Pardon me, but ... meh.
Starting with Saturday morning analysis and running straight through until the midnight highlight shows, I'm all-in when it comes to college football. The upsets, the blowouts and the down-to-the-wire finishes pique my interest in a big way.
Shoot, I even get excited about this time of the year, when college programs around the country start rumbling to life with talk of fall camp, depth charts and season openers.
But when it comes to preseason polls, all I can say is ... meh.
Sorry, not interested.
Earlier this week, the Big Sky Conference turned on the lights for its upcoming 2013 season with the annual preseason kick off in Park City. It's always a well-done, highly-productive event and this year, as the conference begins to celebrate its 50th anniversary, was no exception.
As is done at similar conference events around the country, the Big Sky's summer kickoff featured the obligatory preseason poll of coaches and media.
I suppose these polls do serve a purpose. They give fans something to talk about - ditto for the media - and can provide a small measure of motivation for coaches and players.
But, really, they're nothing more than a twig of parsley on the edge of a tantalizing steak dinner.
I noticed Weber State, coming off a 2-9 campaign last season, was picked 12th out of 13 in the media poll, 11th in the coaches' poll. I bring this up only to point out the low outside expectations placed upon coach Jody Sears' team. Understandably, Sears' expectations are considerably higher. As for the poll results, they're of little consequence.
"It's a poll," Sears said. "I've never seen a poll make a touchdown or a sack."
That's it, exactly.
Of course, it stings for a second or two when the poll results are announced and you're team is at or near the bottom of the list. Who doesn't appreciate a little recognition, right?
But it's the final result that counts, not the preseason predictions.
Sears said he'll mention the poll results to his players, letting them know what the outside world thinks of the Wildcats. Like every other coach in a similar situation, he hopes it'll motivate his players to push themselves a bit harder.
But here's the thing: External motivation can take you only so far. Real improvement comes from the inside and manifests itself outwardly.
WSU linebacker Anthony Morales understands this principle. He's determined to make the most of his senior season and he said that includes helping to establish a culture of success.
Something tells me he's more concerned with making himself stronger and faster than he is the latest poll results.
"You can't rely on outside sources (of motivation)," he said. "It can't even come from coaches. Players play the game and if we want to be successful, it's up to us."
This concept isn't only for the Wildcats either. Montana senior linebacker Jordan Tripp noticed the Grizzlies were picked third by both the media and the coaches. Predictably, he didn't like the results, but his motivation goes way beyond proving the so-called experts wrong.
Like Morales, Tripp is a member of the Big Sky's preseason all-conference team. That doesn't matter either, he said.
"It's something for your mom or your little brother to look at," he said. "That's not going to make you a better player."
So, what's the lesson here?
The good ones don't rely on outside motivation. Their work starts long before the preseason polls are announced and it continues long afterward.
Anything else is ... meh.