With a new season, and a new playoff system comes a new refresh to a now utterly useless college football poll. The 2014 Amway Coaches Poll (presented by USA Today) released its preseason poll today, and though it has no bearing on the four-team college football playoff later this fall, us sports fans are still painfully vain, overly prideful and incredibly thin-skinned beings who love freak out over any ranking we perceive as disrespectful. It's fun. Sort of like watching soap operas. The thing itself is utterly useless, but damn does it make for some good drama.
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||FIRST PLACE VOTES||PREVIOUS RANK|
|1||Florida State Seminoles||14-0||1543||56||NR|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||11-2||1455||NR|
|6||Ohio State Buckeyes||12-2||1267||1||NR|
|8||Michigan State Spartans||13-1||1050||NR|
|9||South Carolina Gamecocks||11-2||1009||1||NR|
|17||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||9-4||509||NR|
|18||Arizona State Sun Devils||10-4||358||NR|
|20||Texas A&M Aggies||9-4||266||NR|
|21||Kansas State Wildcats||8-5||257||NR|
|23||North Carolina Tar Heels||7-6||175||NR|
Others Receiving Votes:
Missouri 126; Florida 122; Central Florida 102; Mississippi State 74; Oklahoma State 56; TCU 54; Michigan 53; Iowa 49; Miami (Fla.) 45; Duke 41; Louisville 32; Marshall 27; Brigham Young 18; Boise State 13; Louisiana-Lafayette 12; Virginia Tech 12; Texas Tech 8; Minnesota 6; Cincinnati 6; Northwestern 5; Oregon State 4; Fresno State 4; Georgia Tech 2; Houston 2; Arkansas 1; Arizona 1; Northern Illinois 1.
It should come as little surprise that Florida State checks in at No. 1, and while there are some teams (UCF) that some fans will freak out about not making the preseason Top 25, it doesn't seem too shocking. The Coaches Poll has consistently given less credit to smaller schools and fallen victim to the romanticization of the old power programs. So the fact that not one single member of the Group of 5 made this poll, while slightly disrespectful, doesn't shock me one bit.
UCF, which beat Baylor this past January in the Fiesta Bowl, is the highest ranked team from a non Power 5 conference, checking in with 102 votes, equivalent to No. 28. Meanwhile the MAC received one vote, total. One vote for Northern Illinois. The fewest points of ANY college football conference in this poll.
Despite winning the MAC and returning a hefty number of starters, Bowling Green didn't receive a single vote. Toledo, which was picked to finish ahead of NIU in the West., didn't receive a vote. To put it in perspective, four MAC teams (NIU, 19; Ohio, 8; Kent State, 4; Toledo, 1) received votes in the 2013 preseason Coaches Poll.
MAC fans shouldn't take too much offense to this poll. Afterall, it's sponsored by a pyramid scheme company.