Also Receiving Votes: Utah(1.3), Central Michigan(1.0), Wisconsin(0.9), Arizona(0.5), Northwestern(0.3), Texas Tech(0.3), North Carolina(0.2), Navy(0.1), Mississippi(0.1), Arkansas(0.1), Rutgers(0.0), Troy(0.0), Tennessee(0.0), Temple(0.0), Missouri(0.0), Ohio(0.0),
Total Ballots: 79
Get a good look at the up and down arrows because you won't see much of them next week, and then there's just the post-bowl poll before the long, cold dark of the offseason. Florida's dominant performance against Florida State coupled with weak wins from Texas and Alabama propels the Gators into the season's last disputed #1 spot; even with a Texas win the SEC champion figures to be nigh-unanimous next week.
Elsewhere, Pitt and Georgia Tech cede ground after losses, though Tech has a soft landing after narrowly losing to Georgia with Josh Nesbitt out or injured much of the game. Neither gets hammered nearly as severely as Clemson or Oklahoma State.
Doctor Saturday will be pleased to see Utah outside the poll. Barely outside, but outside.
Justify Your Existence
With the poll going back over to Florida hegemony, the best argument for the BlogPoll over the things that actually comprise the BCS this week is the coaches continued, inane insistence that Penn State should be ranked ahead of Iowa. Here PSU's incredibly weak schedule is duly punished and instead of Penn State 9, Iowa 10, it's Iowa 9, Penn State 12.
By this point in the season there's not a whole lot of opportunity to defy the conventional wisdoom elsewhere; there are a bunch of teams two or three spots off their Coaches' poll position but nothing that screams justice like the above comparison.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
There's not a whole lot of flat crazy stuff this week, but a sampling:
- There are a few teams with crazy distributions. Ohio State is almost universally 7, 8, or 9, but there's this small cadre of five voters clustered around #14. Northwestern gets a few pity/sympathy/whatever I'm out of teams votes toward the tail end of the poll, and then two Big Ten bloggers slot them in at #18. Daily Gopher and NittanyWhiteOut : seriously? Seriously Northwestern as the #18 team in all the land? They lost to Syracuse!
- Boiled Sports hates Virginia Tech , ranking the Hokies #25. Next worst vote is #18.
- Roll Bama Roll , oddly, is a huge Central Michigan fan . They place the Chips #14; 18th is the best anyone else will do.
- I'm not even going to bother with the TCU voters since at this point I'd probably have to do the same with anyone holding on to Texas as the #1 team in the country, and one you get to twelve goofy first place votes that's too many to catalog here.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation.
BYU's 10-2 record with horrific loss to FSU is indeed confusing.
Next 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||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo||3.00|
|4||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||2.78|
Let's Go Rockets picks up the week's weirdest poll and the reasons are right there in the 10-12 range: BYU, Cal, and Houston. All of those folk are at least seven spots lower in the poll at large. #19 Iowa gets boned, as do Oregon State and Miami.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||The Wolverine Blog||Michigan||1.00|
|3||Subway Domer||Notre Dame||1.12|
|4||Not Qualified to Comment||Illinois||1.15|
|5||The Bull Gator||South Florida||1.16|
That's more like it: after a couple weeks in which the Numb Existence Award was horned in on by people following teams that are having, you know, good seasons, we're back to the unrelenting bleah of midwest mediocrity. The Wolverine Blog is your narrow winner, and the first team better than 6-6 or from outside a set of three adjacent states comes in fifth. It's too cold to defy the man up here.
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
|2||Eye of a Panther||Pittsburgh||3.53|
|3||From The Rumble Seat||Georgia Tech||3.24|
|4||Mountain West Connection||TCU||2.84|
|5||The Nittany Line||Penn State||2.32|
The CK Award needed a pointless 56-yard last-second touchdown in a game that Colorado trailed by 14 to cover. It got it, remarkably, and drove its record against the spread to an improbable 10-3. Straight up it's not quite as rosy at 8-5, but some of those games are things like Iowa-Arkansas State in which a narrow loss straight up is an achievement.
Anyway, Corn Nation is undeterred by the ominous precedents in this space—Nebraska blogpoll voters were personally responsible for at least five of Nebraska's eight turnovers in a loss to Iowa State—and wins this in a landslide, conveniently mere days before the Cornhuskers take on heavily-favored Texas in the Big 12 championship game. Texas is a two-touchdown favorite.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|2||Husker Mike's Blasphemy||Nebraska||-1.43|
|4||Conquest Chronicles||Southern Cal||-1.05|
|5||Gobbler Country||Virginia Tech||-1.00|
Slim pickings here, but Block C manages to scrape the award by omitting #25 Clemson entirely. Husker Mike's attempt to give Nebraska some anti-CK mojo going into this weekend narrowly fails, and Block U completes a 1-3 finish in this category for the two "block" blogs in the 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||130|
|3||Braves and Birds||Georgia||110|
|5||Red and Black Attack||Northern Illinois||108|
Roll Bama Roll is hopped up on PCP this week, and understandably since his team managed to scrape by Auburn and put the finishing touches on what was probably the most boring season in the SEC this decade. The ballot starts the chaos at the top by dropping Alabama two spots after the aforementioned scrape and continues all the way down: #14 Clemson, #16 North Carolina, #18 Utah, and #21 Mississippi all deservedly get the axe, and there's a huge surge from everyone below about #13 as a result, with BYU jumping up a whopping ten spots.
|2||Big Red Network||Nebraska||48|
|3||Lake The Posts||Northwestern||56|
|4||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas||56|
Intrepid mgoblog compatriot Tim wins this thing for the second time this year; Georgia Tech drops only a single spot, Pitt only three, and Oklahoma State only five. Utah and Clemson exit but were already pretty low in Tim's poll.