First College Poll, and Practice Starting

Yesterday the USA Today Coaches poll was released, the first poll for this season. I will get into my reaction to it shortly, but I also wanted to mention this week is the start of fall practice. We now have 27 days until the first game kicks off and almost every team has kicked off their practice, or will in the next couple days. Each college football squad gets 29 practices to prepare for the season. Many schools space them out, with some two-a-days, and days off scattered in there. By the final week leading up to the season, every team will enter its weekly routine and sometimes run a scrimmage the week before. Anyway, if you’re a big college football fan then its time you start getting very excited for the season.

Now on to the coaches poll. My initial reaction is that I am not surprised by the poll at all. The top four teams are ranked as they should and all are National Championship contenders. Florida State at five is way too high. I like the Noles this year, but I just don’t see them as a top ten team yet (next year though…absolutely).

The SEC West division really dominated the poll, with five teams in the top 20. Alabama and LSU are the favorites but I think Arkansas is a team to watch out for. Mississippi State is good, but they have a tough schedule. Auburn has absolutely no reason to be ranked 19th this season because they lose more than any team I’ve seen in a very long time. The Tigers are going to take a few steps back this season with only six starters returning. I’d be surprised if they sniffed the poll any time after October.

The new Big Ten with Nebraska actually sports no one higher than Wisconsin at #10. The Badgers along with the Cornhuskers (#11) and Ohio State should all be solid clubs but are probably not strong enough to compete for a National Title this year. The Big 12 is now very top heavy with the Sooners, Aggies and Cowboys all in the top ten. The rest of the conference might not be able to keep up with these teams, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see Texas rebound and have a good year.

The Big East sports no one in the top 25, but West Virginia, USF and Pitt all received some votes.

Here is my analysis of some teams who will be going up in the poll, and those going down as the year progresses.

Going Up:

Virginia Tech

Georgia

NC State

Texas

Michigan

Going Down:

Florida State

Auburn

Boise State

LSU

Oklahoma State

Here is the poll:

Aug. 4, 2011 – preseason poll
Rank
Team (first-place votes)
2010 record
Points
Final 2010 ranking
1.
12-2
1,454
6
2.
Alabama (13)
10-3
1,414
11
3.
Oregon (2)
12-1
1,309
3
4.
LSU (2)
11-2
1,296
8t
5.
10-4
1,116
16
6.
12-1
1,101
4
7.
12-1
1,065
7
8.
11-2
933
10
9.
Texas A&M
9-4
885
21
10.
11-2
829
8t
11.
Nebraska
10-4
814
19
12.
9-5
779
22
13.
11-3
767
15
14.
10-3
750
12
15.
13-0
687
2
16.
12-1
631
5
17.
Michigan State
11-2
536
14
18.
Notre Dame
8-5
440
NR
19.
14-0
329
1
20.
9-4
301
17
21.
Missouri
10-3
266
18
22.
Georgia
6-7
260
NR
23.
8-5
240
NR
24.
Texas
5-7
162
NR
25.
Penn State
7-6
161
NR
 
Others receiving votes
Arizona State (6-6) 158; West Virginia (9-4) 149; Utah (10-3) 50; Miami (Fla.) (7-6) 49; Iowa (8-5) 41; Northwestern (7-6) 30; Arizona (7-6) 28; Central Florida (11-3) 22; Michigan (7-6) 19; Air Force (9-4) 15; North Carolina (8-5) 14; Houston (5-7) 13; South Florida (8-5) 9; Hawaii (10-4) 8; Clemson (6-7) 7; Tennessee (6-7) 7; Southern Miss (8-5) 6; Brigham Young (7-6) 5; North Carolina State (9-4) 4; Northern Illinois (11-3) 4; Oregon State (5-7) 4; Pittsburgh (8-5) 3; Washington (7-6) 3; Georgia Tech (6-7) 1; Nevada (13-1) 1.
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