There is no BlogPoll this year because, well, I don't know why. Do you honestly believe the powers at be would let someone as irresponsible as I am in on those kind of decisions? However, I rather like making a poll and even though there's no one to submit it to, I'm going to keep making a ballot.
Let this stand as a document as to why I don't have a ballot anymore.
1 Alabama. I believe that the defending national champion should be ranked #1 in the preseason in order to defend their crown. They stay on top until someone else earns the spot, though they can lose the top spot without losing a game. That said, I do find the unanimity surrounding Bama disturbing. They are a very good team, but there's lots of really good teams, and it seems that were all glossing over just how much talent they lost on the offensive line. That line, while not sexy, was the rock upon which Bama's success has been built. Glamor positions players sell magazines, linemen win you the titles.
2 Oregon. One of the best programs in the country, and they are not going to fall apart without Kelly. They return a Heisman contending QB and a killer defense. They are going to be the team that ends the SEC title supremacy, more than likely.
3 Oklahoma St. One of the best offenses in the country should now be paired with a competent defense. If they had OU's uniforms, they'd be getting a lot more national title hype.
4 South Carolina. I'll say it again: if USC does not win the SEC this year, they are never going to win it. They have the best player in the country and a lot of returning talent on offense. They also get Georgia early, before they figure out their defense.
5 Florida St. Loaded. They lose EJ Manuel, but this team is friggin' loaded. Winston will likely cost them a game, but he is the only potential weak link.
6 Georgia. That offense looks amazing. The defense wasn't very good before everyone graduated, and they'll need to retool quickly. The schedule ramps up quickly.
7 Clemson. I'm not totally sold on the Tigers, but I'll rank them ahead of LSU due to the head to head win last season.
8 LSU. The defensive line is the biggest concern, but people are sleeping on how much talent returns on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense.
9 Stanford. How impressive has their ability to replace Harbaugh and most of their o-line without missing a beat? They lose a lot, but I've learned not to doubt the Tree.
10 Wisconsin. Know why Ohio St. isn't going undefeated? Because the Badgers are better.
11 Texas A&M. Soft schedule means they will have a gaudy record, but they are living off of one admittedly huge win.
12 Notre Dame. Meh, give ‘em some props for making the title game last year. But they are likely out of magic.
13 Ohio St. They won a lot of close games last year and never really looked all that impressive. The Big Ten is better this season and another unbeaten season is unlikely.
14 Louisville. That schedule is embarrassing.
15 Baylor. The Big 12 is a giant logjam, with all of the team's pretty close to even. So I'll rank the team with the recent track record of success and a legit Heisman contender in the backfield.
16 Florida. This is going to be a classic case of "better team, worse record". The program made a huge turnaround last year, and I think those gains are real. They just won't see them this year.
17 Texas. Lots of talent, but a well-earned reputation for being soft. And do you trust David Ash?
18 Virginia Tech. The defense should be up to Hokie standards, so maybe they can win games 3-0.
19 Oklahoma. One of these days, they will be unable to just replace the star quarterback without missing a beat.
20 TCU. Another one of the teams in the Big 12 logjam. There's about five teams that could finish anywhere from 10-2 to 7-5.
21 Oregon St. I always have a soft spot for the Beavers. They just seem to be consistently solid.
22 Arizona St. The most talented team in the Pac-12 South who should finally break UCLA's hold on the division.
23 USC. OK, maybe the Trojans have more talent, but the lack of depth is still a concern. The best thing for this program would be another disaster, so Kiffin gets fired.
24 Michigan. Slowly restocking the talent and becoming a national power again. Not yet, but they are getting there.
25 Kansas St. I see no logical reason for the Wildcats to win the Big 12, but I have a policy of not ever doubting Bill Snyder's ability as a head coach.
Five to consider:
Cincinnati. Someone is gonna upset Louisville, why not the Bearcats?
Mississippi St. Ole Miss gets the hype, but I still like the job Mullen has done.
Boise St. Why not?
Georgia Tech. That offense always makes them a threat to win 10 games.
Northwestern. Rise of the nerds.