We polled our staff for their top 25 college football teams, and merged them with a complex statistical formula, some common sense and a little bit of magic. You’ll notice a number out next to each team, that number is our own “BCS formula” number, so you can tell how close the teams are, in terms of ranking. So without further ado, our inaugural (and henceforth weekly) staff poll:
1. LSU (1.450) — Despite not receiving the most overall first place votes, LSU scored highest in our poll, and was ranked no lower than third. In the interest of full disclosure, that 3rd place vote was your humble scribe’s. I think LSU loses more than people realize with the dismissal of Tyrann Mathieu, and it being the first ever time they’ll face the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Arkansas (previous Arkansas home games in the series were played in Little Rock), this schedule certainly isn’t a “gimme” for the Tigers.
2. USC (1.440)–USC received the most #1 votes in our poll, but some weren’t as sold and they were ranked as low as #4 by one voter. Statistically the difference separating USC from LSU is the closest margin separating any two teams in the poll.
3. Alabama (1.400)–Alabama is replacing a lot on defense, as well as Trent Richardson. They did snag a pair of first place votes, and were ranked as low as 4th by some.
4. Oregon (1.340)–Oregon figures to be a title contender, and the USC-Oregon game figures to be the game of the year, outside of the SEC. Oregon was ranked as high as 3rd in our survey, and as low as 6th.
5. West Virginia(1.050)–The voters seemed to have confidence in West Virginia’s ability to transition from the Big East to the Big 12, landing them pretty easily in the top 5. The lowest any pollster had WVU was at #11.
6. South Carolina (1.030)–Surprisingly enough, at least to me, our pollsters have South Carolina as the sixth overall team. The lowest any pollster ranked them was 12th.
7. Arkansas (.985)–Opinions ranged wildly on Arkansas as out pollsters rated them anywhere from 5th to 17th. The uncertainty surrounding the Bobby Petrino departure and John L Smith hire no doubt contributed.
8. Oklahoma (.941)–Oklahoma ranked anywhere from 6th to 14th in our survey, placing them in our top 10.
9. Florida State (.933)–Florida State’s chances to take the ACC seem pretty good, our pollsters were split however, having them as high as 6th, and as low as 23rd.
10. Georgia (.880)–The Bulldogs were another team that had a wide range of votes. One pollster had them at #5 and one at #25.
11. Wisconsin (.828)–Every voter in our poll but one, had Wisconsin with 2 spots of #11, the lone wolf, and lowest person had them at #16.
12. Michigan (.811)–The Wolverines look to continue climbing back from the disastrous Rich Rod years, and land firmly at #12 in our poll. They were voted as high as 9th and as low as 17th.
13. Virginia Tech (.809)–The Hokies were another team with a wide range of votes. One pollster placed them 5th, one had them 20th.
14. Michigan State (.720)–You have to be impressed with the way this program is being run. Michigan State has really come on over the last few years. Our pollsters had them anywhere from 9th to 17th.
15. Clemson (.690)–Sammy Watkins suspension bears watching, but Clemson has no shortage of receivers behind him. While one pollster had the Tigers as low as 23rd every other voter had Clemson within three spots of #15.
16. Ohio State (.634)
17. Kansas State (.430)
18. Georgia Tech (.425)
19. Stanford (.410)
20. Florida (.402)
21. Texas (.377)
22. Nebraska (.349)
23. TCU (.340)
24. USF (.333)
25. Oklahoma State (.289)
Others receiving votes (in order of ranking): Louisiana Tech, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Iowa State, UCF, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Boise State, Utah, Arkansas State