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Blog Poll Final Top 25

My final Top 25 ballot is beyond the jump, but first, three notes.

  1. I've seen my fair share of indefensible ballots submitted to the Blog Poll this (and every) year, but I will say this: the process is open and transparent. First, we're all strongly encouraged to post draft ballots, through which readers and fellow bloggers can (and always do) point out voting idiocies. Revisions are frequently made (certainly considered), facilitating both a minimization of oversights/mistakes and a maximization of dialogue. Second, voter ballots are attached to publishers, such that there is no anonymity in voting. And third, MGoBrian does a good job of spending time each week discussing the merits and demerits of various votes; though dissention is neither discouraged or stifled, the prospect of review encourages voters to explain plainly what it is that they are saying with their votes. All these things are good.
  2. Both because of the above and my own views on the impossibility of identifying The Best Team, I won't be quibbling with the particular ordering of Florida, Texas, Utah, or USC on any voter's ballot. I prefer a playoff because we do value championships and a (well-constructed) post-season would better legitimize that notion, but in the current system there's nothing offensive about anyone who wants to make the case for any of those four squads.
  3. In response to a note I made last week about it not mattering whether Texas finished #2 or #4 in any of the polls, Jason Mayer made an excellent point I want to acknowledge:

    I know it doesn’t matter, but I still bristled at the final poll with two teams leaping ahead of us.

    I know this rehashes a lot of similar points that have already been made, but all of this talk about Texas’ win in the Fiesta Bowl being “unimpressive” exemplifies exactly what is wrong with the BCS. It’s no longer enough to win, or to show moxie or resiliency in battling back or slugging it out in a tough game with a tough opponent, or trading scores between two great offenses.

    It’s all about “style points” now. And college football has become no better than figure skating or gymnastics in terms of basing everything on someone’s subjectivity.

    Congrats to Florida. They are a deserving "national champion." But there were three other teams that had a case to be playing them last night. And any of those three teams could have easily won. I don’t see how anybody watching that game last night could unequivocally state that those were the best two teams in the country.

    It's a (typically) excellent take from Jason, regardless, but especially worth highlighting because it came just hours after I'd stressed that Texas fans shouldn't spend their time admonishing Mack Brown for failing to gun for 100 points like Bob Stoops, but rather should ask of poll voters to think more critically about what they reward. As Jason rightly points out, though Texas at #2 or #4 doesn't really "matter," it is bothersome insofar as any given voter is -- in dropping Texas -- getting carried away with "style points" in precisely the same way that allowed Oklahoma to be unjustly enriched for their blowout wins. I revise my position to embrace Jason's point.

    My final Top 25 ballot is after the jump.
Rank Team Delta
1 Florida 25
2 Texas 24
3 Southern Cal 23
4 Utah 22
5 Oklahoma 21
6 Penn State 20
7 Alabama 19
8 Mississippi 18
9 Texas Tech 17
10 Ohio State 16
11 TCU 15
12 Georgia 14
13 Oregon 13
14 Virginia Tech 12
15 Boise State 11
16 Florida State 10
17 Oklahoma State 9
18 Iowa 8
19 Oregon State 7
20 Pittsburgh 6
21 Michigan State 5
22 Cincinnati 4
23 Georgia Tech 3
24 Missouri 2
25 California 1

Plenty of room to quibble, no doubt, and I'm interested in everyone's views. I'm mostly ranking on resume, though my own subjective prejudices clearly creep in here and there. I give Ole Miss a lot of credit for beating both Tech and Florida; some may think too much.  I give the Gators the final nod for the same reason. As mentioned before the jump, though, I'm fine with any ranking of Texas, UF, USC, and Utah 1-4.

Beyond that, mostly a mess, and for my interest in chatting about others thoughts on this, I won't lose much sleep worrying about whether we got spots 10-25 just right.