Comparing USC’s spots in the Associated Press and coaches’ preseason poll further shows the differences between how coaches and media view the game.
AP Preseason Poll
In this poll the Trojans are No. 14, while Utah and Oregon are No. 7 and No. 11. This is decided by a combination of journalists and broadcasters who cover the sport. The polls are determined through a point system, each top 25 spot has a point total associated with it. USC is at No. 14 with 711 points.
What tells me how the media sees the program is how they group their rankings; the point totals are not an accident. Based on the points I see six groups the top 25 was split into.
The first group has No. 1 – 3, the second one consists of No. 4 – 8, the third one is No. 9 – 12, the fourth has No. 13 – 15, the fifth one is No. 16 – 21 and the sixth one is the rest of the teams on the poll.
It seems low to have the Trojans in the “fourth group” of college football, but they’re close enough to the other groups and teams to rocket up the ranking. Compared to the coaches’ poll, the media has lightyears of confidence in USC.
Coaches Preseason Poll
This preseason poll has USC as No. 15, while Utah and Oregon are No. 8 and No. 12. This particular poll is decided by coaches in the sport. USC is at No. 15 with 602 points.
Group one has No. 1 – 3, the second group is No. 4 – 7, the third group has No. 8 and 9, group four is No. 10 – 14, group five consists of just the Trojans, the sixth group is 16 – 24 and the last group is just No. 25.
The coaches agree USC still has a ways to go, before returning to college football’s elite. Regardless of all the talent they brought in, especially Lincoln Riley, the roster has lots of holes in it. Riley needs time to reload it.
There also is a bigger gap between the groups in this poll, compared to the AP one. It’s going to be harder to move up it than in the poll of the AP.
USC has glitz and glam coming into the season with a lot of undeserving hype. Media usually look for stars and high recruits when trying to predict in the preseason.
While coaches usually look for more specific things like the scheme the program runs, is it new? How many starters are returning? Do their recruits develop a lot of the time? Etc. Which is why the Trojans are valued more by media instead of coaches.
Make sure to continue following USC here at Gridiron Heroics, here’s an article on why a middling preseason ranking is appropriate for USC.
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