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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

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

It's old school time in the BlogPoll with Penn State and UCLA joining Alabama in (or very near) the top ten. Penn State gained almost as many poll slots as they did yards this weekend, but they are 6-0 for the first time since Joe Paterno was creepily alive instead of creepily undead. We have a definite top 6 this week--there's a cliff after 'Bama--as well as a definite top 12--another cliff after Florida.

The Nittany Lions should be on full... ugh... upset alert in Ann Arbor this weekend (even though the bookies have installed Michigan as three point favorites) since Big Ten whackamole has gotten everyone except them so far. Will that help Michigan block Tamba Hali? Probably not.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the poll people are so desperate for teams that Indiana and Baylor are getting votes--okay, they have nice records but whenever you're scouring the nation for the 25 best teams and either of those come up, you know you've found yourself in a year when college football has been a mess.

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.

As expected, the deviation is coming down as the games get played. OSU and UT, both teams with good defense, no offense, and two losses, top the charts this week, followed closely by weekly cipher Texas Tech, who managed to beat a probably not very good Nebraska team by the flukiest play of the year to date when a sealing interception was fumbled on the return. Tech has three creampuff wins, an okay win versus KU, and then the fluke against Nebraska... a lot of ground there to disagree on.

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 Texas Tech-affiliated blog Cheap Seats. Nothing really jumps out as strange until you get to Louisville at #12 but then you get some major disagreement with the poll at large: Miami slumming at #15, behind two-loss UT at #14, Iowa #19, Maryland #22, UTEP #24, etc.

Mr. Numb Existence is the Enlightened Spartan, who you should all fear as he's managed to bend reality to his will this year--save for one afternoon in Spartan Stadium. He apparently expects MSU to lose this weekend versus OSU, having the Bucks just a single space in front of the Spartans.

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 Fresno State blogger MDG, who has the unranked-at-large Bulldogs at #18. Personally, I left Fresno State off my ballot without really considering their body of work, which is worthy of consideration. They nuked a decent Toledo team and dropped a very close one to #20 Oregon. I think there's a case for the Bulldogs if they continue to win before their matchup with (gasp) USC.

The Straight Bangin' Award has a truly SB-worthy margin this week from Tennessee blogger I Know College Football, who dropped the punchless Vols from his ballot entirely (natch). The Michigan bloggers commiserate.

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.

Swing doesn't work. Apologies; I find myself fairly busy during the season. When I can find time to fix it I will.