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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Previously: Preseason; Week 2; Week 3; Week 4; Week 5; Week 6; Week 7.

Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.

First place votes for Michigan? Oy. They're from Boi From Troy, -- more on his ballot later -- Tennessee newbie Corn From A Jar, and Penn State's Black Shoe Diaries.

Fallers: Say goodbye to Iowa, Georgia, and Missouri, all plummetting out of the poll after losses. Florida is judged harshly for a close road loss to a quality opponent and bombs downward seven spots to #9. We're no more merciful than the AP and that makes bear sad.

Risers: The weeks biggest winners are... Rutgers and Wisconsin? I guess. They both rise five spots, benefiting from their shiny records in a world of things like losses to Vanderbilt and Indiana. Auburn reclaims a spot in the top ten by beating Florida.

Wack Ballot Watchdog:

  • You know that victory chain that goes USC > Ark > Auburn > Florida > Tennessee > Cal? That's #3-8 on Corn From A Jar's ballot. Regrettably, this makes Arkansas the #4 team in the country.
  • Ramblin' Racket chose to see the Florida game as incontrovertible proof that the SEC is terrible, dropping Florida 13 spots... and Auburn one.
  • My Opinion On Sports has Iowa #15... they lost to Indiana! As a man who ranked the Hawkeyes #2 at the start of the year, I'm all for irrational Ferentz exuberance, but Indiana, man.
  • The Cover Two has BC #8 and Texas #17. More on him later, as he won the Mr. Bold award.
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.

Brief comment: damn right Arkansas is at the top of this thing. What do you do with a team that beat Auburn by three scores, squeaked by Vanderbilt, would have lost to Alabama without an epic meltodown from a kicker named "Tiffin," and was crushed by USC? I have no idea. You can put them anywhere from #6 to #20 and I could say "yeah, that's reasonable."

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 The Cover Two. Primary irregularities are Clemson #6, Boston College(!) #8 (!!!), Boise #12, Cal #14, and Texas #17. The folks over there were kind enough to explain themselves and they even included a bigass table to warm the cockles of my reptilian-engineer heart. In brief:
How the hell can Texas be ranked #17 and Boston College be ranked #8? Well, here is the half-witted explanation. I felt the way I was ranking teams was biased based on hype and name and had very little to do with what teams had earned on the field. So, I kinda, sorta took cues from other blogpollsters who looked at the resume of each team being ranked without knowing who that team was. I, knowing all things (ha!), knew who each team was just based on the resume, but I tried my hardest not to allow that to influence my opinion of that resume.
Later, on Texas:
Do you seriously think Texas is the 17th best team in the country? No. I think Texas is likely one of the top five teams in the country. In my opinion, however, they have the 17th best resume in the country at this point.
This, of course, gets into poll philosophies and such that we've never really resolved at poll headquarters. I think Texas at #17 is silly; I also think Texas #2 is silly. But since I don't vote strictly on resume or strictly on futures it's hard to say either is impossible.

Mr. Numb Existence is BGSU blogger the DJL Zone. Goooo Falcons.

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 goes to Badger Sports for featuring Wisconsin #12. I'm not too angry since after about #10 you wade into a sea of deeply flawed teams and Wisconsin has stomped everyone they've played other than Michigan (and... uh... San Diego State).

Straight Bangin' Award has finally been relinquished by the horde of Georgia bloggers (who totally told us so), as everyone's given up on the Dawgs after losing to Vanderbilt. Our new winner: Boi From Troy. Last week, he had USC #1. A 28-21 victory over an Arizona State team which may be a Glorious People's Republic led by Subcomandante Carpenter but is not in any sense of the word "good" at "football" yields a nine-spot drop to #10. Theory: BFT's prescription for something ran out. Prozac?

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.

Mr. Manic-Depressive is also Badger Sports. The competition is narrowly edged out thanks in large part to a gargantuan swing downwards for WVU (from #4 to #16) that I believe is caused by a voter switch, as the proprietor of Badger Sports had a guest fill in his last two ballots. Also: silly faith in Georgia and Iowa (#13 and #14) is replaced with hatred (gone, gone).

Mr. Stubborn is Bruce Ciskie's. This week it's a "ha ha, I was right" ballot that had already dropped Georgia and only suffered to include Iowa at #23.