So this year Jared has graciously ceded SBNation balloting duties to Takimoto and myself. Each week Tako and I will vote separately and combine our polls to form the official ATQ submission for SBNation's weekly college football rankings. Our preseason poll goes live today and will be followed in a couple days by the composite rankings from all SBNation college football blogs.
First things first, I think preseason polls are bullshit, especially to the extent that they influence final rankings. But it's also a lot of fun to anticipate how the season will play out and who looks in best shape heading into the season. As the season goes on, the goal of this poll and the larger effort of SBNation is to reward teams with the best resumes, schedule strength, and "style" points. Here are a few thoughts on our preseason composite poll:
1) Full disclosure, I voted USC #1. I don't think they're going to finish number 1, and no way do I think they can they beat the Ducks twice this year. But at this point in the season, their offense is the surest thing on either side of the ball in college football. Plus, I'm reverse-cursing them by voting them number 1 (Tako had them at #4).
2) The top 4 teams are interchangeable. All have question marks but all are extremely talented. After that there's a small dropoff but a handful of teams that I think are capable of joining them on the top level and challenging for a national championship (read: South Carolina, Michigan, and Georgia).
3) Florida State is overrated. Until they do something on the field, which shouldn't be that hard in their WAC-level conference, no way in hell am I voting them top 10. Anything less than an 11-1 finish in that conference is a total failure for the season. It's because of that crappy schedule that many people are picking them to end up in the national championship, but given their recent inconsistency I expect them to faceplant at least once.
4) Florida sucks, Texas sucks, Notre Dame sucks. Are the coaches and AP cribbing from Tom Luginbill's recruiting rankings?
5) Both Tako and I voted Washington inside the top 20, which surprised me. Their schedule is brutal, and to finish in the top 20 would be a minor miracle. Their offense will be third best in the Pac-12 but still one of the best in the nation. They have a ton of young talent on defense and now finally have a legitimate DC in Justin Wilcox (of course, he's a Duck). There will be growing pains this season and the schedule is rough, but Washington is underrated by the national media and very much on the up and up.
That said, here is our composite poll:
Agree, disagree? Leave your comments below.