Friday, August 3, 2012

Preseason Polls mean next to nothing

Brady Hoke said it best earlier this summer.
“I don't get to watch a lot of football.”
Like many college football coaches, they are too wrapped up in their own team to truly focus on the other programs around the country, especially on Saturdays.
Yet Hoke, like the majority of coaches in the FBS, have a vote in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Hoke openly admitted that he fills out his weekly poll with the help of his staff and sports information department, as most do.
But, as the 2012 USA Today Preseason Poll was released yesterday, of course, fans have to be up in arms.
The Wolverines came in 8th in the poll, ahead of the likes of Wisconsin (12th), Nebraska (16th), and Notre Dame (24th).
Oh, and by the way, and Michigan State was 13th.
Now, Spartan fans are already raising the red flag, claiming disrespect.
How can you beat a team four times in a row and be behind them in the preseason poll?
While the argument is valid, ultimately who cares?
Not to go all “Jim Schwartz”, but when the day comes that being ranked higher in a preseason poll means you win the head-to-head meeting that year, that’s when you should care.
The fact is Michigan still has the name power that Michigan State doesn’t.
Sure, State has won the last four meetings, and asserted itself as a legit Big Ten contender year-in and year-out, but it still is looking to break into the big time and really establish itself as a dominant program in the Midwest.
Not to say that Michigan currently is, but it once was. Just as Notre Dame was. Sometimes that naming power gives you certain advantages, like higher rankings and priority when it comes to BCS bowl selection.
Michigan State is on a path to change this and all they can do is continue to win and eventually things will change.
But, the preseason poll means little to nothing. The only poll that matters isn’t a poll at all, it is the final Big Ten standings.

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