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The BlogPoll - Preseason Ballot

This year, with The BlogPoll moving over to SBN and the ACC down on voting members, and me usually watching 30 hours of college football each week, we decided to sign up for it. Other than this initial ballot, it'll be up for discussion every week before we submit on Wednesdays. You can give your opinion on how we move teams up and down and how wrong the national polls are.

Everyone knows the preseason polls mean nothing at all, and usually half the poll falls out before coming back in around midseason, with the usual surprises.

Below you'll see how we rated the teams in the Top 25 initially, taking into account their returning cast, last season's performances, and who we think is actually going to improve next year.

The Top 5 are pretty explanatory. Alabama and Ohio State are the cream of their conference. Oklahoma I rated so high because I feel they will win over FSU (in Norman) early and defeat Texas in the Red River Rivalry. Thats also why I pushed Texas lower than the pollsters did, and the Longhorns face Nebraska 2 weeks after OU, which I also see them losing. Texas brings back a lot, but they also lost Colt McCoy, and I can see them stumbling a couple times with a new QB. TCU may as well be rated this high, since I don't see anyone beating them except possibly Utah late in the year.

I don't know about Nebraska's offense but their defense should be dominant, as should Virginia Tech's. VT will beat Boise State, who will probably not lose again, but stumble elsewhere in their schedule.

Florida lost Tim Tebow, and though I expect them to win the SEC East, they will lose a couple times. Houston may win their games 35-33 but they will set passing records and should win 9 games at least, so I put them in the Top 15. LSU has an idiot as a head coach and a bigger one at Offensive Coord., but on talent alone they should win 9 games.

BYU I expect to lose to FSU early but the rest of the schedule is manageable aside from TCU (at TCU). USF may beat most of their schedule just on talent but Skippy can actually coach, unlike Granny Clampett, so I see them competing for the Big East title this year until the very end with Pitt. I think Skip reverses their late-season collapse trend.

I know people wonder about Navy but they went 10-4 last year and I think simply by execution they will win 9 or possibly 10 again against a manageable schedule.  Arky has the best WRs in the SEC, and possibly the nation, with a QB in another year of a high-octane system. They may not play much defense but 8-9 wins is possible.

UConn deserves a spot simply because they play hard and play smart, and rarely beat themselves. They don't have great talent but somehow Edsall gets them to play to the level of their opponent every week, and thats the mark of a great motivator.

People are going to complain but heres my reasoning for leaving some teams off that have been included nationally, or rating others low.

Auburn needs to display a defense. Chizik should have them doing better, so I did put them at 25. The SEC West is going to be tough either way.

Most people probably would've thought we'd rate more ACC teams in the Top 25, but I have more questions about the ACC teams. FSU hasnt shown they can play defense, period. When I see it then I'd put them in. Tallahassee has taken some hits of late as well and if we put them on the ballot, they may be knocked off in two weeks. Its not an easy schedule for them this year. UNC hasn't shown they can play offense, same deal. Boston College has a patsy-laden schedule and I respect Spaz for how he teaches a defense but I'm not confident enough about their QB situation to rank them.

I won't put Clemson in until I see them play. I rarely ever think Clemson should be ranked at all until we beat somebody. I'm going to wait until I see the Auburn game.

The Gamecocks - HAHAHAHA yeah right. Georgia? Nope, not with that QB situation. Georgia has Top 10-15 talent but I need to see them play a tough road game with a new QB first.

Washington Huskies have Jake Locker, but are still only a couple years removed from being absolutely dreadful.

USC Trojans - on talent alone they are Top 5, like LSU. However they also have an idiot as head coach and major off-the-field distractions.

Your thoughts?