I would probably switch Nebraska and Oregon as well as West Virginia and Connecticut. Otherwise, I think it's fairly accurate, given the nature and relevance of preseason polls.
Preseason Blogpoll Final Ballot
My final entry for the preseason blogpoll.
A few responses to comments left for the draft ballot (and yes, a lot of them were legit comments related to the fact that I hastily assembled the draft).
USC is eligible for the blogpoll (to the best of my knowledge), but I made a conscious decision to exclude them. If they earn it over the course of the year, I'm not sure whether I'll rank them or not.
As for Oregon, the QB they plug in for Masoli should have at least some experience (Darron Thomas started part of 2007 after Jeremiah Masoli went down, redshirted 2008 and played backup last year, and Nate Costa is a 5th-year senior with some starting experience of his own). Plus, aside from the first game of last year, Chip Kelly's offense has rolled along, regardless of personnel.
I dropped Penn State way down, as I'm as down on them as anyone else coming into the year, but went with the familiar when scrambling to complete the ballot.
As for Alabama not being #1, I'm not a believer in "you stay at the top until you lose." They lost so much on defense, that even returning a running back with a Heisman (that he may or may not have deserved) can't overcome it.
I reserve the right to seriously backtrack on North Carolina if they end up losing players to eligibility problems. As of now, their defense is positively rockin', and as long as the offense doesn't screw everything up, they should be pretty good.
Bumped out Nevada, because their defense has been pretty bad. Still love Colin Kaepernick though. That made room at the end of the ballot for West Virginia.
The rest of the stuff is just minor shuffling. Feel free to comment on this ballot as well, so I can continue refining. Don't take it too seriously, of course, as preseason polls are a futile endeavor.
I see Wisconsin having an offense like Michigan did in 03. Toon, Clay, Tolzien with a good tight end in Graham has them stretching the field and then running the ball effectively.
Penn State sucks.
I'm unsure why so many people think Iowa will be better than Wisconsin. Wisconsin's offense will be among the best in the country and Iowa (as has been oft-discussed) will likely revert to the mean and has a mediocre offense. Iowa's D will be better, but I don't think it'll be that much better.
that, yes, they won several games (against mediocre teams...including UM) by slim margins. However, they had the most difficult conference schedule in 2009 as they played at PSU, at OSU and at Wisconsin. This season, they get all of those teams at home and their road schedule consists of Michigan (Iowa gets the week off before that game), Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota.
I am finding it difficult to predict how Iowa will finish. Will they lose some of those "nail-biters" that they eeked out last season, or will the much more favorable schedule allow them to have another 10+ win season?
Florida having a new starting QB isnt a problem for you? I mean I would think Alabama is the best in the SEC. If they played head to head Alabama should win that game. Even with people leaving the defense they still have a ton of talent and perhaps two All-Americans in Mark Barron and Dante Hightower.
started a couple of games already, the reason why Alabama was so good last year was because of defense. Then they lost pretty much their entire defense. There's no problem with ranking them #4 in a preseason ballot.
I still think Florida is ranked too high, and Bama should be #2. I also see TCU as a top 10 team at least. But just my opinion.
got Donta Hightower back from injury whom many believed to be better than 8th overall pick, Rolondo McClain. They also got Marcel Dareus, a DT/DE who has been the best DL on the team last season(not Terrance Cody, that dude is overrated. Cody barely can stay on the field and doesn't make much of an impact as a NT).
Don't forget, Nick Saban is considered to be the best defensive mind in the country in both pro and college level. He'll figure out a way to make his defense strong once again.
to head Oct 2. In Tuscaloosa.
Alabama has to play 6 teams coming off by weeks. Pretty awful scheduling, if you're a Tide fan, but you'll not find me feeling sorry for them. Plus they drew the two of the three toughest teams in the East in UF and USC (NTUSC). It will be tough for them to do what they did last year, even though the may be the best team in the SEC.
SEC West is going to be fun this year between Bama, Arkansas, Auburn and even LSU.
