Pre-Season 2015 Hype

by Travis Normand

Here are a couple of teams that received a lot of pre-season hype.  As of right now, I am not buying into the excitement . . . but that could change.

  1. Tennessee:  I hope the Vols do well this season, but I will believe it when I see it.
  2. Arizona State:  I think ASU could be a good team but I don’t understand why they started out with a top 15 ranking.
  3. Baylor:  I think Baylor will be a playoff contender, but with their current schedule, I just can’t take them seriously.  Maybe I will start believing once they defeat a quality opponent in a bowl game.
  4. Notre Dame:  They looked very good against the Longhorns in their first game of the season, but that isn’t saying much.  I hope they do well, but am not yet sold that they will make a run at the playoff.  I could be wrong.
  5. Auburn:  With the loss of so many key players from 2014, an 8-5 (4-4) record last year, and a mediocre opening 2015 game against Louisville, I just don’t understand all the hype.

Update: I believe I was arguably right on 1-4 above.  However, there is no question that I was right on Auburn.  Auburn finished in last place of the SEC West (7-6, 2-6).

Andy Staples ranks Aggies number two

English: Texas A&M University "aTm" ...

by Travis Normand

Last week I posted about Dennis Dodd ranking the Aggies number one in his very early 2013 pre-season poll.  As it turns out, Dodd is not the only one with high-praise for Texas A&M.  Andy Staples, of, produced his very early 2013 pre-season poll and has the Aggies at number two (behind Alabama at number one).

See Andy Staples’ early top 25 for 2013

While I am sure the Aggies will enjoy all the pre-season attention, Staples goes out of his way to demonstrate the point I made in my post about Dodd’s top 25.  My point was that while these polls are somewhat accurate/credible, they primarily serve as a means to drive internet readership/traffic during the off-season.  What better way to drive up your website’s hits than to put a team, with a large and excited fan base, in the number one or two spot.

Regardless, as of January 23, 2013, the Aggies have one first-place vote, and one second place vote.  Not bad.

Texas Aggies are the early preseason No. 1

English: Texas A&M University "aTm" ...

by Travis Normand

You read the headline correctly, the Texas Aggies are considered the No. 1 overall team — in a very early preseason poll — for the 2013 season.

While I personally couldn’t be more excited and flattered by the ranking, I take it with a grain of salt.  Why?  Because there are a lot of reasons for ranking the Aggies number one, however, none of these reasons really matter as it is currently January 16, 2013.

On the other hand, the person that gave A&M the top spot in this early poll is none other than Dennis Dodd (senior college football columnist for  In other words, the number one spot was not given by some “hack” with a blog by the name of  It was given by one of the most well-respected national college football writers.

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The Trojans of USC are NOT who you (the AP voters) thought they were!

by Travis Normand

In case you missed it, Stanford defeated USC 21-14 on Saturday evening 15 September 2012, marking the fourth straight win for the Cardinal over the Trojans (and the fifth win in the last six years).

Yes, the Stanford Cardinal defeated USC in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and now 2012.  With such success on the field, one might think that Stanford would be considered a preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 Conference — but they weren’t.

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27 August 2012
Press Release

Trojans garner 9 of 16 first-place votes

DALLAS (FWAA) – If the 2012 Grantland Rice Super 16 Preseason Poll is correct, the Southeastern Conference will finish out of the top spot for the first time since 2005 and USC will win its sixth Football Writers Association of America national championship.

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Kiffin Lied; but USA Today is the One Without Integrity

USC's Lane Kiffin

by Travis Normand

Do you remember when the AP’s college football poll was part of the BCS formula?  Do you remember why the AP decided to remove its poll from the BCS?  It was essentially because the AP didn’t want to make/create the news; they simply wanted to report it.  In other words, the journalists who voted in the AP poll listened to their ethical side and (following a few controversies involving the BCS’ final standings) thought it would be best to recuse themselves from the BCS formula — thus removing any conflict of interest.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the USA Today / Coaches’ Poll.

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Phil Steele’s 2012 CFB Preview

by Travis Normand

I want to give a quick “thank you” to Phil Steele’s team.  Not only did they put together another fantastic preseason edition of their annual magazine, but they sent me a copy of it extremely quick.

I knew the magazine was on its way to my mail box, but I wasn’t quite sure when it would arrive.  On my way to work this morning, I stopped to check the mail (just in case), and as I opened my mail box, I saw the big white envelope with the Phil Steel address printed in purple.  Bingo!

Let the research begin!

[If you don’t have a copy of Phil Steele’s magazine, you are missing out.  You can either buy it at a book store, etc. or you can order it online, HERE.]