BYU Football is ranked alongside five other G5’s in the first ever Lawless Republic Top 25.
Every single year in the first AP preseason poll there are teams that get an automatic ticket. Teams like Miami, Texas, LSU, Penn State, Michigan and Oregon will always be given a ranking just because of a perceived talent. Meanwhile teams like UCF, BYU, Boise State and Cincinnati are always put much lower in the polls.
While there are conspiracies of why this may or may not be, that is for another day.
Fortunately, not everyone is paid and sponsored by the P5, including Lawless Republic. As a fan of the game, I watch hours upon hours of game footage to gain a grasp of who I believe is truly in the Top 25.
For the entire 2021 season I will put out my Top 25 poll, whether BYU Football is in it or not. Again, my polls are based off of what I see, not what the AP/Coaches Poll says. In fact, I don’t even reference them while making my ranking.
Lawless Republic Top 25 – Preseason
No shocker here. The two best teams in the country are both in the SEC. I don’t see either of these teams losing all season until the SEC Championship and Georgia honestly has a pretty simple schedule outside of week one against Clemson and week eight against Florida. The rest of their schedule consists of teams who went a combined 28-49 record last year and FCS schools.
Many will be upset to see a G5 team in the top five, but guess what, I’m not paid to boost up the P5. I don’t care about market sizes or ratings in my poll. I think Cincinnati is the third best team, so until they prove me otherwise, they will stay here.
6. Texas A&M
Texas A&M will have to play perfectly this season to make the Playoff (barring a close loss to Bama). With their non-conference games consisting of Kent St, Colorado, New Mexico and Charleston Southern, A&M will not have any big games to lean on outside of the SEC West.
7. Ohio State
8. Penn State
10. Coastal Carolina
I struggled with where to put Coastal Carolina. However, after last season, and seeing that the Chanticleers return just about everyone including their Head Coach, I have no reason to believe that CCU will not go undefeated this season. There will be some tests against Buffalo, Louisiana Lafayette, and Appalachian State, but CCU should be favored in every game.
11. Iowa State
LSU is a wildcard team in 2021. Will the Tigers return to the glory of 2019, or will they repeat their lackluster 5-5 performance from last season? Only time will tell, and it will probably take time as the Tigers open up with three very winnable games in the non-conference along with a conference schedule that avoids Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M until mid October. In other words, LSU may start 6-0 and finish 3-3.
14. Iowa State
Yes, I have BYU ranked in the first poll of the year, and I’ve got them in the Top 20. Last season, I had BYU Football as the 6th best team in the nation at the end of the season. While there will be a dropoff from losing Zach Wilson, that drop will be minimized by the playmakers around the field. If BYU beats Utah in week two watch out for the Cougars to start 5-0 and soar up the rankings, both here and the AP.
17. North Carolina
Most polls have the Longhorns much higher than 18, but if we take away the hype, they are a 7-3 team who just lost their starting quarterback to the NFL. On paper the Longhorns non-conference schedule looks very simple with games against La-Lafayette and Arkansas, but I wouldn’t be shocked if either of those teams upset Texas. Also, let’s be honest, the entire Big 12 is going to be giving Texas all they handle this season after the SEC announcement.
19. Boise State
22. Notre Dame
Notre Dame outside of the Top 15? Yes, again, I’m not getting paid to promote the P5 teams. The Irish are going to be good this year, but I don’t think they will be as good as they’ve been in recent years. Their schedule will definitely allow them to be ranked in the Top 5 this year with games against Wisconsin, Cincinnati, North Carolina, and USC, however whether they win those games is a whole other issue.
23. Oklahoma State
The Utes are a mystery team. With the Utes having what seems like 50 transfer quarterbacks on the team, one has to wonder why Whittingham would target so many QB’s. Maybe it is for depth, and maybe it is because the team is struggling to find an offense. Only time will tell. The Utes have a tough non-conference with games against sneaky good FCS Weber State, BYU and San Diego State. Throw that on top of a Pac 12 that looks like it will have improved teams this year and Utah has a solid schedule to deal with.
On the fringe: Marshall, TCU, Ole Miss, Arizona State and Indiana
Thoughts on BYU
Since obviously this is a BYU Football site, I will provide an analysis for BYU Football as it has to do with the poll. In this particular poll, BYU obviously is ranked. It is worth noting that the Cougars also play three teams who are in the Top 25 as well as Arizona State who is in the ‘fringe’ zone.
While the Cougars don’t appear to have any elite teams on the schedule (although USC could get there), BYU Football does have quite a few really good quality opponents.
What do you think? Does this poll seem fair and accurate or have I made some serious errors and left teams out? Let us know in the comments!