Skip to content

CFT preseason Top 25: Tide will rise again

Johnny Carson Carnac

Pardon me while I blockquote myself in the third person once removed, but last year at this time I wrote the following regarding the 2010 edition of CFT’s Top 25 preseason rankings:

If you’ve been a reader of this lil’ ol’ website for any length of time, you know full well my opinion of preseason polls.  I hate them.  Despise ‘em.  Loathe them on a level only exceeded by the BcS.  And the “cast” of Jersey Shore.

So, what am I about to do?  Attempt a preseason poll, of course.

Don’t read it the wrong way, though.  It’s not that I think they’re worthless.  Rather, I don’t think they’re worth anything.  It makes no sense, before a single game in a new year with a different roster of players and possibly a change in coaching staffs has been played, to guess how to place schools in some semblance of a realistic order.  A predetermined order, incidentally, that goes a long way in determining the “contenders” in the national title hunt.

And, of course, I went on to prove the utter worthlessness of these types of polls — and my own inner Nostradumass — by picking Florida as our preseason No. 1.  The Gators, of course, went on to finish 8-5 and outside of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2004.  So, of course, I’m about to attempt yet another preseason poll.

Of course.

If anything, this should scare the living fecal matter out of any member of the Alabama Nation because, as inferred in the headline, I have the Tide heading into CFT’s preseason Top 25 as the numero uno team in the nation.  Guess we’re about to find out if we’ve spawned an offshoot of the SI cover jinx, eh?

Honestly, though, there appear to be about eight — at least — you could stick into a bag, shake ’em up, pull one out and make a helluva case that they could/should/will be the ones laying claim to the crystal in New Orleans on Jan. 9.  Those eight?  In alphabetical order so as to stave off offending anyone until further down in this post: Alabama, Boise State, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford and Wisconsin.  Then when you realize you’ve left teams like Nebraska and Oklahoma State and South Carolina and the like of that initial, highly-subjective Group of Eight list, it hits you like Vontaze Burfict in a really foul, angry mood: this is shaping up to be one of the most spectacularly exciting, unpredictable seasons of college football in recent memory.

And one where the SEC could see its run of five straight BcS titles come to an end.  Or not, if my inner Kreskin attempt is correct (chuckle).

So, without further ado… well, one additional ado: for all of my and Ben Kercheval’s conference-by-conference predictions, please click HERE as the latter did a helluva job doing the heavy lifting on this part of our 2011 preview.  And there’s also a place where you can voice your opinion one vote at a time by casting your ballot for who you feel should be the preseason No. 1.

Now, without any additional ado — and we mean it this time — here’s CFT’s preseason Top 25 list, with an individual link to a broader look for each team available by merely clicking on the name of the school.

1.) Alabama
2.) Florida State
3.) Stanford
4.) Oklahoma
5.) Wisconsin
6.) Oregon
7.) Boise State
8.) LSU
9.) Nebraska
10.) Oklahoma State
11.) South Carolina
12.) Virginia Tech
13.) Arkansas
14.) Texas A&M
15.) TCU
16.) Georgia
17.) USC
18.) Notre Dame
19.) West Virginia
20.) Ohio State
21.) Mississippi State
22.) UCF
23.) Arizona State
24.) Michigan State
25.) Air Force

Permalink 33 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Air Force Falcons, Alabama Crimson Tide, American Athletic Conference, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arkansas Razorbacks, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Boise State Broncos, Conference USA, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, Independents, LSU Tigers, Michigan State Spartans, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Mountain West Conference, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, South Carolina Gamecocks, Southeastern Conference, Stanford Cardinal, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas A&M Aggies, Top Posts, USC Trojans, Virginia Tech Hokies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconsin Badgers
33 Responses to “CFT preseason Top 25: Tide will rise again”
  1. fitz66 says: Aug 3, 2011 9:22 PM

    Just don’t get the constant UGA love…

    But hey, this was hilarious:

  2. sportsbastard says: Aug 3, 2011 9:32 PM

    Mizzou would smoke UCF (even on the road). This top 25 is junk, and obviously a bit too SEC biased.

  3. southernpatriots says: Aug 3, 2011 9:47 PM

    Feel bad for Bama being ranked #1. Whether there is a curse on #1 or if it is just glaring attention and focus, the past teaches us that it is not good.

  4. dgbk says: Aug 3, 2011 9:56 PM

    uga 16, uf not ranked ?? i dont get it

  5. weswelkerspornstash says: Aug 3, 2011 10:03 PM

    Who is bama’s qb? There isn’t another Cam Newton in the state of Alabama.

  6. Deb says: Aug 3, 2011 11:33 PM

    @sportsbastard …

    Taylor is an Ohio State fan, so he’s not SEC biased. The SEC has won the last five BCS championships, so it’s reasonable for the SEC to have six teams in the top 25. (I’m a Bama diehard, but as a Mizzou grad, hope the Tigers have a great season.)

