2019 College Football Preseason Polls: The Results
Sportswriters heading for the ballot.
The 2019 college football preseason polls will let us know who the sports media thinks will win each conference. Sometimes, they are right, and sometimes, they are not.
It is the same as any of us making sports predictions. Sometimes, The Bracket Yard is close to the truth, but often enough, we flop. The writers, for example, picking Alabama to win the SEC again this year would not be going out on a limb. Do they see any surprise teams coming forward to win these conferences? We will find out in due time, and by December we will know if they got it right.
As the 2019 preseason polls roll in, each conference will be updated below. In the meantime, be sure to check out the college football schedules for every single team: ACC | American | Big 12 | Big Ten | C-USA | Independent | MAC | MWC | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: ACC
ACC Media Days: July 17-18, Charlotte, NC
Clemson, the defending national champions, are still the team to beat in the Atlantic Coast Conference according to its media.
ACC Atlantic Division
|1||Clemson Tigers||(171)||1,209 pts|
|2||Syracuse Orange||(2)||913 pts|
|3||Florida State Seminoles||753 pts|
|4||North Carolina State Wolfpack||666 pts|
|5||Boston College Eagles||588 pts|
|6||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||462 pts|
|7||Louisville Cardinals||253 pts|
ACC Coastal Division
|1||Virginia Cavaliers||(82)||1,003 pts|
|2||Miami Hurricanes||(55)||992 pts|
|3||Virginia Tech Hokies||(20)||827 pts|
|4||Pittsburgh Panthers||(8)||691 pts|
|5||Duke Blue Devils||(6)||566 pts|
|6||North Carolina Tar Heels||(1)||463 pts|
|7||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||(1)||302 pts|
Few believe anyone will knock Clemson off of their perch at the top of the ACC Atlantic. Florida State is favored to move back up in the division after a dismal 2018, but this may be a see-it-to-believe-it proposition. The Seminoles do not hurt for talent, but that did them no good last season. FSU went 12-13 in their last two campaigns.
Out in the Coastal Division, it once again appears to be a free-for-all. Every team got a first-place vote, including last-place Georgia Tech. Virginia, a team more known for its basketball prowess, is the favorite here, but let’s be fair: this division could come down to the last weekend of the season. Given how things have gone for the Hoos, they had better hope they lock up the Coastal before the Commonwealth Cup.
Miami is picked high every year and they seem to disappoint every year. Will 2019 be any different? To be fair, at least they made the ACC title game once, even though they got boatraced.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: American
American Media Days: July 15-16, Newport, RI
To the surprise of nobody, the favorites in the American are the Univ. of Central Florida Knights, per the league’s 2019 preseason poll.
American East Division
|1||UCF Knights||(19)||169 pts|
|2||Cincinnati Bearcats||(11)||157 pts|
|3||South Florida Bulls||107 pts|
|4||Temple Owls||101 pts|
|5||East Carolina Pirates||66 pts|
|6||Connecticut Huskies||30 pts|
American West Division
|1||Memphis Tigers||(15)||165 pts|
|2||Houston Cougars||(14)||162 pts|
|3||Tulane Green Wave||108 pts|
|4||SMU Mustangs||(1)||87 pts|
|5||Navy Midshipmen||70 pts|
|6||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||38 pts|
The media see competition for UCF at the top of the East Division this year from Cincinnati, but the real division race to watch in the American is the West. Memphis was barely a favorite over Houston.
A majority did not pick the Knights to repeat as champions of the conference, though a plurality of 40 percent did. Cincinnati, Memphis, and Houston are seen as the only threats to UCF this season, but you know, play the games first.
2019 College Football Preseason Poll: Big 12
Big 12 Media Days: July 15-16, Arlington, TX
The Big 12’s media poll already took place, ahead of their media days. Once again, the defending champion Oklahoma Sooners are the conference favorites.
|1||Oklahoma Sooners||(68)||761 pts|
|2||Texas Longhorns||(9)||696 pts|
|3||Iowa State Cyclones||589 pts|
|4||TCU Horned Frogs||474 pts|
|5||Oklahoma State Cowboys||460 pts|
|6||Baylor Bears||453 pts|
|7||Texas Tech Red Raiders||281 pts|
|8||West Virginia Mountaineers||241 pts|
|9||Kansas State Wildcats||191 pts|
|10||Kansas Jayhawks||89 pts|
Oklahoma took 68 out of 77 first place votes (88.3 percent). In Les Miles’ first season in Kansas, the Jayhawks have again been picked last. At least they got more points than last year.
