The USA Today Coaches’ poll was released yesterday, and Michigan caught one helluva break, with the coaches ranking them number 24. The coaches decided that despite the Wolverines’ disappointing season last year, the loss of our starting quarterback, starting running back, two top wideouts, and coach, we still belong in the top 25.
I appreciate the love coaches, but I am a little disappointed. I was kind of looking forward to sneaking up on the country this year. Silly me thought that nobody would give us a chance. This would be good for us because then we could have used the “nobody believes in us” card. Despite it being a little overused, it still works as a motivational tool.
I think the main reason Mich is ranked is because of their defense. They return a bunch of very talented players on defense, and despite a new coach, you never forget how to hit, so the defense looks sound.
Other than that, I don’t think the ranking makes sense. We don’t know who our starting quarterback is, one of his best targets is a true freshman, and as of now, we are platooning several running backs, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
Despite the loss of the “nobody believes in is” card, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this ranking.
I don’t like to talk about it, but sometimes, actual college football coaches know more about college football than I do. Maybe they know something I don’t. Do they see RichRod’s new system as a seamless fit? Do they see our athletic ability on offense and assume the transition will be relatively easy? Who knows?
Of course, these are not the official rankings for the season, but it is nice to be ranked coming into the season because if you lose, you fall less, and when you win, you move up more. And if you lose and then win, you make up ground twice as fast as a team who worked their way up from unranked.
That being said, this is just a preseason poll, and it doesn’t really matter THAT much. However, whether it makes sense or not, coaches know what they're talking about. Now the AP, they may be less charitable.