Blog Entry

Blogpoll Week 2

Posted on: September 16, 2009 12:22 pm
Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta
1 Florida (85) 24.4 2.1 --
2 Southern Cal (13) 23.3 1.4 1
3 Texas 22.9 2.1 1
4 Alabama (4) 22.3 1.6 --
5 Penn State 19.4 2.7 1
6 California 19.1 2.1 1
7 Brigham Young 18.4 2.6 2
8 Mississippi 17.0 3.7 --
9 Boise State 16.2 3.4 3
10 LSU 15.5 4.1 1
11 Georgia Tech 12.6 4.3 3
12 Ohio State 12.5 4.1 2
13 Oklahoma 12.2 4.3 --
14 Virginia Tech 11.2 4.5 1
15 TCU 10.2 4.1 1
16 Cincinnati (1) 8.6 5.2 6
17 Miami (Florida) 7.0 4.7 --
18 Oklahoma State 6.6 4.0 14
19 Nebraska 6.6 4.3 5
20 Utah (1) 6.3 5.4 1
21 Houston 5.3 5.8 5
22 Georgia 4.1 3.7 2
23 Kansas 4.0 3.8 2
24 North Carolina 3.5 3.6 3
25 Michigan 3.2 3.8 1

Also Receiving Votes: Missouri(3.0), Oregon State(1.7), UCLA(1.4), Pittsburgh(1.3), Texas Tech(1.0), Baylor(0.7), Iowa(0.6), Notre Dame(0.6), West Virginia(0.5), Auburn(0.4), Arkansas(0.3), Clemson(0.3), Boston College(0.3), Florida State(0.2), Southern Miss(0.2), Oregon(0.1), Minnesota(0.1), Central Michigan(0.1), Kentucky(0.1), South Florida(0.0), Tulsa(0.0), Colorado State(0.0), Wisconsin(0.0), Arizona(0.0), South Carolina(0.0),

Total Ballots: 104

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

The dissent on Florida grows as the season moves along and other teams pick up wins against actual opponents; Blogpoll voters, probably because they are mostly fans (also because they have been instructed to), get huffy about a bunch of boring games against tomato cans. The poll does not take the wistfully logical step of placing Houston (#21) above Oklahoma State (#18), as it's done strongly for BYU, for no other reason than Houston entering the season with a lower national profile. Oklahoma State, after all, didn't lose its starting quarterback and ended up losing by ten, not one. That disparity is hard to figure.

Elsewhere, Oklahoma State drops precipitously, Houston makes its all-time Blogpoll debut, Ohio State is treated with relative kindness, and the back end of the poll falls out, including Notre Dame

Justify Your Existence

We're now splitting out meaningful differences between the Blogpoll and the AP into its own section. Which is this section. With two weeks gone and bloggers considerably more inclined to toss away preconceived notions, there are some significant gaps:

  • USC moves up to #2 after their win at Ohio State; neither other poll has the chutzpah to move the Trojans past Texas and their opening victories over nobody.
  • Bloggers are hating more on teams that have underperformed to start the year: #8 Ole Miss is 5/6 in the other polls. Oklahoma State dropped a full 14 spots in the aftermath of their loss to Houston, settling in at #18, two spots lower than they are in the AP. And despite one nut ranking Utah #1, the Utes are #20 instead of #18.
  • The love goes to Cal, #6 here and #8 elsewhere, Georgia Tech, #11 here and #13 elsewhere, and Miami (That Miami), #17 here and #20 elsewhere.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

  • Weird #1s: Cincinnati from BHGP, which is submitting weird resume ballots early, and Utah from The Lion's Den for no apparent reason. The Utes just beat San Jose State by 10 after USC enclubberated them, so now we have some evidence. Petulant anti-BCS vote? Note: we are not part of the BCS.
  • Maize 'n' Brew  hates them some mid-majors: Houston is #23, BYU #16, and both of the teams they beat are well ahead of them. This is the other extreme from resume voters, eh?
  • Man… everything else I click on when I go to the team grid is just resume-ranking or vaguely defensible. Although I wonder why anyone's voting for Oregon , which may have beat Purdue but by two points and thanks to two fumble returns.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. 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.

Highest stdev
# Team StdDev
1 Houston 5.8
2 Utah 5.4
3 Cincinnati 5.2
4 Miami (Florida) 4.7
5 Virginia Tech 4.5

Mid-majors are resurgent here as voters try to figure out what to do with a CUSA that took out Oklahoma State. note Cincinnati's presence; they've been beating teams about as good as the ones Florida is beating about as badly. "But they aren't Florida," says one group, and another group says "you don't know that."

