Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
USC's obliteration of Nebraska is not enough for the Trojans to reclaim the #1 spot from LSU... but it's damn close. The chainsaw-penised gorillas maintain their edge with 31 first place votes to USC's 27. The Trojans do hop past Oklahoma to grab second.
Elsewhere, the big movers are Boston College, up eight after finishing an odd three-game conference swing to open the year, and Alabama, up 11 -- in the poll for the first time this year -- after a narrow victory over the Hogs. Also... uh... Kentucky enters the poll at #17, which is good for them but bad for us since a college football poll without Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, or Michigan but with Rutgers and Kentucky is an obvious sign of the apocalypse.
Our weekly justification of the BlogPoll's existence:
- LSU #1, obvs.
- Blogpollers have paid attention to the shaky starts of Texas and Wisconsin, #9 and #12, respectively, versus #7 and #9, respectively, in the AP.
- Likewise, blogpollers are high on Oregon (#10 vs #13) and BC (#11 versus #14) after their strong starts against actual competition.
- Kentucky (#17 versus #21) and South Florida (#18 versus #23) are beneficiaries of the same principle.
- We still hate VT: #23 versus #17.
- We also hate Hawaii, #19 in the AP and surely destined for a post-season spot in the top ten for no reason whatsoever... blogpollers have them at #24 mostly because the alternatives are things like Nebraska, Arizona State, and Michigan State.
Wack Ballot Watchdog:
- Why does The Hoosier Report keep voting for Miami? Aaaargh!
- BON isn't a huge outlier on OSU, but it is the blog with the lowest opinion of the Bucks: #15. This is behind South Florida, whose big road win over Auburn looks much less impressive than beating Washington at the moment, Missouri, and Clemson. Which is weird, especially because Texas' struggles against dorky opponents apparently don't phase them: UT is #7.
- FWIW, Dump Dorrell is our only voter with Oklahoma at #1.
- Dan Shanoff: Rutgers #5. Rocky Top Talk: Rutgers #25. FIGHT!
- Saurian Sagacity has South Florida #10, up four after their Auburn win got devalued something fierce. But, hey, at least they voted for USC this week.
- Why is Bruins Nation voting for Tennessee? Arrrrrgh!
- EDSBS has UCLA at #22... no Utah, no Air Force. Ack!
- Falcon Nation has Virginia Tech #8. This is the worst vote of the week.
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.
Ballot math: 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.
This week's Mr. Bold. is SMQB again, and it's the resume-ranking thing again, too. Wisconsin, Penn State, and Texas are the last three hangers-on on his ballot. Boston College is #2. Air Force is #16, Kansas #17. Etc. Question: just what has Kansas done against CMU, Toledo, and a I-AA team that's better than beating TCU, in the case of Texas, or Washington State, in the case of Wisconsin? This resume stuff seems just as arbitrary as the non-resume stuff.
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman 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 CK Award Ramblin' Racket returns to wrest the CK Award away from Bruins Nation after a one-week hiatus. Last year any blogger with the hubris to rank high in this category saw his team immediately struck down... GT #5 deserves some smiting, oh yes.
This weekend: BC 24, GT 10, and it wasn't really even that close. I would also point out that this year's other winner was Bruins Nation, and they're on a week long FIRE DORRELL!!! bender after UCLA got clunked 44-6. By Utah. Which isn't even a state. Do not win this category.
he Straight Bangin' Award is Card Chronicle's after that whole losing to Kentucky thing. UL didn't have far to drop after the Middle Tennessee near-debacle, coming in #22 on CC's last ballot, but now they're gone entirely.
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.
Mr. Manic Depressive goes to Dawg Sports. When you entirely throw out your previous insane ballot in favor of something way more sane after the weekend's results, you tend to win here. [items in italics are the only words changed from last week.]
"We're going to go out here (to practice) in a couple of hours," Carr said on the Big Ten's conference call today. "I wouldn't be surprised if (Henne) took some snaps. We'll have to see what goes on beyond that."
