2018 College Football Preseason Polls For Every Conference
We’ll point at this in November and laugh.
Now is the time on The Bracket Yard when we aggregate 2018 college football preseason polls!
Each and every conference has its media availability before the beginning of summer training camp, and this is the place where you can see how each team fared in the eyes of the media and/or coaches. Wondering how Ole Miss is projected to finish in the SEC West? Curious about Oregon’s prediction in the Pac-12 North? Eager to see how Notre Dame finishes? Not on this list you won’t. This article is only for teams that picked a conference.
As they happen, the results of the preseason polls will generate below with instant analysis. That’s why you come here.
Parenthesis below represent first-place votes.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: ACC
ACC Atlantic Prediction 2018
|1||Clemson Tigers||(145)||1,031 pts|
|2||Florida State Seminoles||(1)||789 pts|
|3||North Carolina State Wolfpack||(2)||712 pts|
|4||Boston College Eagles||545 pts|
|5||Louisville Cardinals||422 pts|
|6||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||413 pts|
|7||Syracuse Orange||232 pts|
ACC Coastal Prediction 2018
|1||Miami Hurricanes||(122)||998 pts|
|2||Virginia Tech Hokies||(16)||838 pts|
|3||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||(8)||654 pts|
|4||Duke Blue Devils||(1)||607 pts|
|5||Pittsburgh Panthers||420 pts|
|6||North Carolina Tar Heels||(1)||370 pts|
|7||Virginia Cavaliers||257 pts|
ACC Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Clemson Tigers||139 votes|
|2||Miami Hurricanes||5 votes|
|3||North Carolina State Wolfpack||2 votes|
|T-4||Florida State Seminoles||1 vote|
|T-4||Virginia Tech Hokies||1 vote|
Clemson is the team to beat in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and evidently by a mile. Let’s be clear, though: both Clemson and Miami are the two best teams in the conference, but the theoretical ACC title game in December wouldn’t be as lopsided as this vote. There are a million reasons why someone would pick Clemson to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, the first of which is THEY’RE REALLY GOOD. Hell, Clemson could win the whole thing this season.
The race for second in the Atlantic is surprisingly close between the Seminoles and Wolfpack. NC State has been seen as a dark horse for a year or two now, and maybe this is their year to shine.
In the Coastal, it’s a closer race, as the voters gave Virginia Tech much of the respect they are due. Third through fifth or sixth should be getting swapped around all season.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: American
AAC West Prediction 2018
|1||Memphis Tigers||(23)||171 pts|
|2||Houston Cougars||(4)||146 pts|
|3||Navy Midshipmen||(3)||129 pts|
|4||SMU Mustangs||72 pts|
|5||Tulane Green Wave||68 pts|
|6||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||44 pts|
AAC East Prediction 2018
|1||UCF Knights||(25)||175 pts|
|2||South Florida Bulls||(5)||140 pts|
|3||Temple Owls||132 pts|
|4||Cincinnati Bearcats||91 pts|
|5||Connecticut Huskies||51 pts|
|6||East Carolina Pirates||41 pts|
American Champion Prediction 2018
|1||UCF Knights||19 votes|
|2||Memphis Tigers||7 votes|
|3||South Florida Bulls||3 votes|
|4||Houston Cougars||1 vote|
UCF are the kings of this conference until they’re not, and if you want to win the American, you have to go through them. It is no suprise that they were the favorite of the majority of voters. Memphis is getting plenty of respect as well, and they happen to be in a different division than UCF and USF. Houston won’t be easy to bypass in that division, and you never know what Navy can do. That triple option sometimes gives fits to opposing defenses, but Memphis is the best team on paper in that division.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Big 12
Big 12 Regular Season Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Oklahoma Sooners||(46)||509 pts|
|2||West Virginia Mountaineers||(2)||432 pts|
|3||TCU Horned Frogs||(1)||390 pts|
|4||Texas Longhorns||(1)||370 pts|
|5||Oklahoma State Cowboys||300 pts|
|6||Kansas State Wildcats||(2)||283 pts|
|7||Iowa State Cyclones||250 pts|
|8||Texas Tech Red Raiders||149 pts|
|9||Baylor Bears||125 pts|
|10||Kansas Jayhawks||52 pts|
Oklahoma is a whopping favorite to win the conference again, and two through six in the Big 12 is up in the air. That is, if the Big 12 is as good as it was last year. Who needs Baker Mayfield, I guess.
