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Revisiting the Riches to Rags Stories

Last year I wrote a piece called "Who is Likeliest to Go From Riches to Rags?" about how there is almost always a couple of teams from the top 10 of the preseason Coaches' Poll who end the year unranked. I then listed the top 10 from who I thought was most likely to least likely to finish out of the poll.

Here's a quick review of how the season turned out for those teams:

Likelihood Team Preseason Rank Postseason Rank
1 Iowa 10 NR
2 Virginia Tech 6 16
3 Nebraska 9 20
4 Oklahoma 8 6
5 Texas 4 NR
6 TCU 7 2
7 Florida 3 NR
8 Ohio State 2 5
9 Alabama 1 10
10 Boise State 5 9


I feel some measure of pride in the fact that the team I pegged as most likely to finish the season unranked did indeed finish the year unranked. Last August after I wrote this, some denizens of SBN's outstanding Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants pitched a royal hissy fit about me putting Iowa first on the list. I stuck to my guns, didn't change the order despite their feedback, and I was right in the end. Also, my No. 2 team may not have finished the year unranked, but it lost to a I-AA team. I still can't believe VT lost to James Madison.

Of my top five, the only team really out of place is Oklahoma. Of the rest, two finished unranked and two finished outside the top 15. Of the bottom five, the only one I really missed on was Florida. The Gators of course finished unranked, while the other four teams both started and ended the year in the top 10. If I had switched UF and OU in these rankings, I would have been about as spot on as you can be in the preseason.

I plan on doing this again once the Coaches' Poll comes out, though next time with some more numbers to back me up. It's easiest and most fun to do with the Coaches' Poll because it's always one of the least accurate polls. Look for it this August at an SEC blog near you.