The first USA Today coaches’ poll of 2016 is out, and it doesn't look good for the Oregon Ducks, who barely squeak into the poll at No. 22.
This is Oregon’s lowest preseason ranking in the coaches’ poll since 2007 when they were unranked going into the season. In every poll since then, they've been ranked 20th or higher to start the season.
This is also a dramatic difference from where Oregon has been ranked to start the year during this decade. Since 2011, Oregon’s lowest preseason ranking in the coaches’ poll was No. 5 in 2015 and 2012.
Starting low in the polls doesn't mean a whole lot though as 2007 shows us, when the Ducks began the year unranked before climbing as high as No. 2 in the nation. No one remembers at all how that season ended, really one of the greatest mysteries in sports history. Like, it just never happened. Point being that a low preseason ranking means nothing if you just win and don't stop winning.
The Pac-12 has five teams in the poll (Stanford - No. 7, USC - No. 17, Washington - No. 18, Oregon - No. 22 and UCLA - No. 24) while Utah and Washington State also received votes.
Preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||FIRST PLACE VOTES||PREVIOUS RANK|
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||0-0||1585||55||NR|
|4||Florida State Seminoles||0-0||1351||1||NR|
|5||Ohio State Buckeyes||0-0||1321||0||NR|
|9||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||0-0||1034||0||NR|
|11||Michigan State Spartans||0-0||901||0||NR|
|12||Ole Miss Rebels||0-0||792||0||NR|
|14||TCU Horned Frogs||0-0||649||0||NR|
|19||Oklahoma State Cowboys||0-0||426||0||NR|
|20||North Carolina Tar Heels||0-0||422||0||NR|
|Others Receiving Votes: Miami (Fla.) 120; Wisconsin 82; Utah 73; Boise State 73; Washington State 47; Texas A&M 37; Texas 34; Arkansas 34; Northwestern 31; Navy 30; Mississippi State 19; San Diego State 18; Nebraska 17; Auburn 17; Western Kentucky 11; Pittsburgh 8; Brigham Young 6; Appalachian State 4; Duke 3; Arizona 2; Marshall 2; Toledo 2; South Florida 2; Memphis 1; Indiana 1; Northern Illinois 1.|