The 2011 preseason Coaches' Poll is out, and the SEC leads the way with eight teams in it. I understand that the SEC gets the most respect as a football conference nationally, but that's a bit absurd.
Alabama opens at No. 2, with 13 first place votes. Oklahoma holds the top spot with 42 first place votes. Oregon is third and LSU is fourth, both with a pair of first place votes. The Big 12 actually edges out the SEC in top 10 teams three-to-two, as Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are at No. 8 and No. 9. South Carolina is the third SEC team in the rankings at No. 12, followed by Arkansas at No. 14.
Something I've learned from doing the BlogPoll is that as you get towards the end of the rankings, you start to get a little fatigued. Clearly the coaches did, and they adopted a strategy of, "when in doubt, pick an SEC team." Auburn is No. 19, Mississippi State is No. 20, Georgia is No. 22, and Florida is No. 23. If you count the "others receiving votes" as more rankings, Tennessee tied with Clemson for No. 40 with seven points.
Here is the breakdown by conference:
- SEC: 8 teams
- Big 12: 5 teams
- Big Ten: 5 teams
- ACC: 2 teams
- MWC: 2 teams
- Pac-12: 2 teams
- Independents: 1 team
That's right, the Big East was shut out. I have a feeling Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia will make that look a bit silly. Also keep in mind that USC is not eligible for the Coaches' Poll due to its bowl ban.
So what do you think? Is eight a reasonable number?