||Southern Cal (65)
||East Carolina (1)
Total Ballots: 70
Well, it was nice knowing you, Ohio State. OSU takes the pipe, USC takes #1 by a vast margin, and the rest of the shakeout is pretty interesting. Though the preseason AP and Blog polls were nearly identical, three weeks in we have some large discrepancies:
- The BP is way more enthusiastic about #9 Penn State (#16 AP), #21 Vandy (UR AP), #22 Oklahoma State (UR AP)
- The BP is down on #15 Auburn (#10 AP), #18 OSU (#13 AP), and #25 West Virginia (#21 AP).
Last week the BP was much higher on ECU (then #10) than the AP (then #14) was, but enthusiasm scaled back after a narrow win against Tulane.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
I’ve again omitted anything from the resume zealots, such as “Texas #24”. We know the reasons behind these votes and as such they aren’t “wack.”
- ARRGH THIS IS WHY YOU POST YOUR BALLOTS FOR REVISION ON MONDAY: Buffs.tv has South Carolina #1. Wrong SC.
- To the four guys voting for Tennessee… really? I mean, seriously? Similarly… Cal voters?
- From Old Virginia shot Nebraska up to #11, three spots higher than any other voter and one of only three voters to place the Huskers above #20, after NU beat—woo!—New Mexico State.
- Except for couple resume zealots who have the Tigers lower, Garnet and Black Attack’s ranking of #20 for LSU is five spots worse than any other voter.
- Georgia #18 is weird even for a resume zealot (Rakes of Mallow in this case), especially since they have a win over an actual half-respectable SEC team and a similar team (Vandy) that had a narrower win over the same freakin’ team ends up #12. WTF.
- Fulmer’s Belly: dinging Arizona State one spot for a loss against UNLV seems generous.
There’s still not much because we have little data. Extracurriculars after the jump.
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.
Ah, Texas Tech, atop your familiar highest standard deviation throne. Play someone ever, please. Meanwhile, pay no attention to the “lowest STDEV” please: the Buffs.tv vote above throws it off like whoah.
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 will probably be the end of DocSat’s iron-fisted grip over one of the top two spots as voters start moving towards ranking by resume, but not yet. I can go into ballot oddities if you like, but you know the story already: voting exclusively by results on the field in the first few weeks is an exercise in wild swings and weird rankings:
- ECU #2, BYU #4, USF #6, Vandy #9
- Utah and Notre Dame living at #11 and #12 off victories over a distinctly non-vintage Michigan team.
- LSU #24, OU #13, OSU gone.
I should probably just denote resume zealots early in the year and have a separate table for them, eh?
I never have much to say about Mr. Numb Existence since by definition the winner of the award has submitted a ballot closely in line with the poll as a whole. And this is the one award that goes to a sane voter instead of an extremist. And I’m a bit concerned that people will think all publicity is good publicity. So, new feature: Mr. Numb Existence gets a good recent post highlighted.
Our inaugural Suck Up To The Sane people recipient is Third Saturday in Blogtober, which is a weird concept blog based around the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry. It covers both schools and is the kind of blog that actually seeks out painful moments from years past to relive; TSIB knows that pain is part of college football fandom. They’ve just dredged up a horrible, horrible moment from Vol history:
You’ve experienced it. It’s the moment when you stare ahead but you can’t really see anything. You know there’s noise around you, but you just hear a hum. Movement is everywhere, but you don’t notice.
Fourteen seconds. Dead silence. Players celebrating. Game-winner. Throat-slash. Dropped ball.
That’s all that fit in my small mind as I watched from the sideline.
It’s known simply as “The Catch” to Tennessee fans - Sept. 16, 2000.
Tennessee fans get their catharsis… Bama fans get their schadenfreude… all in one place!
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 could not claim a third straight victim, as Auburn beat Mississippi State 3-2, but hey, man, do you doubt this thing’s power? Just place the words “3-2 victory over Mississippi State” in your head with your favorite team in place of Auburn and see how you like it. That’s what I thought. This thing is evil. I give it 4/5 CKs for its performance last weekend.
Meanwhile, this week I believe we have a first: a non-BCS team taking the award. Block U has the temerity to rank Utah #13. Some mitigating factors: this is a bit high but the margin here isn’t in the outrageous range, Block U also has hated rival BYU a spot ahead of the Utes, and that vote isn’t even the highest for the school in question. In the past these things have sometimes let a CK victim off the hook.
There’s a dangerous game ahead for Utah: a roadie against Air Force.
Rope-a-dope wins the Straight Bangin’ award as Buckeye Commentary completely excises Ohio State from its ballot. This is a common coping mechanism for FAIL teams that have performed FAIL poorly the previous FAIL week. FAIL.
Meanwhile, Bruce Ciskie is way down on the Badgers despite their tough road win over Fresno State. Rationale (we can have rationales?):
With all due respect to their win at Fresno State, this might be the worst top-ten team in the history of the major polls. They're just not very good on defense, with too much of a penchant for missed tackles, bad angles to ball-carriers, and blown assignments. Fresno couldn't take advantage because of an inaccurate kicker and some key drops. Teams like Penn State, Ohio State, and even Michigan State won't make those mistakes as much once we're in the teeth of the Big Ten season.
While I can’t sign up for “worst top ten team in the history of the major polls” because there has to be some 4-6 Notre Dame team out there claiming a national title, that’s a damning assessment from an actual Wisconsin fan.
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.
I’m all in favor of these massive swings from the resume zealots since they all represent their ballots coming more in line with those of the poll at large. Here, Saurian Sagacity’s strict tier system of voting improves massively from week two to week three. Here is an award. You are Manic-Depressive.
Sometimes the Mr. Stubborn winner isn’t all that stubborn, it’s just freakishly prescient. This is the case this week, as RazorBloggers already had USC at #1, USF pretty high, Kansas, ASU, UCLA, and Cal pretty low, ECU right around where they fall in the poll at large. It’s more amazing Kreskin than Mr. Stubborn.
Mizzourah is also is in a similar boat with extreme skepticism of the Pac-10 and Ohio State serving him well; oddly, they go from one of the poll’s most negative OSU voters (#8 last week) to one of its more optimistic ones (#13 this week).