Also Receiving Votes: Southern Cal(1.2), Clemson(0.9), Houston(0.9), California(0.8), Northwestern(0.7), Texas Tech(0.4), East Carolina(0.4), North Carolina(0.3), Mississippi(0.2), Navy(0.1), Oklahoma(0.1), Tennessee(0.1), Troy(0.0), Arkansas(0.0), Temple(0.0), Missouri(0.0), South Carolina(0.0),
Total Ballots: 78
Not a lot went down over a weekend in which a lot of things almost happened. The main thing was Alabama putting an end to the season-long wishy-washiness at the top of the poll, emerging as a near-unanimous #1 after throttling Tim Tebow and some other guys 32-13.
Elsewhere, Pitt slips a little after narrowly losing to Cincinnati, WVU makes a leap, and the back end of the poll is fresh and new; Central Michigan finally gets in after a season wondering why persistent mediocrities kept scraping in at the back of the poll.
Justify Your Existence
The Blogpoll's season-long willingness to consider anyone other than Florida a plausible choice at #1 was validated by the outcome of the SEC championship game even if the poll reacted to the last week of the season by installing Florida at the top. Even with that shift the battle for #1 was tight.
As for major differences: we've kind of run out. But it was a good run.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
The lone #1 vote for Texas will get handled in Mr. Bold. Other anomalies:
- Tennessee blog Gate 21 was just itching to give it to Florida , I guess, as they drop the Gators down to #13—behind luminaries like Penn State, LSU, and BYU—which is three spots worse than anyone else and I'm cocking an eyebrow at anyone who would even put them that low.
- Kentucky blog A Sea Of Blue has Houston #14, 4 slots higher than anyone else. Houston didn't even average 1 point per ballot.
- Similarly, poll nonentity North Carolina is #16 to UConn blog Simon on Sports ; there is one other guy voting North Carolina #20—Sea of Blue again—and then a few folks who throw UNC in at the tail end of their ballot.
- And saving the weirdest for last: Orange::44 is a Syracuse blog and was thus presumably one of the few people to actually watch actual Northwestern actually lose to Syracuse early in the year. This has not dissuaded them from merrily marching the Wildcats into the top 15 ; they actually sit 13th on their latest ballot, four spots ahead of even the weirdos who ranked the 'Cats 17th. Northwestern, like UNC and Houston, isn't even in the poll and averaged less than a point per ballot.
- Dawg Sports didn't bother to drop USC for losing to Arizona—they did, on the other hand, shoot Arizona up to #13—and are thus the poll's most enthusiastic USC voter ; the Trojans check in at #15.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation.
BYU: your most confusing team. I'm with the people ranking them low, for what it's worth.
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||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo||3.26|
|4||Braves and Birds||Georgia||2.83|
|5||From The Rumble Seat||Georgia Tech||2.71|
Let's Go Rockets is the only voter in the poll who goes with Texas #1 and dares to drop Florida behind not only Oregon but also Penn State(!?). This appears to be some lingering SEC hatred for whatever reasons. But then the order of teams in the Big Ten is just all goofy: Penn State is #7 and two teams (Ohio State and Iowa) that beat them by two scores and have equal records, better nonconference schedules, and bigger wins languish at 14 and 15. Oklahoma State's been permitted to stay at #13 after getting hammered by Oklahoma, Cal is #18, etc., etc., etc. Very odd all around.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Red and Black Attack||Northern Illinois||0.79|
|2||Fantasy College Blitz||Oklahoma State||1.02|
|3||The Wolverine Blog||Michigan||1.03|
|4||Foul Balls||Notre Dame||1.05|
Wow, Red and Black Attack obliterates the year's best number in this category—which was just under 1.0—with a ballot that doesn't even get past #2 (TCU) before there's a difference from the poll at large. Odd.
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/Krugman Award
|2||WVU Pressbox||West Virginia||4.12|
|3||Double Extra Point||Nebraska||4.06|
|4||Big Red Network||Nebraska||3.06|
So we have definitive proof that Ndamukong Suh is invulnerable to the foul power of the CK Award. This makes the foul power of the CK Award exactly like offensive linemen and nuclear weapons worldwide. Not invulnerable: Nebraska's kickoff specialist. The Cornhuskers lost in a fashion so utterly painful that it's tempting to declare the CK Award the victor here despite NU's easy cover. But they did cover, bringing the award's record here
The last blogger to tempt fate this year will be Block U , which stuck Utah #18 and narrowly beats out a horde of Nebraska bloggers and one lone WVU supporter to draw the bowl game whammy. Utah is a three-point underdog against Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|2||Conquest Chronicles||Southern Cal||-1.24|
|4||California Golden Blogs||California||-0.82|
|5||Gobbler Country||Virginia Tech||-0.12|
Very strange victory here as I don't think a mid-major supporter has ever finished in the top five, let alone won this thing. Usually fans of teams like Central Michigan are so giddy that the team seems good that they end up on the other list. They certainly don't fail to rank their team entirely when there's almost no way to rationalize them out of 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||From The Rumble Seat||Georgia Tech||108|
|2||Red and Black Attack||Northern Illinois||104|
|3||Hammer & Rails||Purdue||98|
|4||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo||96|
How do you get up to 108 points of swing after a weekend in which like ten teams played?
First, start with Alabama #4 and drop Florida behind Oregon. Then shuffle the back of the poll like mad: Pitt down 14(!?!) for losing by a point to undefeated Cincinnati, Ohio State down three and Iowa and Penn State up three despite all of those teams finishing their seasons two weeks ago, Oklahoma State up eight and Houson up seven inexplicably, Virginia Tech completely omitted after not playing this weekend and being #10 last week… this is not engineering's finest moment.
I couldn't find an explanation or even a ballot at From The Rumble Seat, so it is what it is.
Double weird is R&B Attack , your Numb Existence winner, showing up second here. He must have significantly de-crazied his ballot this week.
|1||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin||26|
|3||Anton Azucar||Miami (Florida)||40|
|4||Rock M Nation||Missouri||40|
I have no problems with low swings this week since there were so few games. A quick glance at the winner's ballot seems totally reasonable except for maybe being too kind to USC. Okay, definitely being too kind to USC.