Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blog Poll Round Table 1

The first blog poll is out and now it's time for the "round table" discussions amongst the voters.

This week's discussion is hosted by The House Rock Built. Feel free to add your comments as well.

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).

To me the biggest rip-off is that there isn’t a clear cut #1 team going into the season. I really think you could take Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, USC and West Virginia and make a legitimate defense as to why they could win the national championship and then turn around and make a legitimate argument as to why they are over-rated.

This isn’t going way out on a limb or anything but I’m saying that this year’s BCS championship game will not feature two undefeated teams.

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?

In my opinion the pre-season poll should reflect where you think that individual team should be placed going into the season. In other words you think that on a neutral field team #1 would beat all the teams ranked beneath them.

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?

West Virginia, I have them ranked # 5 and I seriously think they could be #1 while others believe they are a “flavor of the month” type pick.

The Mountaineers return more starters than Ohio State, Texas and USC. Last season’s leading rusher (Steve Slaton), receiver (Brandon Myles) and quarterback (Pat White). Their offensive line can dominate and their speed is incredible.

With their schedule any loss is unacceptable and would make me look foolish for how much I have touted them.

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 Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced?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.

Playoff baby! Either four or eight teams use the polls to determine the order and then let them go after it. How do we know Texas couldn’t have beaten USC after the 04 season. What about 03 Auburn?

The problem with polls is bias. Everyone on the blog poll represents a team. I have Oklahoma (my team) ranked 11 on my ballot which is five spots higher than the poll at 16. Do I legitimately think they are five spots better than everyone else or are they just my favorite team?

The media polls have the same problems. Voters in the AP poll and the Harris poll have an agenda as well. They even gave a bunch of computer nerds who don't know a thing about the sport a say because they would be "unbiased" and yet even that was messed up.

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?

2003 Sugar Bowl – It’s late in the 4th quarter and the Sooners are driving. Tailback Kejuan Jones is running for four and five yards at a time. He gets Oklahoma all the way down to the LSU 11 yard line. The Tigers on the field are gassed, hands on their hips in between plays, and the Tigers in the stands are scared.

Everyone knew that if the Sooners punch it in here they are on their way to their 8th national championship. The Tigers’ fans sitting in my section were saying things like, “I can’t believe we are going to lose this game.”

Instead of continuing to pound away on the Tigers Oklahoma attempts four passes in a row without completing any of them. Jubilation for LSU fans and frustration for Oklahoma fans, in my “Quantum Leap” I’m going back and running the ball in on the Tigers.