Uh... gamesmanship maybe. Personally I doubt he plays. FWIW
@ Burnt Orange Nation. Feel free to proffer your own responses in the comments.
1. Handicap your team's chances to win your conference championship. If your team is not the favorite, who is?
Well... it's not the favorite anymore, that's for damn sure. With Michigan's collapse there appears to be no true front-runner in the Big Ten. Penn State has looked good against Buffalo, FIU, and Notre Dame; Wisconsin looked good against Washington State, bad against UNLV, and then nearly got Michiganed versus the Citadel. Michigan did get Michiganed. Purdue's played no one, and Ohio State was up 3-2 at halftime versus Akron. Iowa lost to Iowa State but misses Michigan and OSU. So... yeah. Any of those six teams looks like a realistic bet but until the games actually get underway you may as well throw all these crappy cats in a bag and pick one at random. Hell, Illinois could make a run. I don't have any idea how the conference race will shake out... this looks like a three-way 6-2 co-champs year.
2. Outline the (realistic) best case and worst case scenarios for your team.
Best case: No one on the schedule except Illinois has the sort of spread option run attack that killed Michigan in the first two games and it turns out that's just some sort of weird achilles heel. Zook blows the Illinois game somehow; Michigan turns into a rushing juggernaut that runs over the Big Ten. The defense still blows a game; 9-3 and a BCS berth against a team that will kill us.
Worst case: Well, they aren't losing to Eastern or Minnesota. Probably. You really want me to give a worst case scenario for a team that lost to a I-AA team and then could have given up 80 to Oregon? Uh... in the worst case they're still 38 points better than Notre Dame.
3. We're only three games in to the season, but teams and storylines are starting to take shape. Compare your team to a character or theme from a fable or children's tale.
Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.
4. Imagine you're the coach of your team. Give three specific changes you'd implement immediately which you think would have the biggest impact on improving the team.
- Wake up and smell the Romer. No more punts from inside the opponent's 40. Ever. Unless it's like 15 yards to go.
- Stop doing the stupid things that are stupid. A fullback shuffle has been a guaranteed zone run to the direction of the shuffle all year. Any freshman wide receiver in the game == auto-run. Play action has been virtually nonexistent even though we run constantly. Many of Michigan's playcalls are predictable based on presnap motion.
- Let Zoltan play cornerback.
5. USC, LSU/Florida, and Oklahoma have established themselves as the frontrunners in the early going. Which other team or teams are you eyeballing as potential BCS party crashers?
With the Big Ten all set to serve up a heaping helping of crap this year, this is an opportunity for the Pac-10 to get two teams in. The winner of Oregon-Cal will probably play in a BCS game. Likewise, Texas, even though it's looked crappy, will probably face little competition outside of Oklahoma and finish 10-2. This will be good enough. And Hawaii will make it in for no reason whatsoever.
RIP, Shakey Jake. First Faz, now Shakey Jake... legendary Ann Arbor figures are dropping like flies. We need some new ones. I command someone to drop out of school, and live on the street playing a guitar that barely exists.
Via Dangerous Logic.
Henne status. He wasn't on the two-deep yesterday, but Carr on Henne during his presser:
Is Chad able to practice and can he be considered a possibility? ... "Chad Henne has got enough experience that he could play without practice. But you know, those are all decisions that we make as we go forward."
So... not practicing but maybe? MSC got a screencap of his brace:
Survey says... I dunno. Probably not if he's not even healthy enough to practice.
Only other bit of hard news from the PC: Hemingway was held out because of a minor injury and will practice this week.
