2010 Preseason Coaches Poll - Analysis
Ohio State LB Ross Homan
Ohio State LB Ross Homan
Posted Aug 6, 2010

The 2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll was released. What does it all mean? Who was ranked too high, too low, and who got no love whatsoever? What does it all mean for the national title chase and the potential BCS matchups? Pete Fiutak breaks down the rankings that truly matter.

2010 Preseason Coaches' Poll

Instant Reaction

- 2009 Coaches' Poll Preseason Reaction

By Pete Fiutak

Preseason Coaches' Top 25
1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Florida
4. Texas
5. Boise State
6. Virginia Tech
7. TCU
8. Oklahoma
9. Nebraska
10. Iowa
11. Oregon
12. Wisconsin
13. Miami
14. Penn State
15. Pitt
16. LSU
17. Georgia Tech
18. North Carolina
19. Arkansas
20. Florida State
21. Georgia
22. Oregon State
23. Auburn
T24. Utah
T24. West Virginia
When looking at the USA Today Coaches' Poll, you have to keep in mind that 1) the people voting in this poll don't really know any of the teams or any of the players (you think any non-WAC coach has a clue who the Boise State starting quarterback is?), 2) the voters aren't always the coaches, and 3) it's the poll that actually matters.

The AP poll is irrelevant and the Harris Poll doesn't come out until October, when the first BCS rankings are released. The USA Today Coaches' Poll means almost everything to the national title chase, so at the moment, if Alabama (ranked No. 1) and Ohio State (ranked No. 2) go unbeaten, they'll be playing for the national championship no matter what anyone else does.

Alabama, to no one's surprise, is the preseason No. 1 by an overwhelming margin. It's not because the Tide is some be all, end all team (it has to replace almost the entire defense), it's because there's no one else worthy of the top spot.

This isn't Jim Tressel's best Ohio State team, but everyone remembers the Rose Bowl and everyone knows who Terrelle Pryor is, so that's an easy No. 2 choice. Florida and Texas are No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, mostly because of brand name as the two teams are reloading and rebuilding, while Boise State at five and Virginia Tech at six is a great set up for the big opening weekend matchup.

The biggest storyline is the respect given to Boise State in the top five and TCU at seven. The non-BCS teams are now in realistic range to be in the national title discussion all season long if they stay unbeaten, and their high ranking (over teams like Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, and Oregon) show as much respect as the Mountain West and WAC has ever gotten. With Boise State's move to the Mountain West next year, that means there's three future league teams in the top 25 compared to just two from the Big East (Pitt at 15 and West Virginia tied at 24 with Utah).

Of the big early matchups to watch out for, other than the September 6th date between Boise State and Virginia Tech, are the Oregon State (22) date with TCU (7), the Pitt (15) trip to Utah (24), and the North Carolina (18) battle with LSU (16) as two of the only four opening weekend matchups of top 25 teams.

The Big Ten is one of the big winners with four teams (Ohio State 2, Iowa 10, Wisconsin 12, and Penn State at 14) in the top 15, and future league member, Nebraska, checks in at nine.

The ACC, along with the Big Ten and non-BCS teams at the top, also has to be extremely happy with five teams in the top 25 with Virginia Tech at 6, Miami at 13, Georgia Tech at 17, North Carolina at 18, and Florida State at 20.

The biggest loser is the Pac 10 now that USC has been ridiculously banned from the poll because of the NCAA's sanctions. Oregon comes in at a mediocre 11, Oregon State is 22, and that's it for the top 25 with Arizona at 29 and Stanford at 32.

How bad do things continue to be for Rich Rodriguez and Michigan? The Wolverines didn't get a single vote, while Temple, Central Michigan, SMU, and Northern Illinois all got on the Others Receiving Votes board..

Five Key Overranked Teams
- No. 4 Texas (Based on how good the team is going into the season and not where it'll likely end up.) 
- No. 17 Georgia Tech

- No. 24 Utah
- No. 26 Cincinnati
- No. 27 Houston

Five Key Underranked Teams
- Unranked USC (should be in the top 20)  ... (Based on how good the team is going into the season and not where it'll likely end up.) 
- No. 20 Florida State
- No. 21 Georgia
- No. 30 Ole Miss
- No. 46 Texas A&M

What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Teams that didn't get much respect for a strong 2009
- No. 14 Penn State
- No. 26 Cincinnati
- No. 31 Clemson
- No. 44 Texas Tech
- No. 47 Northwestern

No, Really, What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Power programs that got no love whatsoever.
- Michigan ... no votes
- Tennessee ... no votes
- UCLA ... no votes
- Rutgers ... no votes
- Texas A&M ... three votes

No. REALLY, What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Some bowl teams of last year that didn't get a sniff
- Air Force ... no votes
- Kentucky ... no votes
- Idaho ...no votes
- Wyoming ... no votes
- UCF ... no votes
- Iowa State ... no votes
- Minnesota ... no votes
- Ohio ... no votes
- Marshall ... no votes
- Troy ... no votes
- Middle Tennessee ... no votes

Five Teams Outside of the Top 25 Who'll Finish In
- No. 30 Ole Miss
- No. 37 Missouri
- No. 38 Navy
- No. 40 Boston College
- No. 41 Michigan State

Five Teams That Got Votes That Shouldn't
- No. 42 Arizona State
- No. 48 Temple
- No. 49 Central Michigan
- No. 52 Northern Illinois
- No. 53 SMU