Preseason polls and predictions are a fun thing to read, but often miss the mark.
Teams could either be missed on in the polls or look good on paper before the season, but are likely not be voted there at season’s end.
As college football media days wrap up, preseason polls have been released around the country where fans can get a glimpse of where conference catches and sports information directors vote on the order of the teams within the conference.
Likewise, the release of Hooten’s Arkansas Football Guide has left high school football fans a great read on how the teams look and how Hooten’s believe teams will finish.
The Arkansas Sports Media polls are likely to be back as well as football season approaches.
But, before opening kickoff, we as members of the media evaluate how teams finished last season, what’s coming back, the schedule and how the team looks and then go from there on how we believe teams will finish.
The fun thing about sports is anything can happen and will happen, which is why it’s hard to put much stock in preseason polls.
Each week, I don’t necessarily look at the MLB polls, but the amount of people that get mad at where their team is ranked is crazy.
Rankings are just that.
They don’t mean anything as long as a team backs it up.
Earlier in the season, the Minnesota Twins had the best record in baseball, but were ranked outside the top five, which is a big reason why we shouldn’t take stock in rankings.
There are few reasons why the team with the best record shouldn’t be on top, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
While the Twins may not have the best record now, they are still a good team and one of the better ones in the league, but at the time of those rankings, they should have been ranked at the top.
Another point is the amount of “super teams” that people see that look good and it is usually brought with “this team looks good on paper.”
It seems oftentimes, teams can’t back up the talent they may have and fall from grace before reaching the top.
A good example of not taking stock in preseason polls is last year’s Southland Conference preseason polls where Sam Houston State was picked to win followed by Nicholls State, UCA, McNeese, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin, Abilene Christian, Northwestern State, Incarnate Word, Lamar and Houston Baptist.
SHSU finished in a four way tie for third along with McNeese, UCA and Abilene Christian, Nicholls finished first, SLU finished eighth, SFA finished 10th, NSU finished tied with SLU, UIW finished with a share of the SLC title, Lamar finished third and HBU finished last.
Last season may have been an anomaly with the way many things broke with several teams vying for the SLC championship as the season wound down, especially with the way UIW and Lamar were picked and where they finished.
UIW and Lamar fans can definitely attest to not putting too much stock in preseason polls.
So, with the release of the recent SLC preseason polls, it’s quite possible those teams finish that way, but it likely won’t happen that way.
One coach or SID thought it might not happen that way with ACU receiving a first-place vote, while being voted to finish seventh in the conference.
ACU could make that jump and after last season, we can’t count anything out as ACU could finish first after receiving a first-place vote after being picked seventh.
Regardless, we should all take a grain of salt with these polls.
Andy Robertson is the sports editor of the Log Cabin Democrat.