Note : Clicking a team link in this blog will show you how everyone voted for that team. Clicking a voter name link will show you their ballot.
The AP released an invalid poll on Sunday. It seems they used Bob Condotta’s old week 12 ballot while calculating the week 13 poll. Pollspeak brought this to the AP’s attention, and the ballot was quickly updated . However, the AP Poll itself was still incorrect since the numbers didn’t match up. Again, we notified the AP, and they released a new version of the poll. Luckily, there were no position changes in the top 25 (although there were some outside the top 25).
Thankfully, the AP is fully transparent, and we can help find issues like this. Unfortunately, the BCS isn’t. Neither the Coaches’ Poll nor the Harris Interactive Poll releases their ballots every week. Do similar mistakes happen in those polls? Very likely. Yet, we have no way to find those mistakes. This is something the BCS should address… and soon. If you would like to express your agreement on the matter, sign the PETITION .
Speaking of mistakes…
Most people won’t agree with me this week. I say that because most voters definitely don’t agree. In fact, only 4 voters ranked Michigan State over Wisconsin this week. Even 5 of the 6 BCS computers think Wisconsin is better. But computers don’t take into account head-to-head results, and that’s one way that humans can do a better job in rankings. Both teams have the same record, and the Spartans beat the Badgers by ten points on Oct. 2nd. Wisconsin is likely ranked higher because they have been dominating their opponents, and they even beat Ohio State . Of course, who’s to say Michigan State wouldn’t beat the Buckeyes as well. Thanks to Big 10 (11) scheduling, we’ll never know. So I’m inclined to agree with the minority and say Michigan State is the better team. They proved that on the field.
I bet that makes some Wisconsin fans angry. So let me point out: these 2 voters have Ohio State over Wisconsin . At least I’m in the majority who think the Badgers should be ranked over the Buckeyes after their 13-point victory on Oct. 16th. Again, the computers aren’t unanimous in their agreement. So can you really be upset about these people ignoring the head-to-head results? I bet Wisconsin fans don’t agree with those two voters, but then why wouldn’t they argue for Michigan State as well?
You can’t have it both ways. If you believe in head-to-head results, then apply them across the board without bias. That means voters should have Michigan State > Wisconsin > Ohio State, which only 3 voters actually did.
Only 5 voters have Michigan State over Ohio State . Since these teams haven’t played, you could argue either way, but then you have somebody like Dave Foster , who is the only voter with Ohio State > Michigan State > Wisconsin, which is just plain weird.
Pollspeak obviously (and repeatedly) favors using head-to-head results as the first tiebreaker when two teams have the same records. However, if a voter is going to ignore head-to-head results, he should at least ignore them consistently. The reason we suggest using real results (aside from the obvious logic of it) is that it helps weed out bias. Otherwise, voters could use whatever rationale suits their biases or no rationale at all.
Fans often cite head-to-head results when it suits their team, and they ignore head-to-head results when it doesn’t. This makes sense. Fans are just trying to persuade people (and maybe themselves) that their favorite team is better or maybe that their rivals are worse. We would like to hold voters to a higher standard than fans.