Thursday, August 21, 2014

Preseason Poll Nonsense

Preseason polls in college football are completely meaningless and even more so now that the BCS is finally dead (YEA!) and a committee will select the four teams for the College Football Playoff.  Yet, uninformed dolts, like Clay Travis, keep citing them as if they mean something and/or are important.   Here's an example that was posted just after the AP preseason poll came out:  "Auburn has seven opponents ranked in the AP top 25.  Ohio State has one."  While factually correct, the statistic is meaningless at this point in the season.  Citing that statistic now as proof of the narrative that the schedule Auburn will play is much more difficult than that of Ohio State is complete nonsense.  And when these (false) narratives are established early in the season they carry on even when the results at the end of the season prove them false. 
Case in point:  2012 Notre Dame.  Notre Dame's 2012 schedule included 5 teams ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll including USC (#1 )--lolz, Oklaoma (#4), Michigan (#8), Michigan State (#13), Stanford (#21) in addition to in addition to unranked but perennially decent teams Miami & BYU.   That's 3 teams in the top 10, 4 in the top 13 and 5 in the top 21, a venerable murderer's row.  Any team who could navigate that difficult schedule would clearly be one of the best in the country.  <NOT!>  The rankings in the final AP Top 25?  #7 (Stanford), #15 (Oklahoma) & #24 (Michigan).  So ND had beaten 1 top 10 team, 2 top 15 teams and 3 top 25 teams.  To quote Homer Simpson, "That's good but not great."  But the perception had already been established that Notre Dame played a brutal schedule and thus, coming out of it undefeated was quite the accomplishment.  Fortunately, Bama proved that was not the case.  So please, stop making judgments/statements about how easy or difficult a team's resume is until AFTER the season has ended and we have a full picture of the actual level of difficulty.