That's right, it's that time of year where you tell me where I'm completely wrong about where I've ranked teams. For those of you who don't know, Double-T Nation has been asked, my second year, to participate in the BlogPoll. For those of you not familiar with the concept then check out MGoBlog BlogPoll (who is in charge of all of this stuff) with succinct definition:
It's basically the AP poll except with bloggers.
It's that easy.
Make sure and read the BlogPoll Voting Philosophy and Rock M Nation's summary of different voting philosophies. Obviously, there's quite a bit of disparity between theories, and the nice thing about the BlogPoll is that it's all transparent and it's somewhat understood that there will be biases because we're all human.
But I need you! Yes, I need your comments to tell me where I've gone wrong and where I've gone right. Given enough encouragement and comments, I'll make the change on each week's BlogPoll ballot.
Here's my first ballot.
1-5: Again, I stayed pretty true to form, but I did bump tOSU to eight and moved up Alabama based on your comments.
6-10: Penn St. gets moved ahead of tOSU as well as Virginia Tech. I do like LSU and although they've had QB problems, they return some pretty good talent, including some good offensive talent.
11-15: Boise St. and TCU get here because of their conference but also because they're pretty good football teams. I hate discounting teams because of conference, but at the end of the year, I could see both of these teams being ranked this high. I like California because of Jahvid Best. He's a special player and Tedford does a good job of getting his QB's to play well.
16-20: I'm not sold on Oklahoma St. I know they have a ton of talent, and you can call this my gut speaking to me, but I don't know that they solve their defensive woes in one year. The fact that the Cowboys didn't even show up against Texas Tech bothers me. TT and OSU were/are supposed to be comparable teams. Again, BYU is going to be good by virtue of conference and they return a pretty good QB in Max Hall. I've moved up Texas Tech to #20, but I still think this range is about right. I'm probably going to get called out for being a homer for ranking Texas Tech this high. It's not unreasonable, but right now, that's the highest that any voter has Texas Tech. And just to be clear, I believe that certain voters can be removed for continuing to vote their team too high for no apparent reason. I've got to try and be as unbiased as possible (more on that later).
21-25: Again, I'm not too worried about this group. I'm just throwing names out there, and yes, Notre Dame gets the nod over a South Florida team because they've got an incredible easy schedule. I know, there's something inherently flawed with rewarding a decent team with an easy schedule, but I do think Weiss has brought talent to South Bend. I should also mention that I may be the only voter who believes this, but I think Missouri wins the Big 12 North. That's why you see Missouri ranked and not Kansas. I'm not a believer in Kansas. Again, blame gut, not any clear thinking. Yes, I do think N.C. is much improved and they're going to be pretty good, and I'm not sure what to think of Florida St.
Rebuilding vs. Reloading: I really meant for this to be part of a much bigger post, but this will have to do for now. I completely realize that I run a Texas Tech centric blog and I fall into the category of "homer" when it comes to Texas Tech. As I try to be more legitimate, I sometimes need to put my "try-not-to-be-biased" hat on rather than my "overly-optimistic" hat. Every team that you see listed above, including a handful of other teams believe the exact same thing about how some of us think about Texas Tech. We all believe that our team has plenty of talent to replace those who have left the program and that those replacements will be better or equal to than those who left. It happens on every team and with just about every fanbase. There are those people that Oklahoma will have a better offensive line than last year despite having a handful of players drafted by the NFL. There are those who believe that Texas will have a better defense, because the players will have another year under Muschamp, despite replacing an entire defensive line. There's no right or wrong at this point of the year, the beauty of sports is that before a game is played, hope springs eternal. The same goes for Texas Tech fans about the offense or the defense. This isn't a criticism of those fans, but rather it's the nature of the beast.
What I'm getting at is the idea that every team is optimistic this year and despite the fact that part of my job is to have a preseason poll, we all know that these types of things only matter at the end of the year. If at the end of the year, I have a team ranked too high or too low, then we will have a basis for believing that or you'll be able to articulate why because there will be a team's resume to argue, but right now, it's just spaghetti against a wall and nothing more.
Just keep in mind that every team thinks they're better than they are right now, but that's why we play the games.