29 August 2011
Partially because I've been hovering at near worthless levels for months now, and partially because I spent the weekend at the beach, taking one last deep breath before football season, I haven't posted my Blogpoll ballot for discussion until now.
There's no time to edit what the folks at SBNation get this week, but any input you have will be dropped into next week's poll. Hit the jump to see the full poll.
Bama Sports Report Ballot - Week 1
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|4||Boise St. Broncos||--|
|5||Florida St. Seminoles||--|
|7||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||--|
|11||Texas A&M Aggies||--|
|12||South Carolina Gamecocks||--|
|13||Virginia Tech Hokies||--|
|14||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
|15||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|17||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||--|
|19||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||--|
|22||Ohio St. Buckeyes||--|
|23||West Virginia Mountaineers||--|
|24||Arizona St. Sun Devils||--|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
I do not have Alabama in the top spot. I cannot, with a clear conscience, put a team with a brand new quarterback atop the poll. The last time a team with an unproven first year starter won the title was... OK, the last two consecutive years (Cam Newton last year, and a kid named "Greg McElroy" the year before. I forget who he played for).
Landry Jones has a host of weapons for Oklahoma, and their schedule isn't particularly tough (after an early season visit to Florida State). If they can get through Florida State, there are a handful of games Oklahoma could lose - but none they should lose.
Oregon will also be reloading a bit this year, but the Pac-12 (that looks/feels weird to type) isn't at its best this year. Other than Stanford, there's not a lot to fear if the Ducks can get past an opener with felony-charged LSU. LSU ranked higher before their late-night bar parking lot violence spree. Losing two guys who were expected to contribute is a tough hurdle to clear.
And then there's Boise... I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to do with Boise. If they beat Georgia to start the year, there's no reason to believe they won't be undefeated. Then the annual "what do we do with Boise" debate commences. My short answer to that question is I'm not sure either. I know scheduling has to be tough - if Alabama picked up a home and away with them, I'd be terrified - but they just don't have the same caliber schedule the other contenders have.
Finally, I've declined to list the reigning champions in the poll. Auburn lost too much, and the schedule is too tough for me to think they'll finish in a spot that deserves a top 25 ranking. Honestly, if Auburn wins 8 games this year, I'd be surprised. They're just replacing too much, and the talent level across the board isn't where it needs to be just yet.
It's game week, folks. Enjoy it.
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