One of the more annoying aspects of living through a college football offseason, is the top 25 lists pandered around to fanbases everywhere that are starving for college football. While these sins aren’t exclusive to the mainstream media, theirs are the most grievous because they appear to be the most lazy.
Take Mark Schlabach’s “Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25” for example. Although there is nothing unusual about the actual list itself, the reasoning provided in the capsules provide nearly nothing of note. Instead it focus’s on perhaps the most dismissive detail of an upcoming season. Here is Notre Dame’s capsule:
Notre Dame landed a top-15 recruiting class, which included six players ranked in the top 10 at their respective positions: quarterback Brandon Wimbush, tight end Alize Jones, receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, running back Dexter Williams, center Tristen Hoge and inside linebacker Josh Barajas.
Freshman. Freshman account for about 40% of the reasoning given. I’m smart enough to know that this is merely because National Signing Day is right behind us and, well… clicks. However, I warn you now to dismiss any list that places such a high value on incoming recruits. This ain’t basketball people. In Notre Dame’s case, the only recruit that should even have any consideration moving towards 2015 is Justin Yoon, whom ESPN has totally dismissed as just another kicker because he must not be ranked in the top 10 at his position (despite playing in their All-Star game and, oh yeah, being in the top 2 at his position on any list assembled). Do kickers even matter to the outcomes of games?
The problem, as it always is, is that polls create perception which create a reality. And any poll that uses information that is utterly meaningless (such as a recruiting class rather than just possibly, maybe, and rarely one recruit) is merely a sell job and belongs on the Home Shopping Network. Instead, it will be another data line for the CFB Playoff committee to use as they see fit.
Of course, now that I think of it- this is totally appropriate.