The official preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll has been released.
- Ohio State
- West Virginia
- Texas Tech
- Virginia Tech
- Arizona State
- Penn State
- Wake Forest
- Fresno State
Also Receiving Votes: Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, FSU, Rutgers, Boston College, Cal, Pitt, Boise State, Oregon State, Nebraska, Cincinnati, Virginia, UConn, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Notre Dame, TCU, Maryland, UNC, Texas A&M, UCLA, UCF, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Tulsa.
Six different teams received first place votes: Georgia (24), USC (14), Ohio State (14), Florida (5), Oklahoma (3), and LSU (3).
To see how teams moved from last year’s final poll to this preseason poll, see this post by Saurian Sagacity.
This is the best chance we have to see what all of the coaches themselves actually think. Some head coaches delegate their ballots to their sports information directors during the season due to their busy schedules.
Those busy schedules also prevent the coaches from getting an accurate impression of every team in the country, a fact which has led to increased scrutiny of the poll in recent years. Some coaches, like Florida’s Urban Meyer, refuse to vote in the poll for that reason.
The America Football Coaches Association, the entity that runs the poll along with the USA Today, has tried to add some transparency and accountability by making the individual ballots of the final poll public, though this measure falls behind the AP Poll’s practice of making every individual poll public.
To see the list of coaches with a vote, click the link at the very top. Notable is the fact that Steve Spurrier has a vote, but we can see that he did not keep with his tradition of ranking Duke #25 in his preseason ballot in gratitude for giving him his first coaching job as Duke is not on the also receiving votes list.