College football season is just that much closer now that the official AP top-25 has been released this morning. It largely falls in line with the USA Today Coaches Poll released earlier this month, with most of the differences coming in the middle of the rankings. At the top and at the bottom, there is a great deal of agreement. In fact, the Boise State Broncos will carry a #19 ranking from both AP and the Coaches into the August 31st season opener at the new Husky Stadium.
Washington is unranked in both polls, though the team received votes in both polls. Only three votes from the coaches, but a more substantial 17 from the AP. Following this information, it’s logical to assume that BSU is favored to defeat Washington to open the season. In fact, it isn’t that simple. The pollsters consider Boise State to be a better football team, and given their continued success versus Washington’s late-season flop, that’s fair enough. But Washington will be playing at home in a brand new building. The home field advantage will be particularly strong, and the environment particularly hostile for the Broncos.
This has led some to favor the Huskies in this particular matchup, and if Coach Sark does triumph in the opener, I wouldn’t imagine the polls will shift drastically for either team. Boise State would fall, of course, but I don’t think they would fall that far for such an understandable loss. That being said, Boise does need this win due to the relative weakness of their schedule. A non-conference win over Washington would help their bowl profile even if Washington is outside of the top-25.
If Washington wins a close one, I’m not even sure they would move into the top-25 right away. They might need to win over Idaho State and Illinois in order to allow other teams to fall out and make room in the rankings. Though if the Huskies somehow light up the Broncos by thirty (very unlikely), the moves could be that much more drastic for both teams.
I apologize for the rampant speculation here, but this is a discussion of polls. Isn’t it all just speculation? I can’t wait until this season starts and, for better or for worse, we’ll have some real concrete information.