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August 16, 2006

Blog Poll: Preseason Ballot

Preface: What is the BlogPoll?
What is the BlogPoll? It's a college football poll run and voted on by sports bloggers. No fooling! The goal of the BlogPoll is to collect information from a slew of different eyes and compile it into a poll more just and accurate than the AP or coaches poll... but probably just the same if we're being honest. More info here.

About my ballot:
The last several years that has been clarity in the preseason around who were the Top 1-3 teams in the country. This year...not so much. Every team has gigantic flaws from shaky defenses to new QBs to injuries and lack of depth at key positions. As others have said, you could draw names from a hat this year. I'm expecting massive movement on my ballot from week to week in the early season.

Regardless, here's my ballot. Complain away.

Blog Poll Ballot Preseason:
1. Ohio State - Yes. I realize they lose 9 of 11 starters on defense, but Ohio State always has a good dfense under Tressel. Sure, they have to play Texas in Austin, but the young defense will be going against a freshman QB.

2. Louisiana State - No. I don't believe in Les Miles. Yes, I hate this pick here, but LSU has weapons all over the field. And, despite my disdain for Miles he overcame incredible adversity to win as many as he did last year.

3. Auburn - Auburn is loaded. Brian at MGoBlog has them at #1, and that's not an unreasonable pick.

4. Notre Dame - They have to play defense, and they have to prove that they can beat a quality team before I'm voting them #1.

5. Southern Cal - Weapons return everywhere, and they recruit at a level the rest of us dream about.

6. Iowa - It's almost a cliche to talk about how good a coach they have. This may be too high, but it's a respect pick.

7. Texas - A bit of a mystery because of the QB situation, but by the Red River Shootout, this team will be clicking on all cylinders.

8. Florida State - I'm expecting to make major revisions to this pick and the Miami pick after Labor Day.

9. Miami-Florida - See the FSU comments.

10. West Virginia - The offense is tons of fun to watch. The pass defense is wretched. The Louisville match-up looks like one of the more entertaining games of the year.

11. Louisville - I'm eager to see their defense in action because Bush + Brohm = Explosive results.

12. Florida - Replacing 4 of 5 OL, and they just lost a guard for several weeks with a broken ankle. There's no way this is a Top 10 team. Not with that OL. Not with that system, and not with that schedule.

13. Georgia - The UGA team of Week 10 will likely look very different than Week 2 because of the QB situation. The OT depth is scary.

14. Clemson - Tommy Bowden's teams are usually overrated in the pre-season because all of the hype is based on a few skill position returning players. This year the Tigers actually return their OL. They may actually live up to the hype.

15. Penn State - Morelli was a highly recruited kid, and this is his third year in the system. He should be able to step in to the leadership void. The game with Notre Dame is circled on my calendar.

16. Oklahoma - The Bomar situation is a turd in the punch bowl.

17. Michigan - Watching highly skilled athletes operating in a putrid system is painful. But with a new defensive coordinator, at least half the team might not bore us to death.

18. Texas Tech - The win over Oklahoma last year stands out as Leach's only big win that I can remember versus a team with top tier defensive talent. Luckily for Leach, he still only plays two good defenses this year. Another 9-2 season, but the schedule once again would embarrass Bill Synder.

19. Virginia Tech - I have no idea what to make of this group. I'm expecting to move them around a lot over the first few weeks of the season.

20. California - Last year, I refused to rate these guys as highly as the rest of the Blog Poll based on the unavoidable fact that they didn't beat anyone. I'm dying of curosity to see what will happen in Knoxville.

21. Arizona State - Will they finally learn to play defense?

22. TCU - If Tommy Tuberville turns down the TAMU job after the season, is Patterson a candidate?

23. Oregon - The QB situation will be interesting to watch.

24. Nebraska - I'm not on the Callahan bandwagon. If South Carolina had an OLine, I'd put them here.

25. Boston College - O'Brien has quietly and steadily built that program up. I'd love to see the look on the BC fans faces when Clemson rolls into Beantown this season.



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