We are back with the BlogPoll for another season...
Here is this weeks ballot.
The whys and wherefores after the jump.
The Top 10:
Alabama: From what I read, 'Bama's defense could be very strong this season. I know that they have some issues on offense but if the defense can lock down their opponents then it is possible that Nick Saban could be in another BCS Title game.
Oklahoma: I am going against the conventional wisdom of many voters here...but I am not yet convinced. Stoops always has a bonehead loss bites him in the butt. I think they beat Boise State (see below), but unlike Alabama I am not yet convinced of the Sooner defense. After a quick look, the schedule lines up pretty good for them, but will they get out of their own way?
Oregon: Beat LSU and they are in the drivers seat for the other spot in BCS title game. They have some issues on OL and some lesser issues on defense but teams are still having a tough time adjusting to the speed of play that the Ducks bring to the table. Their loss to Auburn was more about a 30-day lay-off than it was that Auburn was that much better.
Florida St.: The 'Noles aren't quite ready for the big show but they are putting all the pieces in place. I really don't see FSU having much competition in the ACC. FSU isn't immune to tripping over themselves with bad loss here of there but I can see FSU in the BCS title game in the next two years.
LSU: This years endless enigma. They have the talent, but with off field issues with both the players and the coaching staff, I have a hard time seeing the Tigers having a productive season. Oh, they will win some games but I am not yet sure that they have the horses for the long haul.
Boise St.: This is an obligatory placement. BSU is never really going to get the same respect that teams from the stronger conferences get. They are always great for an exciting OOC win but then they play their conference schedule which is weak. If they run the table they get to a BCS bowl game but not the big show.
Stanford: I am torn here...'Furd still has a lot of talent, including Andrew Luck, but even with a new head coach that was Harbaugh's right hand man, That new head coach still isn't Jim Harbaugh. Stanford still doesn't have a lot of competition other than Oregon and USC but I am still not yet convinced that they will be as good as they were last year.
Texas A&M: The Aggies are going to play with purpose this season. Whether or not that is motivation enough is another matter. They want out of the Big-12 in the worst way and want to show their future conference that they aren't Texas' little bother (Texas isn't in my poll). This is the best team they have had in a while...but is it enough?
Nebraska: Regardless of the reason that Nebraska left the Big-12 I think they are highly motivated this season. The have a chance to make some real noise in the Big-10. The competition isn't as strong as it has been in past seasons, so they can make their presence felt this season.
Oklahoma St.: is this the season that Mike Gundy gets to the next level. I am not sure that Texas is back...soi put the Cowboys as the #3 team in the Big-12 behind OU and Mizzou...We'll see.
Thoughts on some Others:
USC: I labored over this. I could have put them a little higher but #21 was the best I could do. 'SC has some great talent but has depth issues. The defense will be better than last season but the key is Matt Barkley. He has to progress better than last year...some of his performance will depend on the OL but the rest is on him
South Carolina: They will win the SEC East but I don't see them winning the ATL. They have recruited pretty good the past couple of years but they aren't in the same league as some of the others yet.
Notre Dame: There is no question that ND has recruited well and Brian Kelly has done a slightly better job with that talent. But they aren't there yet. Their defense should be better this season but the QB spot is still a question to me. Crist is the starter with Rees waiting in the wings but both have some issues.
Ohio St.: It will be interesting to see how this team responds after all the off-season controversy they went through.
Georgia: It is now or never. The Richt era comes to an end if they have a less than expected season.