    @weswelkerspornstash …

    Alabama won the National Championship in 2009 without Cam Newton and playing a pro-style offense. Cam’s a great athlete, but I’m not a fan of spread offenses. No thanks.

    @dgbk …

    Florida finished outside the top 25 last season and this year are installing a new offense.

    @southernpatriots …

    It’s hard to look the gift horse of a #1 ranking in the mouth … but it does make me nervous. But as a Tide fan … I’ll roll with it 😉

  7. southernpatriots says: Aug 4, 2011 2:25 AM

    Deb: What can you do? You have to roll with it and just hope that somehow the AP and others who wish to waste their time will rank Oklahoma first or something like that. We know Saban would prefer it that way.

  8. florida727 says: Aug 4, 2011 7:45 AM

    Kiss of death: JT ranks ‘Bama #1 :)

    Nice picture of Carson. Brings back memories. The Gators don’t deserve to be ranked. Coming off 8-5 with a new system in place and the loss of some key players, they haven’t earned the respect (yet). If Charlie Weis is as good as advertised, maybe they surprise some and finish in the Top 25 and get to a decent bowl game, but it won’t be the one in New Orleans.

    Watching Jeff Demps will be fun though. If they can figure out a way to get him the ball in the open field, he’ll spend a lot of time on ESPN around 11p ET.

  9. southernpatriots says: Aug 4, 2011 7:56 AM

    florida727: great posting, agree with assessments, and hope Weis is the real thing and will start showing it this season.

    Hope for Bama’s sake that is not quite the kiss of death because we need a real strong Bama this year but JT and others ranking them #1 is not a good thing for them.

  10. weswelkerspornstash says: Aug 4, 2011 8:59 AM

    All I am saying is that I haven’t seen Bama’s qb. I font think the state of alabama can find another juco qb with that kind of talent. Granted Saban could coach up ballboy into a starting NFL qb. But I don’t think it is this year.

    Maybe he could go back to LSU and give Jordan Jefferson a little boost.

    I don’t think you have neb ranked high enough. I hope you don’t get pellinied.

  11. bradentonbuc says: Aug 4, 2011 9:22 AM

    Actually that photo of Johnny Carson is very appropriate for a comparison on your thought process. At least it gives you and us something to argue about.

  12. secgreatness says: Aug 4, 2011 10:47 AM

    Calm Down all you SEC haters, these are just preseason polls. Football has not been played yet, let’s review this poll about midway through season.

    The SEC, in recent years, has had 5-6 teams ranked in the top 25 in most preseason polls, this is nothing new.

    UGA at 16 is debatable, UGA being ranked higher than UF, deserves merit simply based on expectations which are higher for UGA than UF. (Again, wait to football is played, maybe a different story when the two teams play each other)

  13. Deb says: Aug 4, 2011 12:25 PM

    @weswelkerspornstash …

    McElroy was a good team leader and a serviceable QB, but he made a lot of mistakes–especially last season when the defense was weaker and the team relied more on him. The two guys vying to replace him are more talented QBs. The question is whether they can maintain their poise with the game on the line. We won’t know that until they’re tested.

    I’m all about defensive football, so my hopes are pinned more on that side of the ball than on the offense. We lost a lot of defensive talent last year. If we’ve rebuilt that unit, we can get by with a little less at QB.

  14. Deb says: Aug 4, 2011 12:27 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    The “roll with it” line was a play on words. You know … Roll Tide. I’m not worried about preseason polls. I’m glad Alabama has enough pieces in place to merit a top ranking on anyone’s list, but I’m a big believer in “any given Sunday” — or in this case, Saturday. I never assume anything until the final whistle blows.

  15. dkhhuey says: Aug 4, 2011 1:52 PM

    I always laugh at the preseason polls for usually the same reason – the fact that Notre Dame gets thrown in every year – and just about every year since Lou Holtz was coach, they’ve under performed and have not been relevant on the field regarding the championship. Yet, year after year after year, this is the year that they rise to greatest again… yawn.

  16. dkhhuey says: Aug 4, 2011 2:03 PM

    @deb (or any other SEC fan)

    Does the Auburn tradition of tossing toilet paper on the trees have anything to do with Alabama’s ‘Roll Tide’? Just curious.

  17. icelovinbrotha215 says: Aug 4, 2011 2:54 PM

    Geaux Tigers!

  18. southernpatriots says: Aug 4, 2011 4:02 PM

    Deb: It should be a more interesting and entertaining year in the SEC than it has been for some time. Sure are glad it will all begin a few weeks. January seems like a decade ago, with all that has happened since.

    Glad the pros got it together. Sent letters to the negotiating parties with thoughts from some long time fans. Don’t think it influenced anyone but it helped us to vent the thoughts and questions.

    We really appreciate JT in keeping us updated with reports on Jimbo Fisher’s son. We have a nephew who suffered from a blood disorder which was very life threatening. Due to the advances in medical treatment, his parents having unshakeable faith, and much prayer the young lad is now a healthy adult, husband, and father. We remain concerned about so many negative thumbs given to the posters who are expressing encouragement or prayers for the young man. We don’t know if these are adolescents or evil people.

