1. I submit a preliminary ballot, due on Monday morning. I'm no longer a college student with a six-day weekend, which means I work Monday morning, which means you usually get to read my ballot before the NFL kicks off on Sundays. It's kind of a fun Sunday morning routine: wake up, fix breakfast, submit Blogpoll ballot.
2. After that, it's your turn. Yes, you. One of the really great things about the Blogpoll is that you, the readers and fans, get actual influence on this thing. CBS puts the preliminary poll up on Mondays around noonish, but the final poll doesn't go up until Wednesday noonish. In the interim - for this blog, you generally have from Sunday when the first ballot is posted until Tuesday night - your comments, especially ones pointing out where I have jacked this up all to hell, are not only tolerated but encouraged. You are supposed to tell me what I did wrong. That includes this ballot, of course. I change the ballot if what you say makes better sense than what I was thinking to begin with.
3. CBS then posts the revised poll on Wednesdays, along with commentary. Last year's can be found here. The commentary is also fun. Awards are handed out, bloggers are praised or chided depending on the wisdom or wackness of their ballot. Those who vote their teams too high are tarred, feathered, and paraded about town. (This was not an issue for me last year.)
The format here is as follows: I post the ballot, I write about the ballot. It's so Japaneasy. Watch:
Now, I explain what I've done:
- Florida. No need to buck the conventional wisdom here. They're the defending national champs, they still have El Tebow Loco, and they really didn't get hit too hard by departures. Until they do something silly, they're basically it.
- Utah? Well, yeah - they finished about that high last season, and yeah they lost a quarterback, but they're more intact than a lot of teams. They have an early season game with Oregon - if they lose, fine, I'll call it a mistake and put them back where Mountain West teams usually belong. If they win, they're probably a solid candidate for the top ten for most of the season. This is admittedly much higher than a lot of people are going to vote them, but still.
- Georgia Tech??? I happen to think they're the best team in a pretty deep ACC. Deal with it. They've got some D-line issues, but the rest of their team is top-notch and nobody's been able figure out how to stop that offense consistently yet.
- LSU. I'm not done whipping on them. Last year's readers may remember that I stubbornly refused to rank them in the ballot because they fucking sucked, the one time I did rank them they went and laid a giant stinky egg against Georgia or someone, and I usually devoted a paragraph explaining why everyone else is an idiot for ranking them so high. They finished the regular season 7-5 and I felt vindicated. LSU is inexplicably 9th in the coaches' poll, and so I suspect "LSU is ridiculously, stupidly overrated" will once again be a running theme of this feature unless they can prove me wrong. They have a basically new quarterback and they lost their only defender worth a shit to the NFL, along with about five other starters. The fact that they're even ranked at all is a function of the ass-whipping they laid on Georgia Tech in their bowl game last year. I don't care that the game is in Seattle: if they fail to treat Washington in the opening game like the 0-12 team they were last year, it's on.
- If a team is lower in this ballot than they are in most other polls, chances are good it's because their offensive line is comprised of a bunch of people who didn't start last year. See: Oklahoma. An inexperienced offensive line is the proven best way to fall short of expectations. Just ask Tommy Bowden.
So there it is. Comments are encouraged, and the ballot will be linked on the side so you can find it real easy.