A few minutes ago, twitter was set aflame by the announcement of the USA Today Preseason Coaches' Poll. Baylor fans, in particular, were incensed by the fact that our Bears were not included, while other, seemingly less-deserving teams, were. The fact that the UCLA Bruins came in at 21, 8 spots ahead of the "receiving votes" Baylor Bears, seriously pissed people off. For the record, Baylor fans, if you are upset about the Bears being too low, you are not at all alone.
Shortly after this poll became known, I said on twitter that it didn't really upset me all that much since our team has somewhat obvious questions yet to be answered. Expressing my confidence that those questions would be answered didn't get me off the hook, and I was soon inundated by the aforementioned incensed fans. To be honest, I'm excited that our fanbase cares so much to get pissed at me for not being pissed.
I'm not that upset about this poll for a couple of reasons, most of which having to do with the fact that it is a preseason Coaches' Poll and thus, largely meaningless. To the extent that I wanted our team to be rewarded for last year's late-season run, yeah, it sucks that they weren't. And I do firmly believe that our team is, right now, probably better than at least a few on this list, not least of them Northwestern.
Mostly, though, I'm not upset about this because I recognize that although I have supreme confidence in Bryce Petty to come in and run our offense from day one and Art Briles to prepare him for that role, others might not. They may instead focus on a defense that has much to prove coming off last year, or a receiving corps that is strangely untested for a Baylor team. It certainly isn't that outside the realm of reasonable behavior to look at a defense that has struggled so much in recent years and wonder whether the last few games of last year was a mirage. (I don't think it was.)
The best news from all this, I think, is that from the reactions of the players I follow on twitter, they think they should be ranked, so hopefully they draw from this that they have something to prove and get that helpful little chip on their shoulder going into the season. With our schedule, it shouldn't be long before we vacate the "receiving votes" category and start getting the recognition we so crave. I'm confident it happens sooner than later, even if it isn't happening now. Now if we start blowing people away and don't get the credit for it that we'll deserve, THEN I'll be pissed. Righteously pissed.
|2||Ohio St. (3)||12-0||1427||NR|
|6||Texas A&M (1)||11-2||1215||5|
|Schools Dropped Out|
|No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).|
|Others Receiving Votes|
|Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.|