CBSSports.com has a lengthy opus on the ATU. It’s a descent read.
The thrust of the article is, five years later, what in college football has changed?
The answer comes after 2,000 words, give or take.
The game is largely unchanged from The Day That Changed College Football. Appalachian State continues to rule FCS. Michigan is getting close to reclaiming its spot in that top layer of the sport.
And you know, he’s right … kinda (We wouldn’t say App State still “rules” FCS).
Of all the major sports, it seems
I-A FBS football is the one which changes the least.
Consider the preseason polls. Compare and contrast the preseason FBS top 25 from 2007 and the new ones from a few weeks ago. Positions change, but names stay the same.
Seventeen of the top 25 in 2007 are among the top 25 now. Two of the top three are still in the top three, with the other – West Virginia – dropping just eight spots.
The top 11 teams in 2007 – all eleven – are represented in the current top 25.
Meanwhile, in the FCS, 11 teams ranked in the 2007 preseason Sports Network poll* are in this season’s top 25. That includes seven of top 10.
2012 FCS SPORTS NETWORK
1 Sam Houston State
2 North Dakota State
3 Georgia Southern
4 Montana State
5 James Madison
6 Appalachian State
8 Old Dominion
9 Northern Iowa
12 Eastern Washington
13 Youngstown State
14 New Hampshire
17 Stony Brook
18 Eastern Kentucky
19 Illinois State
20 Stephen F. Austin
22 Jacksonville State
23 Indiana State
24 Central Arkansas
These are preseason polls, of course. They’re based on hype, expectations and habit.
But five years after the college football world supposedly changed, the penthouse is much more allergic to evolving than the division with the actual playoff system.
* Earlier version of this post had the wrong FCS preseason poll listed.