Aside from casting weekly ballots, BlogPollersters are also required to post weekly roundtables reflecting on topics chosen by the weekly host of the roundtable. This week, it just so happens to be Notre Dame bloggeur The House Rock Built.
Roundtables provide a place for BlogPollsters to defend their selection, voice their humble opinions, and constructively criticize other Pollsters. In other words, it's like the Harris Poll, except with people backing up their votes.
Just as Peter the brilliant at Burnt Orange Nation says:
Enjoy, and don't eat that cookie in one bite.
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).
It's hard to tell. I could start listing off teams that look misplaced, but there really is no way to know. Notre Dame looks overrated to me at #5, but that's just me. And I don't know about Oklahoma at 16. Nobody knows that one. Michigan also looks kind of iffy at 14, but maybe they'll have a better season this year than they have in resent history. And I still can't figure out how Duke got two votes for #25 and Oregon State didn't. Maybe that's my fault...
2. What shold 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?
A perfectly mixed potion consisting of a little bit of both. Obviously, a team shouldn't be ranked high in the poll just because they play in a weak conference and have a easy schedule. You still have to have the talent to compete with the rest of the league. (Hence, non-conference games) So it has to be somewhere in the middle. I think most people rank teams based on their talent, hype, and expectations, but schedules can come into play a bit, if you do the research. But your poll should be your poll, not a scrambled up version of the Coaches Poll
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?
Some may say that ranking Texas #1 may be a stretch, but really, I didn't see any reason not to. All they need is for one of their new quarterbacks to have a strong season, and for somebody to step up as a leader, and they're set. Other than that I don't think I made any real big stretches.
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 agree 100 percent with Peter at Burnt Orange Nation. Too many idiots are given votes that matter. Having 113-some-odd people vote doesn't really make sense. Get a generous handful of people who know what they're doing, make them sit around a table, and discuss it until they come to a group decision. Now that will probably never happen, because someone will always like it the way it is. "We need all conferences represented!" "113 heads are better than 40!" and on, and on, and on... All they need to do is make them explain their answers. Printing the coaches poll of the internet and then scrambling up the teams isn't going to cut it. Make them publish a nifty little pamphlet on why they ranked the teams where they did. Hey, this sounds a little bit like this BlogPoll 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?
Never letting Dennis Erickson go. He's the guy for our program, and he had the bus headed in the right direction. Maybe, just maybe, he will come back. Pretty pleeeaase?