Note: All individual links will open up that person's specific ballot. Team links will show where every voter has ranked that school.
Joe Giglio, of the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina gave Boise State its lone No. 1 vote. This helped the Broncos to their highest-ever poll ranking at No. 3. Pollstalker also tagged Giglio as this week’s most-extreme voter. For those new to Pollspeak, “extreme” doesn’t mean “bad.” It means this person has the most rankings on the edge (highest or lowest). Now that COULD be a sign of a bad voter (i.e. a monkey throwing darts would likely be extreme), but it could also be a sign of somebody doing their own research and thinking…especially in the preseason where there are fewer tangibles to base ranks upon.
The key is to determine if the person is being rational, unbiased and consistent. Based on the reasoning in his blog, it seems Giglio isn’t throwing darts. Although, fans of teams he ranked lowest: Texas (his No. 12), Florida (his No. 15) and Virginia Tech (his No. 19) will still accuse him of missing a chromosome or two.
Wade Denniston was the second most-extreme voter. Denniston, who writes for the Logan-Herald Journal in Utah, gave both BYU (his No. 11) and Utah (his No. 17) their highest rankings. This is only one better than their final rankings in 2009, so his rankings are justifiable. Plus BYU has been ranked in the final polls since 2006 and Utah since 2008 (where they were 13-0 with a No. 2 ranking.) So giving these teams the benefit of the doubt isn’t crazy-talk, even though there could also be some homerism involved.
Still, it is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses. Denniston also seems to just like ranking teams highest, giving Penn State (No. 8), Cincinnati (No. 10), Mississippi (No. 20), Oklahoma State (No. 23), and Central Michigan (No. 24) their highest votes. The biggest exception is Oklahoma, whom he ranks lowest at No. 25. It’s hard to blame him since the Sooners were unranked last season, but Sooner fans will blame him anyway, especially since he also ranked their in-state rivals highest. Here is actual footage of Denniston’s last complimentary ride on the Sooner Schooner.
On the opposite end of the Sooner spectrum, Randy Rosetta gave Oklahoma their only No. 1 vote. The Sooners are ranked everywhere from No. 1 to No. 25… that’s quite a difference of opinions. Meanwhile Scott Wolf gave rival Texas, their only No. 1.
Temple, Middle Tennessee, Boston College, Oklahoma State, Central Michigan, UCF, Mississippi and SMU all received just one vote. At least half those teams won’t see more votes than that this year. Which ones? You tell us.
While preseason is a bit early to talk seriously about head-to-head, on-the-field results, I’m going to do it anyway. It’s a good primer for the rest of the season. So, for example, Iowa beat Georgia Tech 24 to 14 in the Orange Bowl last season. Arguably Georgia Tech (a VERY run-oriented offense) loses more of its team than Iowa, including their running back, Jonathan Dwyer, who went in the 6th round to the Steelers. Still, 3 of the 60 voters ranked Georgia Tech over Iowa, as seen in this report. Of those, Craig James was the most drastic, ranking the Yellow Jackets No. 7 and the Hawkeyes No. 13.
Looking at the AP Poll’s structure this year, there were no major changes. There are still 60 voters and the same number of voters per state as 2009. However, there was a typical amount of voter turnover with 29 new voters this year. You can check out the complete list of changes here: AP VOTER CHANGES 2009 – 2010.
Long time voter Tom Hart (formerly of CBS) now works for the Big Ten Network. While many journalists might work in specific college markets, this is the first time we know of where an AP Voter has a formal relationship with a specific conference. While there is no hint of Big Ten bias in his preseason ballot, it will be worth keeping an eye out for it as the season progresses. In fact, he ranked incoming member Nebraska, lowest of any voter. Maybe it is a form of rookie hazing similar to Tebow’s monk-cut.
Number of Teams in the AP Preseason Top 25:
- SEC: 6
- ACC: 5
- Big Ten: 4
- Big 12: 3
- Pac-10: 3
- Big East: 2
- M-West: 1
- WAC: 1
- C-USA: 0
- MAC: 0
- Sun Belt: 0
- Ind.: 0
Comparing the number of teams ranked per conference to the Coaches’ Poll, the only major change is the replacement of the Mountain West’s Utah, with the Pac-10’s USC. Of course, the reason is that the coaches aren’t allowed to vote for USC due to NCAA probation. The AP voters are under no such restriction. If USC can win out, there is a very good chance for a split national championship this year.