The first AP Top 25 of the season came out over the weekend -- and you've heard it's much ado about nothing, right?
True, this poll isn't part of the BCS formula. The USA Today (coaches) poll and the Harris Poll are the human elements that factor into the equation, not the AP, but don't dismiss it as insignificant right off the bat.
I believe there is a tastemaker or trendsetter quality to the poll, perhaps similar to what the Phil Steele Preseason Magazine rankings do for some AP voters, which then trickles down to the other voters in the polls that do officially count.
History also underscores that there is some merit to the first AP preseason rankings.