Another year, another college football preseason poll without the Kentucky Wildcats.
Many fans believed the Cats would make the cut, especially after the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed their 2020 seasons. In a twist, the Associated Press actually encouraged voters to include all FBS teams, even if the team is not scheduled to play football this fall.
Nine teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 made the preseason AP Top 25. Naturally, Kentucky’s 20 votes were nine spots away from reaching the top 25 (technically only six teams, because three “others receiving votes” come from conferences that won’t be playing this fall).
|2||Ohio State||2||1,504 (21)|
Others receiving votes: Memphis 86, Virginia Tech 85, Boise State 68, Arizona State 66, Miami (FL) 42, Louisville 32, Appalachian State 26, Washington 21, Kentucky 20, Indiana 19, Baylor 15, California 11, TCU 9, Virginia 7, Navy 6, Florida State 6, SMU 3, Mississippi State 3, Air Force 3, Northwestern 1, UAB 1
Before the AP Poll was released, USA Today did take into account the absences of other conferences and re-ranked all 76 teams still planning to play football. It’s a great idea, but poorly executed, as is evident by the fact that Louisville is ranked one spot higher than Kentucky. Louisville, the team that has lost by a combined 7,382 points to Kentucky over the last two years, is ranked in USA Today’s Top 25 but Kentucky is not. Makes sense.
Once games begin, the AP will only rank teams who have taken the field. As pollsters explained, at its hear the AP Poll is supposed to be based on performance, while the preseason poll is a speculative snapshot of the season. The same will apply to All-American teams: all players are eligible in the preseason, but those who have opted out or cannot play will not be under consideration at the end of the year.