Aaaand… they’re off.

The 2007 preseason USA Today Coaches Poll is out.

Here’s how it looks:

1.

Southern California (45)

11-2

1,481

4

2.

LSU (4)

11-2

1,372

3

3.

Florida (9)

13-1

1,278

1

4.

Texas

10-3

1,231

13

5.

Michigan (2)

11-2

1,218

9

6.

West Virginia

11-2

1,205

10

7.

Wisconsin

12-1

1,114

5

8.

Oklahoma

11-3

1,026

11

9.

Virginia Tech

10-3

1,005

18

10.

Ohio State

12-1

919

2

11.

Louisville

12-1

836

7

12.

California

10-3

763

14

13.

Georgia

9-4

604

NR

14.

Auburn

11-2

595

8

15.

Tennessee

9-4

583

23

16.

Rutgers

11-2

466

12

17.

UCLA

7-6

454

NR

18.

Penn State

9-4

440

25

19.

Nebraska

9-5

388

NR

20.

Arkansas

10-4

360

16

21.

Florida State

7-6

301

NR

22.

TCU

11-2

233

21

23.

Boise State

13-0

222

6

24.

Hawaii

11-3

214

24

25.

Texas A&M

9-4

209

NR


A few observations:

  • Three, count ’em, three Big 10 teams in the top 10. Jim Delany is typing a letter as you read this. But he won’t mention the SEC, which has two of the top three.
  • Florida gets more first place votes than LSU? Either we’ve got some basketball coaches who voted, or some of Les Miles’ peers ain’t that impressed.
  • Speaking of the Gators, when’s the last time a team took as big a hit on defense (9 starters gone) and still found itself rated so highly in the next poll? Oh yeah – Ohio State last year. One big difference, though: OSU had its starting QB returning.
  • Six SEC teams in the top 25, to lead all conferences. Four each from the Big Ten and Big 12, three from the Big East and Pac 10.
  • The ACC has as many (two) in the top 25 as the WAC. Sheesh.
  • Georgia plays three schools on the list. So does Southern Cal. Florida plays four. So do LSU, Auburn and Tennessee. (Note to HeismanPundit:  none of the schools playing four are in the Pac-10.)
  • No Notre Dame in the top 25. No Oklahoma State. No Georgia Tech (CFN‘s #10!). No Miami. No Alabama.
  • Potentially overrated top 10 teams: Florida looks high at #3. Aside from the personnel losses, the schedule, while not as brutal as last year’s, is still a major challenge. Also, Wisconsin at #7. Yeah, they’ve got lots of guys coming back. They’ve also got Michigan and Ohio State coming back.
  • Potentially underrated top 10 team: Oklahoma at #8. The schedule lays out nicely, with Texas (as always) being the key. And I’ve gotta believe Stoops will be coaching with a major chip on his shoulder this year.
  • Team making the biggest rise from last season’s final poll: Georgia, going from NR to #13. Boise State drops 17 slots in the polls.
  • What I feel surest about: at year’s end, it won’t be USC and LSU in the top 2 slots.
  • What I feel least certain about: how Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee, tightly bunched at #s 13, 14 and15, finish out.
  • Most overrated: West Virginia. Sure, they will be fun to watch, with Slaton, White and (potentially) Devine. But the defense is by far the worst of any school’s ranked in this top 10 and the offensive line won’t be as good as it’s been the past two years.
  • Most underrated: Louisville. The schedule lays out great. Petrino didn’t exactly leave a bare cupboard, either. These guys have an outside shot at playing in the BCS title game.

And, yes, I still think it’s ridiculously early to be putting this out.

2 Comments

Filed under College Football

2 responses to “Aaaand… they’re off.

  1. LD

    Every year when this comes out, I have two thoughts:

    1) Seems like Georgia might be a tad high.
    2) Wait a second, I’d take Georgia on a neutral field against 3-4 teams ahead of them.

    Then I realize that a poll this early is stupid. Before academic casualties. Before camp injuries. Before all sorts of information is available.

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  2. LD, before freshman classes have reported! Some of those kids will play and have an impact.

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