Encouraging dominoes are finally falling across college football among the Power 5 ranks and with staggered openers scheduled over a month-long stretch every weekend, an unprecedented 2020 season is set to begin very soon with much anticipation. The SEC became the fourth major conference last week to announce a revised schedule, a yet-to-be revealed league-only slate which kicks off on Sept. 26 — four weeks after the NCAA previously cleared all schools to begin play on Aug. 29.
The SEC followed the Big Ten and Pac-12’s lead to play a 10-game slate with a couple open dates possibilities to account for potential challenges in the face of uncertainty. The ACC is planning to follow a 10-game, plus one model while the Big 12 hasn’t yet announced its revisions.
How are these wholesale changes nationally going to affect the Associated Press Top 25 and how voters determine the early favorites? In short, not much, if any.
Here’s the thing about preseason polls – they’re extremely unpredictable, but we’re going to try and project how AP voters will submit their ballots anyway. Let’s start with taking the temperature of the offseason darlings — Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and North Carolina, among others — along with the elite group that are near unanimous choices as College Football Playoff frontrunners. That should give you some idea of the most respected teams, at least to start the season.
Here’s how we think the preseason Associated Press Top 25 will look when it is released later this month: