The Preseason Associated Press Top 25 Poll is an interesting talking point, but really has little value after that. After all, it is a poll ranking teams before they have even faced off against an opposing team. There is no preseason, there is no exhibition game, we are quite literally looking at a list of teams based on pure speculation.
Leading that list of promise and speculation is the usual suspect heading into this 2015 season, Ohio State, taking the unanimous distinction as the number one team in the poll. From a quick look through, I don't see anything that is particularly surprising. TCU, Alabama, Baylor and Michigan State round out the top five, in that order. While it certainly feels like an interesting combination of college football programs, I don't think anyone is surprised. But why should I just tell you, we have the poll for you.
|1||Ohio State (61)||1,525|
Now here's where you ask why you should care. Cincinnati didn't make the Top 25. Well...
Others receiving votes: Mississippi St. 100, Texas A&M 61, Oklahoma St. 46, Virginia Tech 42, Utah 36, Penn St. 20, Louisville 12 .. (more).— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) August 23, 2015
More others receiving: Cincinnati 8, Nebraska 6, K-St. 5, Florida 4, NC St 4, Texas 3, BYU 2, Michigan 2, N Illinois 2, Cal 1, WKU 1, WVU 1.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) August 23, 2015
And... there we go. Cincinnati received eight votes, just more than the likes of Nebraska, Kansas State, Florida and NC State. For what it's worth, Cincinnati did earn more votes than BYU, who figures to be one of their most difficult matchups this season.
My general thoughts here are that it would be nice to get a little more love in the early poll. Like I said above, this is a poll that is based entirely on speculation. Cincinnati's team is pretty darn exciting when based on speculation. As Bearcats' fans are well aware, Cincinnati will be fielding an offense headlined by a quarterback with potential for a very real early round NFL Draft status and is flanked by a wide receiving core that would make, arguably, most of the nation blush. The offensive line, running backs and the secondary look promising and even the perceived weaknesses in the front seven are likely being overblown. Throw in a coaching staff that has seen the big game and you have a team ripe with promise and potential.
That said, this is a preseason poll based on hype, which seems to cater to teams from the Power 5 conferences. I believe Cincinnati deserves a little more attention, but at the end of the day, these rankings are little more than a discussion point around the water-cooler until the opening kickoff for Week 1. Let's hope those eight votes only increase as the season progresses because it would be nice if the rest of the nation would take a closer look at the talent Cincinnati possesses.