Blogpoll Week 9 Draft Ballot

Submitted by Tim on October 25th, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Auburn's win over previously-undefeated LSU is enough to move them into the top spot, and probably stay there until they lose.

There may be a couple inconsistencies here and there, so point them out and I'll try to get most of them corrected for the final ballot (for example, Michigan State might have a better resume than TCU at this point). As always, I'm open to suggestions for better options at the end of the poll.

Resume chart can be found here.



October 25th, 2010 at 9:00 AM ^

I'd like to see Syracuse on the just outside portion. Schedule hasn't been strong, but they're 5-2 with a win over a ranked team. That's almost equivalent to Air Force or Nevada. Hawaii might also be included in that same general area. Sure, their losses may be a bit worse, but I feel like their at least considerable of lurker status.

I think Hawaii is a bigger win than Minnesota, probably Wazzou, too, on the USC line.

Virginia Tech's row is empty for wins and losses. I was hoping I just needed to scroll over to the far right column to see James Madison in red as a joke. Didn't happen.

Alabama's 4th best win is Alabama. I believe that's supposed to be Tennessee.

I feel like Arkansas could drop considerably. Sure, their losses are strong, but when compared to teams below them with similar losses, Arkansas's wins don't stand up. Best win against Ole Miss would have them behind Miami in my book. In that same area, I'd consider Miami for jumping Mississippi State. MSU's losses are slightly better, but their wins are MUCH weaker than Miami's.


October 25th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

I would agree for the most part, Tim.

Does anyone else think it is funny that the #1 team has lost three weeks in a row? All on the road also (I believe, but may be wrong).


October 25th, 2010 at 9:19 AM ^

you don't identify the opponent of Alabama's 41-10 win (Tennessee). Also, with Florida flaming out, it could be argued Wisconsin's resume is better than Alabama's, especially at the top end.


October 25th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

Is there any chance that little bro would be dropped out of the top five if they won next week? What I mean is if they did not win big, close score. Is a win always a win when you have our current ranking system? I know there are different thoughts, wondering what the mgoblog communty is.

Number 7

October 25th, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

Not accoridng to the principle of a resume ballot.  State's top 2 wins will be Wisconsin and Iowa, which would be more impressive than TCU's (who only play Nevada this week) or Boise's (LA Tech).   A Mizzou win would definitely hurdle State even if Sparty won (I think Mizzou has a better resume than Sparty now), but both would be pushing Oregon at that point. 


October 25th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

Missouri's resume isn't even all that close to State's. Top win: Wisconsin > Oklahoma. After that, the Tigers have played pretty much nobody, whereas the Spartans have a couple wins over 5-2 teams, a more impressive win over the same Illinois team, and so on.


October 25th, 2010 at 9:39 AM ^

Is Auburn's win over LSU really better than what Oregon did to Stanford?  Add to that that the SEC simply isn't as strong as it's been and Oregon should stay #1.

MI Expat NY

October 25th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

Auburn's SOS may be better at the moment, but they're about to play a three game stretch against Ole Miss, Chattanooga and Georgia before their season ender with Alabama.  If both teams stay undefeated through the next three weeks, I expect Oregon to have the better resume.  Additionally, every SEC team besides Miss. St. and arguably Vanderbilt (Wake Forest at home) have a cupcake left on their schedule, whereas every other conference is pretty much done with non-conference games.  The SEC's SOS will come down as a whole compared to the Big Ten, Pac 10, etc.

I also agree with KBLOW, we haven't seen anything to indicate that the SEC is very strong this year.  The league's non-conference wins against BCS-AQ schools:  West Virginia, Clemson, UNC, Texas A&M, Penn. St., South Florida, and Louisville (only Louisville on the road, UNC and A&M at neutral fields).  Their loses:  @Colorado, @UConn, Northwestern, Oregon.  The SEC doesn't have a single non-conference win against a team currently ranked (to be fair, neither does the Big 10), and I think the relative rankings of SEC teams are based on past knowledge, not what's been shown on the field so far.


October 25th, 2010 at 9:45 AM ^

I would move Oregon ahead of Auburn.  Honestly, Auburn has beat some decent teams, but hasn't really shut anyone down, or beat by a large margin.  I think they are going to be exposed soon against Alabama. 

