AP Top 25 Poll Midseason Review October 11, 2016 17:04

The 2016 college football season has reached its midway point and we have had a lot of amazing games thus far. In connection with a previous blog post regarding how misleading preseason polls can be, I thought it was a good time to revisit this year’s college football AP Preseason Poll and see how it has fared compared to how things have gone so far this season.  

Most Recent AP Top 25 Poll (10/10/16)

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State 
  3. Clemson 
  4. Michigan 
  5. Washington 
  6. Texas A&M 
  7. Louisville 
  8. Wisconsin 
  9. Tennessee 
  10. Nebraska 
  11. Baylor 
  12. Ole Miss 
  13. Houston 
  14. Florida State 
  15. Boise State 
  16. Miami 
  17. Virginia Tech
  18. Florida 
  19. Oklahoma 
  20. West Virginia 
  21. Utah 
  22. Arkansas 
  23. Auburn 
  24. Western Michigan 
  25. Navy 

 College Football Preseason AP Top 25 Poll

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Florida State
  5. LSU (1)
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan 
  8. Stanford
  9. Tennessee
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Ole Miss
  12. Michigan State
  13. TCU
  14. Washington
  15. Houston
  16. UCLA
  17. Iowa
  18. Georgia
  19. Louisville
  20. USC
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. North Carolina
  23. Baylor
  24. Oregon
  25. Florida

(Underline indicate teams that were not ranked in Preseason AP Top 25 Poll; Strike-through indicate teams that were in the Preseason AP Top 25 but have since fallen out.)

What we see is that an astonishing 12 teams, nearly half of the top 25 teams ranked in preseason, haven’t just dropped in rankings but have completely fallen out of the top 25 altogether. The biggest drops come from the LSU Tigers, Stanford Cardinals and Notre Dame Fighting Irish who were ranked in the top 10 and are no longer in the top 25. There have been an equally impressive 9 new teams entering the AP Top 25 poll that were not ranked in the preseason with Texas A&M Aggies (6) and Nebraska Huskers (10) making the biggest jumps so far. Texas A&M came off a very disappointing season with the loss of 2 quarterbacks transferring out and the hiring of a new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. Nebraska is in year two of the Mike Riley era with a huge springboard upwards from his disappointing 5-7 first year.

It just goes to show it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish; and it’s only midseason. We will inevitably see continued morphing of these rankings as the college football season continues into the months of October and November. Only time will tell who will end up with a seat at the 2016 College Football Playoffs table.