Going into the 2019 Big 12 football season, there are several clear tiers. Oklahoma, Texas, and maybe Iowa State are the top tier, with the Cyclones being perhaps not good enough for the top but too good for the second tier. That second tier of teams includes TCU, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. It is then a big drop down to Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kansas State, and Kansas, those lagging behind all the others.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: Big Ten
Big Ten Media Days: July 18-19, Chicago, IL
The Cleveland.com Big Ten preseason poll is out, and Michigan is in for now. Please recall that the Big Ten no longer does a media preseason poll, leaving the media themselves to do the organization and voting.
Big Ten East Division
|1||Michigan Wolverines||(20)||222 pts|
|2||Ohio State Buckeyes||(14)||214 pts|
|3||Michigan State Spartans||156 pts|
|4||Penn State Nittany Lions||154 pts|
|5||Indiana Hoosiers||86.5 pts|
|6||Maryland Terrapins||82.5 pts|
|7||Rutgers Scarlet Knights||37 pts|
Big Ten West Division
|1||Nebraska Cornhuskers||(14)||198 pts|
|2||Iowa Hawkeyes||(14)||194.5 pts|
|3||Wisconsin Badgers||(4)||172.5 pts|
|4||Northwestern Wildcats||(1)||142.5 pts|
|5||Purdue Boilermakers||110.5 pts|
|6||Minnesota Golden Gophers||(1)||100 pts|
|7||Illinois Fighting Illini||34 pts|
Big Ten Championship
|2||Ohio State Buckeyes||14|
While the voters see the Big Ten East as the two-horse race of titans we expect, the Big Ten West appears to be a very competitive division. Nebraska just squeaked out the first-place spot over Iowa, with several other teams in range. Time will tell if Scott Frost can get his team into the Big Ten title game.
Whether Michigan or Ohio State, should either emerge from their division, they would be considered heavy favorites to win the conference. The Wolverines and Buckeyes combined for 91 percent of championship winner votes.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: Conference USA
C-USA Media Days: July 17-18, Frisco, TX
The Conference USA media likes North Texas, but who else do they favor?
C-USA East Division
|1||Marshall Thundering Herd||(14)|
|3||Florida Atlantic Owls||(3)|
|4||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders|
|5||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers|
|6||Old Dominion Monarchs|
C-USA West Division
|1||North Texas Mean Green||(20)|
|2||Southern Miss Golden Eagles||(4)|
|3||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs|
Defending champions UAB were picked fourth in their division as North Texas are the favorites to win there. Meanwhile, East Division voters like Marshall to edge out the two Florida schools.
The conference did not pick a championship game winner.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: MAC
MAC Media Days: July 23, Detroit, MI
MAC media members are saying “let’s try this again” by picking Ohio to top the conference in 2019.
MAC East Division
|1||Ohio Bobcats||(24)||144 pts|
|2||Miami-Ohio Redhawks||107 pts|
|3||Buffalo Bulls||100 pts|
|4||Kent State Golden Flashes||62 pts|
|5||Akron Zips||54 pts|
|6||Bowling Green Falcons||37 pts|
MAC West Division
|1||Toledo Rockets||(15)||127 pts|
|2||Western Michigan Broncos||(5)||112 pts|
|3||Northern Illinois Huskies||(3)||102 pts|
|4||Eastern Michigan Eagles||83 pts|
|5||Ball State Cardinals||43 pts|
|6||Central Michigan Chippewas||(1)||36 pts|
|3||Western Michigan Broncos||2|
|T-4||Northern Illinois Huskies||1|
|T-4||Central Michigan Chippewas||1|
This is not that far off of last year’s poll which had Northern Illinois first in the West and Toledo second, while Ohio was first and Buffalo was second. Ohio also got 13 championship votes last time around, but it was Northern Illinois who won. The same guy who voted for Central Michigan in 2018 is keeping the dream alive in 2019. You love to see that fighting Chippewa spirit.
2019 College Football Preseason Poll: MWC
MWC Media Days: July 23-24, Las Vegas, NV
The Mountain West did not predict a conference champion, but they did predict a rematch of the 2018 title game between Fresno State and Boise State.
|1||Boise State Broncos||(15)||120 pts|
|2||Utah State Aggies||(6)||108 pts|
|3||Air Force Falcons||73 pts|
|4||Wyoming Cowboys||66 pts|
|5||Colorado State Rams||52 pts|
|6||New Mexico Lobos||22 pts|
|1||Fresno State Bulldogs||(17)||122 pts|
|2||San Diego State Aztecs||(3)||106 pts|
|3||Nevada Wolf Pack||74 pts|
|4||Hawaii Warriors||(1)||67 pts|
|5||UNLV Rebels||51 pts|
|6||San Jose State Spartans||21 pts|
On sheer points, Fresno State is the top team. Wouldn’t want to be New Mexico or San Jose State these days.
