TO THE HOT TAKE CANNON
Okay... I have two sources on this that are indirect but the story path seems plausible (the rumor's origin involves bowling) and so feel compelled to tell you this: the rumor is Morgan Trent's hand was broken during the UW game and thus unavailable for Minnesota and perhaps beyond. Presumably this would rule out the rest of Trent, too. At this point I would be very surprised if it was not true.
Updates when they become available.
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Achtung, voters! Michigan is in the Eastern time zone. So 10 AM means 10 AM EST.
Well... yeah. Nothing really happened. Michigan jumped Florida in the top five. ND dropped a spot after accepting a gift from Michigan State. Probably the most interesting thing is TCU falling three spots as a few BCS teams solidified themselves as "good" in voter's minds. Auburn picked up a couple first place votes.
Fallers: Most thrilling poll ever! Boston College did drop out entirely after bonking at NC State.
Risers: Say hello to #23 Rutgers. Apocalypse scheduled for Thursday.
Wack Ballot Watchdog:
- A Georgia Tech blogger won the CK Award this week... and still wasn't even close to Black Shoe Diaries, which ranked the Jackets #15.
- Frank McGrath still has ND in front of Michigan.
- TrojanWire hates Florida: #12.
- House Rock Built thinks Boise State is better than Notre Dame. I agree!
- Not necessarily wack given the situation, but it is interesting that we have two voters with OU above Oregon: BGS and Bruce Ciskie.
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 House Rock Built, I believe for the second time this year. Formally requested explanations on:
- Oregon at #3. I know they're technically undefeated, but, well... you know.
- Boise State #11 and TCU #14. I mean... you really think those teams are better than LSU and Texas, #16 and #17, respectively?
- WVU #18, down 11(!) after that ECU win.
Now last week we had Frank McGrath flip out and try to justify his weird ballot in confrontational style. But mayhaps we can do this friendly-like?
Mr. Numb Existence is OSU blog Men of the Scarlet and Gray. ....And I'll pass on lame OSU joke. But it was close for a couple seconds.
Also, Dan Shanoff's appearance on the list is an excellent pretext for me to point out that, yes, that's Dan Shanoff, late of Page 2 Daily Quickie fame until Page 2 decided to get rid of everyone who wasn't Simmons and Scoop Jackson.
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.
I cannot remind you strongly enough about this: do not tempt the wrath of The CK Award. Angered by Michigan State blogger tES's homer-riffic ballot a week ago, it not only brought a mindbending loss to ND that can only be described as "typical State" but pounded attendees with biblical quantities of rain. Wisconsin also was pantsed by Michigan. This is reaching "don't $%*! with Cartman" proportions.
Next on the chopping block: Georgia Tech again, though it should be noted that the margins of overrating are coming down and thus the wrath may be lessened.
And... aw, hell. Am I fifth on this list? If Michigan loses to Minnesota I'm going to have to go into hiding with the replay official from the Oregon-Oklahoma game.
Team bloggers have revealed a strong inclination towards extremism in voting, often voting their teams way high after a win and similarly low after a loss. This week, the Straight Bangin' Award is an all-disappointing-win affair, as the top five has no fewer than four Georgia bloggers. The lone exception? #3 Mountainlair, a WVU blogger who watched his team struggle against East Carolina (which probably isn't even a state). Our week five pessimism champ is Hey Jenny Slater, who dropped UGA to #19 after a 14-13 win over Colorado.
Oh, yeah: he also destroyed a toaster.
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 Kyle at Dawg Sports, who managed to find a way to wildly flip his ballot around in a week where a lot of things almost happened but none actually did. Iowa, omitted last week, is #13. ASU and BC, #14 and #15 a week ago, plummet entirely out of the poll. Everyone else moves at least a bit.
Mr. Stubborn is My Opinion on Sports, which has the fun abbreviation "MOOS". Just sayin'. Anyway, he didn't knock WVU down at all from #2 after struggling with East Carolina, which I have officially Cocked An Eyebrow at. But nothing much happened this week.
- Bumped UT up a spot since they have a better resume than Clemson.
- Bumped ND up a couple spots since they have played four actual teams -- maybe 3.5 depending on your opinon of PSU -- and won three of those games.
- Replaced Wisconsin with Wake Forest.
- On the top five: Swapped OSU and Auburn again, since whatever struggles OSU had against Penn State were matched by Auburn against Buffalo. The margin between the top five teams is really thin and I am liable to change things up there with seemingly little provocation.
