The five biggest snubs in college football’s rankings

One of the most boring clichés in history is, “You don’t start here, you end there.” Rarely is that true in college football, where teams at the top of the poll usually remain in the rankings, with a few upsets and the inevitable disappointments usually means their coach is in danger of losing his job.

While USA TODAY Sports’ AFCA preseason Coach Poll isn’t some sort of Miss Cleo prediction, the five teams on this nudge list can take comfort in knowing they’re starting the season just like other teams in the bowl subdivision: with a record of 0-0 with championship ambitions, no matter how realistic or absurd those dreams may be.

Here are the biggest snubs in the preseason poll that should have been included but were left out.


It seems every few years Iowa surprises people, and they used a suspicious 2021 schedule to get all the way to the Big Ten championship, where they were exposed and humiliated by Michigan. Despite the talents of all-world center Tyler Linderbaum, the Hawkeyes were second-bottom in the conference on offense overall, rarely startled defenses with their passing attacks, and averaged just over three yards per rush.

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