Blog Entry

Blogpoll Week Seven

Posted on: October 15, 2008 12:56 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2008 2:42 pm


This is the BlogPoll. The BlogPoll is a blogger equivalent to the AP or coaches poll voted on by slightly under 100 college football bloggers large and small. It differs from more conventional polls in this way:

  • there is a coherent, stated voting philosophy,
  • transparency is a major goal,
  • initial ballots are due Monday but the final poll comes out Wednesday,
  • voters watch way more football than your average college football coach or beat writer,
  • there are little tribes of voters doing weird quasi-computer things or ranking solely on on-field actions from day one, and
  • it's usually more skeptical about teams with wack schedules.

To date it tracks closer to the AP poll than the Coaches'.

Note that if you want to see a ballot for any of the award winners below, you can click the green checkmark.

And without further ado, WEEK SEVEN:

Rank Team PPB Delta
1 Texas (47) 24.6 3
2 Alabama (30) 24.2 --
3 Penn State (1) 23.1 3
4 Florida 19.9 8
5 Oklahoma 19.6 4
6 Oklahoma State 19.5 10
7 Southern Cal 19.0 --
8 Texas Tech 17.8 --
9 Georgia 16.1 1
10 Brigham Young 14.5 1
11 Missouri 14.4 8
12 Utah 14.0 1
13 Ohio State 13.4 1
14 Boise State 11.7 1
15 LSU 11.6 10
16 Virginia Tech 8.8 1
17 Kansas 7.8 1
18 Michigan State 7.5 2
19 North Carolina 7.4 2
20 Wake Forest 5.7 2
21 South Florida 5.2 2
22 California 4.5 2
23 Ball State 3.5 2
24 Vanderbilt 2.7 13
25 Tulsa 2.1 1

Also Receiving Votes: Pittsburgh(2.0), Georgia Tech(1.4), TCU(1.1), Minnesota(0.8), Florida State(0.5), Cincinnati(0.2), Connecticut(0.2), Boston College(0.1), South Carolina(0.1), Oregon(0.1), Northwestern(0.1), Western Michigan(0.0),

Total Ballots: 78
Items of note: Votes by blog, Votes by team.

Major moves down for:

  • Vanderbilt, which gained just over 100 yards of offense against Mississippi State and got Croomed.
  • LSU, shredded by 30 points against Florida and, perhaps more disturbingly, the only team in the SEC to give up three touchdowns to Auburn.
  • Missouri, losers to Okie State.

Oklahoma was largely spared on the heels of their loss to Texas; major moves up came from Texas (obvs), Florida (obvs), and Okie State (obvs).

Wack Ballot Watchdog

We're changing this section up: it no longer attempts to catalogue every strange, erroneous, or unjustified stray in the database. Instead I'll highlight some well-considered differences in opinion between bloggers and the poll as a whole in an attempt to get people thinking about various teams that might be mis-ranked.

We'll start with #15 LSU, which we'll see is this week's most controversial team. Rocky Top Talk has an interesting system going where Joel takes a computer ranking he hacked up and modifies it where he thinks the algorithm has screwed up. (Computer polls are not permitted in the poll, but this is kosher.) The big outlier this week:

LSU. 13th and 14th in the major polls, 15th in the BlogPoll Monday Draft, and 33rd according to the RTT computer. We'll see in a couple of weeks, but here's the thing. They've beaten Appy State, North Texas, Auburn, and Mississippi State, and they got manhandled by one-loss Florida. Even against that competition, their numbers aren't all that impressive. The computer neither knows nor cares that THEY ARE THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS HAVE A GREAT DAY!

RTT slots the Tigers in at #25; another blogger emailed noting that he'd bounced LSU entirely. We'll see more dissing of LSU later.

Meanwhile, we've got an interesting Oklahoma double-bill at #5 and #6; The Joe Cribbs Car Wash pleads for sanity in regards to the order here:

I'm begging you, fellow Blog Poll voters: please, for the sake of our credibility, do not follow the lead of the AP and coaches and place Oklahoma St. behind Oklahoma. Both of these teams have dispatched the opponents in the nougaty filling portion of their schedules with ruthless efficiency. Both of these teams have now faced one their fellow contenders for the Big 12 title. One of them lost. One of them won. The team that lost (at a neutral venue) should not be ranked ahead of the team that won (on the road). Period.

Eh… well, yeah. A possible objection: Oklahoma's nougat portion is less nougaty with 6-1 TCU and 5-1 Cincinnati on it. Oklahoma State's second-best opponent is… Texas A&M? Houston?

And I'm about to give them heck for some real oddities on their ballot, but does Saurian Sagacity have a point about Georgia Tech?

The Good

- Only school to beat 1 loss Boston College
- Beat Mississippi State worse than anyone else so far, by 31 points. MSU has the 28th ranked total defense in the nation. For comparison, LSU beat them by only 10.
- Beat 3-2 Duke by 27, Duke’s worst loss so far

The Fairly Neutral

- Narrow 3 point loss to 1 loss Virginia Tech in which GT outgained the Hokies by 140 yards. The Yellow Jackets 3 turnovers cost them the game.

The Bad

3 point win over lower division Gardner-Webb

Record of Teams Defeated: 17-13 (56.7%)
Record of Team Lost to: 5-1 (83.3%)

Conclusion – Georgia Tech is right where they belong. The Gardner-Webb thing bothers me, but it is a win. This team should be undefeated.

#10 seems way too kind when "Beat DUKE!" is on your list of positive accomplishments, but the Jackets are out of the poll entirely; perhaps they deserve some consideration?

