The Associated Press initially set a deadline of last Friday, Aug. 10, for writers and broadcasters across the country to submit their preseason Top 25 ballots, but when news broke that day of Tyrann Mathieu’s dismissal from the LSU football team, the AP gave their voters an opportunity to adjust their ballots.
When the preseason poll was released Saturday morning, LSU was a close No. 3 behind Southern California and Alabama. AP national college football writer Ralph Russo indicated that LSU would have been No. 1 before Mathieu’s dismissal, but 12 of 28 voters who had the Tigers ranked No. 1 dropped LSU out of the top spot.
But there’s more. Eleven voters failed to include the Tigers in the top 3, and two dropped Les Miles’ club significantly. Ira Schoffel of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat has LSU ranked eighth, but that’s not as low as Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle, who ranked the Tigers 10th. It’s not known where Schoffel and Ratto had LSU ranked beford the Mathieu news.
Which leads to the question: In lieu of the timing of Mathieu’s dismissal, did some voters overreact?
Do remember that the AP poll is essentially for entertainment purposes only. It does not figure in the Bowl Championship Series formula – only the coaches and Harris polls are included. The coaches poll, which was released before Miles dismissed Mathieu, has LSU ranked No. 1.
This is the first time in 15 years that the two major polls have disagreed on the preseason No. 1.
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