The Amway Coaches Poll has been released for the 2016 preseason and while BYU finds itself outside the Top 25, a few 2016 opponents are on it.
BYU received six votes but finished well outside the top 25, as expected.
Michigan State is the highest-ranked team on the Cougars’ schedule at #13 and UCLA just made the cut at #24.
Utah and Boise State finished inside the top 30 and Mississippi State in the top 40. Toledo is the only other 2016 BYU opponent to get some votes.
Here’s the top 10:
The Preseason Coaches Poll is out: 1. #Alabama 2. #Clemson 3 #OU 4. #FSU 5. #OhioState 6 #LSU 7 #Stanford 8 #Michigan 9 #ND 10 #Vols.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 4, 2016
While many people like to say, “preseason polls don’t matter” that’s not entirely true. An early loss to Oklahoma for Ohio State is much less costly than an early loss to BYU for UCLA when it comes to national championship dreams. UCLA would have a lot more ground to cover than the Buckeyes would.
I’d like to not have rankings of any kind until October for this reason and because it’s really hard to know before a kickoff who is good and bad but ... that will never happen.
Given how the Michigan game went last year and what Michigan State seems to be this year, that is really the only game that BYU fans should be “shocked” to win. UCLA is the only other ranked team and BYU was one or two really bad mental mistakes away from winning last year in LA. And although ‘Chosen Rosen’ is a year older, they lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.
Utah and Boise State have a good chance to be ranked by the time they play BYU given their relatively easy schedules early. Emotions will run high in both of those games and the “rivalry” element usually means anything can happen.
While Mississippi State was looked at as a daunting opponent these last few years, they were actually picked last in the West during SEC Media Days. This reminds me of the Missouri game last year. BYU has lucked out in playing the Bulldogs in a down year. Granted, BYU lost to Missouri somehow last year, but this year they get Mississippi State at home.
Here’s the hot take: BYU’s 2016 schedule isn’t as difficult as the Utah local media and BYU fans have led you to believe. But does that mean BYU will have an easy time getting even bowl eligible? No.
But if you look at the teams on the schedule, you can start to see the possibility of 8 or more wins.