Oregon beat Stanford, a pretty darn good team that people are not talking about right now.

They also went to Arizona State and won, a team that nearly knocked off Wisconsin.

Additionally, they just finished off UCLA, a team that went into Austin and won, which is less impressive now.

oriental andrew

October 25th, 2010 at 9:52 AM ^

You're not doing your argument a favor by lauding the achievement of two 3-4 teams in ASU and UCLA.

Besides, if you're going to play the transitive property game, then Auburn also beat SCar, which beat Alabama.  They beat Kentucky, who pulled out a win against SCar.  And yes, 4-4 UK is the equivalent of 3-4 UCLA - both teams beat a high profile team, but were also clubbed mercilessly by others (UCLA's avg losing margin is 30 pts!

Number 7

October 25th, 2010 at 9:47 AM ^

I was surprised at how good Missouri's resume is:  Thumping Texas A&M, shutting out Colorado, beating pesky Illinois, and edging up-and-coming SDSU are all good wins -- maybe not sparkly, but only Auburn can claim a truly sparkly #2 win among the undefeateds, and Missouri has, I think, the deepest resume of the undefeeateds.

Although I ackowledge their johnny-come-lately status and thoroughly expect them to lose next week, and I think they actually deserve the #3 spot.

FWIW, I'd put TCU #4 -- gashing Air Force is meaningful to me, MSU #5, and Boise #6.

Incidentally, I suppose you could list Syracuse, but only to show that aside from the WVU win, they have:

  • feasted on bottom-dwellers (Akron, Maine, Colgate, and South Florida), and
  • gotten utterly wiped by average teams (41-20 at Wash.; 45-14 at home to Pitt).


October 25th, 2010 at 10:02 AM ^

Let me present a case to the people at large:

Team A and Team B are 7-0.  Team A's opponents have a 17-33 record and an average Sagarin rating of 68.21, which would be 77th.  Team B's opponents have a 29-21 record and an average Sagarin rating of 73.71, which would be 51st.  Of the top five opponents played by these two teams, four of them belong to Team B.

In the best game played by each of these teams, Team A won by 21; Team B won by 9; Team B played a slightly stronger opponent; both were at home. 

In the second-best, Team A won by 47; Team B won by 21; again, Team B's opponent was slightly stronger, and Team B was on the road. 

Third best game: Team A won by 35 against a very bad opponent (Team C) on the road; Team B won by 26 against a considerably stronger opponent (Team D), but at home.  Team C and Team D played a common opponent, against whom Team C was obliterated and Team D won.

Fourth-best game: Team A's and Team B's opponents were of essentially equal strength.  Team A won by 11 on the road and Team B won by 10 at a neutral site.

Fifth best game: Team A beat a 2-5 FCS (I-AA) team by 69; Team B beat a 4-4 FBS (I-A) team by 38.

Sixth-best game: Team A beat an 0-7, absolutely pathetic I-A opponent (barely in the top 200 according to Sagarin) by 72; Team B beat a 5-2 I-A opponent by 3.

Seventh-best game: Team A beat another pathetic, 1-6 I-A opponent by 20.  Team B beat a 3-4 I-AA opponent by 44.

Whom do you rank higher?


October 25th, 2010 at 10:07 AM ^

While Cam Newton certainly impressed this last week, I don't think a fairly close victory over an overrated LSU (which was only undefeated due to Tennesee's even greater boobery) is worth a jump to #1.  If we're going to lament that the BCS ignores margin of victory, it doesn't seem fair to basically ignore it in elevating Auburn - three of their wins have been by only three points!  And their win over Clemson was in overtime to boot!  Whereas Oregon has basically dismantled every team they've played, including the underrated Stanford (who, let's not forget, jumped out to an early huge lead before the Ducks decided to Get Serious).

MI Expat NY

October 25th, 2010 at 10:30 AM ^

"gave them hell"?  Maybe we've been spoiled by Oregon, but those were both double-digit wins on the road.  I know the ASU game was close most of the way, but for the closest win on the schedule, it's not exactly bad.  

Oregon's schedule is back-loaded a bit.  USC, Washington, Cal, and Oregon State presents a pretty tough stretch.  They get through that, they should be #1.


