Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Big winner this week is Michigan State again. Funny that a point-a-minute win over lowly Illinois would cause pollsters to rocket the Spartans from #17 to #9, but given how the program historically hates success, I can see it. Minnesota (#16 from unranked), Wisconsin (#17 from unranked), and their crushing ground games make impressive BlogPoll debuts as well. Add in the fact that Michigan State also has a crushing ground game and that Michigan couldn't convert fourth and goal from the one and yes, this is essentially the most depressing paragraph ever for me.
Big losers are Michigan (gone), Louisville (hanging on by the skin of their teeth at #25), Georgia Tech, and Purdue.
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.
Cal's deviation is falling as doubters like me run out of teams to put in front of them and have to put them in the poll, but they're still #1. The two Big Ten debutants are also high up there.
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.
Mr. Bold is... Warren St. John? Is this a publicity stunt? Er, upon looking at the ballot, probably not so much. WSJ's main fobiles are a staunch disbelief in Ohio State (my man!), who languish at #15 in his ballot, and LSU, who check it at #20. There's also the matter of Minnesota at #8, beloved 'Bama at #9, and Wisconsin at #11. WSJ is apparently a sucker for an authoritative ground game.
Mr. Numb Existence is the other Authorita-dispensing heavyweight currently deigning to vote, Football Outsiders. As you might expect, FO's ballot is really close to the poll at large.
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 has a new home after CU's disappointing loss to Miami: Penn State blogger 50 Yard Lion. It's hard to get on a guy with PSU at #19 given that they're 4-0 and the bottom of the poll is getting really creaky these days, but I saw that NW game... I'd enjoy it while I can. (Not that I have any business talking about how weak anyone's team looks.)
The Straight Bangin' Award can only go to teams that people vote for in quantity, so Straight Bangin' didn't win it this week and probably won't win it until next year's preseason poll. Instead, Georgia blogger Kyle On Football's dawg skepticism nets him the award. Also to be noted is that it's "opposite week" at the BlogPoll: the Enlightened Spartan is now underrating his team relative to the poll at large. Cats and dogs sleeping together! Mass hysteria!
Swing is essentially 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 is Badger blogger Bruce Ciskie, probably due in no small part to an oversight from last week when he didn't include MSU at all. This week they're #11, a meteoric rise that's paralleled the BlogPoll's. Also showing up for the first time is Alabama. Bruce also severely overrated Louisville and (sigh) Michigan, so he had to hammer them 17 spots each when they lost.
Mr. Stubborn is... uh... probably not actionBERG, since his ballot shows way more wiggle than the 16 total spots the algorithm calculated. Something's broken here. Sorry kids.
Comments welcomed, as always.
|1||Southern Cal||Stiffest test of the year upcoming against throwing fools Arizona State.|
|3||Virginia Tech||Holy crap.|
|4||Florida||Functional DNP vs. UK.|
|5||Arizona State||Another week, another 365 yards for Sam Keller. Clayton Richard is a pitcher. Cruel God strikes again.|
|6||Ohio State||The moral of this year so far is...|
|7||Michigan State||... Christ, did I pick the wrong year to start a blog.|
|9||Tennessee||Do you think Fulmer will tell people Ainge starts this week just to screw with their heads? I would.|
|10||Georgia||Another rather meh performance against a team that should be crushdefied.|
|11||Alabama||Welcome to the section of the poll titled "largely benefited from the carnage around them."|
|12||Miami||And team two.|
|13||LSU||Yeah... Les Miles is no longer on my "desirable Carr successor" list.|
|14||Minnesota||Let it be known that the Gopher ground game is the country's best. This might be the for real year.|
|15||Notre Dame||Did you know Tyrone Willingham was black? Strange but true.|
|16||Boston College||Gutty win. QB situation heading towards dire.|
|17||UCLA||Keep moving those goalposts, Bruins Nation.|
|18||Iowa State||Serious fraud potential here: the Iowa win now looks not-so-thrilling and a game that was undecided until the final possession against Army?|
|19||Purdue||Irrational Boiler love continues. Must be engineering solidarity or something.|
|20||Georgia Tech||Yes, they got nuked but they've still got an impressive resume.|
|21||Cal||Goddammit, I've got no choice but to rank you at this point.|
|22||Texas A&M||DNP... er, Functional DNP against Texas State. Chance of blowout 90%... 95%... 99%... what, wrong show?|
|23||Texas Tech||You still haven't played anyone.|
|25||Virginia||I've nobody left to rank.|
Dropped Out: Louisville(#7), Michigan(#14), NC State(#15), Clemson(#24)
Games I Saw: Michigan-UW, Army-Iowa State, Purdue-Minnesota, large parts of NW-Penn State, large parts of ND-UW, UT-LSU, small parts of UK-UF.
