PreSeason BlogPoll Ballot

By Luke Zimmermann on August 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm

The 2010 season's inaugural edition of the BlogPoll is upon us, so it's only natural that we present to you, the inquisitive readership that make 11W what it is, our thoughts (see: complete guesses) as to just who the Top 25 teams in the land are.

You may also notice that the blogpoll has a sleek new home this year over yonder at the mega-hub that is SBNation. I, for one, welcome our humble little poll's new overlords.

Feel free to let us know how wrong we are. We'll take into account the voice of the people and potentially tweak things before the polls close Wednesday.

1 Alabama Crimson Tide One of the more contentious teams in the 11W newsroom, there's a certain respect afforded a national champion of the class of Alabama at the start of the year when everything's still wide open (though the honor isn't awarded without the requisite skepticism). 'Bama turns over 10/11 defensive starters and while they return plenty on the offensive side of the ball, the question remains: is the Saban machine in full enough motion to absorb the losses? --
2 Ohio State Buckeyes It's almost hard not to put the Buckeyes at the top of the listing. All partisan allegiances aside, virtually no team returns the caliber top-to-bottom Ohio State brings to the table in 2010. Ohio State should be favored going into every contest they enter. At the risk of the mega-hyperbolic cliche, the toughest opponent on the Buckeyes' schedule may be themselves. --
3 Oklahoma Sooners We're full on drinking the Phil Steele kool aid. Bradford's injury last season may be prove to be a god send for a year wiser, a year more experienced Landry Jones. While OU has an unusually rigorous out of conference load for one of college football's have's, if the Sooners get past a flawed Texas offense the first weekend in October, it may be tough to curtail the Sooner schooner from riding on into Glendale. --
4 Florida Gators Tough to say what the Gators are exactly (besides thoroughly talented). Florida loses one of the most accomplished leaders in college football history and replaces him with a redshirt junior some think may already be a better passer. Florida's girth of recruiting talent should make them easy favorites in a down SEC East; the question may ultimately be can they get past the champion of the league's West division. --
5 Virginia Tech Hokies The class of the ACC brings in an elite level rushing attack with Tyrod Taylor and the '100 Proof Backfield' of Darren Evans and Ryan Williams leading the way. The most lingering question mark for the Hokies may be their secondary, but should their defense echo many Bud Foster D's of yesteryear, expect to see VT in Charlotte battling for the ACC title with potentially much more on the line. --
6 Boise State Broncos Unfortunately for Boise State, their margin for error is between nothing and slightly more than absolutely nothing. In their final season in the WAC, the Broncos' season may be over before it starts if they falter in the opener in D.C. against VT. Boise still may have a very strong shot at yet another BCS bowl (perhaps even a Rose Bowl berth under new rules), but it'll have to win and win impressively if VT holds form as we're expecting. --
7 Texas Longhorns The Longhorns bring in arguably the nation's best defense but a huge question mark on the offensive side of the ball as any. Losing the best pure passing quarterback in their schools history, the school turns to high profile recruit Garrett Gilbert, who while looked mature beyond his years in the second half of last year's national title game after spelling McCoy, looked every bit the raw youngster that he is in the first. Expect that to be a dichotomy of Texas' season as Gilbert looks brilliant some weeks and hapless the next. --
8 USC Trojans In perhaps a surprise to some, we have USC up here on the strength of talent and (surprising to probably many) coaching acumen. While there's no question Lane Kiffin is as pompous as they come, anyone who saw the miracle job he did with a 1-2 win ceiling Oakland Raiders team and the Florida and Alabama games of last year owes it to themselves to be real about his ability to game plan. If he can manage to keep his Pacific ocean sized mouth shut, USC brings in one of the best staffs and most talented sides in the country. The question, given the exodus of talent in lieu of the NCAA violations from the Carroll-era, will be if they can stay healthy. Given the schedule and the talent they do bring back, it's not out of the question for SC to win 10-12 games but stay home come January due to their probation. --
9 Nebraska Cornhuskers Nebraska is another team that's difficult to know what exactly they bring to the table. The Huskers lose the best defensive player in school history in Ndamukong Suh but do return filthy defensive back Prince Amukamara. Anyone familiar with former Buckeye Bo Pelini also knows the caliber of defensive coaching he brings to the table. Nebraska's offense really has nowhere to go but up, so if the Huskers find a way to just become average offensively, they can afford the defense to slide a few spots and still have a real shot at the final 12-team Big XII conference championship. --
10 Iowa Hawkeyes MGoBrian's been preaching for some time about the regression to the mean the Hawkeyes seem certain to face. While their defense is world class, Iowa did win a large number of games in seemingly improbable ways coming from behind deficits time and time again last season. Over a longer time line, those kind of events tend to level out on both sides of the ledger. If Iowa finds a way to get past Ohio State in Iowa City, however, Rose Bowl (and mega dark horse BCS title game hopes) may not be unrealistic. --

