Preseason polls are always interesting to look at, but then you seriously need to throw them out the window.
They mean nothing, folks! Great debate starters, but that is about it.
Let me give you two examples from this past week.
UCF has won back-to-back conference titles and has just one loss in the conference, yet they were picked to finish fourth in the American Athletic Conference.
Sure, they lost a lot of great players on the defensive side of the ball, but have shown over the past few years that they have the kind of depth to keep playing at a high level.
Offensively, Justin Holman, Jordan Akins and William Stanback are back and should put up big numbers this season.
Cincinnati is the overwhelming favorite to win the conference title once again, and with Gunner Kiel back under center, why not? But for UCF to be fourth is a bit of a stretch.
Like I said, preseason polls!
Then, later in the week the Gulf South Conference preseason poll came out and Florida Tech is picked fifth.
The letters I received! How could they?
Fifth out of seven teams?
I agree and can’t agree, all at the same time. Do I think Florida Tech is going to finish fifth in the Gulf South Conference? No.
But with four teams ranked in the Top 25 in more preseason polls, it is hard to argue. The conference is one of the toughest in all of Division II, which is why four teams made it to the playoffs last season.
Very well may happen again this season, and will FIT be one of them? They have a real good shot.
But if you want to really shake your head at how things don’t add up in these polls, check out the preseason all-GSC team. The Panthers have six players on the team — the second most of any team.
Luckily, coaches don’t put a lot of stock in these and neither should fans.
As Florida Tech head coach Steve Englehart says, the ball bounces funny sometimes. Will it bounce the right way for FIT and UCF? That remains to be seen but I do think both teams drew the short end of the stick in these preseason polls.