1. What's the biggest ripoff in this preseason poll? Either pick a team that's offensively over or underrated, or you can rag on a particular voter's bad pick (hey, we're all adults here, we can handle it).
Since I've seen it said more than a few times, including on The House Rock Built, this question should be referred to as the "I'll have what he's having" question. I've already said that I think Boston College should be on there, so that's my too low pick. I have to say that Ohio St. getting 20 first place votes is about 19 too many. They might very well be the best team, but I think there is going to be a drop off in leadership rather than a drop off in talent on defense that is going to hurt. But, that offense will be fun to watch!
2. What should a preseason poll measure? Specifically, should it be a predictor of end-of-season standing (meaning that a team's schedule should be taken into account when determining a ranking), or should it merely be a barometer of talent/hype/expectations?
I really tried to not consider the schedule when I did my poll. Probably why my ranking of WV was lower than the average. Particularly in the case of Auburn and Ohio St. Auburn's schedule probably couldn't line up any better than it is this year. I'm sure an SEC schedule is never easy, but most of the big boys are coming to Auburn this year. And Ohio St. going down to Texas in week two is going to be murder on them. However, if you want to truly rank a team, the schedule can't factor in. Execution, how a team reacts in certain situations, and in this case, previous performance has to factor in. Also, I lean on experience. Hype gets generated from a team's last game. I can't wait to get this first game started, and get the Sugar Bowl out of everyone's minds. WV is certainly getting a ton of hype from that. So, if you can erase the bowl game from your mind and look at how a team did during the season should be a good indicator to follow.
3. What is your biggest stretch in your preseason ballot? That is to say, which team has the best chance of making you look like an idiot for overrating them?
Miami could be that team. I think if we all looked deep we could admit that Miami is partially there because of reputation. I'm not knocking them, but I don't think anyone would question it. With all the new coaches they have things could be tough starting out. They certainly fell apart on a few occasions last year. Other than that, I'm pretty confident with my poll.
4. What do you see as the biggest flaw in the polling system (both wire service and blogpolling)? Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced? If you say the latter, enlighten us with your new plan.
I think the biggest flaw with any polling system is that regional coverage distracts us from seeing everything.
Someday lord, someday!5. You're Scott Bakula, and you have the opportunity to "Quantum Leap" back in time and change any single moment in your team's history. It can be a play on the field, a hiring decision, or your school's founders deciding to build the campus in Northern Indiana, of all godforsaken places. What do you do?
Humans hold grudges, and computers have no soul. So, I think it will always be flawed. House is right though, all the talk about it is what is fun. A little grey area never hurt anyone.
Recent memory would be the muffed punt toward the end of the first half against VT last year. Also, the blocked punt against Miami in '96 sucked. How do you not call that a forward lateral? I don't know, one play shouldn't and probably doesn't decide the game. I think for all time downers, it would have to be Major Harris screwing up his hip in the '89 Fiesta Bowl. That was a really good team, but without Major at 100%, it was hard to watch. ND was pretty good too.