Preseason polls are inherently stupid. But instead of wasting our time arguing with the power-mad beat writers of America, Deadspin proposes that it’s time for the right to determine college football’s best teams—or perhaps just its most interesting—to be taken away from the idiot writers and given to you, the idiot readers.
Although all polls are flawed, college football preseason polls are pernicious. Every year, the Associated Press and USA Today release their preseason polls, imposing a prefabricated hierarchy on the sport. The only decision that matters is what the Playoff Committee does at the end of the regular season, but that decision is shaped by the ebbs and flows of the standings, and those currents originate from the preseason polls. We all deserve better.
At all other points, the polls operate, functionally as a best guess of reader interest—the teams that appear in the poll are the ones fans are most likely to be interested in watching and hearing about. So, really, why keep up the facade? Just pick whoever the hell you want and get back to us. Thousands of fans have much more collective knowledge than a few dozen writers, and the wisdom of the crowds will do a much better job of flattening out the aberrative morons. It might only be a happy side effect, but this reader poll will wind up being more credible and legitimate than anything currently on the market.
The Deadspin 25 will rely on you—the readers, the public—to lay out the best teams in college football. We’ll cover whoever you vote in, regardless of their stature in the game. Our previews of the best 25 (or so) teams in college football will be dictated by the choices you make here. This is to say that whatever happens is your own damn fault.
You have one week to vote. We’ll release the results of this poll via a countdown of team previews, which will accompany our conference previews, starting with No. 25 next Tuesday.