October 25th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

When the opponent in question is 1-7 and would be 0-8 but for a 1-point win against Montana State?  Yeah, that's not even remotely impressive.  I think people are too impressed by margin of victory here.  Anyone can make New Mexico look like chumps.  The arguments all focus on "well Auburn has only beaten so-and-so and such-and-such by this many points" when they ignore that those opponents are a hell of a lot better than most teams on Oregon's schedule.

Yeah, we would kill for some wins like that, but then, nobody's making an argument for #1 in the country for us.  When it comes to that high of a ranking, give me strength of schedule over margin of victory.

MI Expat NY

October 25th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

Have their opponents been a lot better?  Better, yes, a hell of a lot better, I don't know.  Auburn has only played two road games and beaten Kentucky and MSU by 3 points each.  Neither team is particularly good.  Three other wins have been aided by overthrowing a wide open receiver on what would have been the game winner (Clemson), four fourth quarter turnovers (South Carolina) and a concussion to the best player they've seen (Arkansas).

To me, margin of victory matters, not so much as a pure number, but how you win.  Auburn has had 5 games that could have gone either way but for a lucky bounce or break.  Oregon has had arguably one.  It's perfectly reasonable to say Oregon has the better resume at this point.


October 25th, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

At this point, Boise State's resume is really sliding backwards. I would argue that neither Boise, TCU, nor Utah belong in the top 4. Missouri's win over Oklahoma is far better than anything Boise has, and wins over BCS teams Illinois, Colorado, and Texas A&M beat a BCS win over Oregon State. Utah and TCU are a toss-up; Utah has wins over Pittsburgh and Iowa State, while TCU has wins over Oregon State and Baylor (fairly even BCS wins, in my opinion). TCU's win over Wyoming had a larger margin, but Utah played them on the road. The opposite was true for Colorado State (Utah had a better margin, TCU was on the road). I'll give the nod to TCU because the win over Air Force is better than any remaining win on Utah's schedule outside BCS-level games. Since VT is now 6-2 after a rough start and looking in prime position to win the ACC (yes, terrible conference, but BCS nonetheless), I'll give the nod to Boise over both TCU and Utah.

My undefeated ranking: Auburn, Oregon, MSU, Missouri, Boise State, TCU, Utah.

I'd also have Stanford, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin ahead of Alabama as they are all 1-loss teams whose only loss is to an undefeated team. Alabama's best win is over a 5-2 Arkansas team but lost to a 5-2 South Carolina. Stanford lost to 7-0 Oregon and beat 5-2 USC. Oklahoma beat 6-1 Florida State and lost to 7-0 Missouri. Wisconsin beat 7-1 Ohio State and lost to 8-0 Michigan State.

I'd say Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Stanford to round out the top 10.


October 25th, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

If Auburn somehow loses and MSU wins, do they jump BSU? If this happens, I will have lost all faith in the pollsters/BCS. When do they get their chance? This season should go to show you that nobody is really a standout team. I still think Alabama is the best team by far. You can't tell me that MSU could play on the same field as Alabama. I don't think they would have a chance in hell.

I can no longer make ranking by things like, who beat who more "impressively" and things of that nature. Everyone knows that any given day there are an infinite number of factors that could be different. A win is a win, but you could speculate "style" points until the dogs come home. I just don't think it's a good way to base rankings at all. Just MO though.


October 25th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

Why is Utah so high on everyone's ballot?  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

When the top game on your resume is an OT win against Pitt who sucks (and wasn't it at home?) and the rest of your schedule consists of teams everyone in the top 25 would destroy, why do you get to be #7?  Do you think any of the other teams in the top 25 would be done any worse against that schedule?

I bet Michigan would have beaten Pitt and thrown up a ton of points against Colorado State and Wyoming and whoever else.  But I don't think Michigan should be #7.


October 25th, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

I made a grid, and ranked each of unbeaten team's wins in order of greatness. Then I ranked each level of game against each other. So for example, among the best games, I gave Missouri a "1" for beating Oklahoma 36-27, followed by Auburn's 24-17 victory over LSU, Oregon's pasting of Stanford, then MSU's 34-24 victory over Wisconsin, etc.

I then weighted the results, so that the best win is worth x3, the 2nd and 3rd are worth x2, and the 4th through 6th are worth x1. I did not count the 7th or 8th games, so Auburn gets no credit for pasting Arkansas St 52-26. FCS games were in the 8th slot and not counted either. These were then used only as tiebreakers.

