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USA Today Coaches Poll Released

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The USA Today yesterday released its first pre-season Coaches Poll. No surprises which, of course, is no surprise.

Alabama is #1 coming into 2013.
Alabama is #1 coming into 2013.
Dave Martin

The Washington Huskies yesterday received three votes in the "others receiving votes" category as the annual tradition of NCAA Coaches collectively slapping last year's most accomplished coaches on the back got underway with the release of the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Poll results were as follows:

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS PREVIOUS RANK
1 Alabama (58) 13-1 1545 1
2 Ohio St. (3) 12-0 1427 NR
3 Oregon 12-1 1397 2
4 Stanford 12-2 1262 6
5 Georgia 12-2 1250 4
6 Texas A&M (1) 11-2 1215 5
7 South Carolina 11-2 1136 7
8 Clemson 11-2 1047 9
9 Louisville 11-2 1010 13
10 Florida 11-2 930 10
11 Notre Dame 12-1 872 3
12 Florida St. 12-2 844 8
13 LSU 10-3 797 12
14 Oklahoma St. 8-5 726 NR
15 Texas 9-4 622 18
16 Oklahoma 10-3 620 15
17 Michigan 8-5 589 NR
18 Nebraska 10-4 426 23
19 Boise St. 11-2 420 14
20 TCU 7-6 400 NR
21 UCLA 9-5 202 NR
22 Northwestern 10-3 186 16
23 Wisconsin 8-6 172 NR
24 USC 7-6 165 NR
25 Oregon St. 9-4 135 19
Schools Dropped Out
No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).
Others Receiving Votes
Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.

As many of you know, I'm not a fan of preseason polls. I think that they are an institutionalized form of group think that color the judgment of voters on who the best teams are after a few weeks of games have been played. The release of this poll, by and large, does nothing to inform us on what the prospects for any given team look like in the year ahead as coaches are notoriously bad at forecasting the performances of teams other than their own, in particular those teams that are outside of their conference. Still, preseason polls such as this do begin to create the illusion of what teams are considered "good" and what teams are considered "not so good" as fall camps begin to open up around the nation. This is, of course, what fans are thirsty for as a season kicks off.

The implications for the Huskies is that their schedule looks about as challenging as we all expected it to be when we debated it at the end of last season. With Boise State coming in at 19 and five different Pac 12 teams showing up in the top 25, UW will have five ranked opponents on their schedule (they miss USC this year) and one other - Arizona State - in the receiving votes section.

As you've seen in my Gekko File previews thus far, I'm not quite as bullish on UCLA or Oregon State this year as our the pollsters. On the flip side, I'm probably more enthusiastic for teams like USC, Arizona and Cal then what is implied in these polls. Thus, I'm feeling fairly confident both in the fact that the Huskies will be challenged by an exciting schedule and the idea that success against it will result in the kind of leap forward our fans our looking for. Since the Huskies are in the "others receiving votes" area already, it is a great bet that they can catapult themselves into the top 25, if not top 20, with a win of substance over Boise State in the season opener on August 31st.

What do you think about the idea of preseason polls and the position of UW? Leave your comments below.