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Initial 2008 Blogpoll - Feedback Requested

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The season is nearly upon us, and it’s time to fill out the first Blogpoll of the season. I would appreciate feedback on this one - that’s one of the stated goals of the blogpoll - because there are clearly some spots where I’m struggling.

This is (mostly) a power poll, i.e., if Mizzou plays Oklahoma in a vacuum, who do you think will win? It's probably also obvious that I pay more attention to coaching than star player A. I've tried to read and follow Brian's philosophy regarding the Blogpoll, although I find it interesting that those who do whacky stuff get more attention than those that don't.

I am not ranking Nebraska. I’m as exited about Bo Pelini as the next guy, but the team has yet to step on the field. If they want to be ranked, they’re going to have to earn it. Win your games and things will take care of themselves.

Yeah, I know I didn't get to 25, but some of those multiple choice teams will fill in the rest.

1. Georgia
I actually don’t like Georgia much, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. Maybe it’s because my exposure to the state is that damned big airport in Atlanta. Georgia has a ton of talent back, but the key question is who would win a Georgia-Florida match up? I guess you know how I’m betting on.

2. Ohio State
Someone gets to win the Big 10 and there aren’t any other worthy challengers. You know they’ll finish high unless Wisconsin knocks them off at home, and they’ll probably play in the national title again even if they lose to USC early in the season. Hey, Beanie Wells is fun to watch, isn’t he? He’ll probably win the Heisman.

3. Missouri
A Big 12 team belongs here. Most will have Oklahoma, but I’m picking Mizzou. The Nebraska game is huge for them, for both teams really, as winning in Lincoln for the first time in 30 years is a huge mental barrier to overcome. Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, and a solid defense all add up to a great year for Mizzou.

Note this: That two Mizzou bloggers, Mizzourah and Rock M Nation rank themselves below Oklahoma shows either their insecurity about their team or their inherent bias against their own homerism. I vote the former. What say ye?

4. USC
Great athletes, great coach, great looking cheerleaders - these guys have everything. Yet there’s something about them... maybe it’s last year’s inconsistency - that’s haunting me. You can talk about talent all day long, but if it doesn’t produce, it’s worthless. Still, another team that spent last year getting a lot of good players experience, USC is most likely a team to play for the 2008 national title.

5. Florida
Tim Tebow, best athlete in any sport any where in history, just ask Urban Meyer. Like USC, they spent last season getting good players a lot of experience, but this season they have to prove they can play consistent defense. I’m betting no, not consistent enough to win a title.

6. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is here for one reason and that is Sam Bradford. Sophomoritis sets in, costing Oklahoma the Big 12 title game. They have tons of experience, great offense, great defense, but again, I’m counting on Bradford falling down a bit, see Colt McCoy: Sophomore season.

7. Clemson

Everything about Clemson says they’re a team ready for greatness. Great backfield with quarterback Cullen Harper and running backs Davis and Spiller. Big deal. Everything about recent history says they’ll lose games they shouldn’t somewhere along the line.

8. LSU
If I were a true traditionalist, I’d vote them #1 because I believe that you’re the #1 team until someone beats you. Unfortunately with today’s pre-season scheduling it could be a month and I’m not going to reward them in that manner (and don’t give me crap about them playing Appalachian State in the first game). Gone are Dorsey and their quarterbacks. That’s enough to drop them this far.

9. Texas Tech
I really really want to pick Tech to win the Big 12 South, but Oklahoma is stacked. (I’m hedging my bets here, aren’t I?) 18 returning starters, Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, best defense in years, but again, another team that has to learn how to be consistent and get over the hump to greatness.

10. West Virginia

Pat White, Noel Devine, and a great offensive line, which means tons of scoring again this season. They’d better enjoy it because after this season I don’t see them matching the success that Rich Rod had.

11. Wisconsin
Someone is going to finish second in the Big 10 and that someone will be Wisconsin. I like how Wisconsin plays football, gritty defense and your traditional banging offense. Bret Bielema is the best coach people don’t talk about, they have a very good offensive line, and they have a number of quality backs.

12. PAC 10 - 2
- Arizona State, Oregon or California.
Someone is going to finish second to USC in the Pac 10, and it’ll be one of these three teams. I can’t decide between them.
Arizona State won a lot of games last season, although against questionable quality, and Dennis Erickson has sold his soul to the devil.
Oregon and California, well, Oregon seems to fall apart when things don’t go their way. California has too many hippies. Yes, if not integrating blacks in 1966 made the nation go against the Bear, I can base my vote against hippies in trees.

13. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is the same team every year and that’s because of Frank Beamer's coaching. So what if half the team is hurt or suspended, the style of football they play keeps them in nearly every game.

14. South Florida
Better than Florida State and Miami again this year? Is this too high a ranking for the Bulls?

15. BYU

They win the Mountain West beating everyone else. Whooeee! Probably a little too high here.

16. Wake Forest

Jim Grobe. ACC.

17. Penn State
Anthony Morelli is gone and I should move them higher based on that alone. However, can they beat Ohio State? No. Can they beat Wisconsin? I don’t think so, so here they are.

18. Illinois
Why aren’t they higher? Ron Zook. Guy can recruit, but they really should have someone else doing game day coaching.

19. Auburn - Tennessee

Auburn has a lot of guys back, but the guy they don’t have back is their defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp, who went to Texas this season. Auburn’s defense kept them in every game as their offense is, ah, mediocre at best.
Should Tennessee take their place?

20. Notre Dame
I kind of hate to rank them because Charlie Weis is an arrogant buffoon, but they won’t go 3-9 again. It’d be okay with me, but it isn’t going to happen. They spent a year getting a lot of experience, but more important, hearing about how badly they sucked. Of course, if they don't do well, then they'll drop out of the poll. Hee Haw!

21. Kansas - Oklahoma State
What to say about Kansas? They have a decent amount of talent returning, but if you thought Mizzou was one of those teams who can’t get over the top, you haven’t paid much attention to Kansas football over the years. They tend to appear every once in a while, then fade away just as quickly as they came. Want to prove me wrong? Win ten games this season.
Or does Oklahoma State belong here?