2016 NCAA "AP" Football Poll

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL
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The college football season starts on Thursday, if you can believe that. Actually, it technically started last Friday. Our apologies to California and Hawaii, but a Friday 10 p.m. ET kickoff for a game in Australia is not going to resonate in our heads that long afterward.

The start of the season means the return of a weekly tradition among college football fans everywhere: scouring the Associated Press (AP) College Football Poll, long since rendered irrelevant with the former BCS, to complain about a lack of respect for our favorite college football program. My take on the AP Poll is a bit more nonchalant. AP voters display either considerable groupthink or contrarianism that's fun to discern by diving into the data.

Below are some other notable numbers to look at from the first AP poll care of NCAA.

Below are some other notable numbers to look at from the first AP poll care of NCAA.

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50 - Number of times Alabama has appeared in the AP preseason poll
The Crimson Tide's return to No. 1 in the latest poll marked a half-centennial milestone as Alabama became just the sixth team to start in the top 25 in 50 different years since the poll's first release in 1936. Ohio State leads the all-time list with 63 appearances.

6 - Number of SEC schools who cracked the top 25 this year for the most of any conference
Alabama was joined by No. 5 LSU, No. 9 Tennessee, No. 11 Ole Miss, No. 18 Georgia and No. 25 Florida to be the most-represented conference in the rankings. An SEC team has won the national championship in eight of the past 10 seasons.

4 - Number of ACC schools who made the top 25
Reigning national runner-up Clemson (No. 2), No. 4 Florida State, No. 19 Louisville and No. 22 North Carolina are the four ACC representatives in the preseason top 25. An ACC program has appeared in the championship game in two of the past three seasons, including the Seminoles' victory in 2013.

2 - Highest ranking in Clemson program history
Clemson's No. 2 ranking is the highest the program has ever received in the preseason. The Tigers' previous high mark was No. 4 in 1984 and 1988. In last year's run to the title game Clemson was ranked No. 12 in the preseason.

7 - Different teams to get first place votes in 2016
Alabama (33 votes), Clemson (16), Oklahoma (4), Florida State (4), LSU (1), Ohio State (1) and Michigan (1) all received at least one first place vote, marking the most teams to get this recognition since eight teams received votes in 1998. Last year, Ohio State received all 61 first place votes to become the first unanimous selection in AP poll history.

3 - Number of top 25 teams from Texas and California, most of any states
No. 8 Stanford, No. 16 UCLA and No. 20 USC represent California while No. 13 TCU, No. 15 Houston and No. 23 Baylor represent Texas. No other state has more than two teams in the top 25.

21 - Votes Miami (Fla.) fell short of reaching the preseason top 25 for first time since 2010
Miami (Fla.) came in at No. 26 with 159 votes. The Hurricanes, under new head coach Mark Richt, are optimistic for a turnaround and may soon rise into the top 25 early in the season.

24 - Lowest preseason ranking for Oregon since 2007
The last time the Ducks came in this low to start a season, they were unranked in 2007. Oregon started in the preseason top 10 from 2011-15 but finished 9-4 last year.

8 - 2016 top 25 teams that weren't in last year's preseason top 25
No. 7 Michigan, No. 14 Washington, No. 15 Houston, No. 17 Iowa, No. 19 Louisville, No. 21 Oklahoma State, No. 22 North Carolina and No. 25 Florida are all newcomers since last year's preseason list.

5 - 2016 top 25 teams that weren't in last year's final rankings
The five up-and-coming teams or programs looking for bounceback seasons that didn't crack last year's final top 25 are Washington, UCLA, Georgia, Louisville and USC.

1 - Number of weeks last year's national champion held the No. 1 spot
Last year's national champion in Alabama entered the season ranked No. 3 and entered the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed. Their only time ranked No. 1 came after defeating Clemson for the national title, showing that preseason rankings don't always amount to much by the end of the season.

Should be a fun season....


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