Expert Predictions: composite Top 25

Oregon is ranked as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 7. (USATSI)
Oregon is ranked as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 7 in the composite rankings. (USATSI)

Behold, the greatness and silliness of polls in college football is available for your perusal below.

Polls, that combination of crowdsourcing and groupthink that has helped yield constant BCS formula tinkering, secret ballots among coaches, disputed national championships and endless debate, will be marginalized more than ever when the College Football Playoff launches for the 2014 season. Even then, we'll be stuck with polls in some form or fashion.

In the spirit of that inevitability, below we offer you the composite polls of our eight college football experts, which amounts to their individual preseason rankings thrown into a blender.

Among the oddities:

-- Three of our experts think Oregon is the second-best team in the country, but the math has the Ducks' Pac-12 rival Stanford listed higher in the composite poll. Jerry Palm did the Ducks the most damage, listing them No. 7 in the country and bringing down the composite score. Stanford, meanwhile, was picked No. 3 or No. 4 by all of our experts but one (Jeremy Fowler, who had them No. 5).

-- Owing to the ongoing uncertainly surrounding Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M was listed anywhere from No. 2 (Bruce Feldman) to No. 15 (Jerry Palm), tied for the widest gap for any team listed on 100 percent of our ballots. Oklahoma State, which ranged from Tony Barnhart's No. 10 to Bruce Feldman's No. 23, also produced a wide range of opinions.

-- And then there's Ole Miss, which appeared on only one of eight ballots (Jerry Hinnen's) but ends up No. 25 in our composite ranking because Hinnen thought enough of the Rebels to list them No. 9. Hinnen was only our only expert to leave Notre Dame and Texas completely off his ballot. 

Hinnen explains: "I know Ole Miss at No. 9 looks crazy, but I took the Rebels as the No. 2 team in the SEC West -- and wouldn't it be crazier to have the second-best team in the most stacked division in college football outside the top 10? Put succinctly, I like the Rebels' balance across both sides of the ball -- with Hugh Freeze coaching the offense and Denzel Nkemdiche leading a ton of experienced athletes on defense -- better than I do either offensively-challenged LSU or defensively-challenged Texas A&M. With none of the East's "Big 3" on the schedule and both the Aggies and Tigers coming to Oxford, I think the Rebels finish the season (bowl included) at no worse than 10-3."

The point system below is the traditional AP-style calculation, with 25 points for a first-place vote, 24 points for a second-place vote, and so on.

1) Alabama - 199

2) Ohio State - 184

3) Stanford - 179

4) Oregon - 175

5) Georgia - 162

6) Clemson - 147

t7) South Carolina - 140

t7) Texas A&M - 140

9) Louisville - 135

t10) Florida - 126

t10) Florida State - 126

12) LSU - 124

13) Oklahoma State - 83

14) Texas - 80

15) Oklahoma - 78

16) Notre Dame - 74

17) Michigan - 71

18) Nebraska - 62

19) Baylor - 43

20) TCU - 39

21) Boise State - 34

22) UCLA - 31

23) Miami (FL) - 29

24) USC - 28

25) Ole Miss - 17

Also receiving votes:
Fresno State (16), Northwestern (15), Oregon State (11), Arizona State (10), Virginia Tech (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan State (9), Northern Illinois (5), Penn State (3), Georgia Tech (2)

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