I for one don't believe in preseason polls whatsoever. They should be reserved for the magazines and let them put out the actual polls four games into the season.
The news today is that NIU received 1 vote (ONE!) in the AP Poll (And also 2 in the Coaches). This means close to nothing in the long run. It's basically a nice gesture by a writer (BCS biased to begin with) towards a team that went 11-3 last year. Sure we lose most of our offense for this year, but we're a solid MAC team. Teams like Boise and TCU have earned their right to be ranked in the top-25 every year because they are consistently good.
NIU isn't consistently good enough to be ranked in the top 25 every year. Do they even deserve it this year? Sure I'll take it. but if we're going to be logical about it, Ohio University is likely going to be the better team this year with more starters and a solid QB returning in Tettleton.
The preseason predictions are mixed right now, with Western Michigan and Northern Illinois both vying to win the West. The wild card here is the coaching, and if it's one thing I've gained over the years it is my ability to watch and notice how Frank Solich and Bill Cubit continue year-in and year-out to fail in big games. Those teams just can't get over the top with the coaches they have in place right now. They can have all the personnel in the world and I still think that NIU will have a chance in ay of these scenarios.
I'm a bit off track, but what I am saying is yes I appreciate the Top 25 votes for NIU, even though they won't mean anything until a few weeks into the season. Will the Huskies be able to overcome their losses from last year and put a solid 10-win season together again? It's doubtful, but they might just make it to the title game again if they win the games they have to to get there.