If you've been watching College Football Live lately, you've probably noticed that they have a top-25 they're already using. It's not an official preseason poll - it's not even ESPN's official preseason poll - but it's all we have right now. It was compiled by "a 38-person panel consisting of our analysts, studio hosts, play-by-play announcers, bloggers, researchers and production team members." Here's the link.
And, to save you the trouble, here are the rankings:
ESPN College Football Live Top-25
5. Boise State
6. Florida State
8. South Carolina
9. Oklahoma State
10. Ohio State
11. Texas A&M
16. Michigan State
17. Notre Dame
19. Virginia Tech
21. Mississippi State
24. West Virginia
25. Arizona State
The Sooners at number one is an obvious pick, and I'll doubt we'll see any preseason poll that doesn't favor either Oklahoma or Alabama.
Oregon and LSU come in at no. 3 and 4 respectively - how big is that week one matchup?
Speaking of week one match-ups, Boise State is no. 5 and Georgia is unranked. Yet the Broncos are only 1' favorites now. Somehow it seems the rankings don't match the narrative we're trying to create with some of these non-AQ teams.
Defending BCS champ Auburn comes in at no. 23. I've seen them picked everywhere from no. 9 to having a losing season, so maybe around 20 is a safe pick.
I bet if they could re-visit this poll, we'd see Ohio State drop and Wisconsin surge. The Badgers' no. 14 ranking seems low even without new transfer Russell Wilson.
I think Stanford, Oklahoma State, and (maybe) South Carolina are too high. I think the Cardinal will lose at least two games, the Cowboys at least three, and if the Game cocks make it back to ATL, it'll be with a similar season as 2010 (4 losses). That is not good enough to hold those top-10 rankings.
I think Virginia Tech is too low. I've been considering the Hokies a top-10 team at least and here they come in at no. 19.
Nos. 16-18 feel like "what do with these teams?" picks. And, honestly, I couldn't really tell you any better.
Remember, the Official FTS Preseason Top-25 will be up next week!