The preseason USA Today Coaches Poll is out today, and the Ole Miss Rebels debut at No. 19, behind Arizona State and ahead of Texas A&M.
Surprising no one, Florida State is No. 1, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, and Oregon. There are seven SEC teams in the preseason poll - half of the conference - including the aforementioned Alabama, No. 5 Auburn, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 12 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, Ole Miss, and No. 20 Texas A&M. Missouri, Mississippi State, and Arkansas also received votes. Yes, thanks to Bret Bielema - who is a voter in the Coaches Poll - every program in the SEC West earned at least one vote this preseason.
The full poll shakes out thusly:
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||FIRST PLACE VOTES||PREVIOUS RANK|
|1||Florida State Seminoles||14-0||1543||56||NR|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||11-2||1455||NR|
|6||Ohio State Buckeyes||12-2||1267||1||NR|
|8||Michigan State Spartans||13-1||1050||NR|
|9||South Carolina Gamecocks||11-2||1009||1||NR|
|17||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||9-4||509||NR|
|18||Arizona State Sun Devils||10-4||358||NR|
|20||Texas A&M Aggies||9-4||266||NR|
|21||Kansas State Wildcats||8-5||257||NR|
|23||North Carolina Tar Heels||7-6||175||NR|
Others Receiving Votes:
Missouri 126; Florida 122; Central Florida 102; Mississippi State 74; Oklahoma State 56; TCU 54; Michigan 53; Iowa 49; Miami (Fla.) 45; Duke 41; Louisville 32; Marshall 27; Brigham Young 18; Boise State 13; Louisiana-Lafayette 12; Virginia Tech 12; Texas Tech 8; Minnesota 6; Cincinnati 6; Northwestern 5; Oregon State 4; Fresno State 4; GeorgiaTech 2; Houston 2; Arkansas 1; Arizona 1; Northern Illinois 1.
From the official release, Ole Miss' undoing is, as we all expected, the tough division we're a part of:
The SEC West is a mighty rough neighborhood, but the Rebels might be positioned to make some noise in the division just the same. Ole Miss has a luxury most conference opponents don't, an incumbent starting QB, in the person of Bo Wallace. Protecting him figures to be the unit's biggest concern, but if he has time WR Laquon Treadwell could be a downfield playmaker. The brothers Nkemdiche, DT Robert and LB Denzel, are back to anchor the defense.
What are your thoughts on where the Rebels landed? Are they too high? Too low? Just right? Or do you not care because preseason polls are hardly a predictor of season success and carry far too much weight in developing expectations?