11 Washington Huskies We're with EDSBS on UDub's chances for a Pac 10 title. Why not, right? The team has a phenomenal coaching staff, arguably the most NFL ready quarterback in the entire NCAA, and a home field advantage that could get them through late close games on until the rest of the country has caught up to the bandwagon. It's easy to forget that Washington doesn't even have to be the best team in the league as USC is ineligible to go bowling and have them still wind up in Pasadena come January. --
12 Wisconsin Badgers The Badgers bring in arguably college football's best offensive line. If the rest of the offense (quarterback Scott Tolzien in particular) can find a way to put it together, there's no questioning this group should be up near the top of the Big Ten title hunt. --
13 TCU Horned Frogs TCU will have to prove it's turned into one of college football's in-crowd in order to maintain this spot for long. While they came up just short in the Fiesta Bowl, a lot of the fire power that got them there in the first place returns to try and help TCU sneak into the crowded BCS party yet again. --
14 Miami Hurricanes It's all about the.... Team that probably won't live up to lofty expectations yet again. If Jacory Harris finds a way to reduce turnovers and the rest of the team finally puts it together, it's possible, this team may be near the top of the rankings at season's end. --
15 Oregon Ducks How many slots alone was the loss of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli worth for the Ducks? The starter-to-be-named-Saturday will have his hands full with a bevy of worth recipients and a still strong D may help the Ducks repeat as Pac 10 champs. --
16 Auburn Tigers Former Florida QB (and acclaimed laptop repair technician) Cam Newton leads Gus Malzahn's high flying offensive assault in an all of the sudden interesting SEC West. Can Gene Chizik improve upon last year's 8 win season? --
17 Stanford Cardinal Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal will have to find a worthy replacement for Heisman runner up Toby Gerhart, but if they do, the Pac 10 (and the rest of the Top 25) will have to watch out. Keep an eye on this team as you may seem the same systems in Ann Arbor a year from now. --
18 Pittsburgh Panthers The Wannstache and super soph Dion Lewis will look to be at the head of the pack in a suddenly interesting Big East. With more parity (and not in the bad way as of late) in the league in sometime, Pitt will have to close games which they occasionally failed to do last year. --
19 Penn State Nittany Lions A young Penn State team with an incredibly large delta, this team could easily win 10 or lose 6. It will be interesting to see how quickly they gel with a new quarterback and if prized tailback Evan Royster can be as effective as he has been the last several years. --
20 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets The fightin' Coach Paul Johnson's will seek to prove that 2009 was no aberration. If departed Virginia coach and acclaimed poetry aficionado Al Groh's 3-4 defense can take, GT could very well be the class of the ACC yet again. --
21 North Carolina Tar Heels UNC could wind up a Top 10 team if their war chest of Top 10 NFL draft picks aren't all found to be eligible. The team will also be at the mercy of the historically dreadful Schoop-fense coordinated by OC John Schoop. --
22 Arkansas Razorbacks With the Summer of Mallett all but a distant memory, Arkansas will look to vindicate the team taking a chance on Bobby Petrino. If the Razorbacks have something remotely resembling a defense, they'll be in the mix for the SEC West. --
23 Florida State Seminoles The Seminoles and darkhorse Heisman candidate Christian Ponder usher in the Jimbo Fisher era in Tallahasse. The team's been collecting assets for year; now it's time to find out if they know how to utilize them. --
24 Connecticut Huskies Some around the blogosphere have long been pushing the candidacy of UConn as potential Big East front runners, and perhaps this will be Randy Edsall's best chance in a muddled group of no power teams to break through to the BCS. --
25 Cincinnati Bearcats Zach Callaros takes over for Tony Pike and new head coach Butch Jones follows in Brian Kelly's footsteps of going from Central Michigan to Cincinnati. With Isiah Pead still toting the rock, let the countdown begin to Jones being named Boston College's next head coach. --
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