Well, here we are.
Start of a new football season.
Even better than the start of the actual games, that means the start of hypothetical beauty pageants.
Much like Lane Kiffin, I have been entrusted with a sacred responsibility. Once again, I'll be voting in the SB Nation BlogPoll, probably the most authoritatively arbitrary ordering of teams you'll find anywhere.
Check for my preseason ballot below the jump.
Blatant Homerism Ballot - Week 19
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|6||Florida St. Seminoles||--|
|8||Ohio St. Buckeyes||--|
|13||South Carolina Gamecocks||--|
|14||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|15||West Virginia Mountaineers||--|
|19||Virginia Tech Hokies||--|
|20||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||--|
|21||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||--|
|22||Kansas St. Wildcats||--|
|24||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
|25||Boise St. Broncos||--|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
A few notes:
*I try to do my preseason rankings as a reflection of objective team strength. One way to think about it is who would be favored on a neutral field if they played tomorrow. I'll take Alabama over everyone. I'd favor Oregon over everyone save Alabama. And on down the line.
*Alabama is an easy No. 1 for me. I realize that the Crimson Tide lost a ton on defense, but given the coaching and overall level of talent in Tuscaloosa, I have to lean to 'Bama as the top team.
*'Bama now holds the same elite position within the college football world that USC used to have. Initially had the Trojans at No. 2 behind the Tide, but the injuries on the defensive side of the ball have tempered my enthusiasm for Southern Cal. Looking at Chip Kelly's overall track record in Eugene, I'm gonig to give the edge to the Ducks there.
*Yes, I know that USC beat Oregon last year – just like LSU. I have doubts about the Bayou Bengals, though. That team lost a lot of quality talent from the defense of a year ago, and that was pre-Honey Badger's dismissal. I also have to hedge my bets on a quarterback transition.
*The teams ranked in spots 5-7 could really be in any order and I wouldn't object. I ranked OU ahead of Florida State and Georgia based on consistency. I put Georgia at No. 7 in light of the depth issues on the roster.
*I'm buying Florida and Texas both being improved just based on recruiting. It's hard to have that much elite talent on your depth chart and not get better by sheerly outclassing opponents. It helps that these will probably be two of the best defenses in the country, of course.
*I have Michigan considerably lower than most ballots you'll see. I just don't think that team was nearly as good as its record indicated a year ago. The Wolverines won a number of close games and got a ton of fortunate bounces in 2011. That's a recipe for overachieving that gave an impression of a team that wasn't nearly as good as its record indicated.