The Mountain Division appears to be a two-horse race, and so does the West to be honest, however Hawaii got a vote as well.
2019 College Football Preseason Poll: Pac-12
Pac-12 Media Days: July 24, Hollywood, CA
Could this be the year of the Ute? The Pac-12 media seems to think so.
Pac-12 North Division
|1||Oregon Ducks||(17)||190 pts|
|2||Washington Huskies||(17)||189 pts|
|3||Stanford Cardinal||129 pts|
|4||Washington State Cougars||(1)||108 pts|
|5||California Golden Bears||81 pts|
|6||Oregon State Beavers||38 pts|
Pac-12 South Division
|1||Utah Utes||(33)||206 pts|
|2||USC Trojans||(2)||167 pts|
|T-3||Arizona State Sun Devils||118 pts|
|T-3||UCLA Bruins||118 pts|
|5||Arizona Wildcats||85 pts|
|6||Colorado Buffaloes||46 pts|
|5||Washington State Cougars||1|
The Pac-12 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive conferences in college football. First, look at the North Division: just one point separates Oregon from Washington, and both got the same number of first-place votes. While the South Division does not look like it will be much of a race, the Pac-12 title is a toss-up.
2019 College Football Preseason Polls: SEC
SEC Media Days: July 15-18, Hoover, AL
Alabama, once again, was the pick to win the Southeastern Conference.
SEC East Division
|1||Georgia Bulldogs||(233)||1,789 pts|
|2||Florida Gators||(21)||1,499 pts|
|3||Missouri Tigers||(3)||1,149 pts|
|4||South Carolina Gamecocks||(1)||883 pts|
|5||Tennessee Volunteers||(1)||804 pts|
|6||Kentucky Wildcats||(1)||798 pts|
|7||Vanderbilt Commodores||358 pts|
SEC West Division
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||(253)||1,813 pts|
|2||LSU Tigers||(5)||1,493 pts|
|3||Texas A&M Aggies||1,268 pts|
|4||Auburn Tigers||(1)||1,090 pts|
|5||Mississippi State Bulldogs||(1)||769 pts|
|6||Mississippi Rebels||504 pts|
|7||Arkansas Razorbacks||343 pts|
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||203|
|6||Mississippi State Bulldogs||1|
|7||South Carolina Gamecocks||1|
Some of the media voters did not take this seriously; case in point, someone voted for Tennessee to win the SEC Championship.
Just seven out of 260 picked against Alabama to win the SEC West, which is a bold strategy but it does happen every now and then. Remember the Kick-Six in 2013?
2019 College Football Preseason Poll: Sun Belt
Sun Belt Media Days: July 22, New Orleans, LA
This was a coaches’ preseason poll, but it still counts. Sun Belt coaches picked Appalachian State and Louisiana (Lafayette) to win their respective divisions.
Sun Belt East Division
|1||Appalachian State Mountaineers||(7)||46 pts|
|2||Troy Trojans||(21)||39 pts|
|3||Georgia Southern Eagles||(2)||35 pts|
|4||Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||17 pts|
|5||Georgia State Panthers||13 pts|
Sun Belt West Division
|1||Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns||(6)||46 pts|
|2||Arkansas State Red Wolves||(3)||42 pts|
|3||Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks||27 pts|
|4||South Alabama Jaguars||(1)||19 pts|
|5||Texas State Bobcats||16 pts|
Appalachian State was also picked to win the conference championship. They got the same number of points in their division as did the Ragin’ Cajuns, the team they beat in the conference title game last year.
Revisiting 2018 Media Days
The teams predicted to win the Power Five conferences were Clemson (correct), Oklahoma (correct), Ohio State (correct), Washington (correct), and Alabama (correct).
Among the Group of Five conferences, media presences picked UCF (correct), Florida Atlantic (incorrect), Ohio (incorrect), Boise State (incorrect), and Arkansas State (incorrect).
2019 College Football: What’s Next?
Following media days, we begin the march towards the kickoff of the 2019 college football season. There will be two “Week Zero” games on Saturday, August 24 to kick off the season: Miami-FL vs. Florida and Arizona at Hawaii.