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Pre-season BlogPoll Roundtable No. 1

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The House Rock Built is hosting this years first BlogPoll Roundtable. Aside from voting for the weekly poll, BloggPoll voters also get to participate in discussions related to the season. While everything associated with the BlogPoll is fun, these roundtable discussions make you think and subsequently defend your position.

Here are the questions and my responses:

1. What's the biggest ripoff in this preseason poll? Either pick a team that's offensively over or underrated, or you can rag on a particular voter's bad pick (hey, we're all adults here, we can handle it).

Well, I'll keep it to the Pac-10. I don't understand the one first place vote for Cal. I would think you would have to win the Pac-10 in the previous season at least to garner a first place vote. I realize that they have been the bridesmaids of the Pac-10 lately and that everyone seems to think that this is their year. But I'm not so sure. They have the talent on offense but the defense is a little shaky. The rode the wave on beating SC a few years ago in OT but that wave has crashed pretty hard on the rocks in the last couple of seasons. Beat SC & win the Pac-10 then we'll talk.

2. What should a preseason poll measure? Specifically, should it be a predictor of end-of-season standing (meaning that a team's schedule should be taken into account when determining a ranking), or should it merely be a barometer of talent/hype/expectations?

First off, I am not a fan of pre-season polls. There are just too many questions about any given team. I would prefer that the polls were posted after the third week of the season.

That being said, the obvious measurements of Exposure, Talent and Traditional Biases are what I see as the way the polls are currently structured. Who's hot or what's sexy always seem to be the rule and not the exception when pre-season polls are tabulated. What about scheduling? USC was screwed out of the BCS Title Game a couple of years ago over strength of schedule. I realize that the system has been "fixed" to address that particular scenario but if was good enough for the title game why not the regular season? Cream puff schedules that lead to high win totals can skew the way the polls progress throughout the year.

CFR and BON had a great back and forth about this issue a month or so ago and I realize that I am not the only one to link to it but both sides really hit home in trying to find some common ground for the best way to rank teams in the pre-season. Again if the BCS can evolve surely thee polls can evolve.

3. What is your biggest stretch in your preseason ballot? That is to say, which team has the best chance of making you look like an idiot for overrating them?

I'm still not 100% sold on WVU. Rich Rodriguez is the flavor of the month right now. There was a lot of talk about the Sugar Bowl win but I just don't think that Georgia was up for the game. The Big East isn't what it used to be, so while they are a strong team, they are a strong team in a weaker conference than what it has been in the past.

4. What do you see as the biggest flaw in the polling system (both wire service and blogpolling)? Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced? If you say the latter, enlighten us with your new plan.

I'm with Bruins Nation on this one. The MSM just doesn't do their homework. It's all about ratings. I think they treat it (submitting polls) like having to eat your vegetables. It's easy to review the local team but you need to get on a plane and go see some of these teams on your own. Talk to the coaches, talk to the players and do some good ole fashioned reporting.

As far as the BlogPoll is concerned. Is it too trite to say that I'm just happy to be here? Brian at MGoBlog has done an outstanding job in putting all together. I'm just happy to be a part of it. I wouldn't change a thing!

5. You're Scott Bakula, and you have the opportunity to "Quantum Leap" back in time and change any single moment in your team's history. It can be a play on the field, a hiring decision, or your school's founders deciding to build the campus in Northern Indiana, of all godforsaken places. What do you do?

For me this one is easy. I would have made better coaching hires in the down years. Tolner, Smith, Robinson II, and Hackett made for some real depressing times. Losing 11 in a row to ND during that time made it even harder to swallow. I'm happy with Pete Carroll. He has brought this program back to national prominence. It's fun to root for USC again.  I realize that there has been some issues of late and some of those do sting, but on the field it's been great to watch.

What a Show!!

Please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section or in the diaries section on the right.