Pre-Season BlogPoll Ballot

By Alex on August 29, 2011 at 10:00a

The 2011 season kicks off in less than a week, so it's only appropriate that we bring you our first look at the pre-season BlogPoll. I'm personally not a fan of pre-season polls, as often times it's extremely hard to judge what teams will follow through on lofty expectations, what teams will surprise, and what teams will sizzle out into obscurity, but nonetheless here's a first look at our Top 25 to start the year off.

We'd love to hear your input on the BlogPoll on a weekly basis so give us some insight on where we're right, where we're wrong, and if we need to completely abolish the thing.

1 Oklahoma Sooners QB Landry Jones is back to help Bob Stoops and the heavily favored Sooners get over the hump in search for the school's first championship since 2000. --
2 Oregon Ducks Last year's national runner-up brings back Heisman candidate LaMichael James in what should be another explosive offense up in Eugene. --
3 Alabama Crimson Tide They lost their quarterback, running back, and best receiver, yet Nick Saban's team just reloaded once again with this squad filled with an abundance of talent. --
4 Stanford Cardinal Jim Harbaugh may be gone, but star quarterback Andrew Luck returns for the Cardinal in 2011. Luck's talent should be enough to help Stanford make a run at the Pac 12 title this year and if the defense can step things up, they could be national title contenders at season's end.  --
5 LSU Tigers The recent incident involving QB Jordan Jefferson in a bar fight has me tentatively wanting to move them down, but everything remains OK (for now) in Baton Rouge. After winning the 2007 National Championship with Nick Saban's players, many questioned Les Miles' ability to build his own program. This year's team looks like the real deal and the Tigers will be in it until the end this season. --
6 Boise State Broncos QB Kellen Moore returns for one last hurrah and will try to take the Broncos to their first ever national championship game during their first season in the Mountain West Conference. --
7 Florida State Seminoles Jimbo Fisher has the defense revamped and now it's only a matter of if the offense sans Christian Ponder can get the job done for FSU. --
8 Nebraska Cornhuskers In their first year in the Big Ten, the Corn Huskers are the favorites in the Legends division and it would be extremely disappointing if they at least didn't make it to Indy for the league's first ever championship game.  --
9 Oklahoma State Cowboys If you want to talk about returning players that will make an impact, look no further than what could be the nation's best aerial attack at Oklahoma State. QB Brandon Weeden and WR Justin Blackmon bypassed the opportunity to make the jump to the NFL in order to return to Stillwater and help Mike Gundy (he's a man!) make a run at the Big 12 title.  --
10 Texas A&M Aggies Mike Sherman is on the hot seat, but this is his best Aggies' team yet. It will be interesting to see how A&M handles the pressure that comes with being a league favorite for a change. --

