Quickie readers know that one of my biggest crusades is "sports populism": The empowerment of fans, to as much of an extent in every sport as possible.
To me, very little has represented the opposite of populism than the traditional college football polls, particularly the "human" polls: The AP (media) poll, the coaches poll, the Harris poll.
I have long argued that fans care more, watch more and know more than the so-called "experts."
(I have also, secretly and not-so-secretly, always pined to vote in a college football poll. Not because I know best, but so I could use fan input to make my rankings and try to disrupt the system.)
Anyway, there has been one interesting online-sports concept that I've been keeping my eye on: The "BlogPoll," a group of 60 or so enthusiastic college football bloggers who come together to create a rankings that fills in the gaps where the AP and coaches blow it:
Passion, transparency, accountability.
They post their rankings, but take input from their readers to shape the final product. They hear from other voters, who force them to be transparent about their biases and justify their picks. I think it's a really cool idea, and I'm excited to join in.
So here's the situation: I've got my Top 25, based on watching way too many games on Saturday – a lot of you were right there with me – but this is only a starting point. Take a look, and let me know in the Comments area if you think anything is egregiously wrong. Or even mildly something you'd change. (Don't forget to provide some "why.")
I'll go back and revisit the list, synthesizing all of your arguments and observations, and make changes where necessary before submitting my final ballot. (You can check out the BlogPoll here.)
(Don't worry: There won't be this long of an intro each week. I just wanted to introduce the concept.)
Shanoff's Top 25 Ballot
12. Notre Dame
13. VA Tech
22. Penn St
25. Florida St
Let me try to explain myself with a few notes:
I was unimpressed with OSU in beating Cincy, but not enough to have the guts to knock them from No. 1. Winning at UT was still the top road win of the year.
Not TOO far ahead of
As much as I like
I'm not sure why I have Georgia No. 7. Maybe because they're unbeaten, from the SEC and because I'm a sucker for true frosh QBs.
OK, I've probably underrated
Virginia Tech isn't disrespected at No. 13. Have you seen that schedule?
I overrate TCU at 14, yes perhaps,but they absolutely shut down the most sophisticated offense in the country.
20-25 is a crap-shoot: I really wanted to get
OK, those are some of my thoughts on how this was constructed. Now it's time for your reactions, analysis and picks in the Comments section. It WILL be taken VERY seriously.
We'll see how it goes. The whole thing is a great experiment for me. (And I agonized over my ballot way more than I thought I would... or would need to.)