Polls & Rankings

2016 Preseason AP College Football Rankings: 5 Things That Matter


The 2016 AP preseason college football poll was released. What are the five things that matter from the rankings?


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The AP Preseason Top 25 Poll

It’s still Alabama’s world.

Color me still a wee bit surprised. Alabama is obviously going to be really, really good, but once again it has to come up with a starting quarterback. It has to replace two NFL running backs, a slew of talented players on both lines, and has to rebuild just enough to think that this might be a step-back season – this year’s team isn’t going to be as good as last year’s.

But it doesn’t seem to matter to the preseason voters.

The Crimson Tide were No. 1 in the preseason Coaches Poll, and now they get the nod in the AP preseason top 25. The big difference? …

Clemson got a lot more love.

The coaches didn’t mess around. Alabama was the absolute No. 1 getting 55 first place votes with Clemson getting seven. Bama received 33 first place votes by the AP types, while Clemson got 16, Oklahoma four, and Florida State five. LSU, Ohio State and Michigan each received a first place vote, while Florida State and Tennessee were the only other teams to receive a No. 1 nod by the Coaches.

The preseason polls are sort of alike.

It’s Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Florida State 1-2-3-4 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, but LSU is fifth in the AP after being sixth in the Coaches, swapping places with Ohio State. Michigan is seventh and Stanford eighth, Tennessee ninth and Notre Dame tenth, Ole Miss 11th and Michigan State 12th – all flip-flops from the Coaches Poll.

All the top 25 teams are the same.

Oddly enough, all the same teams are in both top 25s with Miami getting the No. 26 spot in both, too. UCLA was ranked 16th by the AP after being put at 24th by the coaches, but other than that, the two preseason rankings are effectively the same.

What Does This All REALLY Mean?

This basically confirms what the coaches already said. The preseason polls don’t mean anything anymore in terms of determining a national champion, but they still play a big role in dictating the national perception.

If USC wins its season opener, it’ll be the No. 1 team in the country – that matters. If Houston wins the opener, it’ll have beaten the No. 3 team in the country, giving it the street cred in the College Football Playoff perception. With a phenomenal Week 1 of games coming up, get ready for the AP rankings to change in a big way right out of the gate.