After months of speculation and patience from the Power Five, the AP Preseason poll dropped on Monday, and this year sees a whopping EIGHT teams from the Group of Five receiving votes.
As written about here and here, UCF and Boise State debuted at #21 and #22, respectively, placing them in good position to make a run at the top ten if they can put together seasons comparable to last year.
But should they stumble — or indeed, any of the other 23 ranked Power Five teams — that pesky “others receiving votes” category is there to show just who’s waiting in the wings to rise up, and follow in UCF’s 2017 footsteps.
Anything beyond #25 is pure speculation, but hey, at least we have an insight into what the Associated Press is thinking.
Others Receiving Votes:
South Carolina (96)
Oklahoma State (51)
Clocking in at what we’ll call #30, FAU stumbled at the start of 2017, going 1-3 in Lane Kiffin’s first weeks before finishing the season 10-0 including victories in the C-USA championship game and in the Boca Raton Bowl against an overmatched Akron.
Will history repeat itself as FAU breaks in new coordinators? Or will the whole season turn into what the Bowl selection committee did last year — underestimate the Owls? We’ll find out AT OKLAHOMA (we can’t believe it either) on September 1.
NC State (22)
Texas A&M (21)
Boston College (18)
Kansas State (10)
Iowa State (8)
This is actually a pretty good draw for a team that finished 7-5 last year. Major Applewhite has certainly upgraded his staff, not the least of which is new OC Kendal Briles, who helped put FAU on the map in 2017. Whether or not this turns into a run at the NY6 remains to be seen, but sleeping on any AAC team these days would seem to be unwise
Fewer votes than Houston despite beating them out for the AAC West last year. That’s gotta sting, and will give Mike Norvell some motivation to turn the division back into Tiger Country (tm). Memphis opens at FCS Mercer in a few weeks, a tune-up before Navy in Week Two, which will set the tone for the season.
Now THIS is what quality football commentary is all about. Coach Neal Brown starts his 4th year on the sidelines for the Trojans, after cracking the Top 25 in 2016 and finishing 11-2 last year. This many votes seems low, but hit Boise State in the mouth in week one, and you’ve got all the attention you need for what’s gonna be the G5 barnburner of the year in Week 3: Troy at Scott Frost’s Nebraska. A win there seems unlikely now, but let’s see how that Boise game goes, first.
Fresno State (1)
This is Mountain West territory, but after a 10-4 debut year for Jeff Tedford, does this seem low to anyone else? Look at their schedule, it’s likely the Bulldogs could be steadily creeping up from this spot, and all season long.
Arkansas State (1)
Respect where it’s due, despite no votes for Appalachian State, and indeed, multiple Sun Belt squads getting votes compared to only one C-USA member. Heading up the newly minted Sun Belt West, and considering the current state of that division, this lone vote may be all the Red Wolves need for their own run at the Top 25. Or would’ve been, had they not scheduled Bama in Week Two.
Anyway, the Razorbacks got zero votes, so fans of stAte have that to enjoy for a few weeks.