It is time to get rid of pre-season polls. I said it: I am tired of seeing teams boosted to the front of the pack just because of their brand or potential. Over the past few years, the polls have failed us as we entered the regular season. The University of Southern California was ranked #8 in last year’s preseason poll. They went 8-6 last season, losing a coach in the process. Auburn was ranked #6 last season. The Tigers went 7-6 and had no intention of winning the SEC West. Those are two recent examples. There's many examples of teams just fizzing out under the hype. Here are the teams that are really dropping the ball so far.
Preseason Ranking: #3 in the AP Polls
Week 4 Ranking: #25 in the AP Polls
Oklahoma’s hardest games were Houston and Ohio State. Usually, a team faces its harder opponents towards the end of the season. Now, Oklahoma is in a hole. This team can recover and win out on their schedule, but it’s not really possible. Houston was way more physical in their game with the Sooners. And honestly, Ohio State beat Oklahoma like it was an easy Big Ten game. OSU did not flinch on the road. Oklahoma did not step up. Due to this, Texas Christian is the newest favorite in the Big 12. Talking about TCU, the Sooners are on the road next week to face the Horned Frogs. And after that, Texas is calling. If the Sooners become 1-4 with seven games to go, then Bob Stoops coaching security will become shorter.
Preseason Ranking: #10 in the AP Polls
Week 4 Ranking: Unranked
One thing about Notre Dame that I respect is the fact that I am entertained by their games. A lot of their games are instant classics. The atmosphere is right and their playmakers are always there. The downside to that is that Notre Dame is commonly on the losing side of those games. Texas and Michigan State proved me right. The games were close but the Fighting Irish did not come out on top. Due to this, ND is unranked. The problem for ND is that they have to play two times harder in order to make the college football playoff. It’s time for the Irish to join the Big Ten or ACC fully as a football school. Not having an extra game to prove themselves is bad for ND. Being independent in 2016 is a setback. Sorry ND fans, but it’s true.
Preseason Ranking: #11 in the AP Polls
Week 4 Ranking: #23
When you have a chance to beat Alabama while they are down, BEAT THEM. Ole Miss did not finish against the best team in the country. And recently, they have always given Alabama troubles. This time around it happened, but the mission wasn't finished. Florida State did the same thing to Ole Miss as well. The Rebels paid for not finishing games. Georgia, Memphis, Arkansas, Louisiana State: those are the next four games for Ole Miss. The Rebels will not win all four. If they lose two more games, say goodbye to the playoff and even a prestigious bowl game.
Preseason Ranking: #17 in the AP Polls
Week 4 Ranking: Unranked
Iowa is a very good football school. But, their winning ways aren’t something to brag about. The program has won over 600 games in its existence. The program hasn't really won any significant championships or bowl games in recent memory. It’s one thing to have had hardware and it’s another thing to have the prestigious hardware. North Dakota State knows about winning. They are the ONLY college football team to win five straight national championships. And NDSU has a history of beating division one teams, and on their own field to make it more insulting. Iowa is the next team that was added to that list. Iowa will probably have a winning record. But in my view, they are a program who just wins instead of dominates.
What can you learn from these four examples? Learn that rankings aren’t accurate for every team. True football determines the worth of a team. The results prove their relevance in the elite conversation.
Lead Photo Credit: David Moore