2008 LSU Football: The Coaches Poll and Strength of Schedule. Do they add up?

By: Chris Fontenot

Who’s my pick to win it all? Let’s see, Ohio State plays USC, Wisconsin, and Illinois on the road...Penn State and Michigan at home- scratch them.

USC plays Ohio State, Oregon, ASU, Cal, ND at home and UCLA neutral. Their schedule favors them to run the table but Oklahoma also has a very favorable schedule that could very well pit them against USC, but USC wins.

Georgia? They’ll have a very difficult time getting through their schedule unscathed. My dark horse is West Virginia because of several reasons. (1) They were in the mix last year until a fluke loss, (2) Motivation from their coach bailing (3) Noel Devine & Pat White (4) Favorable schedule- only two ranked teams being Cinci and Auburn but both at home.

2008 Coaches Poll

1. Georgia

2. USC

3. Ohio State

4. Oklahoma

5. Florida

6. LSU

7. Missouri

8. West Virginia

9. Clemson

10. Texas

11. Auburn

12. Wisconsin

13. Kansas

14. Texas Tech

15. Virginia Tech

16. Arizona State

17. B.Y.U.

18. Tennessee

19. Illinois

20. Oregon

21. South Florida

22. Penn State

23. Wake Forest

24. Michigan

25. Fresno State

In looking at this, keep in mind the final rankings at the end of the year are what determines TRUE strength of schedule. I often hear fans say, “So-and-so was ranked # X when we played them.”

It’s where teams are ranked on the final poll that really indicates how good they were in any given season. To dismiss that would mean any team ranked #1 all year long could be considered the National Champion.

Here are some of interest and where they stand in the nation.

SEC

Georgia = 3rd

Arkansas = 4th

Vanderbilt = 6th

Alabama = 7th

Tennessee = 9th

Mississippi = 13th

Florida = 15th

Auburn = 16th

Kentucky = 19th

S. Carolina = 22nd

LSU = 26th

Miss. State = 41st

PAC 10

UCLA = 1st

Washington = 2

USC = 8

Oregon St = 5

Stanford = 11

California = 14

Oregon. = 21

Arizona St = 25

Arizona = 20

Wash St. = 28

Big 10

Michigan St. = 10

Michigan = 12

Ohio State = 24

Penn St. = 27

Purdue = 29

Illinois = 32

Wisconsin = 40

Indiana = 51

Northwestern = 68

Iowa = 69

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