AP Top 25 Poll Reactions: Knights and Cowboys Unite as Underdogs
Arguably the most polarizing polls come in the preseason. Given that these are mostly subjective, they're bound to spark some intense and passionate reactions. The AP Poll is the latest preseason poll to be released, and there are a number of interesting selections. Granted, there are voters who make up this poll, but that still means certain teams are underrated and overrated. Today, we take a look at some of the teams in both categories.
Teams with a * next to them are teams that won't play this fall.
Overrated: #22 Utah*
The Utes lose all but two of their starters on defense, and lose Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss on offense. South Carolina transfer Jake Bentley could take over for Huntley, and there are three starters back on the offensive line, but it's tough to see them competing in the Pac-12 with so much turnover. Maybe they won't fall off completely, but it's tough to see the Utes being a Top 25 team.
Underrated: #21 UCF
Cincinnati, Memphis, and the Knights are the favorites in the AAC, but this is the first poll I've seen that's had Cincinnati over UCF. Even in an adjusted AP Top 25 Poll that Brett McMuprhy tweeted out, the Knights were only ranked 14th, so it's safe to say there's room to move up.
The AAC deserves more respect than it gets from the media, especially with a national championship under its belt. It could be better this way, however. UCF's 2017 run started with them as the underdog and ended with them undefeated and with a championship.
Overrated: #6 LSU
It's tough to repeat in college football, but the Tigers get a chance to do just that in 2020. The problem is they lose a ton on both sides of the football. Joe Burrow is the biggest loss, and most of the pressure this year falls on Myles Brennan's shoulders. Can he handle the heat? Will LSU return without so much reliable talent? Ed Orgeron's brought in talent to campus, and has some of the best players in the country, but it feels like this team entering the season (that's the key, entering the season, not where they'll end) has plenty to prove before they deserve to be sixth.
Underrated: Unranked Memphis
The Tigers won the AAC and are the third best team in this poll. They're also unranked. If that's not a slap in the face, I don't know what fits that category. Mike Norvell left for Florida State, leaving Ryan Silverfield and an essentially new coaching staff to take over. Luckily for them, they have a ton of talent remaining. The offense is loaded with the trio of Brady White, Kenneth Gainwell, and Damonte Coxie and the offensive line is experienced. Mike MacIntyre takes over an experienced defense, so it's not like Memphis is going away anytime soon.
Overrated: #16 Michigan*
For once I'd like to see voters leave Michigan outside the Top 25 and let them earn a ranking. Just once. Let them show us that they deserve to be included. Don't just give it to them. Jim Harbaugh has plenty to prove, and his team's not exactly pushing Ohio State for the divisional crown.
Underrated: #15 Oklahoma State
Get on the Cowboys as a playoff sleeper team bandwagon now, because it's going to fill up quickly. Mike Gundy's squad returns nearly every starter, and they've added transfers at positions that need depth. Spencer Sanders, who some believe is only the 84th best quarterback in college football, is ready to take a step forward in his development. Chuba Hubbard enters the year as a Heisman contender, and receiver Tylan Wallace leads a loaded group of pass catchers. The defense gets nearly everyone back too, and that's valuable experience in a conference full of explosive offenses. With everyone focusing their attention on Oklahoma and Texas, the Cowboys are lined up to stun everyone and make a statement.