The 2014 Coaches Poll is finally here. LINK
Overall, it’s a bit of a letdown. I always look forward to its crazy choices, but this poll is completely realistic and makes a lot of sense. Maybe I just think that because these rankings are exceptionally similar to mine. Coaches, have you been copying again?
A few reflections:
-Minnesota is the only school I would say is clearly too low, but last year was the first time in quite a while that Minnesota fielded a contending team. It usually takes a few years of contending or a stronger historical legacy to make an impact in the poll. I think Minnesota has a stronger team than Arkansas this year (kiss of death, now we know that won’t be the case), but Arkansas has contended more frequently over the last few years.
-The only other difference between these rankings and my own is Alabama at #2 and Oklahoma at #3, instead of the other way around, but that’s completely sane and believable.
-Now let’s talk about first-place votes. Utah got two of them. If you’re going to do something weird like that, you should have to submit a public explanation of your decision. What’s going on there, and are you enjoying all the drugs?
-Alabama got zero first-place votes, which is funny. Last year was the first time Alabama had ever been ranked #1 in the preseason poll (and by ever, I mean that I can think of) in spite of numerous championships and top teams over the years. The coaches historically have not favored the Tide, so it’s not surprising, just very telling.
-UCLA, on the other hand, always gets a bunch of first-place votes just by being UCLA, so to see the Bruins receive just one and to see them almost passed up by LSU is interesting and goes against precedent a bit. But there are just so many question marks on that team this year.