What teams are overrated and which are underrated in the preseason AP college football top 25 poll?
It’s easy to say something is overrated or underrated without citing exactly where it’s being rated in the first place. Guilty as charged on doing this, by the way, but in the case of the preseason AP college football poll, teams actually are rated. Which AP top 25 teams are overrated and which are underrated?
Overrated Preseason AP Top 25 Teams
– No. 1 Alabama
It’s all relative. Alabama might be overrated, but it’s overrated about two or three spots off.
In terms of experience, quarterback, and all the key parts coming back to the mix, Clemson probably should be No. 1 based on what the AP voters appear to be looking for, but LSU has the most talent and experience coming back. The Tigers have the best-looking team coming into the season, but they only received one first place vote.
It’s not that Alabama isn’t going to be terrific, and it’s not that the talent isn’t there, but this is the respect vote at No. 1. It’s hard to argue with it, but based on how good the teams appear to be, the Crimson Tide are around four or so.
– No. 8 Stanford
Call this the Christian McCaffrey vote, because the Cardinal don’t have much of anything else coming back. Stanford can reload in a hurry, and it’s got a great system in place, but it’s totally reloading. Compared to a completely loaded Tennessee one spot back, and with better Pac-12 North teams way down the list, Stanford shouldn’t be in the top ten.
– No. 15 Houston
This is all on perception coming off of last year and the way it finished against Florida State, because this isn’t going to be as good a team as the one that dominated the end of the Peach Bowl.
However, throw all of that out if the Cougars beat No. 3 Oklahoma to start the season. Do that, and the College Football Playoff talk will crank up to 11 just a week into the season. The chance will be there right out of the gate to prove they deserve the respect of the AP preseason top 15 slot.
Underrated Preseason AP Top 25 Teams
– No. 5 LSU
I know I’m sort of alone on this, but this is the No. 1 team in the country – at least on paper.
The Tigers have the most returning talent, the most experience, the biggest star in Leonard Fournette – or No. 1A behind Deshaun Watson – and a who’s who of top 2017 NFL Draft picks across the board.
Yes, Brandon Harris is still the quarterback, but he’s a four-year veteran now – compare his experience to what Alabama and Florida State will start with.
Wisconsin isn’t in the AP preseason top 25, but LSU can make a statement right out of the gate in Lambeau Field.
– No. 24 Oregon
Considering the upgrade of Brady Hoke as defensive coordinator, RB Royce Freeman leading another loaded group of skill players, and with the motivation in place coming after last year’s meltdown in the bowl loss to TCU and the misfire in the Pac-12 race, Oregon isn’t the fifth-best team in the conference behind Stanford, Washington, UCLA and USC.
– No. 30 Boise State
The AP preseason poll should be a snapshot of how good the teams are at the moment, and not predictive, but if looking ahead matters at all, the Broncos should make the biggest move of anyone. They’re going to finish with double-digit wins, and they could and should be unbeaten by the end of the regular season. They’re not going to be outside of the AP top 25 poll for long.