Well, we will all find out soon as Florida will play Bama in Tuscaloosa this season. This will be the FIRST regular season meeting between the two teams since 2005! I wonder if the Big 10 will set up the schedule in the same way as the SEC, resulting in some teams not playing for 4 consecutive years.
There are 5 Pac-10 teams in the top 25, and USC is not one of them. Not disagreeing, just sayin’...
I think Iowa is seriously over-rated. I strongly suspect Wisconsin will be better than the Hawkeyes.
Look back at my draft ballot. I intentionally excluded USC because BLOGGER PUNISHMENT is the worst punishment of all.
Auburn @ 13 is a little high, Arkansas will probably finish ahead of them in the sec west. Hogs Defense was one of the worst in the league last year, but like UM was really young and has only gotten better, Ark Offense will be the best in the SEC. Behind Mallett is a corp of stud RB's and one of the best groups of WR's in the country.
It's got to be some form of tragedy that a Michigan blog's ballot has tOSU ranked 1st. I understand that we're fair and just but that still had to be a hard thing to put down on electronic paper.
Other than that it's a preseason poll and it's always fun to save these and compare them to the final poll of the season.
I couldn't have done it alhough I completely agree that OSU has the edge over Bama. Atleast until T. Pyror cracks under pressure against Miami in week 2.
I understand how tough it is to give the Buckeyes props, but they are a legitimate contender for not just the B10 championship, but the MNC as well. The have nearly the entire starting squad coming back, and TP is going to be a junior, which is the amount of seasoning Troy Smith had when he put it all together. It pains me to say so, but the Buckeyes are legit (again). There's no denying it.
I think you have to include USC if they're eligible. There's no way they're worse than 25 other teams. That should be all that matters in the Blogpoll, whose purpose it is to contrast with the backward and political media and coaches' polls.
USC currently has about 65 scholarship players. I think their depth is going to be a major issue.
I'm looking forward to Boise at VT on Labor Day. I can't find myself buying into the Boise hype for this year. Are people ranking them so high because if they can get by the Hokies, they have a pretty easy schedule from there on out or do people actually think they are the 5th best team in the country? I don't see it and I think VT will take it to them.
return all but one starter from last year team who went undefeated. If you assume that there is an improvement from off-season workouts/practices, Boise St deserve to be ranked in the top 5.
But I also realize that, aside from Oregon at home to start the season, their schedule was laughable, including the bowl game.
The schedule is out of their control and their bowl match up last year was a kick in the groin to mid majors everywhere. They made the best of their situation. I just don't see them accomplishing the same things in a BCS conference.
However, as stated, I'm looking forward to their game against Virginia Tech to see where they stand this year.
Boise because they have 20 starters back, one of the country's most proficient QBs running their offense, and a pretty good coaching staff. It's tough to measure these guys when they don't play in a BSC conference, I agree, but every time they're doubted, they seem to prove people wrong.
If the VaTech game was in Blacksburg and not at FedEx field, I would I think it would be hard not to like Hokies in this one (but it's not like Boise can't win on the road in a tough enviornoment as they proved at Autzen two years ago). The somewhat neutral site makes this pretty interesting.
I could be overly pessimistic, considering what they have accomplished over the past couple of years but until they actually play elite competition, I just can't put them up there with Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, and Texas.
If they can beat VT opening weekend in a hard fought, fluke free game, I'll drink their Koolaid.
full of the elite players Alabama, OSU, Florida etc. have. They're aren't that level. No question. And I have no problem with people doubting them (I do myself quite a bit), particularly because they don't have to play the grind teams does in the major conferences.
I do like that teams like BSU and TCU are a thorn in the BSC's side, though.
Not that it matters too much, but Darron Thomas played the second half of one game in 2008, and redshirted last year. Costa has some experience, but Thomas has the relevant skillset for the Oregon offense (with hardly any experience).
Yeah, I was a year off, but Thomas did much more than play the second half of one game.
