College football is less than a week away, and the preseason AP Poll is finally here. As expected, defending national champion Florida State takes the top spot in the poll, but they just missed becoming the first ever unanimous preseason top pick. Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma -- who follow the Seminoles in second, third and fourth, respectively -- each received one first-place vote.
|1||Florida State (57)||1,496|
|Others receiving votes: UCF 94, Florida 87, Texas 86, Duke 71, Iowa 68, Louisville 48, Marshall 41, Oklahoma State 37, Virginia Tech 26, TCU 23, Mississippi State 22, Michigan 19, Texas Tech 19, Miami (FL) 16, Cincinnati 15, Boise State 10, Oregon State 10, Northwestern 8, BYU 8, Penn State 5, Vanderbilt 2, Navy 2, Nevada 1, Louisiana-Lafayette 1, Utah State 1|
There are some significant changes to college football's ranking system since the last time we were here. We talked about some of these in relation to the Coaches Poll, but let's go over the AP Poll and what it means.
1. The AP Poll stopped counting in the BCS rankings in 2005 and won't count towards the new playoff system -- at least not directly. There's always a chance the committee is influenced by the AP rankings when picking its own list (a process that starts after Week 9).
2. It'll probably retain more prestige and influence than the Coaches Poll will, just by the nature of who votes. Media members are usually able to watch more games in a given weekend than coaches who are spending nearly every waking hour, ya know, coaching. Even the people who probably vote in the Coaches Poll -- media relations officers or other sports information officials -- spend a large portion of the weekend with their particular team (not to mention the inherent bias of the voters in the poll).
3. Since 1976, only five schools ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP Poll have finished the season in that spot. The last team to do so? USC, in 2004.