Who’s got the power? Check the preseason Top 25s

August 17, 2014 by Derek Redd

Here’s a link that offers a side-by-side view of the sportswriters and coaches preseason top 25 college football polls.

Notice anything missing?

Like, say, a Group of Five team?

The University of Central Florida comes closest to breaking the seal, sitting as the top team in the “also receiving votes” group in the writers poll and third from the top in that group in the coaches poll. ESPN.com has the preseason top 25s archived back to 2002. In every one of those polls, there’s at least one small-conference team included, usually more than one. (FYI, Marshall started the 2002 season 19th in the preseason writers poll and 21st in the preseason coaches poll.)

What might that say? This could be just an anomaly. One of the Go5 schools could do well enough this season and have enough coming back to warrant inclusion in 2015. That might have been the case for UCF if QB Blake Bortles would have stayed for his senior year.

Could it possibly be that most top 25 voters, with the new College Football Playoff in place, will disregard Go5 teams in favor of eight SEC teams and six Pac-12 teams, as we saw in this preseason AP top 25? Whichever way it goes, the new reality for Go5 teams is likely that they’ll all have to work their way into the top 25.

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