The first 2012 Leatherheads College Football Top 16 poll of the season was posted this week. A number of interesting occurrences and facts came with the release of this first poll.
First, this year’s first poll was released a week earlier than the one in 2011, as 12 voters participated each time.
Exactly half of the teams that were ranked in the initial poll a year ago made it back into the first poll of 2012.
Here they are listed by poll difference:
2012 Rank Team 2011 Rank Difference
3 Oregon 10 7
9 Clemson 14 5
1 Alabama 3 2
7 South Carolina 9 2
2 LSU 1 -1
5 Oklahoma 2 -3
16 Florida 12 -4
11 Stanford 6 -5
SEC powers Alabama and LSU, ranked 1-2 in the initial poll of 2012, are separated by 19 points. These schools had the seven closest point differences between teams ranked first and second in 2011. The lowest difference margin between these teams came in week six with Alabama up 170-168 despite LSU having one more first place vote.
Of the 16 teams appearing in the first poll of 2012, three schools made their debut in a weekly Leatherheads poll—with two receiving their initial considerations among the voters:
Florida State makes its poll debut at #4 which is 20 spots higher than Ohio State, as both schools were not mentioned at all in 2011. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, after only a pair of mentions (received votes) a year ago, begin the 2012 Leatherheads poll season as the #12 team.
Last season, LSU was the only school to garner every first place vote, covering weeks 6-11. In fact, the 12 first place votes recorded by Alabama were the most by any team in a weekly poll.