This is a league that could get eight teams into bowls again, with Kansas being the only one with crater-low expectations.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Big Ten
Big Ten West Prediction 2018
|1||Wisconsin Badgers||(28)||196 pts|
|2||Iowa Hawkeyes||155 pts|
|3||Northwestern Wildcats||138 pts|
|4||Nebraska Cornhuskers||104 pts|
|5||Purdue Boilermakers||98.5 pts|
|6||Minnesota Golden Gophers||64.5 pts|
|7||Illinois Fighting Illini||28 pts|
Big Ten East Prediction 2018
|1||Ohio State Buckeyes||(23.5)||191.5 pts|
|2||Michigan State Spartans||(2)||142 pts|
|3||Penn State Nittany Lions||(1)||141.5 pts|
|4||Michigan Wolverines||(1.5)||140.5 pts|
|5||Maryland Terrapins||75.5 pts|
|6||Indiana Hoosiers||60 pts|
|7||Rutgers Scarlet Knights||33 pts|
Big Ten Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Ohio State Buckeyes||14 votes|
|2||Wisconsin Badgers||13 votes|
|3||Michigan State Spartans||1 vote|
The Big Ten East is l-o-a-d-e-d. First through fourth will be a battle, and even though Ohio State is an overwhelming favorite, don’t tell me they can’t get picked off by Michigan State, Penn State, or Michigan. Speaking of the Maize and Blue, you know the peasants are going to revolt if the Wolverines have another season coming up as Ohio State’s little brother. Jim Harbaugh was supposed to get Michigan into the College Football Playoff, but it’s Ohio State that’s contending.
The West looks like a cakewalk for Wisconsin, who should give Ohio State a run for the title. The Badgers not winning the division would be a huge disappointment.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Conference USA
Conference USA West Prediction 2018
|1||North Texas Mean Green||(18)|
|2||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||(4)|
|4||Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles||(1)|
Conference USA East Prediction 2018
|1||Florida Atlantic Owls||(22)|
|2||Marshall Thundering Herd||(4)|
|3||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders|
|5||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers|
|6||Old Dominion Monarchs|
This is Florida Atlantic’s conference to lose after their 2017 season to remember. The only questions remaining as we approach 2018 is if North Texas or the West winner can give the Owls a run. Maybe Marshall or even Middle Tennessee, but realistically, FAU is the best team in their division and conference.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: MAC
MAC West Prediction 2018
|1||Northern Illinois Huskies||(15)||133 pts|
|2||Toledo Rockets||(7)||125 pts|
|3||Western Michigan Broncos||(1)||87 pts|
|4||Eastern Michigan Eagles||67 pts|
|5||Central Michigan Chippewas||(1)||58 pts|
|6||Ball State Cardinals||34 pts|
MAC East Prediction 2018
|1||Ohio Bobcats||(21)||140 pts|
|2||Buffalo Bulls||(1)||112 pts|
|3||Miami RedHawks||(2)||95 pts|
|4||Akron Zips||74 pts|
|5||Bowling Green Falcons||58 pts|
|6||Kent State Golden Flashes||25 pts|
MAC Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Ohio Bobcats||13 votes|
|2||Toledo Rockets||5 votes|
|3||Northern Illinois Huskies||4 votes|
|T-4||Miami RedHawks||1 vote|
|T-4||Central Michigan Chippewas||1 vote|
Is the guy who voted for Central Michigan to win the MAC working for the student newspaper?
This is a significant poll in that it establishes Ohio, not Toledo, as the team to beat. Ohio has one of the most experienced teams in the conference in terms of starters returning, and should the Bobcats fulfill this prophecy, it would be their first conference title in 50 years.
The MAC is likely to have some duds in 2018, but its top four, who are probably Ohio, Toledo, Buffalo, and NIU in no particular order, should all be bowl-bound at least.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Mountain West
MWC Mountain Division Prediction 2018
|1||Boise State Broncos||(22)||132 pts|
|2||Wyoming Cowboys||95 pts|
|3||Colorado State Rams||82 pts|
|4||Utah State Aggies||78 pts|
|5||Air Force Falcons||52 pts|
|6||New Mexico Lobos||23 pts|
MWC West Division Prediction 2018
|1||Fresno State Bulldogs||(16)||126 pts|
|2||San Diego State Aztecs/td>||(6)||116 pts|
|3||UNLV Runnin’ Rebels||78 pts|
|4||Nevada Wolf Pack||72 pts|
|5||Hawaii Rainbow Warriors||45 pts|
|6||San Jose State Spartans||25 pts|
What a surprise: the voters like Boise State. You have to admit, they have earned the credit they get on an annual basis. This is a program usually ranked or on the verge of it at any given point in the college football season. Make note of Wyoming, however, a team that is returning 18 of its 22 starters from last season. Unfortunately for them, one of them is not the quarterback, but Craig Bohl will get the most out of this team.
