Here’s the thing.

Preseason polls don’t determine results, and the Coaches Poll has become even less relevant during the Playoff era. So combine them and it’s totally useless, right?

Not exactly.

You see, when the Coaches Poll comes out on Sunday during the season, it’s after a Saturday in which they coached football. They didn’t watch other teams, nor did whatever staff member they pawned off their ballot to.

At least with a preseason poll like this, it’s gathered by an offseason of watching film and interacting with other programs via camps, media days and other functions.

Is the preseason Coaches Poll a major deal? No, but it does help us shape some narratives heading into the season.

And naturally, I had a handful of takeaways.

1. Michigan got even more love than I thought, which is saying a lot

I can say that Michigan is my preseason pick to win the B1G while also thinking they’re more of a 10-15 range team to start the season. That, however, was not how the coaches saw it. Michigan came in ranked at No. 7, which was a spot ahead of the Florida team that trounced the Wolverines in the Peach Bowl.

I know that Michigan always gets love in the polls and with the oddsmakers. Only twice in the post-Lloyd Carr era did the Wolverines finish better than their preseason Associated Press poll ranking. That’s not to say this year will follow suit.

It’s interesting that even though we’ve seen things like the media poll picking Michigan to win the B1G, No. 7 was the highest preseason ranking I’ve seen for the Wolverines. That’s in relation to all the publications who come out with post-spring rankings and all of that.

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That’s probably because like myself, others thought that replacing defensive stars Devin Bush, Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich warranted a spot just outside of the top 10. But perhaps the Michigan Kool-Aid is making its way to other coaches across the country.

2. I’m still not seeing it with Penn State

I thought there’d be a good chance that Penn State started in the top 15 and sure enough, the Lions came in at No. 14. I’ve already written about why I wouldn’t have Penn State as a preseason top-25 team so I won’t go crazy in depth with it.

But it does appear that Penn State has gotten to the point where voters forgive the loss of someone like all-time leading passer Trace McSorley, and they aren’t as concerned about Penn State’s transfer portal-fueled depth issues like I am. I have major questions about the offense outside of guys like K.J. Hamler and Pat Freiermuth.

Excitement about some Penn State individuals (Micah Parsons, Yetur Gross-Matos) seems to be weighing heavily on the minds of voters, and not the fact that James Franklin’s late-game struggles surfaced in a few too many key spots last year. I’m in wait-and-see mode with this Penn State squad.

3. Good for Michigan State, Iowa for finally getting some preseason love

One of my biggest offseason gripes was that MSU and Iowa weren’t showing up in nearly enough early rankings. I was glad/surprised to see that both of them earned top-20 spots.

Both of them are led by experienced starting quarterbacks with something to prove in 2019. What Brian Lewerke does after returning from his shoulder injury is one of the great wild cards of the 2019 B1G season. If he’s 2017 Lewerke, MSU could have one of those years and win 10 games.

If Nathan Stanley makes another step up — preferably a bigger one — the West could go through Iowa City. I realize that’s a big “if,” and it would certainly help if Iowa could get back to imposing its will with the running game. Mekhi Sargent showed serious promise down the stretch last year, and could become a major weapon if Iowa is going to get back to Indianapolis for the first time since 2015.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for both of these teams since they met in that classic B1G Championship. That year, they weren’t picked to win the division. Maybe this could be a year in which a pair of veteran coaches surprise the conference and make a push toward Playoff contention.

4. I can’t believe Northwestern was ranked and Nebraska wasn’t … but I approve

Listen. It’s not personal, Nebraska. Your time will come. Saying a team that won 4 games and only ranks No. 94 in percentage of returning production deserves to START in the top 25 is ridiculous. It just is. And I say that as someone who’s extremely high on Scott Frost and Adrian Martinez. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Shoot, not even Lincoln was built in a day.

But I realize I’m yelling at a cloud here because the coaches agreed with me that the Husker Hype Train got rolling a little too fast.

Oh, wait. Nebraska came in at No. 26?!?!?!?!?! I regret nothing about that initial rant.

As for Northwestern, I’m glad we’re at the place where Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t need a once-in-a-generation player returning to get preseason Top 25 love (prove me wrong, Paddy Fisher). In 3 of the last 4 seasons, Fitzgerald’s team didn’t start in the AP Top 25, yet it finished there. Yeah, his teams developed a habit of starting off horribly, but this is a good sign for his program after it replaced 4-year starting quarterback Clayton Thorson.

How significant is this? In the last 50 years, Northwestern earned a spot in the preseason AP poll just 4 times. I’d say this is a good indicator that No. 5 could be on the way.

5. It’s a nice preseason flex for the B1G

Yeah, I get it. The conferences who don’t get much preseason love in the polls say “these don’t matter” and those who do get love say “how do you like me now?”

(By the way, “How do you like me now” is my favorite Toby Keith song. Just thought you should know that.)

The B1G is flexing right now because it had the most teams in the Coaches Poll. And hey, this is something:

How did 2000 finish? Only 3 B1G teams finished in the top 25 of either poll.

So yeah, you’re right, person who says that all polls are meaningless. They don’t determine success.

But for the B1G, I’d say this at least speaks to some high expectations for the year ahead.