The College Football Playoff Committee will decide the four teams that play for the national title, but Top 25 rankings remain a hot topic of discussion, maybe more than ever.
A&M, which was ranked 11th by the coaches a few weeks ago, was 12th in the Associated Press’ preseason poll which came out Monday.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said when the first poll came out he didn’t see the 11th-ranked team in the nation. He joked Monday “see we’ve already dropped a spot,” but then turned serious, getting back to his original point.
He still doesn’t see the nation’s 11th best or 12th best team, at least right now. He said you’d probably get the same response asking the coaches of the top-ranked teams.
But while the Aggies are not yet the 11th or 12th best team, “maybe we’re better,” said Fisher, adding they have good enough players and it gets down to execution and details with everyone doing their part.
“The more we play with consistency, the more I’ll see that,” said Fisher, adding that A&M “could have a great year.”
But for now, the Aggies are ranked 11th by the coaches and 12th by AP, which is better than the alternative.
“I mean you gotta start someone,” Fisher said. “Like I said, I’d rather start up high than I would down low. I mean, someone thinks I’m good. At the end of the day it doesn’t prove anything. It’s just that people do think you have a chance to be a good team.”
Maybe 13 will prove lucky for the 12th Man. That’s how many AP voters had the Aggies ranked in the Top 10.
Leading the way were ESPN’s Rece Davis and the South Bend Tribune’s Eric Hansen who each had the Aggies ranked the highest at sixth.
Davis had LSU (No. 7), Texas (No. 11), Notre Dame (No. 12) and Florida (No. 15) lower than the Aggies. You can bet those first two rankings are surely crowd-pleasers in B-CS. Hanson also had LSU (No. 7), Notre Dame (No. 9) and Texas (No. 10) behind the Aggies along with Michigan (11).
At the other end of the spectrum, the San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner had A&M ranked the lowest at 25th. The Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls and the Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley were next, both having A&M at No. 18.
Forty-one voters had A&M in the No. 11-13 slots.
Former A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, now in his second season at Arizona, got a 25th-place vote from Davis Potter of the Casper Star-Tribune.
I wish we wouldn't vote until after every team plays a few games, but that’s NEVER going to happen.
I feel confident about my first 3-4 teams. I broke down and put Michigan in my Top 5, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wolverines crash and burn, again.
I’ve already responded to a Penn State fan-based site wanting to know why I had PSU 25th. Hey, someone had to be 25th.
I compiled my ballot by looking at various conference’s media and coaches’ polls, figuring they could shed some light about their conference. I then came up with my own pecking order for each conference. I tried to go 6-7 deep in power conferences, 1-2 in the others. Then it was just mix and match.
I actually believe voters end up being tougher on teams they know, as evidenced by me ranking LSU 12th, A&M 13th, omitting Auburn, and ranking only six SEC schools. It’s not that I don’t think the SEC is loaded with good teams, but rather the losses will add up, especially at the hands of Alabama and Georgia. That being said, I’m also not sold on Auburn or LSU and A&M for that matter.
A&M might be a Top 5 team if Kellen Mond improves at quarterback, the offensive line takes another step forward and the defense takes off in Mike Elko’s second year at DC. Then again, if Mond is only slightly better, the O-Line is inconsistent and opposing quarterbacks thrive on the secondary, A&M might end at No. 25.
By the way, Penn State got my No. 25 over Auburn and Syracuse.
MY TOP 25
*-Any team five spots higher or lower than where they ended in the actual poll.
6, Notre Dame
7, Ohio State
13, Texas A&M
14, Central Florida
15, Nebraska *TOO HIGH
17, Oregon *TOO LOW
18, Iowa State
19, Miami *TOO HIGH
21, Boise State *TOO HIGH
23, Northwestern *TOO HIGH
24, Washington State
25, Penn State *TOO LOW