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The BlogPoll Returns

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I can't believe it, but I managed to get invited back to the BlogPoll.  Odds were near even on whether I'd have my ballot stripped as I started to lose interest later in the season because LSU's season was making me hate football.  I'm almost recovered and ready to take a look around the nation.

Brian has asked that we post our preliminary ballots on Monday and give our readership a chance to mock our selections.  Then, after I ignore you take your wise advice, I resubmit my ballot on Wednesday.  Today, as you may have noticed, is Friday, but I'm trying to get a jump on my preseason ballot.

A few things before I weakly defend my ballot: I hate preseason polls.  This ballot is almost entirely guesswork and I am in no way married to the ballot.  My solemn vow is that I will completely disregard this ballot a month into the season when ranking teams.  I will do my very best to resist poll inertia and just keep voting for a team because that's where they were last week.  I reserve the right to move teams dramatically from week to week as I actually get to form an opinion on the teams based on actual data from this season.

So here we go...  

 

Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Southern Cal
3 Texas
4 Oklahoma
5 Ohio State
6 Alabama
7 Virginia Tech
8 Georgia
9 Penn State
10 Oklahoma State
11 LSU
12 Oregon
13 TCU
14 Georgia Tech
15 Mississippi
16 Oregon State
17 Wisconsin
18 Clemson
19 Missouri
20 California
21 Arkansas
22 Utah
23 Pittsburgh
24 Notre Dame
25 Kansas

Breaking it down in groups of five...

1-5. I'm not changing this part of my ballot.  The top four is about as solid as it can get, and will probably be the top four on nearly everyone's ballot.  Ohio St is also a pretty safe #5 as the preseason Big 10 favorite.  <INSERT JOKE ABOUT THE BCS HERE>

6-10. I'm not sold on Penn St, but they have lots of talent and an easy schedule.  VT just lost its star running back, but if there is a program at which the talent is seemingly irrelevant, it is Virginia Tech.  That Bama game should be epic.  Georgia lost its glamour players, but the lines are loaded, and we all know how I feel about line play. 

11-15. My grouping of interesting teams that all have huge question marks.  I think I have TCU ranked fairly high, but there are a consistent 10-win team that plays stellar defense.  Honestly, I felt they were a better team than Utah last year, they just couldn't seal the deal.  I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt as a mid-tier team.

16-20. I refuse to buy the Cal hype.  Is there a program, other than Clemson, that has disappointed more often than the Bears in the last few years?  Wisconsin and Oregon St. are two programs that never seem to get any preseason attention, but are usually sitting near the top of the conference standings by year's end.  OK, the Badgers have some serious holes, but someone's got to finish third in the Big Ten. 

21-25. Hey, a Big East team!  And Notre Dame!  I'm completely not sold on any team in this grouping and I feel sort of stupid for not having Miami in my preseason top 25, so I'm waiting for someone to make a convincing argument to drop one of these five.  The Irish's recruiting classes have to pan out eventually, right?  Arkansas honestly scares me this season, I think Petrino is going to pull some big upset.  Hopefully against someone other than LSU.

Really, I'm looking for input.  Let ‘er rip!