Is it officially the end of talking season today?
After all, it is game week for teams like UMass, Colorado State, Rice and New Mexico State. And whether you think it matters or not, The Associated Press poll comes out Monday at noon.
Those who complain about preseason polls also think you should pull your pants up, quit looking at your phone and never try alternate uniforms. The poll is harmless fun, no matter what UCF fans want to think.
It’s simply a gauge for what some of the most brilliant minds in college football are thinking. Did I say that out loud? Because I am again a voter.
Here is my poll in pieces because it’s too much to take in without a breath between fivesomes. I kid, of course, because I saw a comedy show in Las Vegas on vacation and I’m honing my skills.
(If toast always lands butter-side down and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast to the back of a cat and drop it? I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.)
(Actually, I stole that from Stephen Wright).
But I digress.
Top five at five (or whenever you are reading this):
1. Clemson; 2. Alabama; 3. Wisconsin; 4. Penn State; 5. Washington.
Burning question: Why Penn State?
Even without Saquon Barkley and Joe Moorhead, this is going to be an awesome offense. And the Nittanies play Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin at home. Beaver Stadium is underrated (especially by us SEC snobs) as one of the toughest environments in college football.
6. Miami; 7. Georgia; 8. Ohio State; 9. Auburn; 10. Notre Dame.
Burning question: Isn’t Ohio State a little low?
Well, I’m going with the theory that no matter what happens this week, this has to be a team that has to be a little distracted. And I also worry that if the Buckeyes win it all, every coach will want to shut down all preseason interviews.
11. Oklahoma; 12. Stanford; 13. Michigan; 14. TCU; 15. Southern Cal.
Burning question: Why are you so high on teams who had so many losses last year?
Well, the last four teams in this fivesome lost a combined 16 games last year, but I think they will all be a little better this year. Not a lot better, but a little better. I was very tempted to pick Stanford higher and they will have that chance to move up when they take on USC in the second week of the season. Of course, so will the Trojans.
16. Michigan State; 17. South Carolina; 18. Texas A&M; 19. West Virginia; 20. Mississippi State.
Burning question: Did you get your check from the SEC?
The answer is no. And, as you know, my vote doesn’t give the SEC any more cache. I think all three of these teams have a shot at 10 wins. I also think they also could be tremendous disappointments. But no team is disappointing in August.
21. Oklahoma State; 22. Texas; 23. UCF; 24. Florida; 25. Kentucky.
Burning question: Why don’t you ever learn?
Yeah, I ranked Kentucky in the preseason last year as well. The Wildcats are so close to being a Top-25 team (even if the coaches ranked them 41st), losing three games by a total of five points last year. The Kitties aren’t ready to play with the big boys, but I see them being a 9-3 type team.
One more burning question: Didn’t you forget some teams?
Like FSU and Virginia Tech? Not big on either team, but the winner of their opening weekend matchup will almost certainly be in my second poll.
Or LSU? It just feels like a disaster brewing in Baton Rouge.
Or Boise State? Sorry. I can’t hear you.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at email@example.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.