Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the release of the Preseason Coaches Poll, and debate which rankings seem too high, too low, and just right.
DAN WETZEL: I would not be surprised if the playoff is the top four. But I agree, Notre Dame-- but we do not know what Tyler Buckner can do. And he's going to get broken in in The Horseshoe.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, see I think, to me, Notre Dame at five is emblematic of the fact that I don't think anybody knows what to do from four through like, 10.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah.
PAT FORDE: I mean, Clemson, OK, yeah, a lot of good players coming back. Two new coordinators, and they were not great last year. And there's a question whether DJ Uiagalelei is really the guy. Notre Dame, we just went through the questions. Michigan lost a lot from that team. Texas A&M, super, super young. Utah, some key parts coming back, but also Pac 12. Should a Pac 12 team be as high as eight? I don't know.
Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley left and took everything but the who hash. Baylor, like very few starters back from last year's team. So, you go down through it, like when I was filling out our SI top 25, I was like, I don't like anybody from four on down.
ROSS DELLENGER: I think if you look at that top five, there's a familiarity there, right? It probably speaks to the lack of parity right now in college football. But outside of Oklahoma, I think those five have advanced to more CFP championships than any other teams. They probably make up around 75%, 70% of the actual appearances in the CFP. Those--
DAN WETZEL: Certainly the victories.
ROSS DELLENGER: Those five. Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: I think they have all the victories except Oregon.
ROSS DELLENGER: Oregon. LSU.
DAN WETZEL: LSU. LSU and Oregon.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yep. Yep, probably so.
DAN WETZEL: LSU won two, Oregon won one. Other than that, every game has been won by those four.
ROSS DELLENGER: State of college football. And we're always looking coming into the year on who's going to challenge the top group. And I think it's probably not--
DAN WETZEL: No one.
ROSS DELLENGER: far-- Yeah. Maybe not, maybe not. I got my eyes a little bit on the Aggies, we'll see. Maybe it's too soon, maybe it's a year too soon. But I'm always looking at who might challenge that group at the top.
DAN WETZEL: I would have put Utah fifth.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: I mean it's--
PAT FORDE: I think, I agree.
DAN WETZEL: I think at least you know what Utah is. You know that schedule, you know that they could get to that fifth spot, and possibly into four. Very, very solid team. You just saw them go toe-to-toe with Ohio State. And yeah, Ohio State as much as it was in Utah. So you know, I think I would probably put them at fifth. I mean, Notre Dame's going to be in your top 10. I just-- to me, you just have a total wild card at quarterback. It's the most important position and no one's really sure. Michigan's got--
PAT FORDE: And a wild card at coach.
DAN WETZEL: And you got a wild card at coach. So we'll see. Two thoughts I had is one, NC State at 13, which I think is perfectly legitimate, maybe even to low.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Devin Leary is going to be-- you know, had an incredible year last year. 3,400 yards passing. 35 TDs and just five interceptions. He has a chance to give them the kind of pop they need. Dave Dorrian just-- he just builds good programs. And so is this like that breakthrough year for NC State, and I think that's a big question. So them sitting at 13 is nice, and that's a team I think people should-- that's a team that earned that spot. You're not getting-- no one's just sitting there saying, where do we rank NC State?
ROSS DELLENGER: Right.
DAN WETZEL: Can't go too far.
PAT FORDE: Now that-- I-- see, yes, I agree. I think NC State and Wake Forest, both should be-- either one of those should be the second ACC team ranked. And you could put them in either order, it would be fine. It's another reason why Wake Forest at 19 just mystifies me.
But they're both teams, good teams, with really good coaches, who have built them over the long haul, and have a lot of people, good players coming back from good teams. So I would look at both of them and say they could be top 15, they could end up in the top 10.