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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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

It's neck and neck for number one, but not a tie. The average above is approximate; LSU does have a tiny lead with 1299 points to Oregon's 1295. How can Oregon be second with more first place votes than any other team? Four flatly indefensible votes from people placing Oregon outside of the top four. These come from Big Red Network, Eagle In Atlanta, Pitch Right, and Saurian Sagacity. The former two rank Oregon #5, the latter two #7. All voters have LSU in the top four; this is your difference. Further discussion in Wack Ballot Watchdog.

Let's just be clear: Oregon is a one-loss Pac-10 team in a year when there is only one undefeated BCS team, and that team has currently played the 97th toughest schedule in the country. Oregon, OTOH, has played the nation's 12th toughest schedule, gone 3-1 against Sagarin's top 30, and beaten top-ten Arizona State. (All facts stolen from SMQB.) If you find LSU more appealing or no-loss Kansas more appealing, fine. But there can be no justification for placing Oregon lower than #3 at this moment in time.

Elsewhere: Michigan plummets eleven spots to #23, which seems unduly harsh given a road loss against a good team minus both starting QB and starting RB, but I might be a little biased; Mizzou leaps West Virginia; Hawaii slides down to #20 -- #13 in both the coaches and AP polls.

Wack Ballot Watchdog:

  • The Oklahoma voter: Corn Nation.
  • Corn Nation also drops Ohio State down to #16, five slots below the next most pessimistic voter.
  • So about the four Oregon doubters: BRN's vote has the least impact since freakin' Hawaii is #2 in their ballot and LSU is #3; Kansas #1 and OU #4 round out the top five. It's still pretty unjustifiable.

    Eagle In Atlanta has Oregon behind all three Big Twelve teams and #2 LSU; Pitch Right sees that and raises West Virginia and Ohio State.

    And then the absolutely most cracked-out ballot of them all: Saurian Sagacity, a blog new to the poll this year that's spent much of the year at the top of the Mr. Bold list with ballots that make no sense. Ladies and gentlemen: Arizona State up five to #4. Oregon down 3 to #7. Last week -- LAST WEEK -- Oregon 35, Arizona State 23 in a game that was 35-16 going into the fourth quarter.
  • My Opinion on Sports continues to insist Hawaii is a top five team: they're #4.
  • Eagle in Atlanta also has Texas #24.
  • Black Heart, Gold Pants sees a shiny record at Boise State -- whose only contact with a BCS opponent this year, let's remember, is a two-touchdown loss to the last place team in the Pac-10 -- and ranks them #8.
  • Building The Dam has UConn #13, three spots higher than any other voter.

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.

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.

Sometimes Mr. Bold is just a guy with a kind of weird opinion on a team or two. This is not that, though. Dawg Sports submits an truly awful ballot: Arizona State plummets to #20. Kansas is #22. Cincinnati is #8. Attempted justifications are here and they are rife with contradictions; suffice it to say when you're the only one ranking either ASU or KU outside of the top ten and you put them in the 20s, you are way off base. I mean, look at the distributions: Kansas and Arizona State. When you can be that thrillingly wrong on two separate teams -- one of whom, ASU, has one loss against the nation's 27th-toughest schedule -- you've turned in a terrible ballot.

Someone finally wrests Mr. Numb Existence from Double Extra Point and it's... Every Day Should Be Saturday? Really? No Penn State #10 this week or something? Evidently not, and whenever the margin creeps under 1 it's a doubly impressive display of hive-mind reading.

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.

Awwww, goddammit. Not again. For the record, the CK Award claimed yet another victim as Cal fell to 6-4 against USC. And what part of "do not #&$! with the CK Award" does Russ Levine of Football Outsiders not understand? Especially as Michigan is playing not guaranteed-to-blow-it Michigan State but rather Oh God Ohio State this weekend?

#*$@. Just... just... goddammit. The appearance of two other Michigan blogs, including this guy, doesn't help either. Hoist upon my own Picard.

Last week:
Straight Bangin' Award has been the near-exclusive province of Florida and USC blogs this year and this week is no exception. Four of the top five are blogs representing those particular schools, including #1 and #2. This week's winner: Conquest Chronicles, which has USC #20.
This week: see above, replace new #2 (tie) Conquest Chronicles with Saurian Sagacity.

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.

Mr. Manic Depressive belongs to Dawg Sports for what I believe is the third time this year. Deranged swings! Woo!

Mr. Stubborn is Building The Dam, unmoved by the events of last week: Michigan down only two, UConn only four, no one up vast amounts or anything. Etc.