11 Wisconsin Badgers Gone are their efficient quarterback, best offensive linemen, a bulldozing running back, a stellar tight end, and some key defensive players, but right now Wisconsin still has to be the favorite in the B1G's Leaders Division. Russell Wilson helps Wisco look good on paper, but consecutive games on the road against Michigan State (Oct. 22) and Ohio State (Oct. 29-EAT TOO BRUTUS) should tell us if they are contenders or pretenders. --
12 South Carolina Gamecocks The OBC has his best shot to win the SEC since coming to Columbia and with weapons such as WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Marcus Lattimore, this will be an exciting team to watch. --
13 Virginia Tech Hokies Special teams and defense are always the motto for Frank Beamer's team and that won't change in 2011. A weak ACC is always for Virginia tech's taking. --
14 Michigan State Spartans Kirk Cousins may be the top signal caller in the Big Ten and the recruiting job Mark Dantonio has done since coming to East Lansing may finally pay off. Sparty could be a dark horse in the B1G. --
15 TCU Horned Frogs Last year's Rose Bowl champions look to make their last year in the MWC a good one as they prepare for a move to the Big East in 2012. --
16 Ohio State Buckeyes A team that may have been ranked in the top five had Tatgate never happened has a lot of questions that need to be answered before they can be vaulted up the rankings. It says a lot that OSU is still considered a Leaders division favorite by many despite all that has happened this off-season. --
17 Georgia Bulldogs Mark Richt's seat is absolutely boiling and if he can't win with Aaron Murray, a strong stable of running backs, and a hungry defense, I'm not sure if he'll ever be able to win. This could be Georgia's year in the SEC East. --
18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Reports are that the offense has started to turn the corner in South Bend, but I think it will come down to how well the defense plays for the Irish in determining the fate of their season. --
19 Missouri Tigers Blaine Gabbert is gone, but Mizzou picks up where they left off and can take a deep breath that they no longer have to deal with Nebraska on a yearly basis. --
20 Arkansas Razorbacks The season-ending injury to RB Kniles Davis drops them down much lower than they were a month ago, but Arkansas should still be a very solid team in 2011. --
21 Auburn Tigers The national champs lost a bunch of talent, but Gene Chizik should have his team competing in every game this season. --
22 Mississippi State Bulldogs Dan Mullen finally has the personnel needed to run an exciting offense and many are saying the Bulldogs can be a dark horse in the nation's top conference this year. --
23 Arizona State Sun Devils Dennis Erickson has his team in a position to win the new Pac 12 South this season and advance to the conference's first title game. If he doesn't , he could be heading out of town. The Sun Devils haven't won an outright conference championship since the 1996 season. --
24 Florida Gators Will Muschamp should straighten out a defense that had it's growing pains last year. The question on this team will come on the offensive side of the ball where they have to adjust to a new system and a lot of personnel changes stemming from Urban Meyer's departure. --
25 West Virginia Mountaineers Dana Holgorsen brings his aerial assault to Morgantown, as the Mountaineers call an end to the Bill Stewart experiment. WVU should be able to take home the Big East crown without a problem this year. --
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »



Comments Show All Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

Since this is a pre-season blogpoll, which I too hate, I will reserve my griping for at least next week.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Over at Off Tackle Empire, the staff unanimously declared that Nebraska would lose @Wisconsin, so I find this poll intriguing.

Is Nebraska the only team that is immune to being judged by their prior year's bowl performance? They got smoked by Washington. I just don't see why they're as high as they are.

Bucksfan's picture

Yeah, but they crushed Washington in Seattle, and lost another heartbreaker Big 12 title game.  A worthless bowl game against a team they already crushed was a waste of time.  They're ranked highly based on what they have returning.

RBuck's picture

Can't even remember 3 B1G teams ever ranked ahead of the Buckeyes, pre-season or not. Time to show the world just what you got 2011 Buckeyes.

Long live the southend.

yrro's picture

I think we have a poll to crash:

"Would you keep Sanzenbacher on the Bears roster?"

jenks's picture

looks like we don't have a lot of crashing to do

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Poll successfully crashed.

Good work Buckeye Nation!

Matt's picture

I'd drop LSU at least two spots on account of losing Jefferson; felonious assault has got to be good for at least a few games suspension, even in the SEC.  And Jarret Lee is turrible.  

I also think Stanford is overrated on account of losing some players and especially Harbaugh.  

I think Wisconsin is underrated at this point with the sneaky good addition of Russell Wilson.  The loss of John Clay won't effect them at all, and they always reload on the offensive line.  I'd knock them all the way up to #4 or #5.  I'd knock Nebraska up to #5 or #6.  That defense is going to be nasty, and a healthy Taylor Martinez is going to be very tough to beat.

jfrank373's picture

My guess is that Les Miles holds Jefferson out for the coin toss. 

Buckeyejason's picture

There just doesn't seem to be any real jaugernaut(spelling) teams this year. There will def be a shake up in the top 10..LSU will take a hit early, Stanford is wayyyy overrated without their mastermind in Harbaugh.

Alabama has a sick defense returning and Saban plays Tressel ball better than Tressel. Interesting to see how they'll be without those play makers and QB.