The team with the most returning starters? Believe it or not, it’s Utah State with 18. Then again, Kansas out of the Big 12 leads the nation with 19 players coming back, and that may or may not be a good thing.
Finally, if New Mexico and/or San Jose State finished anywhere other than last, it would be a big surprise. This is considering that they were near-unanimous choices to land there. Prove ’em wrong, gentlemen.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Pac-12
Pac-12 North Division Prediction 2018
|1||Washington Huskies||(40)||249 pts|
|2||Stanford Cardinal||(1)||198 pts|
|3||Oregon Ducks||(1)||178 pts|
|4||California Golden Bears||108 pts|
|5||Washington State Cougars||98 pts|
|6||Oregon State Beavers||45 pts|
Pac-12 South Division Prediction 2018
|1||USC Trojans||(22)||225 pts|
|2||Utah Utes||(14)||209 pts|
|3||Arizona Wildcats||(3)||178 pts|
|4||UCLA Bruins||(2)||116 pts|
|5||Colorado Buffaloes||(1)||80 pts|
|6||Arizona State Sun Devils||72 pts|
Pac-12 Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Washington Huskies||37 votes|
|2||USC Trojans||2 votes|
|T-3||Oregon Ducks||1 vote|
|T-3||Stanford Cardinal||1 vote|
|T-3||UCLA Bruins||1 vote|
Washington remains the team to beat in the Pac-12, until they’re not. The Pac-12 North seems like it should be a runaway, though a lot depends on how Stanford and Oregon look this year. Bryce Love coming back in 2018 helps the Cardinal’s case. Otherwise, Mario Cristobal is getting another shot at head coaching, this time with a team with a much higher ceiling than FIU.
Meanwhile, the South division is very interesting. USC got a bare majority of the 42 votes cast, with all but one of the six teams getting a first-place vote. The wild card here is UCLA under Chip Kelly. It was a lackluster season in Westwood in 2017, but Kelly knows this conference. The problem is he doesn’t have Josh Rosen anymore and they lost five good players to the Draft overall.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: SEC
SEC West Prediction 2018
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||(263)||1,971 pts|
|2||Auburn Tigers||(19)||1,664 pts|
|3||Mississippi State Bulldogs||(2)||1,239 pts|
|4||Texas A&M Aggies||1,091 pts|
|5||LSU Tigers||1,025 pts|
|6||Mississippi Rebels||578 pts|
|7||Arkansas Razorbacks||412 pts|
SEC East Prediction 2018
|1||Georgia Bulldogs||(271)||1,977 pts|
|2||South Carolina Gamecocks||(8)||1,535 pts|
|3||Florida Gators||(4)||1,441 pts|
|4||Missouri Tigers||1,057 pts|
|5||Kentucky Wildcats||(1)||874 pts|
|6||Tennessee Volunteers||(1)||704 pts|
|7||Vanderbilt Commodores||392 pts|
SEC Champion Prediction 2018
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||193 votes|
|2||Georgia Bulldogs||69 votes|
|3||Auburn Tigers||14 votes|
|4||South Carolina Gamecocks||4 votes|
|5||Florida Gators||2 votes|
|T-6||Mississippi State Bulldogs||1 vote|
|T-6||Missouri Tigers||1 vote|
Of course Alabama and Georgia are going to be the top vote-getters in the SEC: they played in an epic national championship game last season. There is no reason to think both teams won’t contend again for the SEC crown and more. What we will wait to see is if any other contender in the respective divisions can step up to the plate. Alabama’s in-state, historical rival Auburn has a chance, though some like this Mississippi State team under coach Joe Moorhead. It might be a bridge too far for the Bulldogs this season, but at least they will be fun to watch.
2018 College Football Preseason Polls: Sun Belt
Sun Belt West Prediction 2018
|1||Arkansas State Red Wolves||(9)||49 pts|
|2||UL-Monroe Warhawks||37 pts|
|3||South Alabama Jaguars||(1)||26 pts|
|4||Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns||25 pts|
|5||Texas State Bobcats||13 pts|
Sun Belt East Prediction 2018
|1||Appalachian State Mountaineers||(6)||46 pts|
|2||Troy Trojans||(4)||44 pts|
|3||Georgia State Panthers||26 pts|
|4||Georgia Southern Eagles||22 pts|
|5||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||12 pts|
Arkansas State was voted the projected conference champion for 2018.
Now, if you read what we said about the Sun Belt, maybe you won’t care too much about who’s going to come out on top. Arkansas State edged out the field as the projected conference winner this season despite strong bids from App State and Troy. Their team was the most potent offense in the Sun Belt last season, and they are returning seven starters on offense this year.