Matt Barkley

Trojans top AP’s preseason poll


While CFT didn’t necessarily agree, the coaches tapped LSU as their preseason No. 1 in the USA Today poll released earlier this month.

As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones who respectfully disagree with the coaches either.

In its initial poll, the Associated Press voters tapped USC, heading into its first season post-NCAA sanctions, as its No. 1 team headed into the 2012 season.  The Trojans received 25 of the 60 first-place votes, with the 35 others divvied up among defending national champion Alabama (17), 2011 BcS runner-up LSU (16) and Oklahoma and Michigan (one apiece).

The Tide, Tigers and Sooners filled out the Nos. 2-4 spots, while the Wolverines came in at No. 8.

A couple of weeks ago, however, the top of the AP poll would’ve taken on an entirely different look.

The Tigers were poised to start the season No. 1 before Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu got kicked off the team a week ago.

In light of that development, the AP extended the voting deadline. Before Mathieu was dismissed, reportedly for failed drug tests, LSU had received 28 of a possible 60 first-place votes. USC was a close second with 22 first-place votes and Alabama was third with nine.

The remainder of the Top 10 was rounded out by Georgia (No. 6), Florida State (No. 7), South Carolina (No. 9) and Arkansas (No. 10).

As was the case in the coaches’ poll, five of the Top 10 teams were from the SEC, with a total of six (Florida, No. 23) representing the conference that has won the past six BcS titles.  The Big 12 also claimed six teams in the AP’s initial poll, while the Big Ten placed five and the ACC and Pac-12 had three apiece.

A pair of current/future Big East schools were the only non-Big Five teams in the poll: No. 24 Boise State (current Mountain West member moving to the Big East in 2013) and Louisville (No. 25).

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo
Leave a comment

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.

Georgia loses ILB Reggie Carter for the season

Reggie Carter, Charone Peake
AP Photo
Leave a comment

After battling to get on the field throughout the season’s first five weeks, Georgia is shutting down inside linebacker Reggie Carter for the rest of the year, Dawgs head coach Mark Richt confirmed Sunday evening.

Carter fought shoulder problems throughout the year, and saw action in only one of Georgia’s first five games. A junior, Carter will be eligible for a medical redshirt.

The Snellville, Ga., native recorded 28 tackles in 12 appearances in 2014 and eight tackles in eight appearances as a freshman in 2013. UAB transfer Jake Ganus started in the spot many pegged to Carter before injure ruptured his season.

Carter totaled two stops in one appearance this season.