SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Within minutes of Alabama leaving the state of Ohio to win the national title, there were yet another series of releases showing their way too early top 25 finishes in college football .
These can be fun to look at to see where teams are projected, but according to KSL Unrivaled, there is a problem with these early leaderboards.
While none of these elements officially matter, they shape the Associated Press and the constituencies of the coaches who vote in August, and they can also affect the mid-season college football playoff rankings.
These early polls can provide context as to who is good for the year ahead, and there will be some big achievements. Just look at Penn State, Oregon and LSU heading into the 2020 season. They were all a consensus top 10 team. All three failed to make the top 10, Penn State had a losing record, LSU was 5-5, and Oregon was lucky enough to get into the Fiesta Bowl while ending up without ranking in the two big polls.
The good side of these polls is that the team rankings give these programs and leagues good publicity in the spring and summer.
Early polls are really just stupid fun
It’s exciting to see your favorite team stand up even though the season is still about eight months away. This is the camp where KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell is when he saw Utah ranked 11th in the stadium’s early top 25.
“The stadium got it right in front of the stadium, some of them were a point of sale, a medium, whatever that was for a home and got it right,” said Mitchell. “They’re the only ones that put Utah in the top 25, and they’re important. The stadium actually went through and they were paying attention because this Utah soccer team is really good. Being able to play five games was so valuable to this team. “
That stadium poll was the only one that rated the Utes by about a dozen who posted an early top 25. So there is a big variation on where the teams ranked, and in this case specifically for Utah. Even if you get ranked in a poll, the program can get your name out there.
KSL Sports Alex Kirry sees these surveys differently. He said they were just silly, even if they carry a little weight for the next season.
“I don’t want to admit it, but they stink of matter because wherever you are at the beginning it’s only beneficial to you,” says Kirry. “It’s totally wrong. It’s rubbish. You rank teams that we honestly don’t know about, or you’d think, why isn’t this team rated the same or weighted the same as these other teams?
These far too early leaderboards are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s great to be in the top 25 and to be recognized for what is likely to be a really good season. On the flip side, there are teams like Texas, USC, and other Blue Blood programs that take advantage of doubts, and chances are they’ll fall flat and have a bad season when expectations are high.
If you look at these top 25 leaderboards in January, just go with the flow and if your favorite team is great but if they don’t sweat, don’t sweat too much.
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