Pre-Season BlogPoll Ballot

By Alex Gleitman on August 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

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. --
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