College Football Rankings Are Dumb, But Here’s The Coaches Poll Anyway

Managing Editor, Sports + DIME
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Preseason polls are meaningless. Preseason coaches polls are even more meaningless. But it’s the end of July and we need something to talk about, and if you even mention the words college football, tides are rolled and people lose their freaking minds, so it’s important editorially that we let you know the preseason coaches poll is now out. We’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t. And everyone needs a safe space to argue about rankings.

Ohio State is No. 1 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, and no one should be surprised by this. Ohio State won the title, has enough quarterbacks to pilot a giant Jager robot, and pretty much everyone who matters is back (although the Buckeyes did suspend a few key players for the Virginia Tech game to open the season). TCU, which just missed the College Football Playoff and also has an incredibly gifted core returning, comes in at No. 2, and familiar faces Alabama, Baylor and Oregon round out the Top 5.

Week 1 is always a crapshoot, but chances are this Top 25 will be nowhere near correct even by Week 3. By the season’s end, heck, even Purdue may be ranked. (Purdue will probably not be ranked.) That’s the fun of college football in general, it’s unpredictable because by their very nature college kids are unpredictable. My friends and I once took a trip to Florida for spring break paid for using only gas station gift cards they won in a scavenger hunt. You try putting six people in one hotel room and eating nothing but gas station food for a week. Seriously, try it. Maybe we should’ve been ranked in the preseason Top 25.

The full rankings from the Coaches Poll are below:

1. Ohio State (14-1 in 2014)
2. TCU (12-1)
3. Alabama (12-2)
4. Baylor (11-2)
5. Oregon (13-2)
6. Michigan State (11-2)
7. Auburn (8-5)
8. Florida State (13-1)
9. Georgia (10-3)
10. USC (9-4)
11. Notre Dame (8-5)
12. Clemson (10-3)
13. LSU (8-5)
14. UCLA (10-3)
15. Ole Miss (9-4)
16. Arizona State (10-3)
17. Georgia Tech (11-3)
18. Wisconsin (11-3)
19. Oklahoma (8-5)
20. Arkansas (7-6)
21. Stanford (8-5)
22. Arizona (10-4)
23. Missouri (11-3)
24. Boise State (12-2)
25. Tennessee (7-6)

You may be shocked (or not) to find that eight SEC teams are in the Top 25, especially when you consider that the Big Ten (which has some bragging rights right now thanks to the Buckeyes’ championship) only has three teams ranked. The Pac-12 is doing that thing where pretty much every team in the league matters and nobody knows where to rank them so they all basically come in somewhere after the 10th spot like some sort of ridiculous shell game. (Oh, look, there’s Rich Rod!)

Because none of this matters at all, here are a few things about college that I miss:

  • Being able to take the nice soup spoons out of the dining hall instead of the plastic spoons when I got takeout (okay, “being able to” is maybe not the correct phrase here).
  • Sleeping a lot.
  • Eating a lot and not regretting it.
  • Not knowing anything about downspouts or gutters.
  • Reading a lot.
  • Being able to sleep on a futon without needing 40 minutes of yoga and six Advil afterward.
  • Learning how to appreciate other people’s opinions and get better at listening.
  • How easy it was to make friends.

Let’s all talk about how wrong these rankings are in the comments. It’s preseason for us too, not just the players, and we need to make sure we’re all up to speed on #bias before Week 1.

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