3. Ohio State
8. West Virginia
14. Texas Tech
15. Virginia Tech
16. Arizona State
17. Brigham Young
21. South Florida
22. Penn State
23. Wake Forest
25. Fresno State
Others Receiving Votes: Alabama 83, South Carolina 64, Utah 60, Rutgers 53, Florida State 53, Boston College 47, California 41, Pittsburgh 34, Boise State 25, Oregon State 23, Nebraska 17, Cincinnati 13, Virginia 12, Connecticut 9, Michigan State 9, Mississippi State 6, Notre Dame 5, TCU 5, Kentucky 5, Maryland 4, North Carolina 3, UCLA 3, Texas A&M 3, Georgia Tech 2, UCF 2, Louisville 2, Colorado 1, Tulsa 1, Oklahoma State 1, Arizona 1
Three ACC clubs in the poll, six in the "others receiving" category, and Miami isn't among them. Weird.
Clemson and Virginia Tech are ranked about where I expected, based on their showings in the plethora of preseason publications. Wake makes a welcome appearance in the poll, and it is gratifiying to see the Deacs getting that level of respect...it looks like people really are paying attention to the machine Jim Grobe has built. I'm surprised Virginia and Georgia Tech got any votes. Florida State, Boston College, Maryland, and North Carolina's number of votes look about right to me.
Nationally, Georgia at #1 is a reach. On the one hand it's nice to see someone other than USC at the top of a preseason poll, but the Trojans, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Florida and LSU all have valid cases for that top spot heading into 2008 and - unlike the Dawgs - those schools have proven they can finish at #1 with their current coaching staffs. UGA's getting a little too much love from beating the poi out of Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl and for beating Florida for just the third time since 1990.
As for conference comparisons among the BCS leagues, this is what we have:
-SEC (12 teams)- 5 ranked (42%), 4 also getting votes (33%)
-Big XII (12 teams)- 5 ranked (42%), 4 also getting votes (33%)
-Big Ten (11 teams)- 5 ranked (45%), 1 also getting votes (9%)
-ACC (12 teams)- 3 ranked (25%), 6 also getting votes (50%)
-Pac 10 (10 teams)- 3 ranked (30%), 4 also getting votes (40%)
-Big East (8 teams)- 2 ranked (25%), 5 also getting votes (63%)
For all the self-inflicted damage the ACC has wrought upon itself the last few years - along with the generally dismissive coverage the league gets in the blogosphere and national media - I'm a tad surprised to see 75% of the ACC either ranked or getting votes. The SEC and Big XII deservedly garner the most respect in the preseason poll. The Big East actually has the best percentage of ranked-or-getting-votes with 7 out of 8 clubs showing up, but the quick collapse of Louisville and Rich Rod's departure from Morgantown last season showed just how fragile the league's football rep really is and this season might just begin the Big East's fall out of the BCS orbit in terms of overall quality, stability, and depth.
Getting back to the ACC, I think Clemson is Georgia-lite...they're getting too much love for too little reason. Virginia Tech is garnering a few legacy votes...#15 is a reach considering the offseason personnel losses. Wake should probably be where the Hokies are in terms of ranking. Florida State and Boston College are in decent shape to vault into the poll with a few early wins. Maryland and/or North Carolina are primed to jump into the rankings with fast starts, and deservedly so. Virginia and Georgia Tech may not see another vote again after the season kicks off. And Miami....O Brother, Where Art Thou?