Is BYU ready to be the next non-BCS team to finish in the Final Top 10 Poll for a season?
I wrote on May 31st, my preseason Top 25 College Football Poll for 2008. I included Brigham Young (11-2 in '07) at #10 for the preseason entering '08. BYU has finished in the final AP Poll the past two seasons at #14 and #16, respectively, in 2007 and 2006.
In additional to BYU as non-BCS teams in the Top 25, I have Fresno State (9-4, NR) at #22, Utah (9-4, NR) at #23 and Tulsa (10-4, NR) at #25.
In additional to BYU's #14 finish in '07, Hawaii finished #19 in the final AP Poll. Boise State missed after earning #30 in points in the AP Poll.
Between 2003 and 2006, a non-BCS team has finished in the Top 10, three out of four seasons. In 2003, Miami-Ohio (13-1) finished 10th, while Utah (12-0) finished 4th in 2004 and Boise State (13-0) in 2006.
In 2006, in addition of Boise State at #5 and BYU at #16, TCU finished #22 and Hawaii just missed earning #26 in total points in the AP's final poll.
In 2005, the non-BCS teams were shut out, though Toledo (#26), Tulsa (#27), Nevada (#29) and Navy (#30) were just on the outside of the AP final poll.
In 2004, Boise State at #12, Fresno State #22 and Navy #24 joined #4 Utah for four non-BCS teams finishing in the AP final Top 25 Poll.
In 2003, Boise State at #16, Utah #21, Bowling Green #23 and TCU #25 joined #10 Miami-Ohio for five non-BCS teams in the AP final Top 25 Poll.
We will have to see the 2008 Season played out to see, if four is on the mark for this season? However, we certainly have seen more parity throughout the current decade in college football. In part, the current 85 scholarship limit has lead to a lot more parity around the NCAA. Heck, even Division I-AA, Appalachian State, received votes in last year's AP Top 25 Poll. Of course, a lot of that was likely fueled by a huge win over Michigan to kick off last year's first week of the season and Appalachian State winning another I-AA National Championship.