Blog Entry

The pollsters get a conscience

Posted on: September 2, 2008 7:25 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2008 2:18 pm

In the old days -- OK, 2006 -- the major pollsters fell in line like those lemming Obama supporters.

If USC was No. 1 -- as it was in AP for 32 consecutive weeks from the end of 2003 to the last regular-season poll of 2005 -- then, well, by God that's where it stayed no matter what. What I'm trying to say here is that there isn't much original thought in the human polls. Check the Harris polls. Instead of voting in the moment, the BCS pollsters who debut in October usually fall in line with what the AP and coaches are spewing at the moment.

That's why Tuesday was somewhat of a big day in the polling business. USC jumped Georgia for the No. 1 in both major polls after one week of play for no apparent reason. The Trojans punched a punchless Virginia. Georgia ripped Georgia Southern. Ohio State, which fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in AP, pimp slapped Youngstown State.

Really, I didn't see much difference in quality in the opponent except that the Trojans traveled across the country to play a real, live BCS team. Call it the frequent flyer advantage. USC picked up nine more first-place votes and 49 points overall in going from third to first in AP. It also picked nine first-place votes in the coaches' poll outpointing Georgia 32-4.

That last time something like this happened, No. 2 LSU lept over No. 1 USC in the AP poll of Sept. 30, 2007. That week the Trojans won at Washington 27-24. Meanwhile, LSU beat Tulane in New Orleans, 34-9.

Maybe the pollsters couldn't stand Georgia getting another injury. Maybe USC looked that good. The latest shift seemed to be a reaction to some of these powers playing body bag games. Suddenly, the pollsters have a concscience. What a concept! This is what poll critics wanted, now they've got it.

Here's the preseason AP top 5 fared

1. Georgia beat I-AA Georgia Southern and fell to second losing two first-place votes and 22 points overall.

2. Ohio State beat I-AA Youngstown State and fell to third losing six first-place votes and nine points overall.

3. USC beat Virginia and went to No. 1 picking up nine first-place votes and 49 points overall.

4. Oklahoma beat I-AA Chattanooga and stayed in fourth losing two first-place votes and 12 points overall.

5. Florida beat Hawaii and stayed in fifth losing one first-place vote. Its point total stayed the same.

--If you were dialing into the George O'Leary's weekly teleconference with reporters at Central Florida on Monday, you got a phone sex hotline.

"Hi sexy you've reached the one-on-one fantasy line."

Insert your punch line containing the words "spread option", "deep coverage" here.


Oh, by the way, it was a mistake. An SID entered the wrong phone number for reporters to dial in on.


--Glad to see Frank Beamer see the light. Dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor will play this week against Furman. Taylor was a candidate for a redshirt until Sean Glennon showed against East Carolina that he wasn't ready to fully lead the Hokies.







Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: September 24, 2008 9:12 am

The pollsters get a conscience

I still get upset when I think about UGA dropping to 2 then to 3.

Oklahoma is a good lookign team, and being number 1 makes sense for them, but not for USC. Are you kidding me? They played Ohio State, and now will nto play another ranked team the rest of the year.

What will it take to displace them at #1? Hopefully a win over Alabama this weekend...

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: September 16, 2008 10:28 am

The pollsters get a conscience

USC sucks and Georgias badass.

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2008 8:21 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

We shall soon see. OSU looked lousy, and OU looked good. OU should move to 3, and OSU should drop to at least 4. Anyone think that will happen? I didn't think so ... so much for their conscience.

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: September 4, 2008 7:25 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

Okay, I know USC played a BCS team on the road, but Virginia was picked last in the ACC to begin, and is rebuilding and likely won't play in a bowl game this year. I really didn't see a good reason why Georgia lost its spot at #1.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2008 3:10 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

SEC would never EVER schedule USC.  Arkansas and Auburn learned a very cruel lesson when they did -- as you said, 0-4.  The fact SEC homers can't digest is that the SEC SUCKS on the road.  Here is a quote from a great article on SEC scheduling (which is pathetic):

Besides losing a payday, leaving home means this harsh reality for the SEC: It's pretty mediocre on the road. Since 1998, the SEC is 40-39 in nonconference road games. That mark drops to 24-31 at schools from BCS conferences.

The Pac-10, which SEC fans conveniently shoo aside, is now 10-6 this decade against the SEC. Whereas the SEC is 1-6 at Pac-10 schools, the Pac-10 has gone 4-5 at SEC stadiums.



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2008 1:21 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

Okay, let's compare the two schedules: 

You play seven games at home, the first two against creamies...and you brag that you were supposed to play Tulane...buuuuut got GaS...okay....and?  Central Meeechigan.  Just remember when Auburn and Arkansas tried to test 'Troy', 0-4!

SC plays away games all the time at the begining of the season, looking for a challenge.  Coach Carroll enjoys it.  These games are normally scheduled three to four years out.  Who knew UVA would be not as good this year.  I don't think anyone knew they would play in a BCS game. 

Not too many SEC teams go out and play OOC teams, worth a dime.  And late during the season?  Tulane, Central Michigan, Furman, only to name a few.  Are 'top tier' SEC teams afraid to lose at that point in the year?  USC traditionally play Notre Dame late in the year.  This tradition will go on way past our lifetime.  I'm quite sure that when ND was beating SC more than now, noone was complaining. 

2010, 2011 and 2012, there are openings for games either first games or third game. If the SEC wants to play 'Troy', and catch them early (who's knows, they might not have a good team...take advantage, take a chance)...Pete will be more than happy.

Oh, who cares about a Hiesman Trophy candidate?  SC always has one,  See, there is another reason for the SEC to request a game.

Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2008 12:30 pm

One thing I don't understand

If most of the commenters can't stand Dodd, think he's a moron or whatever, why do you continue to read his columns?


Since: Sep 3, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2008 12:28 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

Ha ha ha ha ha, you call someone a moron while misspelling "you're!"  So very funny!

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2008 11:48 am

The pollsters get a conscience

Playing I-AA/FCS schools...

I certainly agree that folks should not be rewarded for crushing weak opponents, but I will at least make the argument that top tier I-AA/FCS schools are just as good and often better than bottom tier IA schools.  I doubt, for example, that Hawaii's team this year is better than Georgia Southern.  They lost their best players and the coaching leadership that allowed them to be such a dominant lower tier team (that couldn't even remotely compete against UGA even last year).  The App State's and GSU's need a lucky weak and special circumstances to compete against a good IA school, but I understand how a few get scheduled by the big BCS schools,  After all, it is hard to coordinate 12 game schedules with the available teams - not everyone wants to start their season playing a top 10 team on the road when they will get annihilated.   Same goes for major schools - Is it really helpful for the UVA program to get destroyed by USC?

The problem is a lack of a playoff system that would take a little pressure off of scheduling an extra tough team each year.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2008 11:37 am

The pollsters get a conscience

The pac 10 is a horrible, uncompetitive conference? Are you blind, stupid or both? Tenessee just lost to a UCLA team that started their 3rd string quarterback and lost their top 2 running backs and starting tight end early in the game. UCLA is picked 5th or 6th in the Pac 10. Now tell me how that happened. Your SOS is so strong and all the teams are ranked so high because your OOC schedule is so weak.

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