The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 poll on Sunday, which included few real surprises. Here are a few thoughts on the poll:
• In the BCS era, only two teams – Florida State (1999) and USC (2004) – finished the season as the AP No. 1 team after debuting in the top spot. Last season, the Seminoles won the BCS title after starting the year at No. 11 in the AP poll. Recent poll history doesn’t bode well for Florida State’s shot at a repeat, but the ‘Noles’ ACC schedule does.
• With eight teams, the SEC paved the way as the conference with the most selections. The Pac-12 (six) was next, followed by the Big Ten (four), three each from the ACC and Big 12 and Notre Dame. Just like in the Coaches Poll, which was released on July 31, no teams from outside the Power Five leagues cracked the rankings.
• The AP poll nearly mirrors the previously released Coaches Poll. The AP top 10 includes the same teams, though those programs are slightly switched around. Oregon and Oklahoma (the AP’s No. 3 and No. 4) as well as Ohio State and Auburn (No. 5 and No. 6) are flipped in the Coaches Poll.
• AP voters are evidently not high on Texas. The Longhorns snuck into the Coaches Poll at No. 24 last month, but they were replaced by Missouri at No. 24 in the AP. The Tigers are coming off an appearance in the SEC title game, while Texas is entering a new era under coach Charlie Strong.
• Notre Dame landed at No. 17 in the poll, which might seem high given Friday’s news of alleged academic fraud. The futures of Notre Dame receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore all remain unknown due to their alleged involvement in alleged academic wrongdoing. But as several have pointed out, AP poll votes were due last week, long before the Irish announced the investigation.