It's hard to tell how good a lot of these teams are.
The standard schedule is 8 conference games, perhaps two reasonably challenging games vs. P5 opponenets, and 2 cream-puffs (bad G5 teams or FCS or even a local D-2).
So you roll up 70 points vs. some cream-puffs and everybody says: "WOW look at these guys !"
I watched quite a bit of Mississippi vs. LSU last week. I think Ole Miss looked INEPT.
Wallace lacked poise with the game on the line, and the coach couldn't make up his mind about FG or TD at the end of regulation,
wound up with Delay of game, which took them out of FG range, then had Wallace hurl a pass into triple-coverage short of the goal line for a game-ending INT.
THAT WAS PATHETIC !!! To see a team with such an unprepared coaching staff ranked at the top of the polls shoud tell you something.
When the BCS used a Coaches Poll, numerous coaches admitted THEY did not actually fill out the poll them selves, they handed the form to the Sports Information Director.
So the poll rankings are left up to somebody whose job does not require him / her to actually watch any games, which provides a lot of ignorance regarding teams from other conferences.
So instead of watching all 120+ FBS schools, they fall back on historical knowledge.
Alabama - they've got Nick Saban, they're always pretty good !
Auburn - they beat 'Bama last year, they're probably pretty good this year....
Ole Miss / MSU - they have a good record, they play in the SEC West - they shoudl be ranked way up there.
LSU - they have Les Miles and won 2 National Championships in the past decade or so - they should be up there...
Granted the SEC west is a gauntlet, and if you can emerge with 0 or 1 loss, you deserve to be in the Final Four (CFP).
However, a few of these teams will fall by the wayside between now and December.
Stassen has run some pretty good numbers on this subject matter. Here's their breakdown of cumulative overrated/underrated college football teams from 1989 through 2013. That's long-term, near two and half decades, and certainly long enough to show a pattern. Obviously any of these listings can vary and are subject to human and statistical errors. Nevertheless, it is not an opinion piece, but shows the real numbers. Scroll down on the list, the bottom grouping shows the individual schools, not by conference, who have been the highest in being overrated. The underrated hang at the top.http://preseason.stassen.com/over-under/all-teams.html
If the B12 are victims of the "sinister" (sic) ESPN in behalf of the SEC, here's a 2013 piece from the B12 on ESPN.GO. http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id ... m-since-08
By the way, the #1 team in the country currently (and I emphasize currently), Mississippi State, was not ranked in any of the major pre-season polls. Even within the SEC, they were picked to finish 6 or 7 in the west. It must have been the most fantastic conspiracy ever in college football by ESPN, the SEC, and bribing all the pollsters, sportswriters, from every corner of the country at mid-season. Maybe they hired the Russians to alter the computer software. You think?