The preseason Associated Press poll will be released on Saturday. I'm the voter from Georgia again this year. Here's how my ballot looked, followed by some quick bullet-point comments:
2. Ohio State
6. South Carolina
8. Oklahoma State
12. Notre Dame
13. Texas A&M
16. Florida State
20. Boise State
23. Virginia Tech
24. Northern Illinois
- How I voted: Mark Richt said he asked Claude Felton to cull the polls that are out there, and they “go from there.” I did something very similar, because at this point there’s not much else you can do. But given the AP poll being out later, I did have the luxury of looking at each conference’s preseason polls. So I started there, culling together each conference’s polls, then looking at some preseason polls, and read up a bit (but not very much) on each team I could. Finally, I touched base with some of the fellow beat writers for their (confidential) impression on where they think their team should be ranked. And then I just moved teams around based on gut feel.
- Georgia: Yes, I put Georgia and its first two opponents all in a row. That’ll sort itself out very quickly.
- Texas A&M being lower: Whatever happens with Johnny Manziel, you get the feeling the offseason distractions might prove to be too much.
- Closing thought: Feel free to debate anything about this. It's a preseason poll, and in three weeks there will be actual games to start basing this on. Some pish-posh the very idea of preseason polls, or even having a poll before October. That's fine. As a voter, now in my third year of doing this, I can just say I have no problem moving teams up and down once actual games are played. Then it becomes all about body of work, rather than preconceptions. In the meantime, it's just fun.
And in one year, there will be a playoff to determine all this anyway. Thank goodness.