Well at least I made the 55 point random pick cut-off...
Mike Lantry, 1972
Standings are here as usual. Read below for more analysis than you could possibly want. Skip to Ballot Analysis for a way to judge how your picks are doing.
Last week we listed 5 games to watch for Pick Six relevance. Four of those games had a pretty significant impacts on the standings. LSU clobbered West Virginia knocking WFnVU almost out of the poll and overwhelmingly claiming first place for themselves. Clemson essentially switched places in the poll with Florida State after a huge beatdown and is now the highest ranked team that was unranked in preseason. Sorry Baylor, it was a good run but we all knew your time was limited. Oklahoma State leapfrogged Wisconsin and Stanford after beating Texas A&M who dropped 6 spots in the rankings. Finally, Arizona State crushed USC and reenters the poll. For the first week this year, the three most popular unranked teams are all ranked. In order of popularity Texas is #17, Michigan is #19 and Arizona State is #25.
Not much else happened this week. Just some minor reshuffling, so let’s move on with the show.
After one third of the season is over (that’s depressing to think about), most schools are done playing their non-conference games. This is a good opportunity to see how the teams performed.
NV means no votes received. For the first five groups Popularity gives the percentage of picks for that team. For the unranked teams the Popularity column gives the number of total votes since the percentages are so small. The unranked Change column assumes that all teams with no pre-season votes were tied for 49th.
In terms of overperforming teams, Florida had the most improvement of any ranked team. Clemson came out of nowhere the last two weeks going from unranked to 21st to 13th. Baylor and South Florida have been slowly climbing the polls ever since great performances in week 1. Unfortunately for the 21 people who picked them, they have pretty much reached the peak of their rankings. They will most likely start to slide back down in the polls in the next few weeks.
For underperforming teams, it is probably a tie between Florida State and Auburn for the worst season so far. FSU dropped from such a high spot but is still ranked, while Auburn is the only pre-season team to not be receiving any votes this week (thanks to the lone voter for Mississippi State and Missouri).
The current perfect ballot has 92 points with #1 LSU, #5 Oklahoma State, #7 Wisconsin, anybody, #12 Florida and #13 Clemson. Still no perfect ballot this week but BlueMars24 and Cottonpicker both picked Alabama, Stanford, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Florida and Clemson to earn 89 points this week. They jumped from 40th place last week all thanks to Clemson.
The unranked team usually makes or breaks a ballot. There were 25 people who picked Clemson (8th most popular pick) and 7 of those people are in the top 100 this week. So next year, spend 90% of your analysis on the unranked team. You’ll thank me later.
Now that Southern Cal is unranked, the two last place contestants have the worst possible ballot earning only 26 points. 17 of those points come from Oregon, they also get 6 points for TCU and 3 points for Florida State.
West Virginia getting destroyed hurt Brian’s ballot this week (along with a lot of people). He is now tied with 21 people for 123rd place with 74 points.
A completely random ballot would be expected to earn 55 points. So if you have more than 55 points you can safely say that your picks are better than random. If you have fewer than 55 points, you should probably just throw darts at the wall next year.
The median (and mean) of the contest is 60 points. So if you have more than 60 points you are an above average MGoBlog user. Congratulations!
If you have less than 60 points, remember that this is the internet. So just tell everybody how awesome the rest of your life is. A few possible suggestions would be the attractiveness of your significant other (they’re a model, right?), how much money you made in Vegas (didn’t you correctly pick a 15-team parlay in the sportsbook?) or the size of your wine cellar (this is a Michigan blog for the wine and cheese crowd after all).
As I type this South Florida is losing big to Pitt. Pitt won’t be ranked, but will USF be unranked come Sunday? That would be a big blow to the 13 people who have been riding the Bulls to a respectable ranking.
Texas A&M and Arkansas are both coming off losses. The loser of this game might be knocked all the way out of the poll. Especially if the game isn’t close.
Assuming Nebraska-Wisconsin is a good game, the loser probably won’t be affected too much. They’ll drop down to around 13-16 in the polls. It’s still pretty important since so many people picked both of those teams.
I won’t deny that I have no idea who is in which division of the ACC but Virginia Tech and Clemson look like the best conventional teams in the conference. Georgia Tech just rushed circles around the athletes at UNC so it might be a 3-team race over in basketball-land.
If Florida can stay within 3 touchdowns of Alabama they will still be ranked on Sunday but an upset would send shockwaves through the football landscape as well as the Pick Six standings.
There are two games pairing up unranked members of the infamous Group D. Michigan State and Ohio State are both near the top (the very top in MSU’s case) of the “also receiving votes” category. The winner will probably be ranked next week if they look very strong, or if one low-ranked team loses. The other group D matchup comes from the SEC where Mississippi State is playing Georgia. While neither team has a shot of being ranked next week, the loser probably has no hope of being ranked again this season.
Well at least I made the 55 point random pick cut-off...
Me too... in the top half at least.
I'm in 989th place. That's not going to be good for business. That's not going to be good for anyone!
WTF was I thinking? I have now become less than random and so I shall just start picking teams by colors and mascots.
Man, Jean Valjean is suckin'.
This has been fun to watch. Thanks for doing this Jeff.
Moved down from #1 last week to tied for 5th