Pre-Season Picks A Crap Shoot


As college football steamrolls into week twelve of the season, I thought I’d take a look at how the landscape looked before the season started (AP poll) and compare to the current selection committee rankings:

AP Pre-Season Poll

1) Florida State –  Sitting at #3, the Seminoles have yet to impress but still haven’t stumbled – this week at Miami?

2) Alabama –   Currently odd man out at #5 but with a win Saturday against Mississippi State will jump back in the mix of 4

3) Oregon –   The Ducks have worked their way back up to #2 after falling in week five to Arizona

4) Oklahoma –  The Sooners were the sexy pick early on of many but have tumbled out of the top 25 after losing three of their last five

5) Ohio State –   The Buckeyes have moved back into the conversation at #8 after an impressive win last week in East Lansing

6) Auburn –   Sitting at #9 the Tigers will have to run the table (including the Iron Bowl against ‘Bama) and have some help

7) UCLA –   The Bruins have been improving but “too little too late” comes into play here as they sit at #11

8) Michigan State –  The Spartans had it for the taking but the Buckeyes snatched it away last weekend – #12 and no chance now

9) South Carolina –  An opening game debacle against Texas A&M set the tone for the Game Cocks – now out of the top 25

10) Baylor  –   Bears fans believe they should be in the top 4 already, and with some help they still have a chance – at #7 currently

11) Stanford –   The Cardinal have 4 losses all against ranked teams – nonetheless 4 losses will move you out of the top 25

12) Georgia –   Now at #15 the Bulldogs has looked like an elite team most of the season…but then there’s that Florida loss…

13) LSU –  The Tigers are at #17 and a victim of the brutal SEC West schedule

14) Wisconsin –  Now at #20, the Badgers can still make the Big Ten Championship game with wins against Wisconsin and Minnesota

15) USC –  Three losses will knock you out of the top 25 even if you’re USC

16) Clemson –  Sitting at #19, the Tigers lost their freshman phenom QB Deshaun Watson for three plus games and it cost them

17) Notre Dame –  The Irish loss to Arizona State on Saturday knocked them down to #18 and out of the mix

18) Ole Miss –  Another victim of the SEC West, Ole Miss at #10 still has Mississippi State ahead of them

19) Arizona State –  The Sun Devils made a statement against Notre Dame last week and at #6 are still in the mix

20) Kansas State –  The Wildcats had it all in their hands until they visited Ft. Worth last weekend – now at #13

21) Texas A&M –  The yo-yo that has been A&M’s season saw them move back in at #24 after the shocker against Auburn last weekend

22) Nebraska –  With only one loss Cornhusker fans can’t believe they are only at #16 – they’ll still have a chance to impress however

23) North Carolina –  Out of the top 25 and a mountain of allegations has made this a season to forget at Chapel Hill

24) Missouri –  Out of the top 25 but still the lead dog (cat?) in the SEC East

25) Washington – All four Huskies losses are against ranked teams….still four is two too many to be in the top 25

So who are the surprises of the season? The squads that snuck up on those so-called experts? Well without question there are two that are glaring in their pre-season omissions. Mississippi State, who sits atop everyone at #1, and TCU who jumped to #4 this week. Others that have made their way into the top 25 after being slighted pre-season are Arizona at #14, Duke at #21, Georgia Tech at #22, Utah at #23 and Minnesota at #25.

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Tom Fireoved is the Co-Founder of ScoreBoardTX and President of Franchise Sports & Entertainment, a Dallas based athlete marketing and consulting agency. He formerly served as Vice President of the Texas Rangers and Executive Vice President of the Dallas Stars.


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