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 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 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa 8.38
2 SimonOnSports Connecticut 8.14
3 Saurian Sagacity Florida 7.86
4 The Rakes of Mallow Notre Dame 4.78
5 Eagle in Atlanta Boston College 4.30

Last week I spiked the Black Heart Gold Pants's ballot for being beyond resume voting (you can read their reaction to that here ; they're awesomely thrilled about it), as they just threw out literally every assumption in the book and went strictly by margin of victory, something they're still pretty much doing but a week into the season the results descend into the realm of vague plausibility and, like… okay. I give up.

Later in the season I'll probably complain about the ballots that finish high up here because they'll contain some ideas indefensible given results on the field but at this point, sure, Cincinnati could be the greatest team in the world (rock). So here we are.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team Avg Error
1 The Wolverine Blog Michigan 1.25
2 Orange::44 Syracuse 1.44
3 Block C Clemson 1.49
4 Over the Pylon Ball State 1.49
5 WSU Football Blog Washington State 1.54

The Wolverine Blog is the winner here, and after last week? All three of Michigan's primary rivals lost and Michigan made one of them do so in spectacular fashion, and TWB feels nuffink. Meanwhile, look at the rest of the list, full of the perpetually moribund (Syracuse, WSU), perpetually mediocre (Clemson, coming off a loss to GT), and one of this year's great craters (Ball State). One of these things is not like the other.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos 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/Kos Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 RazorBloggers Arkansas 7.72
2 Fantasy College Blitz Oklahoma State 6.38
3 Buckeye Commentary Ohio State 5.52
4 Mizzourah Missouri 5.05
5 The Smoking Musket West Virginia 4.55

The dark power of the CK Award never ceases to amaze: Notre Dame was a strong winner last year and was on pace to hit the spread until Tate Forcier threw a touchdown pass to Greg Mathews on a circle route, sending Notre Dame to heart-crushing defeat and the CK Award to 2-0 on the season both straight up and against the spread.

This week the whammy falls on wooo pig sooey Arkansas, as the RazorBloggers are holding steady at #18 for their team of choice while almost everyone else ignores them. Not a good week to screw around with the foul gods of bias, either: Arkansas gets Georgia this week. However, Georgia 1) lost to a team that lost to Houston and 2) managed to beat South Carolina despite getting outgained badly. So maybe it's not all bad. Arkansas is currently a one-point favorite. Prepare to lose when Uga—the dog—forces a fumble late in the fourth quarter, Arkansas fans.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team Bias
1 Saurian Sagacity Florida -12.38
2 Tilting at WindMills Oklahoma -12.22
3 Hey Jenny Slater Georgia -4.06
4 Dan Shanoff Florida -2.38
5 Michigan Sports Center Michigan -2.22

Saurian Sagacity manages to wrest the title from Tilting At Windmills , which is still smarting from that BYU game and sees no reason to change after OU decked a I-AA team, mostly because it's a pure resume voter and Florida hasn't played anyone yet. Early season, man.

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 SimonOnSports Connecticut 188
2 Oread Boom Kings Kansas 162
3 Barking Carnival Texas 150
4 Foul Balls Notre Dame 150
5 The Ralphie Report Colorado 142

Early in the season this tends to be the domain of the pure resume guy as a ton more information comes in every week and previous non-assumptions must be hastily remade into assumptions. And this is the case here, with dedicated resume guy SOS wildly rejiggering in the wake of week two. (Alliteration for the win.) Just check that ballot out: USC rockets to #1! Houston up 22 spots to #4! UCLA, Georgia Tech, and Michigan into the top ten! Weeeeeeee!

This will calm down as the season goes along. At least, I assume so.

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team Swing
1 My Opinion on Sports Oklahoma 28
2 The Lions Den Penn State 34
3 Big Red Network Nebraska 42
4 Mizzourah Missouri 48
5 Hammer & Rails Purdue 48

Conversely, as the season progresses this award often goes to voters whose ballots were prescient in some way. Right now it's usually serious stubbornness, however. MOOS wins for a combo of both: Notre Dame wasn't on it and Michigan State was only #23, but the twin OSUs only dip a total of ten spots and the only way for anyone to move anywhere in his poll is to leap one of the few fallers.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: blogpoll
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or