The inherent problem, of course, is that if a pecking order is established prior to the season, the teams that are thought to be strong have a huge advantage over those who are not. How often does a team picked to finish in the top 10 lose three or four games and never drop out of the rankings? Conversely, how often does a lightly regarded (at least in May) team get on a roll and have too much ground to cover to climb in those same polls?
Still, I'm a fan of these ridiculous ratings because I want to know what people think. And so do you.
I bring this all up because there's a new phenomenon out there now that I just can't enjoy. It's the watch list.
Sure, they've been out there for a few years now, touting a group of defensive backs or offensive linemen or receivers or punters or whatever for some award named after a guy few of the potential honorees even know (show me a kicker who knows who Lou Groza was or a quarterback who has ever heard of Davey O'Brien).
When there were only a few of these awards it was kind of novel, I suppose.
But now, get this: There's actually a group that organizes these watch lists and has a list of release dates for them. Really. It's the National College Football Awards Association, and now through July 18 the group is publishing its watch lists for 15 different awards.
Shoot, at least in the case of preseason Top 25 lists it's always some independent publication or a writer or blogger for the publication (until the actual preseason writers and coaches polls in August) who is just trying to show how smart he is by throwing that stuff out there. But an organization coordinating watch lists? Wow.
Then again, even reputable organizations get carried away sometimes. Sure, all conferences have preseason team ratings, and some have preseason all-star teams voted on by either coaches or the media. The Big East asks the media to vote on preseason football rankings and the coaches to vote on the basketball rankings and a preseason all-star team. All of which is great.
But then they also ask those coaches to pick a preseason rookie of the year in basketball. Before he's ever laced up a sneaker for the official start of practice.
Isn't it all just getting out of hand?
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.