If you're wondering where all the Kamoku-related rage is... it's on AOL. Video of the incident and a post wherein Bret Bielema is castigated for letting a punt-coverage scrub get away with that reprehensible act scot free. Especially because he's only a punt-coverage scrub and the next game for UW is freakin' Indiana. Way to be awesome, Bielema!
Perspective: Badger Tracker provides a series of bullet points from a Wisconsin perspective. If it's any consolation, BT, every team that's played Michigan so far this year has come out of the game believing its offensive line to be inept. Michigan Monday has the OSU take; SMQ ("SMQ is more confident at this early stage about the Wolverines than any of the other current mythical championship frontrunners") and EDSBS ("In nine months, "Ron English ______ "will begin popping up in the birth registers around Ann Arbor, just as "Jim Herrmann" suddenly gained popularity as a name for abused pet cats and individual pieces of toilet paper in the area last year") chip in frighteningly positive neutral viewpoints.
Oh, snap. Vijay is living on pure ND rageohol these days. First: oh, snap, referee complaining all up in your face. Now he eviscerates the "9-3 isn't good enough... unless you're Michigan" meme. (Is it really a meme if it's too retarded to be real? Can I call it a "reme"?) Said post contains one of those sentences that wraps up a complicated situation with a neat little bow:
Notre Dame fans taunt Michigan because our accomplishments aren't as lofty as their pipe dreams.
Yes. Yes, that's exactly why the frankly incredible condescension that radiates from many Domer fans grates so. This is a Read The Whole Thing Situation: there is much goodness within.
While we're on Notre Dame, Jon Chait has an article on Irish lore in The New Republic.
1. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
Q: How do you stop Calvin Johnson?
A: Are you Reggie Ball?
A: Then you can't.
2. Alan Branch, Michigan
What happened to Lamarr? Well, it's like this: Branch is having equal production from a more difficult position to seriously eff up an offense from. In terms of raw, NFL-scout-stunning talent, the 6'6" 330-pound Branch is the winner. In terms of overall impact to date on what's possibly the nation's best defense, Branch is the winner given that he's been getting heavy pass rush despite being double-teamed as a defensive tackle..
He doesn't have the stats, but he does have the talent and impact. He is closer to the platonic ideal of a superstar at his position than anyone save that Johnson kid immediately above, and that's how this ballot rolls.
3. Troy Smith, Ohio State
Does one ridiculous throw offset a crappy day? No. So he goes down a couple spots. It was raining, yes, but most of Smith's throws were well off, and Penn State got wasted by ND a couple weeks ago.
4. Garrett Wolfe, Northern Illinois
Upcoming game versus Iowa will be critical for the little MAC back who could. I saw him shred Michigan last year and Ohio State this year; he's not just running up huge numbers against MAC snackycakes. But he is doing that too... and what numbers!
5. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
Obviously super awesome, but I dunno... leaves me cold for some reason. Since I never get to see OU-Texas it will be hard for me to be blown away.
A Totally Real Interview With ESPN Personality Jay Mariotti That I Would Like To Emphasize Is Really Real And Not Fictional In Any Way Whatsoever
MGoBlog has been fortunate enough to snag the finest talent at ESPN for a no-holds-barred interview about life at the WWL. I cannot stress this enough: this interview is totally real. This guy actually said all these things and I can totally prove it, except not right now.
Remember: this is not fictional in any way. At all.
Hi. Great to have you here. As you no doubt know, Jason Whitlock's controversial interview with The Big Lead led to his summary termination as an ESPN writer/talky-person/designated Jeff George proponent. Do you think his firing was warranted?
Jay Mariotti: Did he call someone a fag? That's intolerable.
Uh... no. Didn't you read the interview in question?
Jay Mariotti: Who was it written by?
It's an interview. It's not "written" by anyone per se. But it involves J--
JM: --ay Mariotti? That guy can write.
JM: Well, then I obviously haven't read it.
Uh... anyway. In it he levels some pretty harsh charges of "bojangling" -- whatever that is -- at Scoop Jackson and calls Mike Lupica an "insecure, mean-spirited busybody"--
JM: Dude, that's nothing. Ozzie Guillen called me a fag.
--and do you think ESPN was correct to terminate their relationship with Whitlock?
JM: Who? Did he call me a fag? That's probably why get got fired. Mess with the Mariotti, get the horns.
Do you have any opinions of Lupica?
JM: That guy's a fag. I hear that the only way he can get an erection is by slitting the throat of a baby goat.
Also, ESPN upper management is running an elaborate sex-slavery operation that has robbed Lithuania of 50% of its preteen girls. They also think Carrot Top is funny.
This isn't going to affect my relationship with the network, is it?
No way, man! You're Jay Mariotti!
JM: You're damn straight I am.