The subject for today: preseason polls and the bandwagon effect. Texas A&M is clearly what I'm calling "This Year's Nebraska," a team (probably a former power) who had a good year last year and is now expected to re-establish their elite bona fides. So with that in mind...
F/+ Rk (Rec.)
|F/+ Rk (Rec.)||Preseason
|2006 California||41st (8-4)||14th (10-3)||9||14|
|2007 Wisconsin||26th (12-1)||37th (9-4)||7||21|
|2009 Virginia Tech||22nd (10-4)||4th (10-3)||7||10|
|2009 Oklahoma State||20th (9-4)||37th (9-4)||9||NR|
|2007 Texas||17th (10-3)||21st (10-3)||4||10|
|2010 Nebraska||16th (10-4)||20th (10-4)||8||20|
|2006 Florida||16th (9-3)||1st (13-1)||7||1|
|2008 Clemson||15th (9-4)||29th (7-6)||9||NR|
|2008 Auburn||14th (9-4)||61st (4-8)||10||NR|
|2006 Oklahoma||14th (8-4)||13th (11-3)||8||8|
One of these ten teams (2006 Florida) was ranked higher at the end of the season than in the preseason polls, three ended up unranked, and only four ended up performing better than they did the year before. So basically, if you ranked lower than about 14th in F/+ last year and are ranked in the preseason Top Ten, odds are good that you're not living up to expectations. Keep that in mind when thinking about Florida State (14th last year), Oklahoma State (15th), Nebraska (20th) and Texas A&M (24th).
(Then again, if you're ranked in the preseason top ten, the odds are pretty good that you're not living up to expectations no matter what, I guess. What was I talking about again?)