It’s August, which means that helmets are ready to clash, brains are ready to slush, and Hugh Freeze is (allegedly) ready to bone. It also means it’s time for the motherfucking Deadspin 25.

Now in its third year, the Deadspin 25 will continue to be what it’s been since the beginning—a response to the arcane and an alternative to the usual polls put forth by the same group of 40-year-old, Associated Press-approved writers. Guess what? Alabama’s going to be really fucking good; so is Florida State; so is Clemson; so is N.C. State (just kidding). It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, and unless the College Football Playoff selection committee starts taking the polls seriously, you shouldn’t either. All you have to do is enact democracy.

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Fans don’t need some asshole to tell them that the teams that spend the most tend to be the best; nor do they need a weekly reminder that, for some reason, a team went from being the 24th-best to 22nd-best because of one game. Weekly polls are fun because they provide a sense of order, but ultimately, until the college playoff expands, you really need only concern yourself with the occupants of the first six or so slots. All the rankings past that are just the collective guesses of overworked and underpaid beat writers, the large majority of whom don’t have the time to watch every top-25 team’s game because they’re busy covering their beat. Given this, and the fact that poll stocks are way down, we have wrested responsibility from them, the idiot writers, to present to you, the idiot readers.

This has its downfalls, of course. The last two years, some nefarious voter(s) gamed our poll—which we still wholeheartedly encourage! game away!—and selected Central Florida as the best team in the nation. Acknowledging that the entire purpose of this poll is to provide a democratic option, I say the following from a place of love: Please, if you have any sense of humanity and empathy for your fellow readers or me, maybe consider voting, or hacking the poll, for a different shitty team. You don’t have to, of course; you can rightfully tell me to fuck off. Just be aware you’re subjecting yourself to reading about whatever bad teams you vote for.

Whatever. The Deadspin 25 presents an opportunity for readers to both flip off Big Poll while also handing over the joysticks, allowing you to dictate which teams you want us to write about before the same powerhouses grind the life out of any plucky startups. If you have any tips about anything, from moral turpitude to third-round depth chart moves, feel free to drop me a line.

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You have until next Tuesday, Aug. 8, to submit your votes. We’ll release the results of this poll via a countdown of team previews starting with No. 25 next week.

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