Also Receiving Votes: Nebraska(1.4), Arizona(1.3), Oklahoma(1.1), Central Michigan(1.1), Notre Dame(1.0), Mississippi(0.7), Arkansas(0.6), Michigan(0.4), Wisconsin(0.4), California(0.4), Oregon State(0.3), Idaho(0.3), New Mexico(0.3), Auburn(0.3), Missouri(0.2), Boston College(0.1), Tulsa(0.1), Georgia(0.1), Arizona State(0.1), Wake Forest(0.0), Navy(0.0),
Total Ballots: 92
Alabama's lead in the race for #1 is now commanding after Florida's narrow escape from pig sooie. Iowa and Cincinnati crack the top five after VT slips up and Boise continues playing no one of note, as they will for the rest of the season. And carnage at the bottom of the poll sees Pitt and Utah debut in the top 20, with Texas Tech and WVU joining them towards the bottom.
The Blogpoll does manage to boot 3-3 Oklahoma, though they're #3 in others receiving votes.
Justify Your Existence
The AP finally came around to the idea of Alabama at #1, but the polls that count are hanging onto the Gators. This will be moot by the SEC championship game at the latest, but it bodes unwell for the decision-making processes the old guys with the ballots are undertaking. Incredibly, Florida has a 49-9 edge on Alabama in the Coaches' poll.
Other items of difference between the bloggers and the coaches:
Bloggers hate USC, Kansas, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State. All are three spots lower in this poll than they are in the coaches, with #7 USC the biggest difference of opinion in the top ten: the coaches have them #4.
Bloggers love Iowa, Oregon, and Texas Tech, all of whom are three spots higher in the blogpoll than in the coaches.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
No weird #1s, so on to the blips:
- Wait. Check that: New Mexico's only vote of any variety is a #1 from Smart Football . This is a "protest vote " because none of the top three teams were impressive. Stern glances.
- Elsewhere in blogosphere icons that draw ire, EDSBS has Notre Dame #13 , five spots higher than the next most enthusiastic voter.
- Two guys are still voting for Georgia .
- Husker Mike, who we'll see winning Mr. Bold a bit later, has Boise State #14, three spots lower than anyone else in the poll.
- This is a poll-wide deviancy, but why is anyone voting for Ole Miss higher than the last few slots? Ole Miss has one win over a BCS team, and that's Vandy. With two non-fluky losses, one of them to South Carolina, there's no way to justify them in the top 20, but no fewer than five bloggers have them in there, with Gate 21 , The Daily Gopher , and My Opinion On Sports all sticking a team that it should be clear was very overrated in the top 15.
- The Daily Gopher also sticks Mizzou in at #14. Don't do things just because Don Draper tells you to, TDG.
- Braves & Birds really likes Texas Tech: the Red Raiders are #9 , six spots higher than anyone else dares to place them.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most 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.
All the Big 12 teams that filled this space last week lost, leaving the mid-majors with excellent wins but also humiliating losses in their rightful place. Ohio State's existence here is weird; not sure what people who have the Buckeyes any higher than their place in the poll are going on.
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.
|1||Husker Mike's Blasphemy||Nebraska||4.01|
|2||Braves and Birds||Georgia||3.27|
|3||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||3.10|
|4||The Joe Cribbs Car Wash||Auburn||3.08|
|5||Team Speed Kills||South Carolina||3.06|
Husker Mike pulled an NCAA this week, crushing Boise State nine spots for Nebraska's loss to Texas Tech. Or something like this. Cornhuskers are all over the awards this week, and there's one obvious cause. Anyway: moving Boise down to #14 and keeping LSU afloat in the top five helps you win this award. As does only moving VT down four, putting Iowa all the way down at 12, and dumping South Carolina and Arkansas into nebulous "Oh God, what now?" section of the poll from 16-20.
But nothing tops this: Oklahoma #10, up a spot after losing a game to Texas to go 3-3. WTF?
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Michigan Sports Center||Michigan||0.81|
|2||The Only Colors||Michigan State||0.97|
|3||Oread Boom Kings||Kansas||1.08|
|4||Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician||Syracuse||1.26|
|5||The Wolverine Blog||Michigan||1.27|
Margins dip alarmingly(!) as the state of Michigan asserts its dominance in dead-eyed complacency in the face of economic struggles. If only Michigan State had beaten UNC for the national title in basketball, this wouldn't have happened.
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
|1||WVU Pressbox||West Virginia||6.89|
|3||Mountain West Connection||TCU||4.68|
|4||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||4.10|
|5||Team Speed Kills||South Carolina||4.00|
The CK Award won straight up last week as USC extended its dominance over Notre Dame with a 34-27 victory, but a late surge by Clausen and an ugly interception from Matt Barkley turned 34-14 into the aforementioned final score and cost the CK Award the game against the points. It's now 5-2 both straight up and against the spread. Bonus points should be awarded, though, for 1) causing Charlie Weis to botch the late game clock management so badly that the game ended on third down and 2) causing the game to end in agony, putting another second on the clock, and causing it to end in agony again. Also, Nebraska took the pipe a week late.
Next up on the docket is surging West Virginia, though it's probably not too offensive to the foul gods of football arrogance that WVU Pressbox slotted the 'Eers in at #16. You can see in the poll at large that there's a huge cliff from the top 15 to the next batch, with over three points per ballot separating #15 Oklahoma State and #16 BYU. WVU is a touchdown favorite over UConn this weekend.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Oread Boom Kings||Kansas||-2.43|
|3||Double Extra Point||Nebraska||-1.25|
|4||Foul Balls||Notre Dame||-1.03|
|5||Tilting at WindMills||Oklahoma||-0.95|
The margins here are so vaporous they might as well be nonexistent: the five blogs listed above all omitted their teams from their ballots, which makes total sense in the aftermath of a crushing loss to Texas Tech, going 3-3, and yet another loss to USC. One team that actually made the top 25 saw one of their fans underrate them, and that was #23 Kansas.
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.
|3||Oread Boom Kings||Kansas||158|
|4||Team Speed Kills||South Carolina||156|
|5||Michigan Sports Center||Michigan||150|
The numbers continue to come down here, with Corn Nation showing up a second time to win with a number that wouldn't have cracked the top five a couple weeks ago. The win is largely due to misplaced faith in Ohio State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Ole Miss, all of whom take big tumbles after weekend losses.
|2||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin||80|
|3||Fantasy College Blitz||Oklahoma State||80|
|5||Frank Helps You||Tulane||84|
Er. MGoBlog wins an award this week, so this is a little awkward. To clarify: I write MGoBlog with some help from others and this year I passed off the ballot to Tim just in case situations like this popped up. Providing meta-commentary on your own ballot is pretty weird. So meta-commentary on Tim's ballot: 72 is actually a very big number to win this category, so there's plenty of movement on the ballot: VT down ten, OSU down eight, etc.
Sometimes the winners here are just prescient and should have bet a lot of money on the weekend's games, and this appears to be the case here. Tim had already axed Oklahoma, was an OSU skeptic, had Nebraska slumming at #19, and had Kansas down at #23. So moving all those guys out cost less swing. One issue: Auburn down only three off a loss to Kentucky, that coming off an uncompetitive loss to Arkansas?