Extracurriculars after the jump.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Most Disagreement

# Team StdDev
1 LSU 4.7
2 Brigham Young 4.7
3 California 4.3
4 Kansas 4.0
5 South Florida 3.7

A tie at the top of the standard deviation charts this week between a formerly top ten team with no good wins that just got housed by 30 and a BYU team that obliterated what appears to be a very bad UCLA team, struggled to beat Washington (with the help of that infamous call), and has mostly filler in between.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The latter goes to the voter closest to the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Saurian Sagacity Florida 4.99
2 Big Red Network Nebraska 4.23
3 Dawg Sports Georgia 4.15
4 Subway Domer Notre Dame 3.72
5 Dr. Saturday Southern Miss 3.60

Mr. Bold is the province of the weird, outlying ballot, and is usually the province of one of the poll's small cadre of "resume rankers." But not this week. We've finally arrived at the point in the season where the resume kings are not particularly outlying.

What is outlying is Saurian Sagacity's ballot, and I'm not going to mince words here: I think it's unjustifiable. Their first effort was worse; various commenters beat some sense into the ballot (like, say, having USC above Ohio State) but couldn't come close to repairing all the damage. The main flaw in the poll is valuing who you lost to far more than who you beat, which means things like "Boise State #4 because they beat Oregon and their fifth string quarterback by five while playing no other pulse-possessing teams."

Sure, USC hammered Oregon 44-10, beat Ohio State 35-3, and so forth and so on. And undefeated Oklahoma State beat Missouri, a team with an indisputably better resume to date than Oregon. But they go behind Boise. WTF?

Another prime oddity: Virginia Tech behind Georgia Tech and North Carolina, both VT victims. I know about the gaining and the turnovers and ECU and such, but those are quality wins that seem less valued than GT and UNC's "quality loss."

I'll give SS some credit, though, for revamping considerably when commenters protested.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Mizzourah Missouri 1.30
2 Michigan Sports Center Michigan 1.31
3 50-Yard Lion Penn State 1.31
4 Card Chronicle Louisville 1.33
5 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin 1.36

Mr. Numb Existence, on the other hand, is awarded to the poll's most boring ballot. It usually has one or two tiny deviations from the overall poll and is thus not easy to comment on: "hey, this poll looks like that poll for the 35th consecutive time!"

This week's award goes to Mizzourah, which is, unsurprisingly, a Missouri blog. I wonder how they're doing after the Oklahoma State game?

I guess all you can say about a game like this is jfdsklajadf
Oops, sorry. I just threw up on my keyboard.

Ah. Did you know that ran in the Bolivar Herald-Free Press? And did you know that newspaper type object wasn't located in South America? Probably not on both counts. Well, now you do.

Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.

The Coulter/Krugman Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 TheES Michigan State 4.49
2 And The Valley Shook! LSU 4.44
3 CollegeGameBalls Virginia Tech 4.21
4 Block U Utah 3.97
5 Braves and Birds Georgia 2.92

The CK Award came up craps this week, failing to exert its horrible wrath upon the persistent "Enlightened Spartan," winner for the second straight week; here's a third opportunity, though, as the ES has gamely volunteered to take the CK bullet on the same week his team plays Ohio State.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Note to those doubting this thing's foul power:

First, a little Blogpoll (excuse me, BlogPoll) fun fact: the team representing the BlogPoll's Coulter-Krugman award winner is now a perfect 0-6 this season against the spread.

That was before the weekend, when Michigan State covered a measly –2 against Northwestern; CK victims are now 1-6.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 Saurian Sagacity Florida -9.94
2 Dawg Sports Georgia -5.08
3 Pitt Blather Pittsburgh -1.96
4 My Opinion on Sports Oklahoma -1.64
5 Bears Necessity California -1.50

Meanwhile, the Straight Bangin' Award goes to the voter who underrates his team the most severely. Our winner here, for the third consecutive week, is Saurian Sagacity. Their rationale for Florida at #16:

LSU is not very good. In fact they are downright bad. I’m as giddy as anyone to beat the current MNC’s, but LSU has not defeated a team worth a warm bucket of spit so far this year. They gave up 21 points to Auburn’s awful [offense], and 24 to Mississippi State’s likewise inept crew. We ran for 265 yards on these guys. And although they have a relatively easy SEC schedule ahead, I predict they lose 3 more games. At least.

Uh, okay. At least the margin here is now under 10 points.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Saurian Sagacity Florida 212
2 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa 200
3 Dawg Sports Georgia 182
4 Rocky Top Talk Tennessee 178
5 ACC Football Report Florida State 142

Mr. Manic-Depressive goes to the voter who changed his ballot the most from week to week. This week it goes to… Saurian Sagacity. Again.

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Tomahawk Nation Florida State 46
2 Football Outsiders Michigan 62
3 Block C Clemson 64
4 Addicted to Quack Oregon 70
5 Conquest Chronicles Southern Cal 72

Mr. Stubborn goes to the voter who changed his ballot the least from week to week, and this week's winner is… not Tomahawk Nation, actually. There was minor ballot snafu and the system is measuring a modified ballot from the weekend, not last week's ballot. Sorry about that.

The actual winner is Russ Levine of Football Outsiders. Russ was gentle to losers, dropping Oklahoma only four, Missouri only six, and LSU only eight. Vanderbilt, down twelve, must be pissed.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: blogpoll

Since: Oct 17, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2008 2:24 am

Blogpoll Week Seven

You just got pwned by Mergz at Saurian Sagacity.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or