For the second consecutive season, Rock M Nation has been asked to participate in the CBSSports.com BlogPoll. Each Monday, we'll post our initial ballot for community review before tweaking the final ballot by each Wednesday. Below is my ballot for the preseason poll.
Others receiving consideration: Kansas, Michigan State, Cincy, Pitt, Oregon St., West Virginia, Nevada
- No surprise at the top. I didn't feel it necessary to deviate from the Florida/Texas/OU/USC model.
- I know Oklahoma State is a great football team, but I can't help but feel that I'm going to have a hard time justifying putting them at No. 6.
- Consider me extremely high on the "second tier" (read: not USC) teams in the Pac 10. Tedford appears to have a solid squad at Cal, and Oregon may be one of the most overlooked teams in the country as this point (this notwithstanding, of course).
- Ole Miss is the preseason media darling in the SEC West, and I can understand the hype. But I can't help but get the feeling like LSU is the big X-factor in that division. If Jordan Jefferson has his act together early in the season, they may supplant Bama as my early favorites.
- Virginia Tech is at No. 12, but only because of the injury of Darren Evans.
- Notre Dame at No. 18? Look at the schedule.
- I've got FSU and UNC back-to-back in the early 20s. As it's been the past couple of years, even if there's no far and away frontrunner for the ACC, the incredible amount of parity in that league makes for great drama. Christian Ponder needs to justify my faith in him.
- I've got Rutgers at No. 23, if only because Bill C.'s numbers tell me so.
- OK, I really wrestled with what to do with Nebraska and Kansas. If you ask me, I'll still tell you I think Kansas is the better football team, but that schedule is a killer. If this were wholly a power poll and didn't account for potential for success, Kansas gets the nod over NU. But Nebraska is much better positioned for success, especially if they exit Columbia with a win in early October.