CLEMSON - What's my top 25? Glad you asked!
Oh - you didn't. Oh. This is ... awkward.
I mean, I already put together the list and everything. Sent it to my dad, brother, college roommate and that Groupon e-mail that bombards my Google Promotions folder six times a day.
Look, the whole thing took, like, 20 minutes out of my morning. Do me a favor. Just humor me. I know my vote doesn't count (at least not, ahem, until basketball season), but here's my preseason top 25, ranked in five clear tiers entitled with overused coachspeak.
Oh, and the real AP poll is released at 2 p.m. ET.
TIER 1: "Don't everybody crown us now"
1 Florida State
TIER 2: "Our guys are working hard"
3 Oregon: Marcus Mariota's return gives the Ducks an edge over the rest of the pack
5 Ohio State: You didn't forget Urban Meyer hasn't lost a regular season game here, right?
6 Michigan State: Well, Urban and the Buckeyes will be tested in East Lansing Nov. 8, when the Spartans have two weeks to prepare.
7 UCLA: Ranked in 11 of the last 25 preseason polls. Finished unranked eight of those years. Beware the hype.
TIER 3: "Chance to be pretty good this year"
8 South Carolina: Well, we know some non-Alabama SEC team will inevitably separate itself. The Gamecocks are the most balanced option to do so.
11 Auburn: Readers at my last gig won't like hearing it, but Auburn was every bit as lucky as it was improved in 2013.
TIER 4: "Chip on our shoulder"
15 Clemson: Sounds about right. Coordinators' "go ahead and doubt us" comments are clearly motivation-driven, but Tigers won't start with the elite.
16 Texas A&M: The "Is Kevin Sumlin Overrated?" storyline Steve Spurrier fueled won't be settled a week from Thursday. Wait another 11 games after that to find out.
TIER 5: "One game at a time"
17 Southern Cal: This ranking is for the Trojan logo, not the players. Wanna see it happen first.
18 Ole Miss
20 Washington: Chris Petersen has won 88 percent of his games (is that good?) and inherits a pretty good Huskies roster.
21 Notre Dame: Irish are higher in the AP poll because votes were due last week, pre-academic scandal.
TIER 6: "Nobody believes in us"
22 Louisville: So, so overlooked this year. Just watch.
23 Texas: Probably return to pretty good-land this year, but Charlie Strong seems like a strange fit so far.
24 Florida: Too talented not to fix last year's train wreck.
25 Duke: Deserving of an August preseason number. Let's see if the Blue Devils keep it.
TIER 7: "It is what it is" (It's my poll and I'll unrank 'em if I want to)
North Carolina (the eternal Charlie Brown's football of the preseason poll); Arizona State (two returning defensive starters); Nebraska ("You're still here?!?" -Bo Pelini's boss, to Bo Pelini); Kansas State (they're like grocery brand soups, a big bowl of meh); Central Florida (Blake Bortles might've been the whole team); Arkansas (a USA Today coach ranked the Hogs No. 25 - this happened and we let it happen); Indiana (wait, who let them in here?); Colorado (OK hit send and step away from the keyboard Brenner)
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