In a year that is truly unlike any other in college football, we have hit a period of confusion and disagreement as it pertains to ranking teams. No. 1 Clemson remains the top team in the new Coaches Poll after improving to 2-0 with a 49-0 win against The Citadel, but it is not clear how the coaches who vote have decided to rank the Big Ten teams who just this week announced their fall 2020 schedule.
The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC were removed from consideration when the first update to the preseason rankings was released after Week 2, but in the week since we have gotten the Big Ten announcements that it would be playing and doing so with an eight-game fall 2020 schedule. Teams like Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan won't be playing until Oct. 24, but the rankings have included plenty of SEC teams that have been waiting until Sept. 26 to take the field.
So with confusion about process, now we get rankings that are just befuddling. Ohio State is a team that many consider a national championship contender in the same conversation with Clemson and Alabama. After getting pulled from the Coaches Poll a week ago, the Buckeyes make their return at No. 10, one spot behind Texas and one spot ahead of Texas A&M.
Were the Buckeyes punished in the rankings by the coaches or was this just miscommunication that we expect to be ironed out over the coming weeks? The rankings for Penn State (No. 13), Wisconsin (No. 17), Michigan (No. 19) and Minnesota (No. 22) are slightly less egregious in terms of their relation to the preseason expectation. But the message is clear in terms of the Coaches Poll as a whole: The Big Ten is back, and its teams will be ranked throughout the one-month lead-up to the first week conference play.
Check out the full Coaches Poll below. First-place votes are in parenthesis.
1. Clemson (44)
2. Alabama (1)
5. LSU (1)
7. Notre Dame
10. Ohio State (2)
11. Texas A&M
12. North Carolina
13. Penn State
18. Oklahoma State
24. Virginia Tech
Dropped out: No. 16 Louisville; No. 20 Kentucky; No. 23 Appalachian State; No. 24 Baylor; No. 25 Army
Others receiving votes: Kentucky 146; Pittsburgh 140; Army 121; Baylor 57; Louisville 53; Southern Methodist 42; West Virginia 41; Marshall 40; Iowa 39; Texas Christian 26; Virginia 24; South Carolina 22; Boston College 20; Appalachian State 12; Mississippi 10; Mississippi State 7; Arkansas St. 6; NC State 5; Nebraska 4; Georgia Tech 4; Coastal Carolina 4; Air Force 3; Louisiana Tech 2