EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2009 rankings. I guess I should clarify this a bit. You see, there are a lot of things that I think need to be changed about college football, and one of the first things I’d do as dictator is abolish all preseason polls; or at least their obvious, arguably inappropriate influence on the only rankings that really matter in the end: The final BCS standings.
Ask yourself if LSU could still make the 2007 BCS Championship Game, after two losses over their last 6 regular season games, if they’d started the season ranked 8th or 13th, for example, as opposed to 2nd. The big two preseason polls, as well as all the other media polls out there, pollute the college football landscape by gifting certain anointed teams an advantage based on what is essentially, somewhat arbitrary, conjecture. I mean, let’s face it, these things come out well before any team has even sniffed a competitive playing field. What legitimate basis do the voters have to rank any team at that point?
Make the jump for more on this topic and NCAA Football 2009’s Top 25 courtesy of Operation Sports, who apparently received a beta copy of the game (lucky).
Now, I don’t disagree that a team’s performance from the previous season, combined with the amount of returning talent, provides some reasonable basis to speculate upon their quality and pending success or failure for the upcoming season. If the AP and Coaches’ Polls were only there to stir up debate and captivate the college football audience, then there wouldn’t be any issue here. Of course, while they do in fact foster debate and intrigue before, during and after the season, they also have a direct impact and effect on every team’s shot at the ultimate prize. That’s a big problem in my opinion.
Think about last season, and all the story lines that played out, and teams’ struggles to leapfrog the school occuyping the next rung up on the ladder from them; all of them jockeying for a shot at BCS glory. Now look at the 2007 polls, particularly the preseaon polls, final polls, and the now infamous weeks 13-15. Hopefully they’ll help illustrate the point.
So anyway, all that’s to say that when I claim EA’s NCAA Football 2009 preseason poll is the most “relevant”, my tongue is, of course, firmly planted in cheek. I guess it would be better to say that, in a perfect college football world, NCAA 2009’s rankings might as well be just as relevant as the AP or Coaches’ polls. It is a dream I have…
Here’s the NCAA Football 2009 Top 25. ***EDIT: Apparently several readers have been missing this, so be advised that the team names in the Top 25 link to screenshots of the team, their ratings and their ranking. Don’t miss out***
3. Ohio State
8. West Virginia
12. Texas Tech
13. Penn St.
14. Arizona St.
17. Virginia Tech
21. South Carolina
25. Wake Forest
Note that two teams have perfect 99’s across the board: Georgia and Ohio State. Foreshadowing maybe? EA has actually released every teams’ official ratings (Overall, Offense, Defense) in a spreadsheet found here.
Another interesting bit is Florida State, who almost certainly have become the greatest unranked team in the history of the NCAA Football series. Here’s some other pics of teams of note based on Frumpzilla’s staff and locale: N.C. State, UNC, Duke, ECU, and UCLA. July 15th can’t come soon enough…