CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Preseason college football polls and rankings mean little by the end of the season. Rightfully, teams earn or lose respect throughout the season and climb or fall accordingly. (Hmm. Might be a nice way to handle our political officials.)
However you consider the preseason polls, though, most involved in voting take the task seriously. As West Virginia's Associated Press poll voter for 2013, I certainly do. I push aside preseason magazines and do my own research.
What I found is one team that's being seriously underrated in regard to the upcoming season. And I spoke on the phone to one of the coaches of that team to verify my research.
Masontown native, Glenville grad and Florida State assistant head coach Rick Trickett largely agreed with me. His Seminoles should be a force.
"I think people don't realize how many people we have," Trickett said on Wednesday.
I agree. When the Atlantic Coast Conference's media poll came out this week, FSU was ranked second to Clemson in the Atlantic Division voting - by a wide margin. Much of that, I assume, is because of standout Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd and flashy receiver Sammy Watkins.
Methinks, though, they doth hype Clemson too much - and not because a year ago at this time WVU was coming off a 70-33 Orange Bowl victory over the Tigers.
Some follow the money. I follow the recruits. I follow their growth. The Seminoles have at least 10 NFL draft prospects. At least.
"I felt our best players last year were in our bottom two classes," Trickett said. "Now they are sophomores and juniors. The only thing we don't have is a quarterback that's taken a snap. He's got to grow up a little bit. But he has a lot of talent."
That's an understatement. Trickett's son, Clint, left Florida State for WVU because of a good reason: Jameis Winston, a five-star recruit ranked by many as the nation's No. 1 2012 quarterback prospect.
That's your FSU weak link.
I know, I know. How many times have you been told Florida State was going to be a national title contender over the last decade, right? How many times have they inexplicably tripped?