The 11W house policy on polls is that they're fun, but they should be banned until about week four of the season. At the same time, we're big believers in the BlogPoll and part of having a ballot is participating in the preseason poll. So here we go.
The first thing that's going to jump out at some of you will be the team at the top. We thought long and hard about this and tried to squelch any semblance of homerism and the truth is, this looks to be the best team in the nation. Further, we're pretty convinced that if the Buckeyes had not lost or had not even played in the UF game, they'd be a consensus #1 heading into this season. It's the weight of the two back-to-back (and more importantly the first) that's keeping voters in other polls from pulling the trigger on this team. With all of the questions on the other top teams, we're not as shy.
If you're still thinking "homer", hopefully our past ballots can speak to the fact that Ohio State receives no special quarters in these parts. Either way, we'll find out in less than a month.
Our top ten follows (with 11-25 after the jump). We'd love to hear your thoughts.
|1||20 starters back from a team that made it to the show last season and questions about every other top team = homer love.|
|2||Great offensive line and a proven quarterback. An Oklahoma/Ohio State MNC game means one of the coaches gets to shed the label.|
|3||Great team and coach with a ton of momentum but the law and injuries are wreaking havoc on those title plans.|
|4||Big question at quarterback all of a sudden, but the defense should be amazing and there's always talent on offense.|
|5||Would anyone really be surprised to see this team win it all this year? The defense will be better and Tebow of Nazareth is pretty seasoned all of a sudden.|
|6||Another pretty loaded team, but Oklahoma is the Tigers' daddy.|
|7||16 returning starters and tough as hell to play at home -- which is where they catch LSU and Georgia.|
|8||Clemson could easily go unbeaten this year. They could also drop three and nobody would bat an eye.|
|9||Great defense, but some serious questions on offense. They're talented, but you have to wonder when Leslie's gambling luck will turn on him.|
|10||Mike Leach, the blogosphere's favorite coach, has 18 starters back from an offense that threw for 137,000 yards last season.|
|11||Pat White's back and the Mountaineers catch Auburn and USF at home, but Bill Stewart may struggle year one on the job.|
|12||If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times: without Vince Young, Mack Brown is not a top tier coach.|
|13||17 starters back, and they'll be the Buckeyes toughest conference test, but open the year at Fresno State, an upset waiting to happen.|
|14||15 starters back from a 12-1 team and everyone roots for Mangino.|
|15||The Illini suffered some big losses with the departure of Mendenhall and Leman, but the recruiting boost will start to show.|
|16||The Ducks have one of the top secondaries in the nation and most of the defense is back. They're also Leaf-free, so that's good.|
|17||The Hokies have a lot of new faces this year, but Beamer always has them competitive.|
|18||The Sun Devils could have a better team than last season, but won't figure to catch as many breaks. The Georgia game will be a lot of fun.|
|19||Joe Pa has a lot of troops back and the Morelli loss is a good thing. They're probably looking at a three-loss season.|
|20||Eric Berry is a future NFL all-pro and the Vols bring back a lot of offensive production, though Ainge will be tough to replace.|
|21||Jim Grobe can coach a little, and Demon Deacons return their quarterback, running back and 9 of their top 10 tacklers from '07.|
|22||BYU is a hot pick this season, but Hawaii set the mid-majors back a few years with that no-show against Georgia.|
|23||Since this is the preseason, the Bulls could be a top five team or the 23rd-best team. We have no idea.|
|24||The Bulldogs can put themselves on the map with a win over Wisky. If they pull that off, they'll have an inside track to a BCS game berth.|
|25||Stoops, Meyer, Tressel, Pelini. We're banking on head-coaches at big programs that hail from northeast Ohio.|