The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2013 Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Just in case you were wondering, the apostrophe in coaches’ poll is optional. One could argue that the coaches have ownership of the poll (in which case the apostrophe is necessary to indicate the possessive), or one could argue that coaches is simply an adjective describing the type of poll (in which case no apostrophe would be included). I’m using the apostrophe because that seems to be the accepted convention.

The poll is bizarre and unrealistic in places as always, but I’m not that worked up about it. Not that worked up about it. Poll available at Troester.

2013 Preseason Coaches’ Poll:
1. Alabama (11 first-place votes)
2. UCLA (5)
3. Florida (10)
4. Oklahoma (1)
5. Utah (1)
6. Stanford
7. Nebraska
8. LSU
9. Oregon State
10. Michigan
11. Georgia
12. Arkansas
13. Auburn
14. Ohio State
15. Boise State
16. Penn State
17. Washington
18. Illinois
19. Arizona
20. Denver
21. Missouri
22. NC State
23. Minnesota
24. West Virginia
25. Kentucky

Let’s start at the beginning.

A) It’s important to acknowledge that the coaches’ poll is meaningless and based less on talent or reality than it is on politics and lack of awareness. Most coaches simply parrot last year’s postseason results. This is fine, and it need not be any other way. However . . .

B) Of all the years. In the past, I have been bemused and amused by the coaches’ refusal to name Alabama as preseason #1 and the willingness of certain coaches to anoint any other team. Last year, Alabama was the defending champion, and since there was not a very compelling argument for any other team, it seemed logical that the Tide would be #1. They were #2. This year, when Florida has an insanely talented group that no one would begrudge a #1 ranking, Alabama is #1. This is gymnastics. At least they got the top three right. In the history of the rankings in the Troester archive, this is Alabama’s first preseason #1 ranking.

C) To be third with ten first-place votes (behind UCLA with just five), Florida had to be hilariously low on some ballots. To rank Florida anywhere outside the top three displays a jaundiced attitude too far gone to be addressed. I understand an unwillingness to rank a titleless team #1, but that’s a lie. I don’t see it if the team warrants it.

D) In baseball this year, the individual voter’s ballots for MVP and Cy Young awards were made public. How much would you love for individual coaches’ ballots to be public?

E) This is Georgia’s lowest preseason ranking, and even though it doesn’t match where I placed the Gymdogs (because I do think there is more potential here than others are recognizing), I don’t really reject this placement. No one would be that surprised by a repeat of last year.

F) Arkansas has been bumped down to #12 even after a Super Six appearance. Most people (including me) see the loss of Pisani and largely write this team off.

F) Interestingly, Ohio State didn’t really get much of a bump from the Nationals appearance last year, and Penn State is oddly low. 

G) Why were there so few ballots compared to previous years?

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