I'll admit it -- it took me a while to come into my own as a BlogPoll voter.
Upon joining the initiative prior to this season, I expected voting to be fairly simple. Even if I can't see the great majority of the games (I readily admit I don't), I know enough to gather the necessary information to make informed voting decisions and develop a smart, interesting ballot each week.
In reality, I've realized voting's not that easy. Especially when you want to do it right -- not by rash judgement or on a reliance on relying on what you already know -- voting in the BlogPoll requires a significant amount of time and energy. Making it all slightly more difficult is that no matter how you align your ballot, you'll naturally never be right.
With that in mind, I sought out to make this last ballot of the regular season with one goal in mind -- to list the teams how I thought they had performed over a whole season's worth of games. That probably sounds pretty straightforward, but in the past weeks I had placed too much of a reliance of building off the prior week's ballot. I kept an eye on my Week 12 ballot, though I placed a greater emphasis on filling a ballot with the 25 teams I thought were the best in college football this season.
That's why Penn St., 8-4 with a 6-2 record in Big Ten play, finally shows up at No. 25. I imagine other BlogPoll voters would agree that it's kinda hard to rank Penn St. this year -- along with Ohio St. -- because they'll show up in the AP Top 25, but nowhere else. Given the BlogPoll's flexibility and insistence on transparency, I eventually decided to set all off-field issues (namely sanctions and postseason ineligibility) aside. Too bad it took me 12 weeks to settle on that.
So Penn St. makes its appearance at No. 25, while Ohio St. rises three spots to No. 2. Imagine that national title match-up, Notre Dame vs. Ohio St.? Elsewhere, a few teams jumped two spots thanks to a combination of their wins and previously higher teams' losses -- Stanford, Texas A&M, and South Carolina each jumped two spots. Nebraska rose four spots to No. 15, thanks largely to the losses of Oregon St., UCLA and Texas.
So what do you think? We'll have SB Nation's Top 25 tomorrow, and it'll be fun to see how everything shakes out entering the conference championships.