Also Receiving Votes: South Florida(1.7), Clemson(0.6), Texas Tech(0.4), West Virginia(0.3), Auburn(0.2), Oregon State(0.2), Rutgers(0.2), Mississippi(0.1), Tennessee(0.1), Troy(0.1), Duke(0.1), Temple(0.1), Boston College(0.1), Central Michigan(0.1), Idaho(0.0), Arkansas(0.0), Nebraska(0.0), North Carolina(0.0), South Carolina(0.0),
Total Ballots: 87
Bad week to have a bye for Alabama. The Tide sat idle as it watched its two main competitors for #1 pound opponents and dropped behind both of them. Seeing their marquee nonconference win get pounded and fall out of the ACC title race once and for all didn't help, either.
As a result: there is a new #1. It is the old #1, Florida, but now Texas actually has more first-place votes. The margins are so small here that the poll could see more shifts as the season steams towards a conclusion, assuming the top three keep winning.
Elsewhere, Oregon is still locked into the spot directly behind Boise State because of their opening-weekend loss; I wonder if there's anything Oregon can do the rest of the season that would see them leap the Broncos. Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona, and Oregon State are all at least decent, and Arizona is enjoying a top-20 ranking at the moment. Boise will finish out against WAC opponents. At what point does strength of schedule overcome a head-to-head loss?
Justify Your Existence
The Blogpoll falls back into the same order at the top that the other polls have with the Alabama decline, which is unfortunate for hey-we're-cool purposes but the right move given the events of the weekend. And things are beginning to calcify as other polls take "the season that his happening" into account, reducing the variance between the bloggers and others. Major differences this week between the Coaches' and bloggers:
- Cinci is #4 here, #7 there, behind Iowa, Boise, and TCU.
- Ohio State is #16 here, #12 there.
There are a bunch of other one and two slot disagreements; we're down to just two major outliers.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
No weird #1s so just bullets:
- Weird votes late in the ballot: Husker Mike goes for Arkansas , a 4-4 team that's 1-4 in the SEC, #22. Tar Heel Mania is the only voter going for CMU after their solid loss to BC, and he's got them #20. And I think this is a first in blogpoll history: a trio of non-ironic votes for Duke. Which Duke may well deserve.
- The single most hateful vote in the poll is Black Heart, Gold Pants dropping LSU down to #19, which is seven spots worse than any other voter ranked the Tigers. That seems mighty hypocritical given Iowa's status as another team with a pretty record that's lived on the edge this fall and their spot—third—on the BHGP ballot. Show us on the doll, BHGP.
- The single most insane Cupid moment in the poll is The Daily Gopher's continued romance with Ole Miss . The Rebels are now 2-3 in the SEC after a 13-point loss to Auburn and their best nonconference win is UAB. Two voters slide them in #25; TDG still has them #15. They drop only two slots after their latest uncompetitive loss.
- Penn State has folk ranking them #5 or #6 and then as low as #18 .
- Northern Illinois blog Red and Black Attack has a bit of a mid-major fetish : TCU #2 and Boise shoots up to #3 after Oregon's win. This displaces Florida and Alabama, which find themselves lower on this ballot than any other in the poll. Texas is #1.
- No, I don't get why Oklahoma is high up on a bunch of ballots . 5-3 with best win Kansas, loss against BYU looking uglier every week, okay you kept it close against some good teams… this is not a top 15 team right now except for the name recognition.
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.
Oklahoma is officially this year's most confusing team, as they've been at or near the top of this category ever since Sam Branford's shoulder exploded.
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||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||3.25|
|2||Husker Mike's Blasphemy||Nebraska||3.04|
|3||The Daily Gopher||Minnesota||2.64|
|4||And The Valley Shook!||LSU||2.58|
|5||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia||2.55|
BHGP wrests this award back from Husker Mike in the race to become king of weird late-season ballots. Reasons why include :
- Super Big Ten hurray forever . Three Big Ten teams are wildly overrated relative to the rest of the poll: #3 Iowa, #6 Penn State, and #16 Wisconsin.
- Les Miles did something horrible to me . LSU is #19.
- I hate fun, and Houston . Georgia Tech is #14. Houston languishes at #20.
It's not a super-weird ballot. I've seen more bizarre ones.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Around the Harbor||Maryland||0.81|
|2||Not Qualified to Comment||Illinois||0.88|
|3||Michigan Sports Center||Michigan||0.94|
|4||Double Extra Point||Nebraska||1.08|
|5||The Lions Den||Penn State||1.17|
A Washington State blog numbly punched in a chalk ballot last week and returned to his doctor-recommended diet of whiskey and gravel; this week it's Around the Harbor , a Maryland blog, executing the same trudge towards oblivion/the end of the season. Note that the next three blogs here are not exactly enjoying stellar seasons.
The perfect ballot quest is still a long way off with all this chaos at the top: Around The Harbor doesn't get past #2 Alabama before he's got a disagreement with the poll at large.
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||Subway Domer||Notre Dame||5.06|
|3||The Lions Den||Penn State||2.97|
|4||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||2.92|
|5||Mountain West Connection||TCU||2.90|
The CK Award claimed another victim, as two-time-consecutive winner West Virginia could not escape the whammy this week, falling in a weird Friday night game against USF despite being favored. The CK Award is now 7-2 against the spread this year and 6-3 straight up, with one of those losses being Arkansas State at Iowa. It is uncanny.
With the West Virginia folk dropping out of the way, Subway Domer ascends to the top of the list after weeks of hanging around in second or third as he watched the Irish come down to the final play against anyone better than Washington State. It's too bad the now extremely interesting game at Pitt is next week; this week Notre Dame has traditional rival-type-substance Navy. Notre Dame is favored by 11.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|2||California Golden Blogs||California||-1.37|
|4||And The Valley Shook!||LSU||-0.77|
|5||Roll Bama Roll||Alabama||-0.60|
Finally we see the return of this category's long-running theme: my team lost and disappointed me so I will show them by ranking them lower than everyone else. This week's winner and the only guy to get above a slot or two is College Game Balls , which reacts to the end of Virginia Tech's ACC run by totally omitting the Hokies from his poll.
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.
|1||Roll Bama Roll||Alabama||120|
|2||Over the Pylon||Ball State||118|
|4||Husker Mike's Blasphemy||Nebraska||106|
|5||The Joe Cribbs Car Wash||Auburn||102|
Chaos is getting significantly reduced, with Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll taking this with a relatively low number. There's a significant amount of movement on the ballot, with a bad bet on CMU (previously #16) and excessive faith in Oklahoma State and VaTech, coupled with strong reactions to those folk losing, are the difference.
|1t||Rocky Top Talk||Tennessee||50|
|3||One Bronco Nation Under God||Boise State||52|
|4||Clone Chronicles||Iowa State||52|
|5||The Nittany Line||Penn State||56|
A tie at the top featuring Rocky Top Talk and MGoBlog , my home site. This is the second time Tim has won the Mr. Stubborn award this year. I will have a talk with him that he will not listen to, evidently. Reasons for victory here are mostly leaving Oklahoma State and VT rather high (they drop only two and four slots, respectively), which is enough for the slight edge that got him the award. Very strange to see a ballot on which 80% of the teams move winning here.
As far as RTT goes, it's similar: Oklahoma State and VT drop only six spots btween them and everyone else moves around a little bit but not much. WVU doesn't even slide out of the poll, sticking in at #21.