In some of the other threads, I see people against pre-season rankings which is understandable. Then I started thinking, "what if the rankings started 4 games into the season?", That seems tough because you could easily have 30 to 50 teams 4-0. Then what would be the criteria for determining which 4-0 team is better than the next 4-0 team. Even if the polls started later in the season, what would the criteria be for determining the top 25 (and the last 26 through 100 something for that matter).
One of the biggest complaint against pre-season polls is that nobody has seen these teams play yet. So if the polls started later in the season and we wanted to try and be fair and base the rankings on games played and not returning starters or previous years final ranking, then wouldn't that turn into more of a pageant than it is now? Teams would be forced to run up the score. How would strength of schedule work? Again if rankings started later in the season, that would nullify the strength of schedule (SOS) in that how could one undefeated team be better than another undefeated team as SOS is based on teams already being ranked.
My head started hurting trying to make sense of starting the polls later into the season. It seems to me that we need pre-season rankings of some sort to establish a base for the upcoming season. With that said, let the ideas flow. What would college football look like if the polls started later in the season? And how would that work? 4 games in? 10 games in? What are the thoughts out there?