Imagine if the preseason college football ballot was extended to all forms of our collegiate existence. Could you imagine if we ranked the top 200 students in Calculus prior to the students taking the class based on high school grades? Or if we ranked the top 25 dorm suites on campus (man, Floor 5 at Davis Hall really has got potential).
Actually, that would be kind of fun. It'd certainly make for good reality television schadenfreude.
The preseason college football ballot is not fun. It's the SAT score of college sports--a metric that everyone seems willing to pass around as meaningful information, when it most certainly has little to zero bearing on the future success of the individual ("Oh wow, you got a 2380??? You're so going to breeze through Cal." LIES.)
After the jump, its meaningless existence revealed.
When in doubt (and there's no more doubt than the start of the season), go with Vegas futures as much as you can. Take into account the whole Notre Dame bias of course.
With regards to the Pac-12 teams, Oregon and Stanford are the only teams that legitimately belong based on previous results and based on their current returning talent. They're probably a bit overvalued because of last year's titanic achievements, but there's no denying that they are the teams most likely to get to New Orleans.
USC is in here because they have the most remaining talent of the remaining schools. ASU got reamed too badly in the offseason by injuries to make it on here, and everyone else in the conference still has to prove their worth.