Preseason Rankings? Screw that, let’s play!
I caught ESPN’s Preseason Top 25 show last weekend. It was mildly enjoyable. Joe Galloway said it best on the show. “These things just don’t matter”, he said, referring to preseason rankings. Aside from rankings that were nearly identical to the AP top twenty-five and the coaches’ poll, they also consulted 33 college football experts on several other rankings. Look, any group of ‘experts” on college football that doesn’t include me is clearly not the best. Here are some examples.
- Included in their top five traditions, the Iowa Wave. Don’t get me wrong, if it continues, the Wave will become one of the great traditions of college football. However, it only started in 2017. It must get some years under its belt first.
- They brought Todd Blackledge in to list his favorite restaurants. I like Blackledge but he’s about as original as the “that’s another (insert your team’s name here) first down” cheer. Blackledge covers the SEC and shocker, all his restaurants were at SEC schools. Meh, expand your horizons already.
- When it came to top entrances, they had Miami?!? Sure, if it was 1989. They got the top entrance right with the Hokies at Blacksburg. However, I was a bit disappointed to see UAB’s Harley Davidson entrance not crack the top five. Nothing like seeing what appears to be some random dude who somehow get lost and managed to enter the stadium. Even the fans don’t know what that’s about.
- As for top mascot, they went with UGA the bulldog. Iconic for sure but not exactly a breed to root for. Bulldogs, in general, have been so overbred they suffer a ton of health issues from their very short snout. Yea, a dog that spends half of it’s life gasping for air. Is that Sarah McLaughlin I hear singing?
But, back to the “real’ rankings. Here’s a few observations before I roll out my tentative 2021 schedule.
- Alabama is everyone’s number one. Why wouldn’t they be?
- The top five is rounded out by Oklahoma, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State. The more things change the more they stay the same.
- Most notably on the list is that it takes about ten teams before another Big 10 team shows up on the list after Ohio State. It will take a big ladder for Wisconsin to climb up to Ohio State-something like a 30-foot extension ladder. A dinky step ladder is not going to cut it.
- Happily, my opening weekend starts off with three top 25 teams – Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. It is a nice way to open the season.
- I follow that up a few weeks later with another top five team when I see WVU take on OU. This is the kind of game the Sooners lose, getting upset just as they start to build momentum.
- Up next is a double weekend in the Grand Canyon State with Stanford at ASU and UCLA at Arizona. This is the third time I have scheduled a Wildcat / Sun Devil double. Both times I had to cancel. Here’s to hoping the third time is the charm.
- I follow up this with a somewhat less than attractive set of games in El Paso. Hopefully the game times work out so I can catch both UTSA at UTEP and the Utah State at Mexico State. UTEP is scheduled for 3pm kickoff and New Mexico State looks like they historically play night games. Fingers crossed because I don’t want to make two trips to El Paso.
- Final game is another one that I have scheduled and then backed out of a couple of times. Not this time SMU – I swear this is the year.