3. The Big Ten is the early winner
Just like it is in the Coaches Poll, the Big Ten is putting five teams in the top 14 with Wisconsin (4), Ohio State (5), Penn State (10), Michigan State (11), and Michigan (14) giving the conference the preseason crown – at least up top. Northwestern is, technically, 35th and Iowa 40th in the Also Receiving Votes category, but that’s it. It’s a top-heavy league.
The SEC has two of the top three with Alabama (1) and Georgia (3), and having Auburn (9) in the top ten is nice, but Mississippi State is at 18 and LSU hanging on at 25. On the plus side, the league has seven of the top 27 teams with South Carolina at 26 and Florida at 27. With Texas A&M at 33 and Kentucky getting one vote, nine SEC teams are ranked.
Like the Coaches Poll, the ACC gets Clemson at 2 and Miami at 8, but Florida State (19) and Virginia Tech (20) are the only other Top 25 ranked teams. With NC State and Boston College in the Also Receiving Votes category, the league only has six ranked teams out of the 14.
Not only is the top Big 12 team starting out low with Oklahoma at 7, but TCU (16), West Virginia (17) and Texas (23) are in there. Oklahoma State is 29th, Kansas State is 36th and Iowa State 37th – six of the league’s ten teams are in the mix.
The Pac-12 has Washington at 6, and with Stanford at 13 and USC at 15, the league has three of the top 15 teams. Unlike the Coaches Poll, with Oregon in at 24, there are four ranked teams. With Utah at 28 and Arizona at 31, the league is getting some decent recognition.