Preseason Blogpoll Comment Count

Brian August 20th, 2008 at 11:25 AM
Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta
1 Georgia (24) 23.3 1.6 25
2 Ohio State (17) 22.9 2.0 24
3 Southern Cal (15) 22.9 3.0 23
4 Oklahoma (6) 22.0 1.8 22
5 Florida (14) 21.9 2.0 21
6 Missouri 19.0 3.2 20
7 LSU (2) 17.8 3.0 19
8 Clemson 16.8 3.5 18
9 West Virginia 16.1 4.5 17
10 Auburn 14.8 4.4 16
11 Texas 14.8 3.3 15
12 Texas Tech 12.5 4.3 14
13 Wisconsin 11.9 4.2 13
14 Virginia Tech 9.4 4.5 12
15 Kansas 9.0 4.9 11
16 Arizona State 8.6 3.9 10
17 Tennessee 8.2 4.0 9
18 Oregon 8.1 5.0 8
19 South Florida 8.0 5.1 7
20 Brigham Young 7.4 4.4 6
21 Penn State 6.9 4.9 5
22 Illinois 5.1 4.1 4
23 Wake Forest 4.1 3.7 3
24 Alabama 1.6 3.0 2
25 Utah 1.4 2.1 1

Also Receiving Votes: California(1.3), Fresno State(1.0), South Carolina(0.9), Florida State(0.9), Pittsburgh(0.8), Michigan(0.8), Boston College(0.5), Rutgers(0.5), Boise State(0.4), Cincinnati(0.4), North Carolina(0.4), Oregon State(0.4), Miami (Florida)(0.4), Michigan State(0.3), Colorado(0.3), Oklahoma State(0.2), Nebraska(0.2), Notre Dame(0.2), Mississippi(0.2), Tulsa(0.1), Central Michigan(0.1), UCLA(0.1), Hawaii(0.1), TCU(0.1), Mississippi State(0.0), Connecticut(0.0), Duke(0.0), Purdue(0.0), Southern Miss(0.0), Northwestern(0.0), Georgia Tech(0.0), Iowa(0.0),

Total Ballots: 78

Votes by blog here, votes by team here.

Hurray that's the poll hurray. And it's a little meh, with a swap of WVU and Clemson the only difference between the AP and the blogpoll until you reach #14. From there there are some multiple-spot differences. The blogpoll is

  • bullish on VT (14 BP, 17 AP), Oregon (18 BP, 21 AP)
  • down on BYU (20 BP, 16 AP), and Illinois (22 BP, 20 AP)

I blame myself for not providing more organization in the run-up to the season. Details after the jump.

Wack Ballot Watchdog doesn't exist for preseason polls and will return after Week 1. I will note that the two weirdos who put LSU #1 were Rocky Top Talk and Tomahawk Nation.

<span style="font-style: italic;">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.</span>

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.

The most interesting thing here is West Virginia's extremely high standard deviation, unusual for a top-ten team.

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.


Normally I come down hard on these folks because when we get deep into the season they're defying poll guidelines, reason, and justice by placing Hawaii in the top ten or something. In the preseason everyone's entitled to their stupid opinion (again: all opinions expressed here are stupid) so, like, whatever.

Saurian Sagacity takes the first Mr. Bold of the year for such oddities as QB-less LSU #2, QB-less and OL-less Michigan #8(!?!?!?!?!?!), Florida State #10(!?), Miami #15, Notre Dame #16... is this poll from 1988?

Mr. Numb Existence goes to newcomer Michigan Sports Center. There's nothing  interesting to say about this category ever because the ballots in question are pretty much like the poll you see above.

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 is a dire one; last season only the overwhelming black hole of suck that is Notre Dame could forestall the inevitable humiliating loss suffered by the team supported by the unlucky doof who overrated his team more than anyone else.

So, good news Cal fans: the "Enlightened Spartan" ranks Michigan State #10 and clocks a massive 15.65 bias rating; a total of six other blogs (in 78!) bothered to vote for MSU; this ballot provides well over half of MSU's 27 points. This is a truly egregious violation of poll ethics and will no doubt be severely punished.

Also note that Tennessee blogs are far more enthusiastic about the Vols than the poll at large. Sort of...


College Game Balls is your victor here for placing VT #21. Another Tennessee blog futilely attempts to divert the wrath of the CK Award by slightly underrating the Vols, and Bruce Ciskie's probably right about Wisconsin.

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.

Swing doesn't exist in the preseason poll, obviously.



August 20th, 2008 at 12:27 PM ^

That's an oxymoron, especially if you look at his site and see how often he refers to Michigan as "scUM."  Very enlightened, buddy. 

