Boise State Could Get High Preseason Ranking

The word BroncoCountry has is that the USA Today Preseason Coaches' Football Poll will be released later in the day. So far, Boise State's highest preseason ranking is #18. No matter what you hear to the contrary, this is an extremely important poll.

Boise State could tie Arizona State for the second-highest preseason ranking for a non-automatic qualifying team in history.  Boise State is averaging 12th in five major internet preseason polls, with a high of #8 in the ESPN.com poll.  The Broncos are #9 in both the Vegas Insider and Rivals.com polls and 10th in the SI.com poll.  Boise State is 15th when you average in 22 preseason polls.

The 1972 Sun Devils which, like Boise State, were a member of the Western Athletic Conference, were ranked 12th in the preseason Associated Press poll.  The only non-AQ team to top that was the 1985 Brigham Young team that was ranked 10th in the preseason following their 1984 national championship.

While people can debate the merits of preseason rankings, the fact remains that they matter greatly in determining which college football teams reach the major bowl games and especially which teams have a legitimate change at the national championship.  Since the Bowl Championship Series system began in the 1998 season, only one team ( Oklahoma in 2000 at #19) began the season worse than #14 and played in the BCS National Championship.  Seven of those "national championship" contenders were #1 in the preseason poll and five of them were #2.  Thus, more than half (12 of 22) of the BCS NC participants were ranked either first or second in the preseason poll.  Six more were ranked in the preseason Top 10.  Only four (The 2000 Oklahoma team, Ohio State in 2002, LSU in 2003 and Ohio State in 2007) were not ranked in the preseason Top 10.  Still think it doesn't matter?

Although the importance of preseason polls is glaring in the BCS period, eight preseason #1 teams and seven #2's from 1968-1997 wound up either #1 or #2 in the final AP poll.  Again, that's half of the teams (15 out of 30) that reached the top two at the conclusion of the football season that were in the top two prior to the beginning of the season.  Only one non-AQ team in college football history (the 1984 Brigham Young team) has finished in the top two at the end of the season without being ranked in the preseason.

Let's look at the BCS Bowl teams for the 11-year period.  There have been a total of 26 "at-large" BCS Bowl berths in that time.  Two of those (Ohio State in 1998 and Florida in 2001) were preseason #1 teams.  Four more (Tennessee in 1999, Ohio State in 2003, Notre dame in 2006 and Ohio State last year) were preseason #2's.  Five others were preseason Top 10 teams.  So nearly half of the BCS at-large bowl berths went to teams that were ranked in the Top 10 before any games had been played!

 The general assumption is that for a non-AQ team to make a BCS Bowl, they must be ranked in the preseason Top 30.  Utah , which played in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl, was #20 in the preseason.  The 2006 Fiesta Bowl Champion Boise State team, which defeated Oklahoma in the greatest college football game ever played, was ranked #30 in the preseason.  Hawai'i, which played in the 2007 Sugar Bowl, was #23 preseason and Utah, which won the 2008 Sugar Bowl, was ranked 29th in the preseason.

As pointed out above, only one non-AQ team has ever finished in the top two in college football and only four BCS national championship participants have been ranked outside the Top 10 in the preseason.  Given the bias that exists against non-AQ teams, they sure better be in that preseason Top 15 to have any kind of chance of being in the BCS national championship game.  And 2-3 games against the Top 25 is pretty much a prerequisite as well.

The first AP rankings will be released August 15 with the first USA Today Coaches' Poll released about the same time.

Below are those non-AQ teams that have been ranked in the preseason as well as the top two teams in the final AP and BCS rankings each year from 1968-2008 and the preseason rankings of the BCS Bowl at-large teams.

