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Why this year’s college football preseason rankings are awful

By Jordan Rinard Rinard's Rundown

Year in and year out, college football fan bases around the country get a false sense of hope when the Associated Press releases its Top 25 poll for the upcoming season, where teams get evaluated despite not playing a down. This is an exercise in futility, because teams are rarely as good as we think they are and are not worthy of their "official" ranking. Here's a rundown of the Top 25 and why they are all overrated:

No. 25 Washington

Chris Peterson of Boise State fame is now your coach, but there are lingering questions about the coach who made a pretty nice living off one game: Can he handle playing a tougher schedule? How will he adjust from recruiting the PAC-12's table scraps to … recruiting the PAC-12's table scraps? And most importantly: can he win games on a green field?

No. 24 Missouri

You lost the Defensive Player of the Year in Michael Sam and you are in the SEC East, which will feature improved Georgia, Florida and South Carolina teams. Good luck with that, Mizzou.

No. 23 North Carolina

You have been good recently at producing NFL talent, but how can you expect to compete in the ACC when your players will be ineligible due to academic fraud? Also, you somehow let Duke become a bigger football power than you; that's something you have to live with.

No. 22 Nebraska

It's incredible to believe that Bo Pelini is still your coach after never winning a conference a title since he was named head coach in 2008 and allegedly ripped the fan base. However, he's featured in the most cat memes in the nation, so I guess that's something to be celebrated.

No. 21 Texas A&M

Money Manziel left and you still play in the SEC West. You're not hooking anybody, Aggies.

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No. 20 Kansas State

ESPN keeps telling me that Bill Snyder is a great coach, but I would take the Wildcats more seriously if they had won more than two Big 12 titles in the 22 years that he has been the coach. He'll have to wait a year, since Baylor and Oklahoma are supposedly dark horses for the playoff.

No. 19 Arizona State

I have no idea who is on your roster and you play UCLA, USC, Stanford and Notre Dame? The only one getting swarmed in the desert is you, Sun Devils.

No. 18 Ole Miss

You have inexplicably put together some great recruiting classes, but like the Aggies, you have to play in the SEC West. Also, Oxford, Mississippi isn't the best Oxford in college football, just so you know.

No. 17 Notre Dame

You've lost both of your coordinators from a year ago and are embroiled in a(nother) cheating scandal. Everett Golson is back, but how will he adjust without his quarterback-whispering offensive coordinator?

No. 16 Clemson

Even with Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, you got boatraced by Florida State last season. Dabo Swinney will have to find a way to compete in the ACC armed with only a rock and his

superpower of delivering amazing interviews.

No. 15 Southern Cal

After hiring Steve Sarkisian in the offseason, the Trojans have gotten closer to unlocking the achievement for hiring all the assistants from the Pete Carroll era as head coach. However, games against Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA will keep them out of the hunt until USC recovers from Lane Kiffin's tenure and actually develops offensive linemen.

No. 14 Wisconsin

I can't name a player on your team and you open the season with LSU and play Bowling Green, Northwestern and Iowa? Also, Jump Around at Camp Randall is pretty impressive, but does it feature a Stormtrooper and a Mohawk Man? I believe not.

No. 13 LSU

Few coaches in the country lose the big games that Les Miles loses and still have good job security. The best thing you could say about this year's team is that no one has been suspended ... yet.

No. 12 Georgia

You have a Heisman candidate in Todd Gurley, but you will lose to teams that you shouldn't lose to, just like you always do (Note: teams in Athens tend to do this).

No. 11 Stanford

Hard-nosed scholars that occasionally play football, the coattails of Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck on their way to being a perennial Top 15 team. Kevin Hogan wasn't a scholar in the 2014 Rose Bowl against Michigan State as the team only mustered 11 first downs in the whole game, much to the disdain of Nerd Nation who apparently took a day off from class to come up with a name for their fan base.

No. 10 Baylor

Your offense can put the points on the board, but lost to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl because you don't have a defense. Also, you're still Baylor.

No. 9 South Carolina

Steve Spurrier may be your (immensely entertaining) coach, but if he couldn't win a SEC title with Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery and Jadeveon Clowney, he'll never win one at South Carolina. How this team got a first place vote in the USA Today Poll is beyond me.

No. 8 Michigan State

Mark Dantonio has done a good job turning the Spartans into an elite B1G team, but they're not in a great city like Ohio State and don't have the tradition or academics of Michigan. It's also not good when your mascot is clearly on PEDs.

No. 7 UCLA

Jim Mora Jr. is doing great at his rebound job with the Bruins, but it's only a matter of time before he scratches the itch of coaching in the NFL. And despite the success, they're still the little brother to USC even while big brother became inconsistent and incompetent for a few years.

No. 6 Auburn

You made an impressive run last year, but your trees are dying and you were beat by a freshman quarterback in the national championship game. But now that you went to the national championship game, it's time for a couple more years of mediocrity and a new head coach.

No. 5 Ohio State

Now that Braxton Miller is out for the season, this ranking isn't looking too great, is it? At least they can count on their running game without Carlos Hyde and their defense without Ryan Shazier and Courtney Roby. (P.S. The Spartans should've been B1G favorites anyway.)

No. 4 Oklahoma

You consistently win 10 games a year, but you always find a way to lose big games. Having a Big 12 defense might be a problem when playing Baylor and Oklahoma State as well. At least there's not a professional sports team in Oklahoma that takes attention away from you.

No. 3 Oregon

You have a Heisman contender in Marcus Mariota, but you still don't have Chip Kelly. The Fighting Nikes will have to make do without a defense and with Bedazzled uniforms.

No. 2 Alabama

You have an amazing track record of producing NFL talent, but you're replacing a quality quarterback and it's only a matter of time before Lane Kiffin runs this offense into the ground.

No. 1 Florida State

Your coach is named Jimbo and the most impressive thing your quarterback has done so far has been staying out of jail.

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