Mike Lantry, 1972
(a note: new thing with the polls: asking questions that DEMAND ANSWERS!!! to spur some discussion.)
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
What was given last wee--a unanimous USC #1--was taken away by the UT victory over OSU. The 'Horns now have 5 first place votes and probably won't relinquish them unless they put in a stinker. USC's performance against BYE... ah, we've all heard that joke before. Never mind. The Big Ten teams largely vacating the top ten allowed some significant move ups, but there are a number of placements that I don't understand: OU anywhere near the top 25 after those first two performances? Who is voting for these guys? Why? TCU lost to SMU and they definitively proved against Tulsa that they have no quarterbacks. Rob, why the hell do you have them #11? Tigersmack, why #12?
Also, ASU dropped after a should-have-won performance against LSU where they had 500+ yards passing? FSU... top 10? Really?
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.
Mr. Bold is Eagle In Atlanta, who played Texas Tech to FIU's Michigan and Ohio State, just *hammering* the two for their losses. I can understand the motivation for dropping Michigan from #4 to #23 for that performance against Notre Dame, but Ohio State dropping 15 spots after losing to the #2 (both in the BlogPoll and EIA's own ballot) by a point? Harsh! I do like Vandy at #24 and Oklahoma at #25, though. That has a certain aesthetic appeal. EIA, three Qs: Why Virginia so high (Ian is not optimistic)? Why Louisville at #6 (still no d)? And why the contract on OSU's head?
Mr. Numb Existence is Buffs.tv, who radically revamped their poll and somehow find it more in-line than any other. Yes, I find it hard to find something interesting to say about the ballot that looks the most like the poll, if you're wondering.
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.
Unsurprisingly, the winner of the Straight Bangin' Award is not Straight Bangin', but it is another Michigan blogger, Vijay from iBlog For Cookies. Straight Bangin'? Second. It doesn't matter how low you rank Michigan, BlogPoll, the Michibloggers will limbo under that number by, oh, 6 or 7 spots.
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 Journalism is for Rockstars and its Christmas-tree ballot. Only one team, Georgia, remained static. He's also throwing a bit of a fit as regards OSU, dropping them to #24 from #12 while simultaneously moving UT to #1. Journorock: why punish OSU so heavily for losing to the #1 team narrowly? Ditto for ASU. LSU got a huge boost by beating the Sun Devils but ASU got knocked down 8 spots. Either LSU didn't beat someone that worthy of beating or the Sun Devils aren't that bad.
Mr. Stubborn is... hey! Me! I didn't whack OSU or Michigan too hard for their performances (probably in part because I had both underrated re: the poll at large), didn't skyrocket anyone (ND was already #12), and left most of the bottom of the poll alone since everyone performed bas
ically as expected or played such terrible competition (FIU, the Citadel) that no conclusions could be drawn. You have an open invitation to hammer me with a question to answer about my ballot.
Okay. A few Irish fans raised on a lot of X-Files asked for the whole controversial play, so here it is (QED, MFer). It's thoroughly unexciting, just a bunch of watching people in the pile. It is also 40 megs. Unless you are really interested I'd skip it.
Many accusations of whining and being a "typical Michigan fan who never gets beat" were levelled, quite unfairly in my opinion. I think the video shows that at the very least that play should have been reviewed and to non-crazy people clearly shows a touchdown. The refs screwed up, the end result hurt Michigan, and that pisses me off. It is a reason we lost. It is not the reason, nor is it particularly high on the list of reasons (amongst the more prominent: Space Henne, Walker, the ND coaches mercilessly exploiting a blitz-pickup weakness). Not once did I say anything along the lines of "the refs beat us," though I obviously failed to clarify my position. It's clarified now, so there you have it.
This is the last word I'll speak on the matter; it's in the past, except for the UFR offense review which is in the past to me but in the future to you, so the play notes will say something like AAAARGH or some such thing. Because it's aaargh-worthy, you know. Total aaargh.
A note: I'm just going to delete anything that is even the slightest bit inflammatory off this post, no matter who the poster supports. Nuts to you if you don't like it. Nuts I say.
Examine the Team Grid at your leisure. Click the check marks for vote distribution (interesting like Purdue's or dull like USC's). Hover over that nut who put the Boilers #6 and the dastardly fellow's name reveals itself. Click and see the offending ballot. Still working out some tangential features with it, but enjoy its 80% state right now.
Injury roundup is extensive:
- Ryan Mundy did not play against ND and Carr says "I just don't feel good about where Ryan is. He's not been able to practice like he needs to practice, so I am not optimistic there." Sounds like he is out a while.
- Tim Jamison did not play against ND and his shoulder may keep him out a while longer.
- Hart left the ND game with a hamstring issue and did not return. He won't play against EMU (unless Carr is insane) and is questionable past that.
- Lentz missed a quarter against ND before returning.
- Arrington is out for at least the next month, possibly two.
- No word on Kolodziej that I know of but I doubt that his injury is going to magically disappear. He is on the new depth chart, so it's possble he returns for Wisconsin.
- Massaquoi and Long, of course, are probably gone for the year.
