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2019 Preseason Coaches Poll


Good news: this year’s preseason coaches poll provides the ideal mix of 80% “duh” and 20% “huh?” that we always hope for.

At the top, we have the duh. The first 5 exactly match their finishing positions from the 2018 season. This is normal, as most coaches just look at the rankings from last season and…do that. They’re not making charts about other team’s depth prospects and who has lost what routines or what freshmen are going to boost the early half of which lineups.

Still, even the top of the rankings is not devoid of interest.

2019 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. UCLA (20 1st-place votes) – 1,961 points
2. Oklahoma (25) – 1,959 points
3. Florida (9) – 1,946 points
4. LSU (2) – 1,891 points
5. Utah – 1,783 points
6. Alabama – 1,672 points
7. Georgia (1) – 1,585 points
8. California – 1,526 points
9. Michigan – 1,517 points
10. Kentucky – 1,481 points
11. Nebraska – 1,361 points
12. Arkansas – 1,341 points
13. Denver – 1,286 points
14. Auburn – 1,281 points
15. Washington – 1,253 points
16. Boise State – 1,183 points
17. Oregon State – 1,005 points
18. Ohio State – 989 points
19. Missouri – 912 points
20. Arizona State – 862 points
21. Stanford – 831 points
22. Illinois – 809 points
23. Minnesota – 798 points
24. BYU – 749 points
25. NC State – 704 points
26. George Washington – 611 points
27. Penn State – 525 points
28. Iowa State – 517 points
29. Iowa – 442 points
30. Central Michigan – 403 points
30. Maryland – 403 points
32. Southern Utah – 364 points
33. Arizona – 314 points
34. New Hampshire – 280 points
35. West Virginia – 259 points
36. Pittsburgh – 247 points

The first-place spot is typically (but certainly not always) reserved for last year’s champion, and that’s what happened here with UCLA at #1. Interestingly, Oklahoma still got more first-place votes than UCLA and verrrry nearly snatched #1, likely reflecting UCLA’s victory last season being an upset—with a plurality of coaches still viewing Oklahoma as the best team carrying over from 2018.

Speaking of first-place votes, we see you, that single vote for Georgia. Now, we don’t know that it was Suzanne (I mean Courtney). We don’t know that. It could just as easily be some other coach—that Suzanne simply blackmailed into voting for Georgia.

Now, Georgia is going to be really good this season. We’re expecting improvement over last year. But putting Georgia #1 is looney tunes. It’s not crazy at nearly the same level as my favorite thing ever, that time Boise State got a first-place vote, but sadly that coach has gone quiet the last three years. Shame. If the coaches got together next year and trolled the system by all voting for insane teams, I would be in heaven. Just saying. Start planning now so one one gets cold feet about the prank at the very last minute.

What else?

-The other team to make Super Six last year, Nebraska, is all the way down in 11th. No surprise there because, as noted in the team preview, Nebraska gets under-ranked in the coaches poll every single season.

-Alabama in 6th and Georgia in 7th both seem about right for where we stand right now. Cal in 8th marks the team’s best-ever preseason ranking. It’s worth noting that Washington is down in 15th once again this season despite making nationals each of the last two years.

-Michigan is in 9th, the team’s lowest preseason ranking since the 2013 season. Typically, Michigan ends up 7th in this poll, but with not making nationals last year, it looks like the normal benefit of the doubt was not afforded.

-Most of the other rankings are within a couple spots of last season’s finish, so not a ton of work was done there. Oregon State in 17th is interesting, quite a low ranking by Oregon State’s standards.

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