this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
BlogPoll Week 8
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
The poll came down on the AP side of the great ND debate, leaving them at #9 instead of dropping them to #12 like the coaches did. SMQB loves him some Irish so much that they of the two home losses check in at #4(!). It doesn't appear anyone budged on the Texas/USC issue, which is somewhat surprising. I had figured Texas would get a few more firsts. We did get two voters dropping the Trojans all the way to #3 after the Bush Push: EDSBS leads the charge followed by actionBERG.
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.
Deviation continues to plummet; Texas Tech continues to hover at the top of it, though this is probably the Red Raiders' last week on top of this metric, since next week they play Texas and thus finally get to demonstrate their competence--or lack thereof. Most voters have them #9 despite a shaky resume.
Our top five teams are becoming very clear, as you can see.
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 for a second time... and the reason is very clear: Louisiana State plummets out of his ballot this week, replaced by Louisiana Tech(!). Bold indeed, but probably a typo. (How can you type "Tech" when you mean "State"? Insert Blair/Miller cheap shot at New York Times here.)
In light of something that appears to be an honest mistake we'll have dual winners this week and bestow Mr. Bold upon Michigan blogger Rob in Madtown as well. Rob's one of a few voters pulling the lever for the Terps (#19), but other than that his ballot's just slightly different in a lot of ways: extra love for LSU (#5), ND (#6), BC(#9), and Oregon(#12) but little for FSU(#14) or Texas Tech(#20). He's also got Northwestern in the poll, one spot ahead of the Badgers.
Mr. Numb Existence is Texas blogger PoliBlog. Of note is that the numbers here, just like the numbers in the deviation, are coming down as the polls turn to less speculation as each week passes.
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 goes the WV Law Dog, who's got the Mountaineers at #14. Given the state of the Big East WVU is going to have to blow out the rest of said conference to get anything more than Texas Tech treatment from me.
The Straight Bangin' Award goes to Wisconsin blogger Bruce Ciskie, who interestingly enough didn't rank the Badgers last week and only has them at #23 this week, five slots behind Minnesota! The Badgers just, like, beat Minnesota. Flukily, sure, but beat 'em just the same.
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.
Swing doesn't work. Apologies;
I find myself fairly busy during the season. When I can find time to fix it I will.