  19. Deb says: Aug 4, 2011 4:54 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    My guess is evil adolescents. Did you ever see The Bad Seed?

    The Internet gives immature people a way to act out without fear of reprisal. These people are powerless in their own lives, so they get their jollies bullying someone else–like a person offering well wishes or condolences on a Web site. They know it’s upsetting you … and they know there’s nothing you can do about it. Although it’s not easy, we all have to learn to ignore them because they get off on our responses.

  20. polegojim says: Aug 4, 2011 4:54 PM

    I get the SEC stuff JT.

    What surprises me is Notre Dame… Notre Dame?


  21. southernpatriots says: Aug 4, 2011 5:10 PM

    Deb: Thank you. We now get it.

    polegojim: We see Notre Dame offered by the stupid pre-season prognosticators every year (at least in recent decades) without any justification. Could it be that NBC is ND all the time any time? Or maybe they know it will be hard to put them in the top anything once a few games are played, so do it now for the Gipper!

  22. Deb says: Aug 4, 2011 5:12 PM

    @dkhhuey …

    No, the two aren’t related, though both traditions go back a century. Auburn fans who couldn’t travel to away games would wait for word of the outcome to arrive by telegraph to Toomer’s Drug Store. If it was an Auburn victory, the telegraph operators would throw the ticker tape over the telegraph lines outside for passersby to see. No one is quite sure when that evolved into the tradition of rolling the trees following victories, but it’s believed to have started in the early 1960s.

    The “Roll Tide” yell grew out of the Alabama team being dubbed the “Crimson Tide” about a century ago, and adopting the elephant mascot. When the team ran onto the field, the bleachers trembled, and someone coined the phrase that the Tide was rolling.

  23. dkhhuey says: Aug 4, 2011 6:37 PM


    Thanks a bunch for that explanation!!! Gotta love how some of these traditions came to be!

  24. boisestatewhodat says: Aug 4, 2011 10:06 PM


  25. dcroz says: Aug 4, 2011 10:32 PM

    Like some of the posters above have stated, I have seen plenty of efforts by the media over the years to try to prop Notre Dame up in the rankings. Perhaps the most ludicrous was in Charlie Weis’s third season where the Irish started out ranked as high as third in the polls and numerous writers had them playing for the BCS National Championship. Of course, even half of Irish fans rolled their eyes at that one, and Notre Dame crawled to yet another mediocre season.

    But I think JT and Ben are right on this one. ND is returning 17 starters from an 8-5 team in Brian Kelly’s first season that won its last four games, including a solid win over Miami in their bowl game. And they only have them picked at number 18, which is hardly lofty heights but also recognizing that Kelly has the Irish on the right track. So on this one, I’m not going to call “media wishful thinking” and say that they are making a rational assessment of what South Bend can expect this season.

  26. boisestatewhodat says: Aug 5, 2011 10:17 AM


  27. tide4life says: Aug 5, 2011 10:35 AM

    @ dkhhuey:
    What Deb wrote is pretty much the tale as I have always heard it, regarding both Toomer’s & The Tide.
    But, for record, no Alabama fan would EVER roll their own damn trees!

  28. me6661973 says: Aug 5, 2011 10:48 AM

    Bammer doom to fail again. But when start out over rank you Dem get pity once you loose. To be honest once you loose should drop like a rock. War Eagle starting low finishing high love how we get no love fuels our players.

  29. squackduckhawk says: Aug 15, 2011 12:10 AM

    Charlie Weis was somehow labled as an offensive genius from his time with the Patriots during their 37 win streak. What everyone seems to have forgotten (even at the time) was that it wasn’t the Patriots’ offense that won those games. So it was no surprise to me when year after year, Notre Dame fell short of projections. Kelly is a real football coach. What he did at Cinci was something special, especially when you consider what he had to work with as far as facilities and recruiting. He pulled off some pretty big moves last year with Weis’ recruits, specifically the USC game. Now I’m not a big Notre Dame fan, but I’ll pull for the Irish over most teams they play. Gradually over the next few years I see them returning to the top.

  30. razedeyebrow says: Aug 20, 2011 3:14 PM

    The usual lack of respect for Rose Bowl winner TCU, who have pretty much thrashed all comers. Do know-nothing Eastern sportswriters stick their pinky into something as they sip their tea?

  31. florida727 says: Aug 22, 2011 2:48 PM

    “razedeyebrow”, on the off-chance you didn’t notice, Andy Dalton decided to play one day later this season than last (read: Sundays).

    If it makes you feel better though, TCU is ranked 14th by the AP :) Hey, better than 15th by CFT.

  32. harbourimages says: Aug 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    Read this list twice and still can’t find MICHIGAN! Duh. What a joke list….

  33. tigersgeaux says: Aug 18, 2012 1:06 PM


    You did realize that this pre-season ranking was for 2011, not this season, right? This season CFT ranks Southern Cal first.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!