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2014 preseason Underdogs Poll: Marshall, Boise State top Group of 5

Finally, a poll focused only on the non-AQ conferences. Who's in the running for a New Year's bowl slot?

Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 College Football Guide

College football tends to ignore the little guys. Whether it’s BCS bowls, Heisman trophies, or meaningless college football polls, the institution that is the college football bourgeoisie tends to hold its nose up at the other schools: the programs outside the traditional college football power conferences.

It was in that spirit of exclusion that we created the Underdogs Poll. This past fall, a group of bloggers got together to form our own exclusive poll: no old college football bluebloods allowed.

Now in its second season, this poll of the people has grown, with another conference joining the ranks now known as the Group of 5. With 63 teams making up this group, and not a single one appearing in the preseason AP Top 25, it’s easy to see why these teams need a poll of their own.

Who all is eligible in this poll? The members of the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt, Army, BYU, and Navy. Each week a team of 18 voters from around the SB Nation blogosphere (Bull Run, Down The Drive, Hustle Belt, Miner Rush, Mountain West Connection, The UConn Blog, Underdog Dynasty, Vanquish The Foe, Voodoo Five) will gather, cloaked in secrecy and the stench of day-old beer, to decide the order of the top 15 football teams from amongst this group.

1 Marshall (7) 236
2 Boise State (1) 210
3 UCF (4) 202
4 Cincinnati (3) 196
5 BYU (1) 168
6 Houston 153
7 Bowling Green (1) 134
8 Utah State (1) 132
8 Louisiana-Lafayette 132
10 Northern Illinois 99
11 Fresno State 90
12 ECU 89
13 Navy 67
14 SDSU 38
15 Toledo 33
Others Receiving Votes: UTSA (24), Arkansas State (23), Ball State (20), Rice (19), Colorado State (10), North Texas (8), Georgia Southern (5), WKU (5), Middle Tennessee (3), Nevada (3), Akron (1), Army (1)

As you can see from our 2014 preseason poll, there’s a wealth of talent amongst the mid-major football ranks. Marshall (Randy Moss stand up!) came in at No. 1, but Boise State, UCF, Cincinnati, Bowling Green, and Utah State all received first-place votes. Even Army and Akron got some votes in this week’s poll, showing that just like those traditional blueblood polls, we can be ridiculous too.