For everyone who loves meaningless preseason polls (which is pretty much no one, right?), the best one--the BlogPoll--has finally been released by SBNation. Southern Cal, with 32 first place votes, edged out Alabama, who had 23. In our Rocky Top Talk ballot, we voted Southern Cal at #4, behind Bama, LSU, and Oregon, so the blog community at large has a lot more faith in the Trogans. Spots five through seven go exactly in line with the Rocky Top Talk ballot, with Oklahoma rounding out the top five, followed by Florida State and Georgia.
After that comes the insanity. There are seven teams who should, on paper, be good. Beyond that, your guess is as good as ours. Our ballot showed some faith in Mark Dantonio, ranking Michigan State #8, but the BlogPoll has a whole put Michigan in the eight spot and Sparty all the way down at #13. The groupthink also wasn't quite as concerned about the coaching changes at Wisconsin (#10) and Arkansas (#12), ranked by us at #16 and #19.
Excluding Ohio State, who we did not rank for sanctions reasons, four teams made the BlogPoll top 25 who did not appear on the Rocky Top Talk ballot: Virginia Tech (#15), Nebraska (#17), Kansas State (#22), Florida (#24). Balancing that out, our votes for Louisville, Washington, Utah, Georgia Tech, and Louisiana Tech fell out of step with the voters at large, as none made the final top 25. Louisville finished 26th in the poll, Washington 27th, Utah 28th, and Georgia Tech 29th. Louisiana Tech was not so close.
Follow after the jump to see our final ballot and how it compared with voters across the country.
- Despite placing Michigan State fairly high, Rocky Top Talk did not supply their highest vote, as From Old Virginia fancies the Spartans the #4 team in the country. Notre Dame, who was ranked #12 in our ballot and #25 overall (I know I made the ballot, but don't ask me how the Irish got so high) also did not see their highest ballot here, garnering an 11th place vote from From Old Virginia (notice a trend?). Similarly, Utah was voted as high as #13 by And the Valley Shook, Washington as high as #13 by House of Sparky, Louisville as high as #13 by Barking Carnival, Georgia Tech as high as #13 by Black Shoe Diaries, and Louisiana Tech as high as
#13#24 by UB Bull Run. We were one of the only two votes for the Bulldogs, who are 7.5 point underdogs to Texas A&M in week one.This game has been postponed until October 13th due to a hurricane a-coming. Which is sad, because Louisiana Tech has the chance to be one of the last good non-BCS conference teams left this year, and I was hoping to see on opening night whether or not they were for real. On the plus side, they still get Houston, Illinois, and Virginia in September, so we'll see a little bit.
- On the other side of the coin, five voters put USC below our #4, with Dawg Sports providing the low vote at #12. Four voters joined us in failing to rank Virginia Tech, and three pegged Arkansas worse than our #19 vote. Bobby Petrino, your coaching skills are highly respected by Barking Carnival, The Only Colors, and Black Heart Gold Pants.
- Although neither sniffed the top 25, Tennessee and their Friday opponent from Raleigh both picked up votes in the first poll of the year. The Vols were voted #20 by And the Valley Shook (does it say something that the people who most believe in Derek Dooley are coached by Les Miles?) and #25 by Razor Bloggers, while the NC State Wolfpack picked up a #18 vote from Black Shoe Diaries, #21 from The Ralphie Report, and #24 from Eagle in Atlanta.