this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
BlogPoll Week 9
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Zounds! It appears that the big winner of the Texas-Texas Tech game was... Virginia Tech? Damn skippy, it was. For the first time this year they've picked up a first place vote, and they've actually got three from Golden Tornado, Cheap Seats, and The Bemusement Park. The latter two have USC at (gasp!) #3! RD's ballot actually had Texas #1 last week but after watching UT demolish his Red Raiders he dropped them(?). All told, Texas's big win over the good-on-paper Red Raiders netted them one whole extra first place vote.
And that's all the intrigue we get in the top ten, as not a single team moved even a spot. Further down, though, Northwestern debuts at #20, marking the first time in BlogPoll history that a team with the nation's worst defense is in the poll. Which of course means Michigan will score like 27 against them.
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 justly RD Baker from Cheap Seats. RD, of course, has the Hokies #1 and USC #3. His ballot is relatively normal for a while (PSU is sort of high at #8 relative to the poll) and then gets funky: Auburn #11, moving up a slot after losing to LSU; WVU #12; ND #16; OSU #17; UTEP #20 (UTEP got exactly two other votes, both #25).
Yes, I did finish second here, probably largely because I think LSU, Texas Tech, and Auburn are stinky cheese, plus I have Penn State and Ohio State real high and Notre Dame low (relatively: #12).
Mr. Numb Existence is Texas blogger PoliBlog; as per usual the winner of this category's ballot does not stand out as wacky.
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 belongs to the WV Law Dog for placing WVU at #13, though he's followed in hot pursuit by various other bloggers committing acts of misdemeanor homerism. It seems likely he'll keep the award for a while since most others are highly skeptical of the Big East and WVU should cruise for a good long while.
The Straight Bangin' Award goes to RD again (busy week, eh?) for totally omitting Texas Tech from his ballot. (Last week: #9, like a lot of voters) I think we've seen this phenomenon before where a dispiriting loss causes bloggers of that team to show up on the SB list the week following; remember when 4/5 were Michigan bloggers? Uh, yeah.
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.