The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

August 17, 2013

5 things to know about the AP preseason poll

Too low. Too high. Should be in. Should be out.

The Associated Press preseason college football poll is out and the one certainty about the rankings is that outside of fans of No. 1 Alabama, everybody will have a complaint.

Ripping the rankings is a tradition as old as the poll itself. In 1935, AP sports editor Alan J. Gould decided to rank the best teams in the land by himself and put it on the wire., mostly as a conversation starter. The story goes that after he ranked Minnesota, Princeton and Southern Methodist as co-No. 1s at the end of that season, Gopher fans hanged Gould in effigy.

The next year he started letting others vote.

Considering that the Crimson Tide have won three of the last four national titles, including the last two, Ohio State fans shouldn't be too steamed about being relegated to second — at least for now. Wait until the games begin on Aug. 29.

Five more things to know about the preseason Top 25:

1) 3, IT'S A MAGIC NUMBER. Ten times in major college football has a team won two straight national championships. None have three-peated. Alabama will try to become the first. The best finish in the AP poll by a team going for its third straight championship is second. Army was No. 2 in 1946 and Notre Dame also finished second in 1948. Southern California was the last back-to-back AP champion in 2003 and '04. With a chance to make a three straight, the Trojans and their two Heisman Trophy winners (Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush) lost 41-38 to Vince Young and Texas in an all-time classic at the Rose Bowl.

2) BEST. START. EVER. Three schools will start this season with their best preseason rankings: Stanford at No. 4, South Carolina at No. 6 and Louisville at No. 9. The previous best for the Cardinal was No. 7 in 2011, the Gamecocks were ninth last year and the Cardinals were 10th in 2007.

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