For the past several years I have projected the preseason AP Top 10 nearly six months in advance and I have correctly projected at least nine of the Top 10 teams each year. It is one of my more popular blogs in the off-season and this year with its overwhelming popularity I have decided to expand it for the first time to 24 teams! I will mention it now and I will mention it numerous times throughout today’s blog but this is NOT MY preseason Top 24 for next year, it is where I project the AP Top 24 to come out at the start of the season. I have also strategically projected 24 teams and not 25 because I feel confident that all 24 of these teams will be in the preseason Top 25 while leaving room for a wildcard team that could slip into the Top 25 due to injuries, suspensions, transfers or preseason magazine projections.
Most AP voters usually look at a couple of criteria when they evaluate a team for the upcoming season. First they look at the number of returning starters that the team has coming back particularly at the offensive skill positions. A team that returns its starting QB and a combination of its RB and WR’s is often times more highly thought of than a team that loses its starting QB but returns its entire offensive line. Similarly a team that returns most of its starters on offense but loses a lot of its defensive playmakers usually is more highly thought of than a team that returns a majority of its defensive starters but loses its skill position players on offense.
Another factor that is heavily weighted is the performance of the team in the bowl game, which undoubtedly is the lasting image of that team in the off-season. A team coming off a huge bowl win usually is more highly thought of than a team that is coming off a bowl loss regardless of what their schedule looks like for the upcoming season.
Using these criteria and a few more, I project the preseason AP Top 10 every year at the conclusion of the previous season, which in most cases is nearly six months in advance. Now as you all know, a lot can happen from now to August including injuries, suspensions, transfers, etc. If you want to see how I have performed with my Top 10 projections refer to my January 30 Blog. Also it should be noted that a couple of teams have been moved up or down to reflect what has happened since that last blog, which includes national signing day.
Now let’s take a look at this year’s projected Preseason AP Top 24 and keep in mind again these are NOT MY preseason Top 24 teams!
#24 Florida-The Gators have had two sub-par seasons finishing 8-5 and 7-6 in 2010-11 but 2nd-year HC Will Muschamp looks to have the Gators on the upswing. They return 10 starters from a defense that allowed just 299.5 ypg last year and one of their keys to their season will be if they can get better QB production from Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel. Read more…
Posts Tagged ‘AP Top 24’
March 2nd, 2012 1 comment