The Guru returns for another season as a BlogPoll panelist. One significant change this year: The BlogPoll has relocated to SB Nation from CBS Sports. It's probably a good move as CBS treated the BlogPoll like how the stepmother treated Cinderella, even though she's really hot.
Without further ado, here's the Guru's first ballot of the season, with a few notes below:
* For this season, the Guru has developed a dynamic rankings system, which in many ways removes idiosyncratic human biases that even the Guru himself fell victim to on occasion. But the secret sauce for the system will remain under wraps for the time being, as the Guru works out any potential kinks.
* As per the spirit and guidelines of the BlogPoll, the voters (including the Guru) reserve the right to radically change the ballots from week to week. Especially from the preseason, when we have not seen a pass thrown or a tackle blown. Don't get all suspicious when you see wild swings in the Guru's ballots from week to week. It's supposed to happen.
* USC, on a two-year NCAA bowl ban, is banished from the coaches poll but not the Associated Press poll. Since the BlogPoll does not sanction any team, the Trojans will be eligible to be on our ballots. They can even finish No. 1 at the end of the season, just as they can still claim the AP title, as Oklahoma did in 1974 while on NCAA probation.
* The Guru's system does take the BCS into consideration. With the exception of USC, the Guru's preseason ballot does convey a degree of probability in terms of a team reaching the BCS title game. So the top of the ballot does tell you that the Guru projects Ohio State and Texas to meet in the BCS national championship game.
* Eleven other teams were also considered but didn't quite make it onto the ballot. In order: Navy, Oregon State, Miami (Fla.), LSU, Florida State, Connecticut, Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss, Arizona and Washington.