Nebraska didn’t land in the preseason Coaches Poll released Tuesday, but the Huskers did get a little more respect from the coaches than most outlets are offering in 2017.
Nebraska received 23 votes in the poll. That equates to a ranking of 36th nationally, one spot behind Northwestern and two spots behind week-two opponent Oregon.
Alabama topped the preseason poll for the second consecutive season with 49 first-place votes, followed by Ohio State (5), Florida State (4), USC and Clemson (4).
Some quick thoughts and reactions to the first Coaches Poll of the season:
>>Mike Riley has yet to start a season at Nebraska with the Huskers ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll. The last time that happened was in 2014 when Nebraska entered the season at No. 22.
>>The SEC once again led all conferences with six teams in the poll, but just one is ranked in the top 10. No. 12 LSU and No. 13 Auburn just missed. The ACC and Big 12 each had five teams ranked.
>>The Big Ten only had four teams make the top 25 but all four are in the top 10: No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 Penn State, No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Wisconsin. That may seem like a lot of residual respect for a Wolverines team with a lot to replace, but the Stassen preseason consensus has Michigan at No. 11 so far.
>>Speaking of which, the Big 12 is an interesting case study here. No. 19 Kansas State and No. 20 West Virginia are getting a lot of respect from the coaches. Preseason consensus has those two teams at Nos. 26 and 27 respectively. Meanwhile Texas, No. 19 according to the preseason consensus, comes in at No. 23 in the poll.
>>Watch out for the ACC. Not only is it the only conference with two top five teams, but it has a couple of teams who could make big jumps this season. No. 17 Louisville is a little tough to assess. Good on paper, but last year’s season was such a magic ride you almost have to expect a few more bumps in the road in 2017. (And even if they come, 9-4 might still be the likely outcome.) I like Miami a lot at No. 18. I think the Hurricanes will finish ranked higher than that. I also like No. 22 Virginia Tech, though I’d probably like the Hokies more if the quarterback situation was settled.