The Five Year Myth. Notre Dame fans are beginning to turn on Charlie Weis:
It is a myth that every coach at Notre Dame has an inalienable right to five years to prove himself. That has never been policy. Fifteen coaches in Notre Dame's storied history have, for various reasons, had tenures of less than five years. That list includes Kuharich, Devore, McKeever and Anderson since Rockne. More recently coaches Davie and Faust were given five years, and those decisions proved to be miserable failures. There was some justification to warrant Faust's extra time given his high school background and Father Ted's personal commitment to him, but giving Davie five years was gross negligence. The five-year plan is not policy and even if it were time has proven it to be a colossal failure that should be learned from and not repeated. Ara himself set the standard by boldly stating upon his arrival that if you can't do it in three years, you can't do it. And without exception this has proven to be true. In the entire history of Notre Dame, no coach who failed at the three year mark, succeeded in five years. There are some who claim that because of parity, restrictions and other issues, that Notre Dame can't win anymore, but they said the exact same things before both Ara and Lou arrived in South Bend and were proved wrong. Tedford, Meyer, Carroll, Stoops, Tressel, Amato, Friedgen, Holtz and others have made immediate impacts on their schools, most with far, far less talent than Notre Dame. When the five-year myth is promulgated by media talking heads and writers, it's important to note that most of those talking heads and scribes are not fans of Notre Dame or speaking in Our Lady's best interest.
Wait... what? That was written about Ty Willingham as part of NDNation's crazy-ass push to get him fired? Well, I never.
By the way: Notre Dame has lost six games by 20+ points since they hired Charlie Weis in 2005. Michigan has lost seven games by 20+ points since they hired Bo Schembechler in 1969.
This might be a little mean. But it's not that mean. I mean, not compared to the pain Johnny Sears inflicted on Michigan fans:
Both dubiously-rated corners Ron English plucked from California in 2004 are now gone, Richards -- his godson -- for the St. Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre and Sears for failing a drug test. If we're going to recruit crappy players can they at least be nice?
(Via Varsity Blue)
More press conference stuff.
The record on Jones. Demetrius Jones is taking issue with Charlie Weis' assertion that Jones did not tell anyone he was not making the Michigan trip:
"When I heard Jimmy was No. 1 all the way through spring and that the only thing keeping him out of the lineup was his surgery, well, that's not what I was led to believe going into the summer," Jones said in a South Bend Tribune story published Monday. "I thought I was getting a chance because coach Weis believed in me. Then I didn't know what to believe anymore."
Now he is upset about the way he is being characterized, along with the events that prompted his departure from South Bend.
"The facts that are out there now are just not true," Jones told the Tribune on Monday, declining to say how or whether he had notified Notre Dame of his decision to leave last week.
"Because people are trying to [assassinate] my character and don't really know what's going on, I think it's best for me not to say anything.
"People don't know the facts. The [Notre Dame] team did know I wasn't coming prior to that bus taking off. They found out before the bus was scheduled to depart, and it wasn't something like, 'Where's Demetrius? Where's Demetrius?' They were notified."
Since a portion of yesterday's "Super Genius" post was based on the way Jones left ND, it's worth mentioning. Someone is lying here. If it's Jones, the post stands as is. If it's Weis, then it's not the Jones transfer but Weis' attempt at character assassination that marks him as an ass. Either way it's the same result.
Illinois' Rivals site thinks this will be helpful($) with their Chicago-area recruiting:
If you are a city kid in Chicago, how can you believe anything the Fighting Irish coaches tell you? Recruiting is all about trust and will a Chicago kid listen to anything Weis, Ianello or defensive coordinator Corwin Brown tells them after what happened to Demetrius Jones? The redshirt freshman from Morgan Park wasn't given much of a chance, saw the writing on the wall and hit the road. ND promised he
wouldn't play receiver, 'is a QB' but when the time came to follow through, all those things rang hollow.
Jones was the 'go to guy'/player host for top prospects like Martez Wilson, Rejus Benn, Robert Hughes and other 'city kids' that the staff wanted to sell on the virtues on ND football, South Bend, Indiana.
