Tim's departure and SBN's takeover of the poll's maintenance means I can re-join the voting public without putting myself in the strange position of criticizing my own ballot.
So here it is. I won't go through the relatively chalk portions of the ballot but will explain large deviations between it and the AP poll:
Stanford was an ass-kicking machine last year that returns the best quarterback in the country, two potential first round picks on the offensive line, another at tight end, and most of the starters from a top 20 defense. Even if their talent level isn't quite up to par with the usual profile of a national championship contender, having Luck more than makes up for that. Most of the top ten have questions at the most important spot on the field.
I'm voting after their starting quarterback may or may not have kicked a marine in the head but probably might have did. Even if he didn't, Jordan Jefferson is terrible and always has been and LSU skated by last year on insane occurrences en route to the #86 yardage offense.
This is when it all caves in for the Mad Hatter.
I HATE BOISE STATE
Potatoes are overrated and I loathe putting teams that no one will know anything about so high up.
THE HOLGORSEN EFFECT
Blame Smart Football and EDSBS for my belief that Skulletor is the real deal and can install his system lickety-split at West Virginia. Thus I'm higher on WVU than the AP and slightly down on Oklahoma State.
WISCONSIN AND NEBRASKA AT THE EDGE OF THE TOP FIVE
The Big Ten's best teams benefit from the above three items and pass Texas A&M based on my belief that LSU wasn't really that good last year. LSU had a shiny record, though, and A&M beat them up, and therefore A&M is this year's designated Team Everyone Overrates Because Of A Bowl Game. Ole Miss says hi.
I AM SECRETLY DOUG GILLETT
I do have Georgia extremely high. Aaron Murray was secretly great last year; Isaiah Crowell can be an instant impact RB, and the defense returns seven starters as it enters year two under a new coordinator. Bounce coming.
Nathan Scheelhaase exploded towards the end of last year, going from a no-pass all-run guy to Denard Robinson junior. I think they'll get into that 8-4 range that teams at the end of the poll tend to.
TELL ME THAT I'M INSANE
They've moved the deadlines to Monday this year but if you tell me the insane things here I'll change them if I'm convinced.
UPDATE: People have told me I'm insane. Scheelhaase did not finish last year blazing except against terrible defenses and they've lost big chunks of their talent, so they're out. Not having South Carolina was an oversight, so they draw in. I've moved ND down a little and WVU up, as well.
As always, this will be in flames by week three.