He led a (comeback) win against Boise State playing most of the second half. He got some reps against Washington State, and was the quarterback for a good portion of the blowout loss to USC. He got spot time in a couple other games, with 1 rushing attempt against ASU, and a single (successful) attempt in the Oregon State win.
Does Ron English get a vote in the BlogPoll? If not, how the hell did EMU land in "Others Receiving Votes"?
EDIT: looks like one was a #16 vote from an unnamed blog, the other from MGoBlog, whose "official" ballot is a list of most of the first 25 teams in alphabetical order. Go Arkansas State!
I think the Badgers should be ahead of Miami (YTM) by virtue of having beaten them in the bowl game last year, and because Bucky returns 19 or 20 starters. I don't know why Miami should jump them.
As to Penn State, I have to think that their QB issues are going to be too much for their defense to overcome, at least as far as getting them a spot in the early season polls.
If Maimi can beat OSU then they'll deserve something as high as 10.
Sure, but that hasn't happened yet.
This isn't about last year, it's about this year.
I'm a bit skeptical of Florida being ranked so high. Saw a blurb on the WWL last night with Urban Myer himself saying the team wasn't very good right now... not "gelling." Who knows if that was (likely) just Urban taking advantage of camera time to call out his whole team on national TV to motivate them? But if he has to do something like that, then I wonder if there really IS some concern in Gainesville about how good their team is gonna be this year.
What about Oklahoma? They had 3 of the first 4 draft picks. I understand that Bradford didn't play much but I think they lost too much to be ranked 2, top 10 maybe.
I don't see Iowa finishing 7. Probably losses to OSU and Wisc. They lost a bunch of talent last year to the NFL. While some of us believe they were lucky last year and others don't feel that way, let's just say the ball may take a few more funny bounces this year.
I just looked at the compilation top-25 on SBN, and it appears someone actually gave EMU at least one vote (they appear in the "Others Receiving Votes" section).
One was MGoBlog, who appears to have some sort of default alphabetized ballot loaded up.
The other was this one, who gave votes to other powerhouses like Washington State, Ball State, and.. uhh... Dixie State??
It doesn't seem like any team is very strong this year. There are obvious ranges within which teams like alabama and OhSt fall but I could see a lot of upsets this year.
¿Donde está Georgia Tech?
I fully expect both Alabama and OSU to lose two games this year. In my heart of hearts, I am hoping for the BCS to be stuck with either Texas vs TCU or Boise State vs Virginia Tech for their title game. BSU vs TCU would be even better, but there is no way it would be "allowed."
All it would take is one 'championship" game where the ratings fall in the crapper to produce serious talks about a playoff.
All of the Florida schools seem a little too high for my tatse. I'm sure Florida has many other weapons but the loss of Tebow makes a #3 ranking more than generous.
Do Florida State and Miami return a bunch of starters? They have both been a joke the last several years. And FSU is coming off a 6 loss season. #10 and #14 seems even more generous than Florida being #3.
Iowa and Auburn are surprisingly high as well.
Tim, you're right on the money with a lot of these. Especially Iowa
Fun Fact: Iowa went 7-2 against bowl teams a year ago. 6 of the wins were by double digits. And they covered the spread in 8 of those 9 games.
Underrate and cast aside as lucky at your own risk.
Why is Miami ahead of Wisconsin? Wisconsin beat them and they return almost all of their best guys.
Are you predicting a season opening loss to Connecticut? You have them ranked, so I presume it means you believe they are better than M.
I think it's a "body of work" ranking. Michigan hasn't done anything in the last 6-12 months to deserve a higher ranking than UConn. That said, I think the teams are close, and Vegas agrees.
Boise in front of Texas is still ridiculous.
Yeah... just as ridiculous as BSU beating Oklahoma.
Can we get Boise State in the top 3? It seems like there is almost consensus around here that they are a top 3 team right now.
Last year they finished the blogpoll 2nd and only lose 2 starters and even return their Punter/Place Kicker guy. They only lose 5 guys from their 2 deep!
I don't know how they start out any worse than 3rd this year and I would put them second.