Feel free to comment on the poll on our Boot Board Plus Tuesday, and we'll incorporate that feedback into our ballot before submitting it for good first thing Wednesday morning.
Between the opportunity for revision and constructive criticism, the fact that every voter's every ballot is transparent (unlike in the coaches' poll, which is used by the BCS) and the fact that us diehards might follow the sport a little harder than people for whom it's just a job, and can watch more games than a coach who cares obsessively about his team and his team only, the Blog Poll has acquitted itself pretty well in its short history. Voters here seem more likely to think for themselves, and not just keep voting a team No. 1 just because their peers was No. 1 last week. Quoting from the poll's explanation, "the BlogPoll has an explicitly declared poll philosophy that voters are directed to follow. Not every voter and every ballot manages to do so, but the philosophy affects the poll as a whole. This usually manifests itself in a skepticism of teams that play very weak schedules. The 2007 Hawaii team, which cruised through its regular season and was crushed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, is the most obvious example."
Very well then, enough with the overview: we'll be voting weekly in this poll for the rest of the season, posting draft ballots on Monday, welcoming your feedback all Tuesday and incorporating it into our final ballots Wednesday. On to our actual rankings for this week, with commentary below:
Starting at the top, I don't see how you can't have Alabama, Oregon and Ohio State, in that order. The TCU/Boise State story is nice, and no one hates the exclusionary BCS more than I do, but you can't vote your feelings, and those top three teams would kill Cinderella. (Speaking of Cinderella, why is no one talking about undefeated Utah, who hosts TCU, has a win over Pittsburgh, and still visits Notre Dame and Air Force? It's early, but I think a 12-0 Utah might be more impressive than a 12-0 Boise State.) As far as my ordering, Alabama has wins over three solid teams in Penn State, Arkansas and Florida, far and away outclassing the field. At No. 2, Oregon's best win, an offensive explosion vs. Stanford, is more impressive than Ohio State's best win, an ugly turnover-filled win vs. a talented but, ahem, mistake-prone Miami. I know about last year's Rose Bowl, but Ohio State just had a close call against Illinois, while no one has come close to Oregon yet, plus Pryor may be injured.
I'm a big believer in Nebraska, as the thrashing of Washington looks better all of a sudden, and the Big 12 a whole lot more winnable, and Auburn, who will be favored all the way (with LSU and Arkansas at home) to what could be one of the biggest Iron Bowls of all time. Auburn's offense is unreal, and wins already over South Carolina, Clemson and Mississippi State is more than most teams can point to at the moment.
Elsewhere in the poll, LSU falls after demonstrating a complete non-understanding of counting in a win over Tennessee, and USC stays in the poll, because it was either them, two-loss Texas, or Northwestern, who has squeaked by Minnesota and Central Michigan. Florida State's in the on-deck circle; we'll see how they do against Miami this week.
Finally, a note on your No. 12 Cardinal. The highest ranked one-loss team in each of the last eight years finished second, first, first (actually a two-loss LSU won it all), first, second, third, first and second. Half the time then, the national champion had one loss and all the other times, the top one-loss team finished in the top-three. So to the Stanford fans who say this team will be lucky to make it back into the Top 10 if it wins out, that's absurd. More to the point, Stanford could well be favored in every game it plays the rest of the season, and there is a LOT to play for. Hopefully we do not suffer a post-Oregon hangover this week, because if history's any guide, all of our preseason goals (and then some) may still be on the table.
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