First poll of the preseason is out. USA Today/Coaches has the Irish at #3.
There's a good dispersal of #1 votes, unlike last year where Southern Cal got 60 first places, Texas got 2 and nobody got another. This year we've got first place votes for OSU, Texas, ND, Southern Cal, Oklahoma (whoops) and Auburn.
It's funny how teams rise and fall between the last bowl game and the beginning of the following summer practice. What magical things happen in the offseason that cause voters to drastically recalibrate their opinions, without a single down of football being played? (I can understand dropping a team down if key players graduated, but bumping other teams way up seems like so much crystal ball gazing. But hey, it's the Coaches Poll, where even Duke gets a vote at the beginning of every year. It's all hunches at this point anyway.)
Last year's final poll looked like this. And since the Rose Bowl, you've got this:
|biggest gainers |
|biggest losers |
Feeling a little whiplash there, Nittany Lions?