Man, it seemed like this was so much easier last year.
I sat down to fill out my inaugural ballot for the MGoBlog BlogPoll earlier this week, and didn't take an unreasonable amount of time to decide who I thought the top 25 teams in the country were. But then I tried to come up with rationales for why I had each team where I did and I hit a brick fuckin' wall. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the fact that I'm actually a pretty mediocre writer, maybe it was the fact that we haven't even played any games yet so nobody really has any sort of empirical evidence how good anybody else is going to be -- or maybe it was a combination of all three, but whatever the reason, I just could not come up with all that many reasons why my rankings were good.
I could, however, come up with plenty of reasons why they suck donkey gonads. So here's my preseason top 25, complete with reasons why these picks are based on potentially inaccurate information and logic that's shakier than an interstate bridge in Minneapolis (what, too soon?), and will most likely leave me looking like a complete idiot by the end of November, if not sooner.
Excited yet? OK, let's begin!
1. Southern California
Why this pick is stupid: If I were a real man, I'd have thrown caution to the wind and picked a different #1 team from the one 99.999% of the rest of the world is picking.
2. Virginia Tech
Why this pick is stupid: My very own team slapped Sean Glennon around like a two-dollar whore in the Peach Bowl last year, yet somehow I'm counting on Glennon to improve enough that he can live up to what will almost certainly be a killer defense and take the Hokies to the ACC (and, possibly, national) title game. Right, sure. That'll happen.
Why this pick is stupid: Because awkward headwear choices and lunkheaded Pac-10-baiting notwithstanding, I actually think Les Miles is a decent coach.
Why this pick is stupid: I'm counting on them to a) improve on defense without Gene Chizik and b) notch a three-game win streak over Oklahoma.
Why this pick is stupid: Because they're probably going to roll over their first 10 opponents by margins just big enough to make me predict that they'll be hoisting the crystal football on January 7, only to crap their pants against Wisconsin and Ohio State and end up limpdicking through another Outback Bowl.
Why this pick is stupid: Because they return 16 starters from a team that went 12-1 last year, which means I'm ranking them too low. Or, alternately, because I'm so obsessed with the returning-starter number that I've forgotten they haven't won an outright Big Ten title in eight years, which means I'm ranking them too high.
7. West Virginia
Why this pick is stupid: Because I'm assuming that they're just going to tear through the Big East like Britney Spears through a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, conveniently forgetting that they got embarrassed by South Florida at home last year.
Why this pick is stupid: Because as good as everyone says they are, they still haven't managed any better than two losses under Jeff Tedford. Just watch them make a fool out of me again by getting another hosing from Tennessee.
Why this pick is stupid: Because under "passing" in the "returning leaders" box it says "Joey Halzle, 1-2, 15 yards." Wow! Two whole passing attempts! (Actually, though, that's still a better QB rating than Jason White had in the '03 Sugar Bowl.)
Why this pick is stupid: Because winning the national title in '06 didn't sprinkle some kind of magical fairy dust on them that will make them impervious to losses in '07, nor will it somehow grant them more than two returning starters on defense.
11. Ohio State
Why this pick is stupid: Because they lost nearly everyone starting at an offensive skill position in 2006, meaning their offense could actually look worse than the one that got prison-raped by Florida in the national-title game.
Why this pick is stupid: Because apparently I don't think losing Bobby Petrino to the Falcons will end up being that big a deal.
Why this pick is stupid: Because Darren McFadden or no Darren McFadden, it is absolute lunacy to think that a team can maintain a division-title-winning pace after the BBC farce of an off-season these yahoos have had, and even if they could, they would still be woefully underskilled at what the kids these days are calling the "forward pass."
Why this pick is stupid: Because apparently I've fooled myself into believing that anything good other than Count Basie and Jack Nicholson could possibly come out of New Jersey.
Why this pick is stupid: Because I've looked at a 3-6 finish and an absolute housing in the Las Vegas Bowl and still said, "You know, I still think these guys could be good."
Why this pick is stupid: Because by taking a team with this many raging question marks on both the offensive and defensive lines and dropping them in the top 20, I have officially allowed my Mark Richt mancrush to turn me into the homeriest homer in the history of homerism.
Why this pick is stupid: Two words -- "Bill" and "Callahan."
Why this pick is stupid: Because Brandon Cox's late-season suckitude was directly attributable to a terrible offensive line, and this year's could actually be worse. Alternately, I could be giving far too little credit to their defense and thus ranking them way too low.
19. Penn State
Why this pick is stupid: Because the closest thing they had to a marquee win last year was over Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, which precisely nobody cares about. Also, Joe Paterno is 167 years old.
Why this pick is stupid: Because for every shocking upset they've notched under Karl Dorrell, they've managed to get utterly embarrassed by a lousy team they should've beaten, so even if they somehow beat, say, California this year, that only means they're going to get pantsed by Washington State the very next week.
21. Texas Christian
Why this pick is stupid: Because this is the first non-BCS-conference team I've bothered to put in the rankings and it isn't Boise State or Hawaii.
22. Oklahoma State
Why this pick is stupid: Because Mike Gundy has had two years in Stillwater and the Cowboys still haven't exhibited any more defensive prowess than the Iraqi Republican Guard. Conversely, they're going to lay waste to Georgia in the season opener, thus proving I had them ranked way too low all along.
23. Florida State
Why this pick is stupid: Because in some fashion I'm apparently falling victim to the widely held belief that a couple sexy new coordinators are going to make the Seminoles watchable again.
Why this pick is stupid: Because I'm still clinging to a Horatio Alger-like belief that Gary Pinkel can go an entire season without managing to completely fuck something up.
Why this pick is stupid: Because I live in Birmingham and I'm scared that if I don't put them in my top 25, some Alabama fans will blow my car up.
And the next five:
Why this pick is stupid: Because the Beavers' single week of non-obscurity will come after they beat someone like UCLA or Cal, and will then promptly end when they have their letdown loss immediately afterward. Alternately, I should be putting them in the top 25 because they're one of very few teams in the Pac-10 familiar with the concept of "defense."
Why this pick is stupid: Because I should be putting any 9-4 team with 15 returning starters in the top 25 without hesitation, but to do so would go against my belief that Dennis Franchione is a gigantic asshat.
Why this pick is stupid: Because I’ve actually managed to convince myself that their lines might not be any better than Georgia's this year, to the point where even David Cutcliffe can't fix it.
Why this pick is stupid: Because they are as solid on the lines as any team in America, yet the mere presence of Chan Gailey on the sideline is enough to convince me that it could all unravel in a heartbeat.
Why this pick is stupid: Because Steve Spurrier is the most awesomest coach ever and he's totally going to take the Gamecocks to an SEC title this year, and if you don't believe that then OMG u r stoop1d. Of course, if their offensive line looks as bad as last year's did, then I will be stupid for having put them anywhere near the top 25.
Chime in with your own reasons for me being stupid in the comments, if you're so inclined. And I know you are.