Update: Moved UT from 12 to 9 after someone pointed out that it wasn't a particularly good idea to knock them for a win at LSU even if they did suxor in the first half. (And yes, I still think Purdue is good.)
When my DVRed episode of South Park finished and returned to live TV yesterday, I found myself staring down the unholy maw of ESPN Hollywood. The very beast! It was everything you expected. OMG FUNKY CAMERA ANGLES(!), your standard "we're ripping off Entertainment Tonight" music, and a fluff rating so high cotton candy wouldn't be caught dead with it. I actually found it somewhat funny--though in the same sense I found Henne's self-sacking on the final play of the Wisconsing game funny--that anyone thought ESPN Hollywood was a good idea. Hell, even Pure Evil Marketing People (PEMP? Sounds like a new official acronym... the PEMP juice possibilities are multitude) think ESPN Hollywood is freakin' stupid.
And that's not even the most hilariously strange idea ESPN's had recently. No, that crown goes to "Classic NOW, " which is a "fast-paced, news- and dialogue-driven primetime series [that] will look at current sports events, examining their relevance and putting them in historic perspective." Because that's exactly what ESPN Classic needs: a news show.
(HT: Off Wing Opinion)
I wish I had written... "The Unfortunate Geometry of Chance" over at DC United blog the DCenters. United just had a 3-1 aggregate lead at the forty minute mark of the second leg of an important cup match against a heavily favored South American team. Since the first leg ended 1-1 and DC had scored twice away already, they would win the away-goals first tiebreaker. The only way they could lose would be to concede three in the second half, an epic collapse for any soccer team.
This happened. The DCenters is not pleased, and he wrapped all my thoughts on cursed (accent that e, bitches!) randomness into a lovely post anyone who buys my thinking at all should read.
You're paying for that. Official mgoblog whipping boy Terry Foster has broken my irony meter:
Why Do We Listen to Beno Cook?
Sorry guys. I don't get why Beno Cook matters any more.
He bumbles and stumbles and makes predictions that never come true. Yet ESPN and everybody else parades him around as if he matters.
I say enough of Beno. He's had his moment in the sun.
Hey, at least I get Foster's name right.
I can't get enough of this stuff that DaveSez and his collaborator post on a semi-regular basis. This one's about zone blocking and is totally rad.
Ballots and comments re: ballots go here.
I didn't want to say it because I love the guy, but since Jason Avant said it himself, I'll talk about it:
"I lost the game on third-and-(8)," Avant said after Michigan's 23-20 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday night in its Big Ten opener. "I dropped the ball. ... That was the biggest play of the game, and I dropped it."
He's at least partially right. The three-and-out followed by the long UW field goal drive was a key turning point in the game. But it wasn't all on Avant. Vijay's pointed out something that I think is very enlightening: the way Carr coaches leaves no room for error. The 1st and 10, 2nd and 6, 3rd and 3 (or eight) style means that you have to execute 10, 12, 15 plays successfully to score. When Carr's forced out of that and has to score relatively quickly, it often happens. The margin for the offense in this game was even more razor-thin because of Henne's inaccuracy and the inability of the line to push the UW DL off the ball on short yardage. Thus no points in the second half except off the flea-flicker. Thus 260+ yards of offense in the first half and only 13 points to show for it. Thus kittens with high-powered sniper rifles.
IBFC weighs in with some stuff a little more off the cuff than his usual "this is the final word on the subject and I win because I am awesome" posts, so I can disagree some without being obviously wrong. Read his first and then return to this response, point by point.
- Forget whether he misses Braylon Edwards or not, he is just simply playing significantly worse football than last year. Yes, amen. The receivers are open and Henne just isn't hitting them. There is the occasional dropped ball, but there was the occasional dropped ball with Braylon, too.
