If you’re a real hound for any kind of ranking the Coaches Poll should satisfy you and act as a signifier that college football season is soon upon us.
Many do not take the Coaches Poll nearly as seriously as the AP Top 25 though because the conventional wisdom is that the coaches put very little thought or energy into their picks. They’ve got bigger and better things to do getting ready for the upcoming season so it might as well be the Coaches Interns Poll.
On the other hand the AP Poll is considered more accurate as its generated by sports writers and journalist who’s jobs it is to be abreast of the latest developments in the world of college football. Even then some still say there shouldn’t even be a pre-season poll.
We don’t get to see teams in any real capacity before week 1 and college football has always proved to be incredibly volatile. FiveThirtyEight even taught us that there are certain teams who are always overrated simply due to their brand recognition.
Personally I don’t put too much stock into the Top 25 since the only rankings that matter now are the ones handed down by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. That said the pre-season rankings are fun for bragging rights and often times a decent indicator of where some teams do actually stand. You just shouldn’t sweat them too much.
This years AP Pre-Season Top 25 are:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- West Virginia
- Mississippi State
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Boise State
Oklahoma State was the only team dropped from the rankings between the Coaches Poll and this first AP Poll. Multiple teams moved up or down in the rankings between the two polls.
For the sales pitch:
The idea of Armchair Analyst survivor pools is simple.
Each week you pick a team you believe will win their game. If they win you move on to pick again the next week. If they lose you are eliminated.
The catch is you can only pick each team once per season in each league you are a member of. There are survivor leagues for professional and college football. If you want to know more take a look at our FAQ.
Sign up and take part in our public leagues, or create your own to challenge friends, family, or acquaintances.
Who has it easy week 1?
Those of you playing in Armchair Analyst Survivor Pools for college football might want some help picking in week 1. Those of you who are just reading this because you find it interesting don’t need help picking but it’s understandable why you might want to know who’s got the easiest matchups week 1.
Top 5 Easiest Matchups Based on the Vegas odds:
- Ohio State 37 point favorite to beat Oregon State
- Wisconsin 33 point favorite to beak WKU
- Oregon 31 point favorite to beat Bowling Green
- Alabama 28.5 point favorite to beat Louisville
- Michigan State 27 point favorite to beat Utah State
Top 5 Hardest Matchups Based on Vegas Odds:
- Michigan is a 1.5 point favorite over Notre Dame
- Auburn is a 2.5 point favorite over Washington
- Miami is a 3 point favorite over LSU
- Florida State is a 6.5 point favorite over Virginia Tech
- West Virginia is a 10.5 point favorite over Tennessee
- Boise State is a 10.5 point favorite over Troy
Teams You Probably Shouldn’t Pick In Your Survivor Pool:
Oregon, for starters, is a team you should not pick. It is highly unlikely Oregon loses to a team like Bowling Green. However stranger things have happened. The Pac-12 as a whole and Oregon in particular did not perform well in the 2017 season. With a healthy quarterback they are likely to be back on track in 2018 but as a week one pick they feel risky even knowing the Vegas sports books favor them heavily as of now.
LSU or Miami. These are two teams who many feel are more evenly matched than the rankings would lead you to believe. LSU lost a ton of depth in the offseason and struggled early last year. Miami got off to a hot start last year yet fizzled out a bit as the season went along. Eventually losing to Wisconsin, in the Orange Bowl… In their home stadium. This is a coin flip and the point spread affirms that.
Stanford lost to San Diego State last year by a field goal. Will this happen again? Probably not. Why risk it though? San Diego State went 10-3 last season in a Mountain West that featured a notable Boise State and Fresno State. With all three teams finding themselves in the top 25 at one point or another. Stanford is likely to win this game but if you had to pick a top 25 team most likely to lose to an unranked opponent week 1 Stanford is near the top of the list.