Alabama unsurprisingly leads the way, with Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Washington also coming in ahead of OU.
BREAKING: No. 1 @AlabamaFTBL tops preseason AP Top 25 for third consecutive year, a feat done only once before; @ClemsonFB is No. 2, followed by @FootballUGA, @BadgerFootball and @OhioStateFB. See the full poll: https://t.co/jfkE4ZQ5Ce pic.twitter.com/JDiE6VLaxK— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) August 20, 2018
This obviously doesn’t matter in the slightest. However, it’s still #TalkingSZN, so we might as well just embrace this kind of thing. Here are some quick observations:
- The Big 12 only has four schools in this particular poll, and that’s probably fair at the moment. Oklahoma State could very well end up having a potent enough offense to win a lot of games and crack the AP (and later CFP) top 25, but the media doesn’t seem to be giving them the benefit of the doubt after losing Mason Rudolph, James Washington, Marcell Ateman and some quality offensive linemen. I do think Iowa State and Kansas State could each have nice seasons. However, neither return enough across the board to really justify a considerable amount of preseason hype. Schools that traditionally recruit at a high level typically operate under the assumption that they will reload, and these two obviously don’t fit into that category. If I had to guess, I’d say five Big 12 schools end up in the final CFP Poll, with seven schools going bowling.
- Wisconsin is overrated. Sure, I can see them winning a lot of games, but they have road games at both Penn State and Michigan from the East this season. Even if they make the Big Ten Championship game (chances are good), their chances of topping the East’s representative are slim. There’s obviously a lot of stuff going on at Ohio State, but give me the Buckeyes over Wisconsin nine times out of 10. The athleticism just isn’t there for the Badgers, nor is a passing game that can pick up the slack if the running attack doesn’t hit it’s stride on any given night.
- Texas doesn’t necessarily deserve to be in the top 25, but their ranking isn’t terribly egregious. That slot pretty much equates to a prediction of an 8-4 season. If they can find a QB with a pulse (and one that can avoid concussions), that seems doable. Having said that, Tim Beck could hold them back. We’ll see. I hope so.
- As I mentioned in the post for the Coaches Poll, any ranking in the 5-10 range is pretty fair for Oklahoma at this point. They still have a bit to prove at QB (I’m optimistic) and across the board on defense (I’m a bit less optimistic).
Complete AP Poll
- Alabama (42)
- Clemson (18)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- West Virginia
- Miss State
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Boise State