Alabama is listed ahead of Iowa in a college football-related ranking? Well, despite recent events, I guess that does happen on occasion. The new USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Thursday and a familiar face (Roll Tide) sits atop the first poll of the year. It's the second-straight year that Bama has been preseason #1 and the ninth-straight year that the Tide has been ranked in the preseason top-five. You spell stability "S-A-B-A-N."
Our beloved Hawkeyes are not ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll, although four Big Ten teams are -- Ohio State (#2), Penn State (#6), Michigan (#9), and Wisconsin (#10). 40% of the Top 10 consists of Big Ten teams; no other conference has more than two (ACC, Pac-12). The mighty SEC has only Bama in the Top 10. The preseason Top 25 suggests a rather top-heavy Big Ten, with four teams in the Top 10, but none in the rest of the Top 25.
Other Big Ten teams do check in as part of the "Others Receiving Votes" category, though, including Iowa. The Hawkeyes received five votes there. Northwestern (25), Nebraska (23), Minnesota (6 -- sigh), Michigan State (1), and Maryland (1) were the other Big Ten teams who received votes. Of note: Wyoming, Iowa's season-opening opponent, received nine votes in this poll. In fact, this poll does a nice job of showing the (on paper) difficulty of Iowa's schedule this year, as Iowa faces three of the four Big Ten teams ranked in the Top 10 (OSU, PSU, and Wisconsin) as well as five other teams who also received votes in this poll;
75% 66% of the teams Iowa will play this year received at least one vote in the preseason poll this year.
Here's the preseason Top 25, with first-place votes listed in parentheses.
|2||Ohio State (5)|
|3||Florida State (4)|
The full rankings, including the "also receiving votes" listings are available here.