The USA Today Coaches Poll was released this morning, and Boise State is ranked No. 5 - its highest ever preseason ranking, and the highest preseason ranking ever for a non-BCS team.
As a Bronco fan, are you happy with No. 5? Or was your heart set on a No. 3 or a No. 2? After the jump, get a look at the entire poll, read some of my initial reaction, and share your thoughts in the comments.
(HT to LoneSausages for being johnny on the spot in the FanShots this morning.)
USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll, presented by progress
- Alabama (55)
- Ohio State (4)
- Boise State
- Virginia Tech
- Miami (FL)
- Penn State
- Georgia Tech
- North Carolina
- Florida State
- Oregon State
(tie) West Virginia
Notable others: No. 27 Houston, No. 28 BYU, No. 34 Notre Dame, No. 49 Nevada
A closer look at the Top Ten, presented by Microsoft Excel
There's the quick and dirty version of the poll above, which tells you things in a context vacuum. And then there's the chart below that displays total voting points per team and how many points separated a team from the spot above. Quiet please, the maths have the floor.
What we see here are some notable distinctions, namely:
- National championship game favorites: Alabama and Ohio State
- National championship contenders: Florida, Texas, and Boise State
- Really good BCS teams: Virginia Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa
Boise State is only 30 points away from scoring a spot at No. 3, so the gap between the Broncos and the likes of Texas and Florida is not very big in the eyes of college football coaches. Likewise, Virginia Tech and TCU are essentially the same, separated by only a single point (because Frank Beamer votes in the poll and Gary Patterson does not?).
Am I upset with a No. 5 ranking? Let me ask myself
Though it is probably bad journalism to do so, I write a lot of my story headlines in advance, and my headline for the Coaches Poll post was "Boise State at No. 3 in preseason Coaches Poll." So yes, the Broncos at No. 5 was not what I expected, but that doesn't make it any less awesome.
At the end of the 2009 regular season, when everyone and their mother (literally my mother) was proclaiming Boise State to be a 2010 preseason Top Five team, I doubted. No way would actual college football voters be so forward thinking to put a non-BCS team at No. 5. Well, in my face!
The past several months have softened my stance on the subject, mostly because Boise State never failed to be in the news. And now that a preseason Top Five ranking is here, it's kind of amazing. And incredible. And a good enough reason for me to take a half-day off work to celebrate.
Our Boise State Broncos are one of college football's Top Five teams before any football has even been played. What crazy new world is this? I like it.
But also ...
Florida and Texas? Puh-leeze.
Things that worry me
- Deep water
- The year 2012
- TCU being ranked No. 7 because I would really, really hate it if the Horned Frogs jumped the Broncos once WAC play begins, just like they did last year. I would feel so much more comfortable if TCU was at No. 10 or if they played in the Sun Belt.
Charting a path to Coaches Poll domination
OK, let's make some assumptions. Assumption No. 1: Boise State finishes the season undefeated. Assumption No. 2: TCU does not pass Boise State in the polls once conference play begins. Assumption No. 3: Coaches vote with some sort of rational thought process every week. Assumption No. 4: I am probably giving coaches too much credit.
If the above assumptions are true, here is what could happen in the Coaches Poll.
- Virginia Tech loses to Boise State, falls in the poll, cannot catch the Broncos.
- Alabama and Florida play each other October 2 and possibly again in the SEC championship. Whichever team loses on 10/2 will likely fall behind the Broncos. Same is true of the SEC championship game.
- Texas plays No. 9 Nebraska and No. 8 Oklahoma in October, and the Longhorns may get the Huskers in a Big XII championship game rematch. If any of those games results in a loss, expect Boise State to jump in front.
- Ohio State always loses at some point. Probably at Iowa in November.
And if all those things happen, you are looking at the Broncos as one of the country's top two teams by season's end. I'd be okay with that.
What do you think of Boise State being at No. 5 in the Coaches Poll? Concerned about TCU lurking so close behind? Share your thoughts in the comments.