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Maize n Ballot, Take II

My previous draft ballot can be found here.

Rank Team Delta
1 Southern Cal 25
2 Texas 24
3 LSU 23
4 Oklahoma 22
5 West Virginia 21
6 Michigan 20
7 Florida State 19
8 Wisconsin 18
9 Louisville 17
10 South Carolina 16
11 Virginia Tech 15
12 UCLA 14
13 Florida 13
14 Ohio State 12
15 Georgia 11
16 Oregon 10
17 Arkansas 9
18 Penn State 8
19 Alabama 7
20 Miami (Florida) 6
21 Kansas State 5
22 Hawaii 4
23 Rutgers 3
24 Nebraska 2
25 California 1

Dropped Out: No One

I made a few minor changes, but not much is different from my previous ballot. The only real change of note is moving Texas above LSU for the No. 2 slot in the poll. LSU is loaded, but I have more faith in Texas' offense than LSU's.

Texas A&M and Illinois are gone. A&M, despite how much I like the actual team, needs to actually sustain its success for more than two games without getting crushed by a respected opponent. Illinois? We'll they'll be back. They keep getting better.

Moving into the poll are Miami and Rutgers. Miami is another of the underachieving disasters that should rebound this year. 9 returning starters should improve upon their 19.6 points a game last year. Somehow Miami averaged less than 17 a game over their last 5 games. Too much talent, some discipline, and better luck could take Miami to the ACC championship game.

Despite my panning of the Big East, I have to acknowledge the solid work Greg Schiano's done over the last 6 years at Rutgers. They're a legit mid-tier team. While one season isn't enough to anoint the Knights a premier program, they've got enough returning talent to stay in the top 25 this year. The next two years will let us know if they've got staying power, but for now they belong.

The rankings will probably change as fall practice goes on, but for now, that's how I sees it.