Total Ballots: 77
CHAOS! A THOUSAND TIMES CHAOS! We're about 10% of the ballots away from seeing Alabama shoot from #8 to #1, BYU is ranked above USC, we have an entirely new bottom five, multiple teams dropping seven or more spots, and there is Vanderbilt.
Note that the BP is more skeptical about Texas Tech (#7) than the AP (#9), continuing its tradition of looking askance at crappy schedules; unlike Hawaii, the Texas Tech issue should get resolved shortly as the Red Raiders enter conference play.
Also, we love Vandy (#16, #19 AP). Woo Vandy!
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.”
- Two voters still have Wisconsin #10, including Dawg Sports, which moved the Badgers up three after the loss. (Extremely long explanation here.) Meanwhile, the Auburner only slides UW down three.
- Wake Forest is #9 to… Dawg Sports. Oh, he won the Mr. Bold award. Nevermind. This will prevent us from highlighting many, many more weird votes redundantly.
- Vanderbilt votes stretch from #5 to #25.
- People are voting Tulsa as high as #15 or #16 based on victories over UAB, North Texas, New Mexico, and Central Arkansas. People are voting Texas Tech much higher than this, sure, but… two wrongs don't make a right etc.
- Speaking of Texas Tech, can I call out the vast majority of voters for throwing an unproven team that never ever lives up to the hype generated by stomping the sisters of the poor in the nonconference into the top ten because ooooh shiny Crabtree? No?
- Buffs.tv ranks TCU #13. Next most enthusiastic voter is #20.
- I can only assume by Doctor Saturday's ballot, which features Utah #4 and is the poll's only vote for Notre Dame (#16), means he thinks Michigan is much, much better than it actually is.
- Wheeee Northwestern #9 from Saurian Sagacity. Our intrepid NU blogger Lake The Posts only has the Cats #23.
- Um… TNIAAM has Illinois—wins over Eastern Illinois and ULL—#13, up two after losing to Penn State.
- The poll's most enthusiastic GT fans are both Boston College bloggers.
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.
Auburn snatches away the "most confusing team to rank" this week, probably because they have one chainsaw defense and one offense that makes you want to cut yourself with a chainsaw.
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.
Lo, it has finally happened: a non-dedicated resume ranker has submitted the statistically weirdest ballot in all the land. Dawg Sports—no stranger to these parts himself—is your new Mr. Bold recipient. Dr. Saturday's reign comes to an (eventual) halt.
Now to evaluating the ballot: Dawg Sports has ditched everything previous to come up with a new ballot based entirely on a team's resume, which is of course why he has Wisconsin (win @ Fresno State, loss @ Michigan, filler) ranked in front of LSU (win @ Auburn, undefeated, filler). I don't mind resume ballots per se, but frankly Dawg Sports turns in "resume" ballots indefensible by any measure at least twice a year. There's a lot of other weird stuff there that not even other resume sorts think is reasonable and discussing it just makes me cranky.
The danger here was always that I would be forced to grit my teeth and say something nice about a Mr. Numb Existence victor from Ohio State: this is that day. Around The Oval is a… blog… that is… good. It is run by Ohio State students who are not I repeat not everything that is wrong with Amurrica. They post entertaining pictures of Beanie Wells.
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 had an outright whiff last week, as Ohio State handled Minnesota easily (the final, scrub-influenced score was deceivingly close), but this is Ohio State versus Minnesota. Even the dire powers of the CK Award extend only so far.
The season thus far:
- Michigan State loses to Cal.
- Boston College loses to Georgia Tech.
- Auburn beats Mississippi State 3-2(!!!).
- Utah beats Air Force 30-23 but found themselves tied with a minute left despite outgaining the Zoomies by 249 yards.
- OSU clubs Minnesota.
I think that's 4/5 games with nefarious doings and one OSU-Minnesota matchup. Not bad.
This week we have an incautious return winner: Michigan State and "The Enlightened Spartan." He flings MSU up to #16 after their glorious victory over Indiana during which Michigan State outgained the Hoosiers by 23 yards and gave up almost 500 yards to Indiana's backup quarterback. Woo! State takes on Iowa this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Straight Bangin' Award has been a relatively safe thing to win in its history since it usually goes to fans of teams who have just seen their team eat it and are overreacting, but holy cow Bruce Ciskie had some serious Cassandra action going last week as Michigan rose from the dead to squeeze by Wisconsin. The evil must have taken a wrong turn on US-23.
But our winner is Saurian Sagacity, which features a spectacular winning margin of nearly 13 spots. The reason is a monstrously inflexible system that ranks all undefeated teams above any team with a loss (with limited exceptions) and has Vandy, UConn, Kentucky, and Northwestern in the top ten.
Meanwhile, the rest of the top five: rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope, residual USC rope-a-dope.
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.
Dr. Saturday is your Mr. Manic-Depressive again, and for the usual reasons: vast swings having to do with resume ranking early in the season. Also there was plenty of chaos this week.
Hey Jenny Slater is your Mr. Stubborn for the week, largely because he was uncommonly gentle to the week's four big losers, dropping each around five spots instead of the close to ten that was the poll norm. Nick Saban says Doug is as soft as his team. ZING!
No, seriously, Doug, no toaster-throwing? I don't even know you.