  Auburn Oregon Boise St. TCU MSU Missouri Utah
Best Win LSU 24-17 Stanford 52-31 @V-Tech 33-30 Ore St 30-21 Wis 34-24 Okla 36-27 Pitt 27-24
2 S.C. 35-27 UCLA 60-13 Ore St 37-24 Baylor 45-10 @Mich 34-17 @ TAMU 30-9 @Iowa St 68-27
3 Ark 65-43 @Tenn. 48-13 Toledo 57-14 Air Force 38-7 @NW 35-27 Colo 26-0 SJ St 56-3
4 Clemson 27-24 @Ariz St. 42-31 @Wyo 51-6 @SMU 41-24 Illini 26-6 Illini 23-13 UNLV 38-10
5 @Miss St 17-14 @Wash St 43-23 @SJ St 48-0 BYU 31-3 ND 34-31 SD St 27-24 @Wyo 30-6
6 @Ky. 37-34 NM 72-0 @NM St 59-0 Wyo 45-0 WMich 38-14 Miami(NTM) 51-13 @NM 56-14
7 Ark St. 52-26  -   -  @Colo St 27-0 Fla Atl. 30-17  -  Colo St 59-6
FCS ULM 52-3 Portland St 69-0  -  Tenn Tech 62-7 N Colo 45-7 McNeeseSt 50-6  - 
  Auburn Oregon Boise St. TCU MSU Missouri Utah
Best Win 2 3 5 7 4 1 6
2 1 2 6 7 3 4 5
3 1 2 5 6 3 4 7
4 1 4 5 6 2 3 7
5 1 4 6 5 2 3 7
6 1 3 5 7 4 2 6
7 Ark St. 52-26  -   -  @Colo St 27-0 Fla Atl. 30-17  -  Colo St 59-6
FCS ULM 52-3 Portland St 69-0  -  Tenn Tech 62-7 N Colo 45-7 McNeeseSt 50-6  - 
  1.30 2.80 5.30 6.50 3.20 2.70 6.20


1 Auburn 1.30
2 Missouri 2.70
3 Oregon 2.80
4 MSU 3.20
5 Boise St. 5.30
6 Utah 6.20
7 TCU 6.50

I think the big difference is I don't give Oregon much as much credit for running up the score. I thought it more impressive that Auburn won a close one on the road at Kentucky  and Missouri easily handled Miami (Not THAT Miami) than Oregon pasting New Mexico 72-0. New Mexico and New Mexico State are two of the worst BCS teams out there, and proved it when they played each other. A 72-0 score only makes them marginally better than Utah beating NM 56-14 on the road, or Boise St beathing NM St on the road 59-0.


October 25th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

Louisiana-Monroe is I-A (Sun Belt), not I-AA. (I'm coaching at ULL in my NCAA 10 dynasty, so I know this well.)

I have minor quibbles with a couple of the results, but nothing significant, and anyway at this level I think there isn't really a right or wrong answer. You can say that the results against New Mexico are slightly different and I can treat them the same (FWIW, I would; MOV is high enough, and home field doesn't matter nearly as much at that end of I-A football), and that's not a problem, as long as we're each consistent ourselves.

The weighting seems pretty reasonable for an exercise with this level of detail ... to be more precise, you'd get into multiple iterations, I think, and that's not necessary yet, not with several weeks left to play.


October 25th, 2010 at 2:20 PM ^

Navy > Michigan, they destroyed notre dame with crist, we barely beat them without crist


Texas > Michigan.  Their top 4 wins are more impressive than our top 4 and a 8 point loss to oklahoma is way better than our craptastic game with UMass. 

I'd have to look closer but there may be other teams that deserve to go there as well.  But there's no way we're top 25 material right now. 

MI Expat NY

October 25th, 2010 at 5:55 PM ^

I'm fine with us being outside the top 25, but not being replaced by Navy or Texas.  

Yes, ND had Crist the whole game against Navy, even though he didn't play well, but they were missing Floyd and Rudolph.  Navy also has losses to Maryland and Air Force which are worse than MSU and Iowa. 

Texas losses of UCLA and ISU are horrible.