 Also, how long are we going to suffer Frank McGrath on the blogpoll?  He's always way off base, his blog is 1) eponymous (lame) and 2) covers mainly baseball and NASCAR (lamer and lamest). 


August 20th, 2008 at 1:16 PM ^

If so, I do not think he is quite as biased as Coulter and the award may need to be renamed to a different aging hippie liberal douche. If there is another Krugman I do not know about, excuse me for being an econ nerd.

Yinka Double Dare

August 20th, 2008 at 1:21 PM ^

I would like some of what the 2 LSU #1 voters are smoking.   Riddle me this: if a team, we'll call them Team Hat, was starting at QB a transfer from Harvard's junior varsity football team who had never started before, would you question the sanity of anyone who voted them #1?  Or whether said people even have functioning brains?

The whole "he wasn't even on their varsity team" thing usually doesn't get mentioned when they call him a Harvard transfer.  Also: he was apparently smart enough to get into Harvard, but basically went to the polar opposite spectrum of schools.  Maybe he wasn't Harvard-smart after all, unless somehow everyone missed on this guy and he's going to be an NFL star, because that LSU degree vs. a Harvard degree ain't even a contest.


August 20th, 2008 at 3:35 PM ^

I’m a little surprised to on me the Mr. Bold list- heck, my top twelve is pretty close to the actual poll. But in defense, it seems to be from four factors: 

I like OU/Texas to win the Big 12- not Mizzou 

I have four SEC teams in the top ten. I just think that League is ahead of its peers. That is not an unoriginal opinion. And yes, perhaps it is shaded by the awful and repeated beatings SEC teams have put on Tulane since I was in my cradle. 

I have Boise State in the top ten- I think 12-1 is real possible there- they’re a real threat versus a Wake/Pitt style BCS League Champ in a BCS game. 

I have Pitt to win the Big East, not WVU. The Tulane fan believes in Coach RR- heck, he ran things in reality and the Wave was 12-0 in ’98. At Tulane. Let that sink in. 12-0. Tulane. Coach RR. WVU will see a decline. This is my ballot top fifteen from last year- versus the final AP.: 

1 Florida (finished 13)
2 LSU (finish 1)
3 Southern Cal (exact)
4 Wisconsin ( finished 18)
5 Texas (finish 10)
6 Michigan (MISS)
7 Auburn (finish 15)
8 Virginia Tech (finish 9)
9 Oklahoma (finish 8)
10 Ohio State (finish 5)
11 West Virginia (finish 6)
12 Tennessee (exact)
13 Georgia (finish 2)
14 Penn State (finish 27th- other receiving votes)
15 California (MISS)

Honestly, is that bad? I candidly think it is pretty good. I missed with Michigan bad - but many did. And Wisconsin pick wasn’t so great. But the rest is pretty good. Lastly, my blog does cover stuff other than Tulane. But you know, it is hard covering a non-BCS school. For example, you write on UL-Monroe for two weeks big guy. There just isn’t as much stuff. I wish I had named my blog something else- but it started as a fund-raising thing, people who needed to find me knew my name (particularly post-Katrina) and I dunno- at the time it seemed to work. I’m sorry you suffer me, I serve solely at Brian’s discretion. The day he fires me, I thank him (‘cause I had fun and I think the blogs on this list rock) for the opportunity and will continue to serve my small community the best I can.

Beautiful Day …

August 20th, 2008 at 7:41 PM ^

Oh my, #10?

Dantonio's doing well and all, but we'll be doing well to land just outside the Top 25.

I'd like to see what this "ES" was thinking, because...

A #10 finish pretty much requires a minimum of ten wins in the regular season -- and then a bowl win. So realistically speaking, that means all of the following:

1. Getting at least 3 wins out of playing @Cal, @Penn St, @Michigan and at home for Ohio State and Wisconsin.

2. Beating EVERYBODY else.

3. Winning against a quite good bowl opponent in Jan.

Umm.... Occam's Razor ain't that sharp.

(There you go. Hopefully I have added some karma back to the universe for the benefit of Spartans everywhere.)



August 20th, 2008 at 8:21 PM ^

I don't know what ES was smoking when he put MSU 10th. Stealing one at home against OSU or Wisconsin? Possible (unlikely, but then MSU has spent the past decade specializing in the wildly improbable). Two out of three at PSU, Michigan, and Cal? Doubtful. (Michigan might end up being the easiest of the bunch, what with the walk-on QB and all, but even that feels like a tossup to me. We haven't won at PSU since 1965, and Cal's usually good early in the season.) Throw in the downside of "specializing in the wildly improbable" (and the fact that the road team has won seven straight in the MSU-ND series), and I'd be happy with an 8-4 finish to the season.

There's a difference between optimism and insanity. I think ES is on the wrong side of that line. And I've seen all too often what happens to the CK "winner".