[Update: The Week One BlogPoll is out, with voters putting Alabama over Oklahoma for the top spot. Penn State is 2nd in the "Also Receiving Votes" category. - CG]
Nick put together this ballot. He will handle the BlogPoll duties for us this year. Those of you who followed us over from LBU know this already. But there was some confusion about what time the full top 25 was going to go public (it did an hour ago) and when most other blogs were going to publish their ballots. So... I'm stepping in just for today to cover. It doesn't matter anyway, because preseason polls are more for fun than anything else.
During the regular part of the season, Nick will have these posted Sunday nights or first-thing Monday mornings.
Nick's preseason BSD ballot, including a full explanation of what exactly is the BlogPoll, below the fold. And as always, let us know what you think!
BSD's BlogPoll 2011 Preseason Ballot:
So... 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.