Rivals is breaking down the Top 50 teams in college football. They release a new team every day. Wednesday’s team was No. 17 Tennessee. There are 16 spots to be revealed and the following teams have not been included yet (I’ve assigned them numbers not as a ranking but just to illustrate how many slots are left):
8. Ohio State
9. West Virginia
11. Penn State
14. Virginia Tech
Those 15 teams are not in the current Rivals rankings but have been in nearly every preseason Top 25 lists. I expect them all to be included in Rivals. That leaves one spot unaccounted for in the Rivals list. Is it BC?
Surprised by a potential high ranking yet concerned about a slight, I looked at other preseason polls and tried to see who else might be missing. Going through Phil Steele’s, Athlon Sports and The Sporting News’ preseason magazines, only two other programs appear in anyone’s Top 50 that are not accounted for in Rivals list. Those schools, Southern Miss and Utah, do not appear anywhere near as high as Top 16. In these same publications, BC is ranked 28th in the Sporting News, 27th in Athlon, and 41st** in Phil Steele’s.
It looks like BC is going to be in Rivals Top 16. I’d be encouraged by the enthusiasm but it will certainly draw some criticism from other fan groups. For Rivals sake I hope BC is in their Top 16, because excluding them would be sloppy. Working on the blogpoll and now at the FanHouse, I understand how a (presumably) collaborative list like this could have a mistake or two, but omitting BC would be bad. Sure BC has a new head coach, however, this year’s team returns the majority of its starters and has two veteran, respected coordinators. We are arguably a Top 25 team and a definite Top 50 team.
I’ve had problems with certain Rivals subsites in the past, so nothing would shock me at this point. Since all of these rankings are just about perception and offseason water cooler talk, part of me hopes for exclusion. A slap like that would give Jags some really good bulletin board material for summer practices. Either way, Rivals unorthodox Top 50 has done the one thing their editors wanted – got people talking.
UPDATE: As reader Brian pointed out, Steele did not have BC in his Top 50, however, Steele