The wait is over Rebel Nation and while Sunday may be a day of rest for many of the football faithful across the nation they were eagerly awaiting the release of “The Poll” to see if their ball clubs made the cut. Over the past few weeks, fans have seen various rankings and polls from ESPN to Fox Sports, but when it comes down to it, the one that matters at least until the Playoff Selection Committee Polls comes out Nov. 1 is the longest running being the AP College Football Poll.
I take any poll, including the AP, especially week #1 like a grain of salt when it comes to determining week to week as well as entire season’s outcome. Let’s face it as Dennis Prager said once, “Our scientific age demands that we provide definitions, measurements, and statistics to be taken seriously. Most of the important things in life cannot be precisely defined or measured.”
However, there is just something about seeing on paper where a team falls that comforts football fans each week. I suppose it makes it more of a tangible and viable entity to see how your team stacks up against the rest. But one most also remember that it’s not over by any means when you see a number or no number by your team. Heck, we haven’t even started though the one thing that is certain right now is that a great deal will unfold this year especially in powerhouses like the ACC & SEC (which I predict will produce the teams in the final four in this year’s playoff championship). What fans should bet on is that there will be some interesting dynamic shifts that will set the tone for the season. So for all the “Roll Tiders” out there don’t get too comfortable at #1, after all, why would you want to be there all season?
Just from a glance, this year’s opening week polls include some old familiar powerhouses that are back and business. There is no doubt in my mind that these teams in the top 10 of week one are ready to make a comeback statement which you know I’ll make for a heck of an exciting season of football and make it anybody’s game which is something we haven’t seen in awhile from various conferences.
Though I do admit, I get a personal satisfaction when a SEC team takes the cake I do like to see them have to earn it against other good ball clubs outside of the conference. So, before we can rest easy, we have to watch out for teams like Clemson, Florida State and the football club from Okie even to the Midwest with Ohio State (sorry I don’t do the “The” in front of them) and Michigan. These teams are looking to make an example out of the SEC. With that kind of chip on their shoulder, it is sure to be a gauntlet for the entire conference to rise above the ranks with a few roadblocks making a valiant effort to stand in there the way of glory.
Just in week one of the rankings top to bottom it will make some interesting storylines down the road when it comes playoff selection time, and it might not be the likely players sitting at the table, but that’s what being the best of the best is all about.
Week 1 in the SEC
One thing is certain the big boys are coming to play, and they mean business. The SEC begins this preseason with six teams rounding out the top 25 in week one. At no surprise # 1 Alabama ( Don’t get, too comfortable Nicky), # 5 Bayou Bengals ( AKA LSU) , #9 Tennessee ( I had to look twice), #11 The Ole Miss Rebels (HOTTY TODDY) #18 Georgia (RUFF RUFF DAWGS) & #25 (Chomping from the Swamp Florida Gators. )
What does it mean for the SEC in week 1?
If you ever wanted to see a fully loaded week one like you’ve never seen before then, this might just be the season.
The # 1 Alabama vs. No. 20 USC ( The Tide should coast thru this one and remain on top for another week)
#2 Clemson traveling to Auburn ( A War Eagle Victory could send the Tigers back to Death Valley and shake up the top 4 and help other SEC teams rise in the ranks)
#15 Houston takes on #3 Oklahoma ( The black sheep against the old powerhouse nonconference matchups that could also shake up the SEC chance to rise or fall in next week’s poll and that could potentially help or hurt the SEC down the road aka the spoilers )
No. 5 LSU @ Wisconsin @ Lambeau Field ( LSU is the only team to have not made it to the playoffs that have ranked this high preseason. The Bayou Bengals could have the best chance to maintain a consistent chance at running the gauntlet into the playoffs if they stay between the ranks of #4-6 this season)
No. 10 Notre Dame heading to Texas ( Another nonconference spoiler with the Irish who are back and ready to make a move to the top once again. Will see if Texas has finally come back or is slowly becoming like the Dallas Cowboys who have seen better days.)
Summing it up
For Bama they should hold on for another week unless they happen just to fall apart against the Trojans and Auburn manages to trample Clemson to make a statement for next week’s voters. We all know stranger things have happened. If any SEC team has a chance to shake up the Top 4 it is the # 5 Bayou Bengals.The #5, LSU Tigers, are the highest-ranked team that has yet to participate in a playoff.
If the Bayou Bengals were to lose at Lambeau Field in week one, they would have little room for errors for the remainder of the season especially if they are trying to win the SEC West which we all know will have a chance to crack into the top 4 in the end.
Of course, it wouldn’t be college football if there wasn’t those underdogs or dark horses that come out of nowhere to snatch it all in the end. This year one of those teams could hail from the SEC East. I almost had to look twice in belief before my eyes folks. The # 9 Tennesse Vols are one of those teams that could make great leaps in the end and it yes it is for real this season that the VOLS could take not only the SEC East but outright win the SEC Championship. Whatever, Butch Jones has been doing down in Knoxville there is a storm brewing and ready to wipe out anything that stands its way to victory and putting the program back on the map.
Week 1 for the Rebels
Though the Rebels were shy of a breaking into the top 10 ( Tennessee don’t get too comfortable either). Their week one matchup could change the direction of the season as they travel to Orlando for a Labor Day Battle against #4 Florida State. The Rebels come in with an undoubtedly strong offense led by powerhouse Veteran QB Chad Kelly( SWAG for HEISMAN) that could finally be the recipe the Rebels have been looking for to have their aerial and ground attack on point.
If they can work out the kinks and get past the Noles in week one, it puts them in healthy shape to go for the triple crown win at home against Nicky Saban and his Tide week 3. What I like about the Rebels being right in the middle of the path in these rankings that its a lot easier to move up at this # and still make a case come playoff times especially since the Rebels do have the #2 toughest schedule this season.
Under the lights in Orlando could set the Rebels on a path to shake up not just the rankings but the playoff picture with a strong win against a top 4 ball club in Florida State. The Rebels with a strong road win to open the season always sets a recipe for success and focus of this team to set the gridiron on fire.
Only 15 days aways till we can all see for ourselves just what proves to be correct but there are and still will be a lot of scenarios that can and will be played out over the course of the next few months. So buckle up and enjoy the ride football fanatics.
See y’all in Orlando Rebels!
Here’s a full list of who made the week one cut.
AP College Football Poll Preseason Week 1
Sunday, August 21, 2016
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Ole Miss
- Michigan State
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina
Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a HottyToddy.com contributor, veteran SEC sports journalist, and Brown University graduate. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org