USA TODAY Preseason Poll: Mountain West Shut Out

USA TODAY Preseason Poll: Mountain West Shut Out

Air Force

USA TODAY Preseason Poll: Mountain West Shut Out

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USA TODAY Preseason Poll: Mountain West Shut Out


Initial polls set the tone for the season


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Tradition plays a role.

The first preseason poll is out from USA TODAY coaches poll is out and of course, it is full of tropes, disrespect, and carries too much weight on tradition.

These polls are not ones that matter when it comes to the College Football Playoff rankings or the New Year’s Six but there is some influence and carry over when on TV it shows a number next to a teams name and is promoted as a big time matchup.

These coaches don’t follow every team closely enough to make an informed decision, likely don’t even vote themselves and there are conflicts of interest with bonuses being involved.

The new poll does not feature any Mountain West teams, which is only mildly shocking since teams outside of the big conferences are vastly under represented in these early polls and by the end of the year there might be at least five.

Three enter the list with Cincinnati at No. 10, Louisiana is No. 23, and Coastal Carolina at No 24. Fine, those are the initial rankings and good for these G5 teams getting respect.

Where the poll goes off the rails is clearly tradition and conference bias getting in the way. LSU’s season last year was a disaster on so many levels specifically on defense and also their potential starting quarterback Myles Brennan is out after suffering an arm injury that requires surgery. So, it makes complete and total sense they are No. 13.

Texas, well it is the Longhorns so they have to be ranked at No. 19 and 5-5 Ole Miss which is getting pub for winning the Outback Bowl last year is No. 25.

As for the Mountain West teams, Boise State leads the way with 27 points followed by defending Mountain West champion San Jose State with 17, and then Air Force and Nevada each have two points.

The biggest head scratcher is Nevada, yes I have said many times that the Wolf Pack are my team to win it all. Getting just two points is out of line, and it goes back to research which this poll does not do.

Nevada has arguably one of the best QB-WR combos in the country in Carson Strong throwing bombs to Romeo Doubs which would put Johnny Manziel to Mike Evans performance to shame. They have a three-year starter at running back, Elijah Cooks is back, tight end Cole Turner is all-league caliber and a defense that has some players like Dom Peterson.

It could take a few weeks for any Mountain West team to be ranked but the first good chance could be Boise State since they go to Orlando to take on UCF who is also receiving votes.

San Jose State does travel to USC Week 1 and an upset over the No. 14 team would certainly garner some attention.

2021 PRESEASON USA TODAY COACHES POLL

  1. Alabama (63)
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma (2)
  4. Ohio State
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas A&M
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Iowa State
  9. North Carolina
  10. Cincinnati
  11. Florida
  12. Oregon
  13. LSU
  14. USC
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Miami (FL)
  17. Indiana
  18. Iowa
  19. Texas
  20. Penn State
  21. Washington
  22. Oklahoma State
  23. Louisiana
  24. Coastal Carolina
  25. Ole Miss

Others receiving votes: Utah 145; Northwestern 120; Arizona State 90; Auburn 84; Liberty 68; Brigham Young 53; Texas Christian 48; Michigan 30; Central Florida 29; NC State 27; Boise State 27; Kentucky 20; San Jose State 18; Army 13; Virginia Tech 9; Missouri 8; UCLA 7; Tulsa 6; Pittsburgh 6; Boston College 6; Houston 5; Ball State 5; West Virginia 4; Southern Methodist 4; Appalachian State 4; UAB 3; Arkansas 3; Nevada 2; Mississippi State 2; Air Force 2; Stanford 1; Marshall 1; Florida State 1; California 1

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