NCAA Football

Reviewing ACC Teams in Preseason Polls

The Associated Press just released their preseason top 25 poll and like the USA Today Coaches Poll the ACC has three representatives in Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech. There weren’t many surprises in the AP Poll, other than eighth ranked Michigan receiving a ludicrous number one vote. However there were some surprises in the others receiving votes category. We will quickly examine every ACC team mentioned in the AP, USA Today and Rant Sports polls.

Florida State comes into the 2012 season as the highest ranked ACC team. The Seminoles are ranked seventh in both the AP and Coaches Poll, but they are ranked eighth in the Rant Sports poll. FSU seems to come into every season as a highly ranked team, but then disappoint. Seminoles fans hope that this season will be different. They are the most talented team in the conference and are entering head coach Jimbo Fisher’s third season at the helm. This is supposed to be the Seminoles year.

Clemson is the second highest ranked team in the conference. They are the number 14 team according to the AP and Coaches Poll, but are number 12 according to the writers at Rant Sports. Clemson will be one of the better teams in the ACC this season, but their defense has a lot to prove. Clemson could score with anybody last year but had a hard time stopping anybody other than Virginia Tech last season. Clemson should remain in the top 25 all season but it is doubtful that they will successfully repeat as ACC Champs.

Virginia Tech is the final team that is ranked in all three polls. The Hokies ranking however isn’t as consistent as Florida State and Clemson. VT is ranked as low as 20 (Coaches Poll) and as high as 16 (AP) with the Rant Sports ranking in the middle at 17. The Hokies are considered heavy favorites to repeat as Coastal Division champs and they will be in the top 25 all year as they consistently do year in and year out.

But, perhaps the most interesting differences between all three polls come in the others receiving votes category. North Carolina received 32 votes in the AP Poll (more than any other ACC team), but the Tar Heels didn’t receive a single vote in the other two polls. Georgia Tech received 25 votes in the AP, 35 in the Coaches and are actually ranked 23rd in the Rant Sports poll. North Carolina State received votes in all three polls. They had three votes in the AP, 11 in the Coaches and 12 in the Rant Sports poll. Virginia was the only other team in the ACC to receive any votes in the polls. The Cavaliers received nine votes in the Coaches poll, but no votes in either the AP or Rant Sports poll.

As we all know, preseason polls mean essentially nothing. Everything will change after week 1. We will see new teams appear in the polls, and teams drop from the rankings. However, preseason polls do show where the collegiate football landscape is expected to be by seasons end. It is rarely correct but you never really know.

Below is my preseason top 25 poll that contributed to the Rant Sports Poll:

  1. 1. USC
  2. 2. Alabama
  3. 3. LSU
  4. 4. Oregon
  5. 5. Georgia
  6. 6. Oklahoma
  7. 7. Florida State
  8. 8. Arkansas
  9. 9. South Carolina
  10. 10. Wisconsin
  11. 11. Michigan
  12. 12. West Virginia
  13. 13. Clemson
  14. 14. Michigan State
  15. 15. Nebraska
  16. 16. Virginia Tech
  17.  17. TCU
  18.  18. Stanford
  19. 19. Texas
  20. 20. Oklahoma State
  21. 21. Florida
  22. 22. Kansas State
  23. 23. Boise State
  24. 24. Auburn
  25. 25. Georgia Tech