The Ralphie Report is proud to announce that we have been selected as a new member of the Blogpoll. What exactly is the Blogpoll? Well I will let them explain that for you:
WHAT IS THE BLOGPOLL? It's basically the AP poll except with bloggers. It's a poll and so fall prey to all the things that polls fall prey to, but if you're so inclined these are the reasons the BlogPoll might be superior to other polls out there:
Everyone watches a ton of football. It's ironic that the two most prominent polls survey perhaps the two least qualified groups of people to vote: journalists and coaches. Both spend their Saturdays laser-focused on one game. Thanks to Gameplan and DirectTV, bloggers can suck in as many as 20 games every weekend.
Biases are disclosed and closely monitored. Every voter has to have a favorite team; voters without are laughed at and told to watch something soulless. The poll closely tracks each voter's level of bias and uses stern disapproval to keep would-be homers in check. (Would-be negative nancies are not quite so easily dissuaded.)
The poll's goals are clearly stated. The AP poll is full of voters who vote team X super high in the preseason because of its schedule; this is strongly discouraged by the BlogPoll. Preseason polls are supposed to be exclusively about how good a team is thought to be, and postseason polls are supposed to be exclusively about how much a team has accomplished on the field.
Now... it is impossible to separate the former from the latter in late-season polls because college football provides such a sparse data set, but at the very least BlogPoll voters know they shouldn't vote a 9-2 USC team #1 even if they think they're the best team unless that 9-2 includes three killer nonconference matchups.
Voters have more time for consideration. The poll comes out Wednesday morning, allowing voters to catch up on everything that happened and discuss it in the blogosphere. Other polls come out Sunday, and almost never take other's arguments into account.
It's weirder. The poll has some definite wackos in it, but they are relatively few and act as a net positive, forcing more mainstream voters to argue things like "Kansas probably shouldn't be #20 at 11-0" or "why rank Hawaii at all?
It's more fun. No one really cares, so we can just vote and not have garments rent.
Well there you have it. We are really excited to be a part of this and we hope for a lot of feedback from all our readers. We are going to follow the voting model that is suggested by the poll host, MMgoblog. Basically we are voting on the teams based on the quality of their current seasons. Obviously for the first six weeks or so that will be more or less a guess on our part and that's why we need your feedback. You can already check out the preliminary preseason polls from RockMNation, Double-T Nation, Dawgsports and Cornnation. Here is our first attempt at picking the 25 best teams in nation:
We will keep track of our rankings throughout the season so we can follow how teams rise and fall. Check out the spreadsheet here.
Take a look and let us know what you think? Who is too high? Who did we leave off?