If the coaches voting don’t get too quirky, the preseason Coaches Poll for 2016 should look like this.
Granted, the preseason Coaches Poll doesn’t really mean what it used to, considering it has nothing to do with the College Football Playoff, but it’s still fun, it’s still a good measuring stick, and it’s still going to get everyone riled up when it comes out ahead of the 2016 college football season.
So what’s it going to look like? Where will the top teams fall?
For the most part, the coaches will go by who they know, the teams with the star players – especially at quarterback – and they’ll go off of general perception based off of what happened last season.
Is it a predictor of what’s going to happen? Last year, the coaches put Ohio State No. 1, TCU No. 2, Alabama No. 3 and Baylor No. 4. Michigan State was the preseason No. 6, but Clemson started out No. 12 and Oklahoma was all the way down at No. 19 – two spots behind a Georgia Tech team that finished with a disastrous season.
Then-defending national champion Florida State started out the 2014 preseason Coaches Poll No. 1 – and ended up making the College Football Playoff – along with preseason No. 2 Alabama. Oregon was No. 4, and eventual national champion Ohio State started out the year at No. 6.
The 2013 preseason Coaches Poll was a big whiff, putting a dominant Florida State team at No. 12 to start – Alabama was No. 1, Ohio State No. 2 and Oregon No. 3 – while BCS Championship-loser Auburn didn’t get one vote. The Tigers weren’t even in the Also Receiving Votes category, but Arkansas State, Kent State, San Jose State and Tulsa all got a little love.
So assuming the Coaches Poll doesn’t get too quirky, the 2016 preseason top 25 should be …
5. Ohio State
6. Florida State
9. Michigan State
11. Notre Dame
17. Ole Miss
23. Oklahoma State