All summer long, I’ve been getting several thousand variations of the following question, and all summer long, I’ve been dodging it. Explanation to follow …
Stewart, doing some math on the “poll comparison” Web site you mentioned last week, I see that over the past 15 years, an average of 3.5 teams per year start unranked and then end up in the top 15. On the other side of things, 3.4 teams start in the top 15 and end up unranked. Looking at the consensus preseason poll this year, which are the three teams you have falling into both categories?
— Jonathan Dennis, San Antonio
This is the annual “no-win” question. People like “sleeper” picks, so the first part is fairly harmless. No one gets particularly agitated if one of your “sleeper” teams winds up going 6-6. But whichever three I pick as potential “busts” — obviously, their fans are not going to be happy. Even if I nail two of the three correctly, fans of the third one are going to remind me about this misjudgment endlessly for nine months afterward.
I’ll answer your question, Jonathan, but only because you put in the math. Just note that I will be posting your e-mail address on the offended teams’ message boards and telling them it was your idea.
Three That Could End Up In The Top 15