The USA Today/Coaches’ preseason poll was released earlier this morning and Boise State is ranked No. 23.
Not sure what to think about the ranking.
I had an interesting conversation with several others at Boise State’s morning practice about the polls and rankings in general.
Everyone, it seems, has a different way of approaching the preseason poll.
Some see it as a predictive poll and vote teams where they believe they’ll end the season. Others vote according to which team they think will win a game on a neutral field. Some believe recent history needs to be taken into account. Others think it’s about who is on this year’s team.
All of those methods have merit, but I put more stock in this year’s team — schedule, what they lost, what’s coming back, new coach, new assistants, injuries — than I do in what they did last year.
It’s one reason Boise State, coming off a 9-4 season, wasn’t ranked at the beginning of last season.
It’s hard to know exactly what the coaches are thinking, though surely some taking care of your own enters the equation. Fresno State’s Pat Hill, one of four WAC coaches who vote, said he voted Boise State and Hawaii among the top 10 teams in the nation.
Boise State’s Chris Petersen also votes. Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, the Broncos’ former head coach, votes, too.
The same thing happens with coaches all over the country. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier — perhaps in a little dig at the preseason poll — always puts Duke, where he got his first head-coaching job, at No. 25 in the first poll.
Back to the Broncos:
• 23rd seems like a completely reasonable ranking, given that they lost so many seniors off last year’s team and face question marks at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive tackle.
• They probably should be ranked ahead of TCU, which is No. 22.
• They probably should be ranked ahead of Hawaii, which is ranked No. 24. And they are.
Three non-BCS conference schools in the top 25 is pretty good and further proof that the Broncos’ Fiesta Bowl victory opened the eyes of some around the country.
But the top 25 is still filled with middle of the pack teams from the major conferences — Penn State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, UCLA.
The polls should not come out until Oct. 1.
But then what would be get all fired up about?
• Poll data: No question USC should be No. 1. I might have move West Virginia (No. 6) a little higher and dropped Florida (No. 3) just a few spots.
After Louisville (No. 11), you could probably take the rest of the teams in the Top 25, put their names in a hat and draw them out.
• One play that really stood out from the Broncos’ morning practice was a leaping grab by wide receiver Jeremy Childs.
I think he has a chance to be really, really productive this season. I’ve been impressed with him ever since last year’s New Mexico State game when he ran clear across the field and hauled in an important touchdown in that game.
E-mail sports columnist Brian Murphy.ff
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