Stuart McNair

Consensus of preseason polls has Alabama and Clemson at top of college football heap

Half dozen of the earliest 2016 college football polls like Alabama and Clemson

There are those who believe there should be no preseason college football polls, although such rankings are not likely to go away in any sport because fans are interested in the expectations of their teams. Still, it’s a bit of a surprise that there already are a handful of polls out for the 2016 season.

 

As Alabama fans are acutely aware, many things can happen between spring practice (which came by the end of April for almost all college teams) and the kickoff for the first game, which for the Crimson Tide will come Sept. 3 against USC in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

 

As for an example of “things that can heppn,” in the case of Bama, it is the status of All-America left tackle candidate Cam Robinson, who faces multiple charges involving a stolen gun and use of illegal drugs. There will be other events around the nation that could affect teams.

 

Nevertheless, we have been provided preseason polls from CollegeFootballNews.com, Athlon, Fox Sports, ESPN.com, Sporting News, and CBS.com, and we can hardly help but take notice of their determinations – several of which acknowledge they are done almost whimsically, far too early.

 

The consensus of the preseason polls is that Alabama and Clemson will be back in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game following the 2016 season. On the basis of a point system, the two are tied at 144. Alabama had one more first place poll position.

 

The other consensus teams expected to make the second College Football Playoff are Oklahoma (124) and LSU (123).

 

Although we are not yet ready to make a national pick in the annual Scout.com preseason poll, we have given it some thought.

 

We believe there are six teams that it is very difficult to leave out of the top four, which means the four teams making the playoff. Of course, only four will be in. The six we like are Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU, and Ohio State.

 

Although Alabama and Clemson are the consensus top teams in these preseason national polls, it would not be a huge surprise if at summer media events to see LSU picked to win the Southeastern Conference and/or Florida State predicted as the Atlantic Coast Conference champion.

 

We think that some teams are not being given enough preseason credit. They are Ole Miss, Miami, North Carolina, Louisville, Arkansas, and maybe Houston.

 

On the other hand, we suspect some are getting too much poll love. They are Tennessee, Georgia, Texas A&M, Michigan, and Baylor. And perhaps Houston. Obviously, we are not sure what to think about Houston.

 

Here is the consensus Top 25 from the very early preseason polls provided by CollegeFootballNews.com, Athlon, Fox Sports, ESPN.com, Sporting News, and CBS.com. Alabama received 3 first place votes, Clemson 2, and LSU 1. Point totals (25 for first, 24 for second, etc.) included.

 

1 (T). ALABAMA (144)

1 (T). Clemson (144)

3. Oklahoma (124)

4. LSU (123)

 

5 (T) Florida State (120)

5 (T). Michigan 120

7. Ohio State (107)

8. Notre Dame (103)

9. Tennessee (102)

10. Baylor (94)

11. Ole Miss (83)

12. Stanford (80)

13. Michigan State (73)

14. Houston (72)

15. Georgia (60)

16. Southern Cal (50)

17. Oklahoma State (45)

18. Washington (42)

19. Iowa (41)

20. Louisville (40)

21. Oregon (38)

22. TCU (28)

23. North Carolina (21)

24. Miami (17)

25. Texas A&M (16)

 

Here are the results of each of the early preseason polls:

 

 

COLLEGEFOOTBALLNEWS.COM (Pete Fuitak)

 

  1. LSU
  2. Clemson
  3. Tennessee
  4. ALABAMA
  5. Ohio State
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Florida State
  8. Georgia
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Michigan
  11. Louisville
  12. Ole Miss
  13. Baylor
  14. Michigan State
  15. Wisconsin
  16. UCLA
  17. Oregon
  18. Oklahoma State
  19. Southern Cal
  20. Houston
  21. Florida
  22. Miami
  23. Stanford
  24. Nebraska
  25. Iowa

 

ATHLON

 

1. ALABAMA

2. Florida State

3. Ohio State

4. Clemson

 

5. Michigan

6. Oklahoma

7. Tennessee

8. Notre Dame

9. LSU

10. Ole Miss

11. Washington

12. Stanford0

13. Michigan State

14. Baylor

15. UCLA

16. Houston

17. Georgia

18. TCU

19. Louisville

20. Iowa

21. Florida

22. North Carolina

23. Southern Cal

24. Oregon

25. Oklahoma State

 

FOX SPORTS (Bruce Feldman)

 

1. Clemson

2. LSU

3. ALABAMA

4. Florida State

 

5. Michigan

6. Houston

7. Oklahoma

8. Tennessee

9. Ohio State

10. Notre Dame

11. TCU

12. Louisville

13. Washington

14. Iowa

15. Texas A&M

16. Stanford

17. Baylor

18. Ole Miss

19. Georgia

20. Michigan State

21. Oregon

22. Washington State

23. Southern Cal

24. North Carolina

25. UCLA

 

 

ESPN.COM (Mark Schlabach)

 

1. ALABAMA

2. Clemson

3. Michigan

4. Florida State

 

5. Oklahoma

6. LSU

7. Baylor

8. Stanford

9. Notre Dame

10. Ohio State

11. Tennessee

12. Southern Cal

13. Georgia

14. Ole Miss

15. Oklahoma State

16. Michigan State

17. Washington

18. Houston

19. North Carolina

20. Oregon

21. Texas A&M

22. UCLA

23. Iowa

24. Miami

25. Louisville

 

SPORTING NEWS (Bill Bender)

 

1. ALABAMA

2. Clemson

3. Oklahoma

4. Ohio State

 

5. Baylor

6. Florida State

7. Ole Miss

8. Michigan

9. Stanford

10. Notre Dame

11. Michigan State

12. LSU

13. Tennessee

14. Houston

15. Southern Cal

16. Oklahoma State

17. Iowa

18.North Carolina

19. Oregon

20. Georgia

21. Washington

22. Louisville

23. Arkansas

24. Texas

25. TCU

 

CBSSPORTS.COM  (Dennis Dodd)

 

1. Clemson

2. ALABAMA

3. LSU

4. Oklahoma

 

5. Michigan

6. Baylor

7. Notre Dame

8. Stanford

9. Michigan State

10. Houston

11. Oklahoma State

12. Tennessee

13. Florida State

14. Southern Cal

15. Miami

16. Iowa

17. Oregon

18. Ohio State

19. Georgia

20. Arkansas

21. Ole Miss

22. TCU

23. Louisville

24. San Diego State

25. Washington State


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