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2011 BlogPoll Preseason Ballot - Attempting To Assess College Football's Elite

The BlogPoll is back in action for another season and this year it will live exclusively on 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'll also include my Pac-12 rankings and a link to the spreadsheet I use to come up with these rankings. For this first ballot, I went through the arduous task of ranking every single team by conference (MAC and Sunbelt, you're excluded for now) and then selected what I thought were the top 40. From 40 I narrowed it down to the 30 teams that you see below.

Feel free to dissect my selections in the comments.

Next Five:
26) Penn State
27) Texas
28) Clemson 
29) Pittsburgh 
30) San Diego State

See my Pac-12 Rankings as well as some notes about my ballot after the jump...

Pac-12 Rankings:
1) Oregon 
2) Stanford
3) USC
4) Arizona State
5) Arizona
6) Oregon State
7) Utah
8) Washington 
9) Colorado 
10) California
11) Washington State
12) UCLA

Check out my complete, conference by conference rankings here.

Notes On The Rankings:

- As I mentioned above, I first start by ranking all of the teams in their individual conferences and then I move them up into a top 30. I'll re-rank the conferences this way every single week in an effort to make sure I am aware of what all the teams are doing, not just the top 25. 

- To be honest, I haven't really paid that much attention to the AP and Coaches polls outside of the top 7 or 8 so I'm not entirely sure where my poll differs. I imagine at the very top, the variances lie with Virginia Tech being a bit higher and LSU being a bit lower. 

- I'm obviously not buying all of this Texas A&M hype. I've heard this song and dance too many times in the preseason to fall for that again. Remember how excited the Aggies were about Jerrod Johnson's senior season last year? How did that turn out? Ryan Tannehill looked downright awful in the bowl game last season and I expect he will regress from what we saw in most of his regular season starts in 2010. Their running game has a chance to be the best in the Big 12, but the loss of Von Miller on D will hurt more than most realize. 

- Florida State is somewhat similar to the Aggies in the preseason hype department. I think the Seminoles are rapidly improving, and could be a favorite to challenge for the title in 2012, but this year the conference belongs to the Hokies.

- From the Pac-12, I have Oregon, Stanford and USC (who I am obviously going to be including in my rankings all season). After that it got a little tougher. At first I had the Beavers up next as I have a lot of faith in Mike Reilly and I expect a big year from Ryan Katz, but after sitting on it for a while I dropped them down a bit and moved both Arizona schools up. Let it be known that I have no faith whatsoever in the Sun Devils, but I just couldn't get past how even this conference is going to be after those top two schools. It's going to make for a fun year. 

Who would you move up or down?