The transfer is great news for the Illini because now they will likely have one less 'big school' to compete with for Chicago Public League players. Notre Dame doesn't need the Public League players to win but they didn't handle this situation well at all.
If Michigan scrapes by PSU and starts putting together an actual season while ND circles the drain, it's time to put in some calls to Steven Filer, et al.
Renovate! The House Rock Built's game report is sad because he's a nice guy who couldn't even get a damn slice of pizza in Michigan Stadium; it is also a powerful argument for the upcoming renovations (er... "repairs"):
As I reached the concourse, I was stunned whan I saw the restroom. There wasn't a line for the men's room, per se, but an amorphous blob of antsy dudes tap-dancing with bladder fatigue about 25 deep and 10 broad. I walked to the other end of the stadium and saw an even larger line at the other restroom, so I dubiously returned to the line of something like 250 people and waited patiently to do my duty. I somehow survived the ordeal without making a mess of myself and strolled out of the men's room about 20 minutes after I had left my seat. No worries, since I hadn't missed anything eventful on the field, but still an aggravating hassle. Nevertheless, my spirits were still high and I was resolved to make it to the end without losing my cool. I went back to my section and saw a line of about 20 people waiting to get into the aisle to work their way toward the seats.
A lot of opposing fans level accusations at Michigan Stadium's sucky amenities. They are right; this should change as soon as possible.
Side note: this passage?
My biggest cheer came late in the second quarter, where a somewhat promising drive had the Irish's total yardage rapicly closing in on 0. When our yardage hit negative-9 yards, I stood up and cheered wildly, shouting "Single digit negative, baby! Oh, yeah!" The fans around me laughed along and gave me high-fives.
Remember our stirring goal-line stand down 39-7? It was at this moment I high-fived my cousin, turned the Oregon fans behind us and said "OH YEAH! SUCK IT!" to a similar reaction. Oh, how I wish I could not relate to that.)
Etc.: I feel for the guys at Randomly Located Iowa Sports Blog (aka Black Heart Gold Pants); they have taken to posting Morrissey lyrics in the wake of losing to Iowa State. I also wish I could not relate to that bit.
I'm pretty comfortable with the top six. Past that, though... yeesh. I'll just ask questions this week.
Am I flipping out too hard about Oregon and BC? Really the problem here is that there appears to be an absolute dearth of top-ten teams at the moment. If Dennis Dixon can consistently play like he did against Michigan, Oregon's lack of run defense won't matter that much. Also Matt Ryan versus GT and Tenuta == impressive. I don't like sliding OSU up that much after Boeckman had a rough outing, but it's still a road win against what appears to be a fringe-ish top 25 team. Eh.
Uh... WTF about the rest of it? It looks insane but rearranging it just looks equally insane. Is Kentucky really in my top 25? Cincinnati? What teams with crappy losses should I boost up?
Urf. Henne is not on the "two-deep depth chart" for PSU according to Jim Carty. Nor is Johnny Sears, but that was not in real question.
I'ma lay down and bend over... Mr. Casanova has some harsh words for the Irish (NSFW):
Word. Especially about that reality TV show this offseason. Gold, Mr. Casanova. Gold.
It's a workout.
Uh... Ferentz... uh. No. We are still operating under the assumption that Michigan will be looking for a new coach this offseason, so it's worth noting that Kirk Ferentz no longer seems like a thrilling option:
...the Cyclones (1-2) did what they seem to do annually against the Hawkeyes (2-1). Iowa State's seventh win in 10 years over Iowa -- and the first victory for new head coach Gene Chizik -- came after the Cyclones had been handled at home by Kent State and clobbered by Northern Iowa.
Ferentz isn't responsible for one of those losses, but in his nine years with the Hawkeyes he's but 3-6 against Iowa State. I wasn't enthused with the prospect of Ferentz anyway -- I've seen too many Lloyd Carr-like bungled finishes to games -- now he should be out of the conversation totally. As of November he was the second-highest paid coach in the country (I believe Urban Meyer has passed him since); this is no longer commensurate with his results. Also, another kid is going to play under him at Iowa starting next season. Even the Mary Sue Coleman connection shouldn't be enough to make him a serious candidate.
