Can’t say that I quibble much with Jeff Schultz’ premise in this post…
If preseason polls are more about perceptions than reality, so be it. But perceptions are that Georgia Tech has passed Georgia on the football field…
just that I wonder how relevant it is in the vast scheme of things.
After all, he goes on to say this:
The Jackets lost four top players (Demaryius Thomas, Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan, Morgan Burnett) to the NFL but their schedule lays out for a potential 8-0 start (toughest games in that stretch: road games at North Carolina and Clemson).
Think about that for a moment. Dwyer should be ably replaced this season by Allen, but those other three constitute (1) a wide receiver who was the most important player at his position to his team in all of D-1, (2) the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and (3) Tech’s best defensive back. Yet, the idea that Tech, a program that isn’t exactly a recruiting powerhouse (and remember that none of the departed players were Johnson recruits, either), will march into this season with those personnel losses and not miss a beat seems to be the conventional wisdom as we sit here waiting for the first week of games to be played.
Georgia’s standing, on the other hand, is encapsulated in one handy sentence: “That’s what a five-loss season will do to a program.” You’d think it’s worth noting that one of those five losses wasn’t to Georgia Tech, but, again, the voters don’t seem to care.
The point here isn’t to knock Tech, or whine about Georgia’s preseason ranking. It’s just that I’m having a hard time understanding why I should care about preseason polls, other than the leg up that some programs get towards the BCS. Which gets back to what I really have a hard time understanding – why preseason polls are allowed to exist in the first place.