South Carolina will be the "sleeper" team this year I think.


btalbert25's picture

LSU gets ranked high every year despite being about as good as Penn State the last two or 3 years.  They seem to hang around the top 5 most of the year and inevitably drop 3 games or so.  Last season they may have been the worst top 5 team I've ever seen.  Of course Michigan State was probably the worst top 10 team I ever saw lol. 

acBuckeye's picture

Stanford, FSU, Okie State and A&M = overrated.

Stanford will miss Harbaugh, there's no way around it. Not sold on their defense, esp in the points-happy Pac-12.

FSU will find out how long they still have to go really quick when they play OU.... kinda like last year.

Okie State STILL has no D.

A&M lost their best player in at least a decade, and its still A&M...... and Mike Sherman.

Buckeyejason's picture

But Stanfords a football power...oh wait. A&M reloads like no other..oh yeah


jfrank373's picture

I can't say a lot about preseason because OSU is about the only team I follow religously enough to make an informed decision about.  I think every team should be unranked until the conference schedule starts (for Notre Dame fans - thats mid to late September depending on the conference).  I do find some of the hypocracy halarious though.  Remember when OSU played Texas at Texas?  And Texas was ran off the field with their r/s freshman QB and only a few returning starters from their National Championship season?  Yeah, that's the same Texas team that finished 9-3 and 19th in the BCS rankings (they later won the Alamo bowl beating a 6-6 Iowa team).

I know OSU is facing much more than a few graduating starters and a few suspended players (for only part of the season) but come on - how is this much different?  We have two great options at quarterback, a fantastic defensive line, and return our best players before all but one conference game.  We will have the deepest (and maybe most talented) stable of RB's in the B1G.  I like that OSU is flying under the radar and really think that the loss of Pryor is a gain for this year's team.  Remember when he tried to bounce to the outside on the 4th and 1 run against Penn State and lost the game for us on the fumble?  He was always trying to be the onlyi player needed on the field. Well now we have a team.  And, and, a coach that lives for defense and lets the talk take place on the field.

 So, to end my way too long and sometimes incoherent rambling - we will finish much better than our #16 ranking and it's nice to be on the outside looking in for once.  Maybe the target on our back won't be so large.  Who am I kidding - we're still the envy of the nation. 

btalbert25's picture

Well every year there are a few teams that we hear, this will be the year they come back. 2 teams that are always on the list are FSU and Notre Dame.  So until either does something meaningful, I'm not buying.

Stanford may be really good, but a lot of times when you get a guy like Luck coming back, all the hype that player gets spills over to the team.

The SEC east is not that great and should come down to South Carolina of Georgia, however don't both of those teams consistently find ways to fall on their faces every year? 

I guess what I'm getting at is, preseason polls are kind of silly.  Especially, when every year the same teams end up doing about the same thing.  We always get certain teams hyped, we always hear that some teams are "back" and at the end of the day a few teams everyone thought were going to be really good are.  The teams that are "back" lose 3 or 4 games as usual, and there may be a team or 2 from way off the radar that comes in and does well.  Then there's the team that is highly ranked and fall on their face.  I think that will be stanford or LSU this year.

btalbert25's picture

I do not, however, believe that preseason polls should be abolished.  They are kind of fun, and they help promote certain games.  I mean if no one thought LSU or Oregon were going to be any good, would anyone tune in?  Maybe the fans of each program, but not people who didn't care about either team.  I like to watch these early season matchups between two alleged powerhouse teams.  A lot of times one team is far inferior to the other, but sometimes they end up being great games and it's clear that both are good teams.

Buckeyejason's picture

I'm just glad I don't have to see USC in the polls and hear from ESPN how they "have the best team ever".


texbuck's picture

Not to threadjack, but this really needs to go in Buckshots.  Mangold might be my favorite Buckeye ever.

BucksfanXC's picture

It's either been in there or somewhere, cuz I saw it already, and on this website. Maybe it was just in a Skully in the links section at the end. Too lazy to go find it.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody