rankings last season. But those are some wild swings.
Obviously we’ll know more about the Cyclones after (checks schedule) a week three showdown with in-state rival Iowa.
It’s an honor just to be nominated
As for the three “receiving votes” teams, I’m not shocked about TCU picking up some votes. In fact, I’m starting to buy stock in them myself. While they still have a question mark at quarterback (and it’s a BIG one), they’re defense is one of the most “sure” things heading into the season in the Big 12. Having them ranked No. 19 and Iowa State unranked might be a little bit further than I’m willing to go (Dave Reardon), but I’d have TCU among a number of teams I’d heavily consider at the No. 24 and No. 25 spots.
Oklahoma State only getting one 23rd-place vote seems off. I realize they wen’t 7-6 last year, but that wasn’t your average 7-6 season. It included wins over three teams ranked in the top 25 at the end of the season, a win over a Missouri who was ranked heading into the bowl game, and a one-point loss to playoff participant Oklahoma. Meanwhile, they lost to two teams who finished 5-7 and had two losses that made teams bowl eligible. That sounds more like a fluke than the start of a trend.
As for West Virginia, I would love to know what Davis Potter sees that makes him think the Mountaineers will not only reach bowl eligibility, but will have enough wins to be a ranked team at the end of the year.
We will continue to keep tabs on the AP Poll through the season until the College Football Playoff Poll is released on November 5.