They lie to distract our interest! A couple Cal blogs are discontent with the Bears' recent victory over Louisiana Tech. The Band Is Out On The Field titles his post "The Best Team That Could Be Awful", knocks Tedford's playcalling...
Coach Tedford Could the play-calling get any less inspired. Jahvid Best is in the game - we are running a fake pitch to him and handing off to Will Ta'ufo'ou up the middle (a play Barry eloquently labeled "Give it to fatty.") As far as I recall, we have yet to hit a receiver in stride this season. Apparently, the quick slant was part of Mike Dunbar's playbook.
...and is generally pessimistic about the Bears' chances this season:
The Bears are ranked No. 6. In my opinion, this means they are considered to be the best of the team in the country that might still turn out to be god awful (see Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Oregon, etc.) Right now, I feel like there is a pretty huge drop-off from the top five of USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Florida, and West Virginia and the next teams on that list, who, generally have been unimpressive. The Bears are getting a deserved benefit of the doubt for having dropped Tennessee. But it appears Tennessee is god awful themselves. Basically...The No. 6 ranking means nothing. No one should be worried about getting a BCS bid (or being jobbed out of one...again). There is no reason to worry about respect, or lack thereof. Right now, the Bears need to worry about survival in what is going to be a brutally tough Pac-10. A month from now, they easily could be unranked.
Cal beat LTU 42-12 and outgained them 447 to 273... I call smokescreen. We still covet precious Tedford. In two weeks the Bears face off against Oregon; if Cal wins the drumbeat will intensify. Ted-ford. Ted-ford.
Stop with the seconds. Run Up The Score appears to be one of the most reasonable Penn State fans on the internet (see also: best Notre Dame blocking, circa 2007) but even he falls prey to one particular bugaboo that bugs:
Then, everything simply unraveled. We don't need to rehash all the gory details. Suffice it to say â€” kickoff return, prevent defense, two seconds added to the clock, and the final dagger on the final play of the game â€” the picture you see in today's masthead picture. Don't worry, guys, it'll be gone by tonight or tomorrow morning.
I know I've addressed this before, but here goes again: Penn State fans are not allowed to ever complain about this again. At one point in Penn State's go-ahead drive, they called timeout. During the commercial break, Joe Paterno did his crazy-old-man Joe Paterno thing at a linesman for approximately 45 seconds of spittle about how Joe hadn't seen a travesty like this since the Hottentots invaded in nineteen-dickety-two. At the conclusion of the rant, the referees placed two seconds back on the clock. Shut up, shut up, shut up about Lloyd Carr getting the exact same call minutes later. Zip it. No. Zip it. Zip. It. Zipit.
UNVEIL THE TIME PORTAL.
Uh... anyway, RUTS is way more reasonable about this than every other Penn State fan ever so don't want to heap scorn upon him too much, but that one really gets my goat. The other things mentioned were the Bryant Johnson catch in the OT game, which was an obviously awful call but came right after Penn State was given a controversial third down conversion on a highly questionable completion, and the spots in the 2005 and 2006 game... the latter of which veers dangerously close to tinfoil hat territory.
Foightin' round the world. This Russel Crowe thing?
Michigan might want Crowe to stick around for good luck, but the actor didn't know how long he would stay in Ann Arbor.
"Well, I want to have a couple of beers with Lloyd - however long that takes," he said.
Too strange for words. Also there is this description of Jake Long:
Crowe then took over, comparing rugby to American football, talking about Carr's visit to Australia and joking about the Wolverine he would like on his team, such as Jake Long, a 2.01-metre, 143 kilogram offensive tackle.
"I want Jake!" Crowe said.
That's a lot of kilograms.
Etc.: Mike Hart as avenging angel.