 

 

Non-AQ Teams Ranked Since 1968:

 

1968:  Arizona State #17 (WAC)

1970:  Arizona State #19 (WAC)

1971:  Arizona State #14 (WAC)

1972:  Arizona State #12 (WAC)

1973:  Arizona State #14 (WAC)

1974:  Arizona State #15 (WAC)

1976:  Miami of Ohio #20 ( MAC )

1977:  Arizona State #17 (WAC)

1981:  BYU #16 (WAC)

1985:  BYU #10 (WAC)

1986:  BYU #18 (WAC)

1989:  BYU #19 (WAC)

1990:  BYU #16 (WAC)

1991:  BYU #19 (WAC)

1993:  BYU #19 (WAC)

1997:  BYU #19 (WAC)

2000:  TCU #20 (CUSA), Southern Mississippi #23 (CUSA)

2001:  Colorado State #24 (MWC)

2002:  Louisville #17 (CUSA), Marshall #19 ( MAC )

2003:  Colorado State #23 (MWC), TCU #25 (CUSA)

2004:  Utah #20 (MWC)

2005:  Boise State #18 (WAC), Fresno State #24 (WAC)

2006:  TCU #22 (MWC)

2007:  TCU #22 (MWC), Hawai'i #23 (WAC), Boise State #24 (WAC)

2008:  BYU #16 (MWC)

 

 

The top two college football teams in the final rankings (with preseason ranking in parenthesis)

1968— Ohio State (#11) and USC (#2)

1969— Penn State (#2) and Texas (#3)

1970— Ohio State (#1) and Texas (#2)

1971— Nebraska (#2) and Alabama (#16)

1972— Oklahoma (#6) and USC (#8)

1973— Alabama (#6) and Oklahoma (#11)

1974— Oklahoma (#1) and Alabama (#4)

1975— Ohio State (#4) and Texas A & M (#9)

1976— Michigan (#2) and Pittsburgh (#9)

1977— Oklahoma (#1) and Texas (NR)

1978— Alabama (#1) and Penn State (#3)

1979— Alabama (#2) and Ohio State (NR)

1980— Florida State (#13) and Georgia (#16)

1981—Georgia (#10) and Clemson (NR)

1982— Georgia (#7) and Penn State (#8)

1983— Nebraska (31) and Texas (#3)

1984— Oklahoma (#16) and BYU (NR)

1985— Penn State (#18) and Miami of Florida (NR)

1986— Miami of Florida (#3) and Penn State #6)

1987— Oklahoma (#1) and Miami of Florida (#10)

1988— Miami of Florida (#8) and Notre Dame (#13)

1989— Miami of Florida (#4) and Colorado #14)

1990— Colorado (#5) and Georgia Tech (NR)

1991— Miami of Florida #3) and Washington (#4)

1992— Miami of Florida (#1) and Alabama (#9)

1993— Florida State (#1) and Nebraska (#8)

1994— Nebraska (#4) and Penn State (#9)

1995— Nebraska (#2) and Florida #5)

1996— Florida State (#3) and Arizona State (#20)

1997— Nebraska (#6) and Michigan (#14)

 

BCS :

1998— Ohio State (#1) vs. Tennessee (#10)

1999— Florida State (#1) vs. Virginia Tech (#6)

2000— Florida State (#2) vs. Oklahoma (#19)

2001— Miami of Florida (#2) vs. Nebraska (#4)
2002— Miami of Florida (#1) vs. Ohio State (#13)

2003— Oklahoma (#1) vs. LSU (#14)

2004—USC (#1) vs. Oklahoma (#2)

2005—USC (#1) vs. Texas (#2)

2006— Ohio State (#1) vs. Florida (#7)

2007—LSU (#2) vs. Ohio State (#11)

2008— Oklahoma (#4) vs. Florida (#5)

 

 

BCS Bowl At-Large Teams:

1998— Ohio State (#1)

            Florida (#3)

1999— Tennessee (#2)

            Michigan (#8)

2000—Notre Dame (NR)

            Oregon State (NR)

2001— Florida (#1)

2002—USC (#20)

            Iowa (NR)

2003— Ohio State (#2)

2004— Texas (#7)

            Utah (#20

2005— Ohio State (#6)

            Notre Dame (NR)

2006—Notre Dame (#2)

            LSU (#8)

            Michigan (#14)

            Boise State (#30
2007— Georgia (#13)

            Hawai'i (#23)

            Illinois (NR)

             Kansas (NR)

2008— Ohio State (#2)

            Texas (#11)

            Alabama (#24)

            Utah (#24)


Bronco Country Top Stories