You know the season is fast approaching when the preseason BlogPoll's come out. For those of you new to the site this season, SBNation has a rundown for the goals of the poll, and why it is the best poll around:
One: By virtue of their tendency to sit around and watch 12 hours of college football every weekend, BlogPoll voters are often better informed than mainstream media members, most of whom spend their Saturday obsessively covering one particular game, or coaches, who all obsessively cover one game.
Two: All votes are totally transparent. The poll makes a point of calculating various poll statistics so it can examine outlying ballots (especially those that are biased in favor of the home team), and asks voters to justify their stranger picks.
Three: The BlogPoll has an explicitly declared poll philosophy that voters are directed to follow. Not every voter and every ballot manages to do so, but the philosophy effects the poll as a whole. This usually manifests itself in a skepticism of teams that play very weak schedules. The 2007 Hawaii team, which cruised through its regular season and was crushed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, is the most obvious example.
The BlogPoll focuses on resume ballots. We don't focus on recruiting rankings or putting Texas simply because they're Texas. We look at the resumes that each team has compiled, and rank accordingly.
Now, the preseason ballot is the one exception. Because we have nothing to go off, this is pure conjecture on the parts of the voters. After the jump, my guesses for how things will shake out this year. As always, all comments are appreciated and will affect my ballot, which can be changed before the Monday deadline.
My only real thought in putting this together is that I don't think Oklahoma is the top team in the country. Instead, I'm going with Alabama. They should once again have a stellar defense, and have quite a bit of talent on offense. It's tough to evaluate them due how tight-lipped Saban has been, but right now, they're the team to beat. Oklahoma will be good, but I think they'll drop at least one game along the way. Oregon, Stanford, and LSU round out the top 5.
Also, yeah, I'm being a little Pac-12 homerish in this poll, ranking 3 teams from the south. I don't know why everyone is so down on USC. I think they're a top 15 team, and will bounce back from last years 7-5 team. I'm not as excited as some about ASU, but I'm downright bullish on Arizona compared to many others out there. Mike Stoops has been building a solid program, and they have as as much talent as any other non-USC teams from the south.