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Reading the rankings

Preseason polls just tell us who'll be punished least for mistakes

Updated: August 11, 2009, 1:12 PM ET
By Chris Sprow | ESPN Insider

According to ESPN Stats & Information, only one team has ever climbed farther than the No. 16 (per last week's coaches poll) Boise State Broncos must if they hope to play in the BCS Championship Game this season. The 2000 Oklahoma Sooners started their season ranked 19th in the AP Poll, yet finished with a BCS title when they beat Florida State. But it was early in the Bob Stoops era, and pollsters didn't know yet what to make of OU. They haven't made that mistake since.

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