The BlogPoll is back and this year it is moving over to the SB Nation platform. For those of you that don't know, the BlogPoll is a poll made up of the people who watch and talk about college football all day long, bloggers.
Every week, I will post my ballot on Monday for discussion and the poll will be posted on Wednesday when it is released. I will also include my Big 12 rankings and, after this week, include some notes about why teams moved up and down. For this first ballot, I went through the arduous task of ranking every single team by conference (with help from Phil Steele on the MAC and Sun Belt) and then selected what I thought were the top 40. From 40 I narrowed it down to the 30 teams that you see below.
Dissect my picks in the comments!
26) West Virginia
See my Big 12 Rankings as well as some more explanation about the BlogPoll after the jump...
Big 12 Rankings:
5) Texas A&M
6) Texas Tech
9) Oklahoma State
10) Kansas State
12) Iowa State
What is the BlogPoll?
The BlogPoll is structured exactly like the AP and Coaches' polls, except the voting members are active bloggers who write about college football.
How does it work?
Voters submit a draft ballot on Monday that they post on their site. They then solicit feedback from their readers and submit a revised ballot early Wednesday. These ballots are then compiled into the poll Wednesday afternoon.
How is the BlogPoll different from other polls?
A few different ways.
One: By virtue of their tendency to sit around and watch 12 hours of college football every weekend, BlogPoll voters are often better informed than mainstream media members, most of whom spend their Saturday obsessively covering one particular game, or coaches, who all obsessively cover one game.
Two: All votes are totally transparent. The poll makes a point of calculating various poll statistics so it can examine outlying ballots (especially those that are biased in favor of the home team), and asks voters to justify their stranger picks.
Three: 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 effects 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.
Why should I care about any of this?
As the poll has developed it has shown a flexibility mainstream polls have not. In 2009, for instance, ownership of #1 passed to and from Florida and Alabama. Before the SEC championship game voters settled on Alabama, whereupon they were proven correct by events on the field. Though the debate was academic because the two teams would meet at the end of the season, there are plenty of occasions when hotly debated teams don't meet on the field. Conventional polls seem to adhere to the idea that if you're #1 you stay #1; the bloggers are more responsive.