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Are preseason rankings needed in college football?

Locke Hoover

College Football preseason rankings are the most pointless thing in college football. There is no reason teams should be ranked at the beginning of the season based on last year’s results.  Another reason teams should not be ranked at the beginning of the season is because it could dictate who is in the national championship. For example if Alabama is ranked number one and Ohio St is ranked number two in the preseason and they are undefeated at the end of the season they will be playing in the national championship regardless if another team lower or unranked goes undefeated. A perfect example of this was in 2004 when USC and Oklahoma were ranked number 1 and 2 in the preseason and Auburn was ranked number 17.  All three of these teams were undefeated at the end of the season but USC and Oklahoma played in the championship game not necessarily, because they were the best 2 teams but because they were ranked number 1 and 2 from start to finish. This problem could easily be fix if they started ranking teams starting the forth week of college football. That way the coaches and media could see which teams should be ranked based on this season and not last season results.