The Preseason AP Poll may not be a particularly useful exercise, but it does give college football fans the world over something to talk about as they count down the days to 2014 season. So putting aside all the problems with trying to rank a bunch of teams that haven’t played a football game yet, here is how Big 12 football fared in the poll.
The most notable thing is that the Oklahoma Sooners landed at No. 4 and even received a vote for the top spot. You could make a pretty convincing argument that the Sooners should not be ranked as high as they are right now, but the thought that someone actually voted them ahead of the Florida State Seminoles is kind of breathtaking.
The Sooners bring back a lot of talent, but on paper, their talent does not stack up to what the Seminoles are bringing back. And unfortunately, paper is all we have to go on right now. The Sooners are also ranked as high as they are mostly based on the strength of their upset win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in last season’s Sugar Bowl. The truth is, if Alabama had steamrolled the Sooners the way most people expected, nobody would be talking about Oklahoma as a top-five team right now. And if you want to evaluate teams based on the previous season’s bowl games, then you should probably concede that the winners of the Sugar Bowl should take a backseat to the BCS champs. Most voters did that. One did not.
Also, speaking of Alabama, if you apply the logic that bumped the Sooners up to No. 4 in the preseason AP poll the first place, doesn’t it seem a little weird that the Sooners aren’t ranked ahead of the now A.J. McCarron-less Crimson Tide?
As far as the rest of the Big 12 goes, the poll is probably a bit disappointing. The Baylor Bears came in a little lower than they may have deserved at No. 10., and the Kansas State Wildcats were the only other Big 12 team to make the cut. The Texas Longhorns came in 28th in votes, which actually seems a little high considering all the issues they have dealt with in training camp. The Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders also received votes.
The good news is that the release of the Preseason AP Poll is a reminder of just how close college football season is. Soon fans will be able to start worrying about what actually happens on the field rather than the sometimes baseless opinions of a random sampling of sportswriters.