It’s not his power poll(s). It’s his stab at the reality of college football rankings.
“My preseason rankings are not my power rankings,” Steele writes. “These rankings take into account the totality of the circumstances that I feel each team will face in the 2018 season — schedule strength, foes’ schedules (coming off byes), experience edges at the start of the year and so forth.
“My Top 40 is where I project teams to finish in the final rankings and have always done quite well. These rankings reflect not only talent, but the strength of schedule and how each team should finish the season. Over the past five years, 244 of the 274 teams that I have listed in my top rankings have made it to bowl eligibility and that is a solid 89 percent.”
Okay, now that we’ve got that settled, here’s how they look:
3. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
12. Penn State
13. Michigan State
14. Boise State
18. Florida State
21. Mississippi State
23. Boston College
25. Arkansas State
Yeah, while the top five seem pretty standard, there are a few eyebrow raisers farther on down the list, starting with Texas popping in at number ten. And how about Florida being ranked ahead of Auburn? Not to mention Arkansas State being ranked ahead of nine SEC teams? Ouchy ouch.