Absolutely brutal. We're two games into the season.
Farooq? Georgia Sports, nee Paul Westerdawg, offers a report on Micah Johnson.
Michigan Monday is here. Orr touches on a number of things I'll discuss in Upon Further Review tomorrow and Thursday, so no comments for now. Russel at FO has his game recap up. Poor guy flew in to see that monstrosity.
I promise this isn't getting into that again,, but for your information Vijay at IBFC and MRG, a poster at mgoboard, have put in thoughtful critiques of this whole Gang of Six business. Vijay took a rhetorical approach, MRG a numerical one. I think they're both interesting, and that's all I think. Also, in somewhat related news, "Ultima Khan" sent me a collection of UM stats he put together. Enjoy.
No me gusta WOTS. PrepSpotlight says that basketball recruit Tom Herzog's final two are MSU and ND.
This one is really tenuous. If anyone has information to offer on *anything*, please do. I honestly didn't catch much except the Michigan and Ohio State games, so I am very flexible with this one.
A note: my general philosophy is to take into account how well a particular team played as a function of its ability and overall competence. The upshot is that when I think a team played terribly and was beat by a series of huge, momentum-swinging plays instead of being ground down I don't punish as heavily as I would otherwise. So: I think the Iowa game was a fluke (anyone who saw it, please feel free to correct that impression). I think the fact that Texas won despite a number of VY mistakes and despite losing the turnover battle is very impressive, and I think the fact that OSU could not capitalize on a lot of redzone opportunities, some of which were gift wrapped, means that they aren't really #5, so I dinged them. That's why Iowa State is not on the ballot but Iowa is. If you think this is stupid, I'm listening.
|2||Texas||They played poorly, lost the turnover battle, and still beat OSU. Vince Young killed people with his arm. Clear #2.|
|3||LSU||Given all the extracurriculars, a truly remarkable win, but that pass defense is concerning.|
|4||Virginia Tech||Duke, whatever.|
|6||Purdue||Still wonky in the secondary and Kirsch's debut was not statistically great or anything.|
|7||Florida||Moving up essentially by default.|
|8||Georgia||Shockley returns to earth.|
|9||Ohio State||Did anyone else notice that Smith ran like 90% QB draws?|
|10||Arizona State||They're going to light up the Pac 10 this year, I think.|
|11||Notre Dame||Pitt win lost it luster, and Quinn didn't look very good against UM, but they won.|
|12||Michigan||Well, that was unexpected.|
|15||Boston College||Support our troops.|
|16||Georgia Tech||Damarius Bilbo!|
|17||Florida State||13-10 at the half with the Citadel?|
|19||Minnesota||Handled CSU much more easily than Colorado did.|
|20||Iowa State||Input indicates that even with Tate Iowa wasn't doing particularly well.|
|21||Clemson||That was rather tight against a Maryland team that doesn't appear very good.|
|23||Texas Tech||FIU = DNP.|
|25||Cal||A much better performance this week, but how much does it mean?|
Dropped Out: TCU, Iowa
Games I Saw: Michigan-ND, Texas-OSU, Pitt-Ohio
Update: knocked Iowa out after much feedback re: their performance, and moved GT up after doing some more reading and finding out that they have a WR named Damarius Bilbo.
And now for something completely different.
This one is at Eagle In Atlanta and the question are like so:
1. What member of the mainstream sports media (preferably one who covers college sports) makes your skin crawl, blood boil, forces you to change the channel or hit mute? Why?
The only guy who has actually ever forced me to mute him during a game is Bill Walton, and SAS is an instant channel-change. Those guys do the NBA, though. I have a good local answer: Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp, who is one of those Finebaum guys. He spends 95% of his columns calling people losers and chokers and then puts on a sunny face when someone does something good. He's so malignant that his coverage of Michigan State pisses me off, which I think sums it up nicely. But no one knows who he is.
So the official BlogPoll answer is ABC studio "analyst" Aaron Taylor, who
- looks like a big, dumb version of Dr. Evil
- talks only out of one side of his mouth, the other portion of his face frozen in a rictus reminscent of a stroke victim's
- speaks only in idiotic platitudes about wanting it more and heart and blah blah blah.
No, ND flamers no doubt still lurking about, it has nothing to do with his alma mater.
The thing is, Craig James is almost bad and I loathed Terry Bowden when he was the ABC studio guy even though EDSBS thinks somewhat highly of him and his intelligence. ABC probably prefers the dumbest sentiments possible for its halftime show to drag in all the Rome mouthbreathers. The difference between Taylor and the rest is that it's possible to believe the others have a spark of intelligence lurking somewhere beneath the surface.
Also--and this is hard to articulate properly--his eyebrows drive me freakin' insane. I realize this makes no sense.
2. What writer, broadcaster, show, website etc. deserves more recognition? Who is someone we should all be reading, watching or listening to?
Football Outsiders. The closest thing to Bill James in the football world, their NFL stats are revolutionary, smart, and revealing. I eagerly await some sort of collegiate equivalent, and may attempt to create one in the offseason, but the stats will be theirs.