The poll results are in, and now it is time to discuss the team-related questions that we posed last week. The question that got the biggest reaction: Who is the top non-AQ team?
More than 58,000 votes were cast, and the winner was not a surprise: Boise State, with 45 percent of the vote. TCU was next at 28 percent and BYU was third with 22 percent. Houston and Tulsa received a combined 5 percent. But there were some quibbles with teams I left off the list. Most notably, UCF fans were upset that I left the Knights off the list. Here are a few of their arguments:
jeffs_ writes: UCF not even listed as a choice? Hmm, they finish Top 25 in all polls (including BCS poll), go 11-3 and win the conference, but I guess there's no room. And why does a 7-6 BYU team, that beat nobody of consequence, keep getting so much love. I understand they return a lot of starters, but they haven't really proven anything with this group.
trojansfans writes: I would replace Houston and Tulsa with UCF and SMU. Tulsa isn't that talented and although Keenum is back he was out for a year. UCF has a ton of talent and SMU has a great offense and great coaching.
Why isn't UCF on the list? There are a lot of questions on defense with Bruce Miller gone. The linebacking group lacks depth as well. Defense has led this team, so I wonder whether it will be able to pick up where the past few teams left off. A Top-25 finish was great for the program, but I do not expect the Knights to be ranked in the preseason. There are tough games at BYU, SMU and Southern Miss and home games against Tulsa and Boston College. I think the West is a stronger division, and Tulsa and Houston have the potential to have better seasons than UCF, which is why they made the list.
The question that had the closest vote: a prediction for the biggest non-AQ disappointment. Nevada and TCU were tied at 29 percent this morning, while San Diego State came in third with 24 percent. Some fans wondered why Boise State was not on the list. I see the point there, with the Broncos opening the season against Georgia and facing the unknown in the Mountain West. If they finish with two losses, that would be considered a major disappointment. Nevada and TCU made the most logical sense to me because of all the players they lose, specifically at quarterback. I am surprised the two ended up tied.
As for surprise team, Fresno State led the way. Fans are excited about the Bulldogs this season with Derek Carr taking over as the starting quarterback. Your choice for must-win coach: New Mexico's Mike Locksley, who has won two games in two seasons. And the most-lopsided vote of all: can't miss non-AQ game. TCU at Boise State ran away with the vote there with 92 percent.