- I suspect that we grossly overrated our offensive line. And that's what Tom thought, too. He appears to be right. We've got two 5th year senior guards and a fifth year senior tackle who have crushed the MAC opponents on their schedule but have only been sporadically effective in the run game. I was astounded to find that Martin had like 91 yards on 18 carries, because it certainly didn't seem like that.
- The return of a favorite Michigan script. Okay, agreement here. Where's the beef?
- ...we are learning what a complete and total fraud the entire off-season Terry Malone hype campaign was. Okay. I haven't gone over the tape for Wisconsin yet, but I don't think this is necessarily the truth. People are always complaining about the playcalling in every loss and usually the wins that don't include 30+ points, but at some point you just have to step back and say that perhaps Malone is doing the best he can with a limited set of tools. Down Mike Hart and Jake Long and with an erratic-at-best Henne, all Malone can do is call something and pray. When Avant drops a key third down pass... well, what can you say? He was open, the throw was there, and the man with the most reliable hands in the universe drops the ball. That seems like the summary of the year to me: a good script ruined by Joel Schumacher (OMG BAT NIPPLES). Eventually that's on the coaches, but I'm still in Malone's corner for the moment.
- someone watch our punt returns and explain to me what Hood and Stewart are doing? Hell if I know. It's ridiculous. We never double the gunners and we don't attempt to block punts. We set up neither the block nor the return, and unless the punter launches a 55 yard bomb, Breaston is catching the ball with someone in his face instantaneously. It's inexplicable and maddening.
This is what we call "zeitgeist": No longer are people finding the site by searching for "SHIREEN SASKI NUDE"; no, now it's "lloyd carr michigan football fire." I miss the days of lustful college hockey fans.
Press conference contains news, film at eleven:
- On Jeremy Van Alstyne and Mike Kolodziej's injuries: "I don't expect either one of them back this week. I want to make this clear. Jeremy, the reason he didn't play ... is he's fought a hamstring injury all fall. It had nothing to do with his effort. That wasn't part of his deal. Mike Kolodziej, there are some tests being taken, and we just have to wait and hope things will work out so he can come back."
- On Doug Dutch's health: "He's back and ready to go."
- On whether he expects Zoltan Mesko to redshirt: "Yes."
- On Jake Long's status: "Day to day. He's more than day to day, but he's working at it." [I've actually got a source on this one: he's still on crutches, so I wouldn't expect him any time soon. He's not "day to day." Also the source reports that Long and Kolodziej are A) very large, B) sweet and deferential, and C) Have strange athletic department people drop by every day to make sure they're in class. -ed]
I love the new Harris poll because it makes the BlogPoll look really good in comparison. The inaugural edition features votes for Illinois (who lost to MSU by like 80 billion), Bowling Green (who lost to Boise State by like 80 billion), Syracuse (Syracuse?) and Idaho (IDAHO?!?!?!) MDG has all your indignation needs met over at his blog:
Who ever voted for Idaho, should have his dick removed.
Another indication of failure: Michigan is still in it, at #25. The AP had the good sense to boot us.
Dear SI On Campus "Link Master": Love the page. It's wonderful, etc. One thing: your "THREE BLOGS YOU MUST READ(!!!)" links are not permalinks. Since you're just linking to the front page of a blog, often people click it and get whatever the latest bullshit about kittens is instead of what you actually linked to. Just a helpful critique.
In BlogPoll News... We've added a pair of bloggers that cover teams previously unrepresented: Around The Oval is a tOSU blog and Golden Tornado is a Georgia Tech blog. Welcome, gentlemen, just don't vote for Idaho.
Also! Congratulations are in order for the fine lads of Football Outsiders, who have been hired by FOX to work their statistical mojination in the big time. Aye, 'tis well deserved. (HYYYAARRR!)
Henceforth and herewith, let it be known that this is no longer a Michigan sportsblog. It's a happy kitten love blog!
OMG SOOOO CUTE!!!
OMG ON A PIANO! Can't you feel your disappointment and hatred just melting away?
OMG. O. M. G.
No kitten! Bad kitt--... good kitten. Good kitten KILL THEM ALL KITT--