LANDOVER MD - SEPTEMBER 06: Safety #23 Jeron Johnson of and cornerback #21 Jamar Taylor of the Boise State Broncos celebrate defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies 33-30 at FedExField on September 6 2010 in Landover Maryland. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Week 2 always brings out the college football BlogPoll's inner Burning Man. Freak flags, fly! Boise State, inch towards No. 1! Everyone come up with crazy voting systems! Go!
Call it boring and devoid of actual matchups if you want, but it's football, and football equals data, and for this poll data means huge swings. Oklahoma, USC and Florida droop substantially after struggling against weak foes on defense, defense, and offense, respectively. Utah goes from No. 25 to No. 14 by beating Pitt, and Michigan leaps from the bottom of a huge list of Others Receiving Votes to grasp the last spot in the poll. At the top, Boise eats into 'Bama's huge lead in the preseason poll, dropping the advantage from 4-1 to 2-1.
Total Ballots: 104
Each week the BlogPoll comes out, we will break it down into the following sections to analyze the results ...
Justify Your Existence
This is where the poll swings well away from the regular guys. It later re-converges when the games put certain restrictions on what you can do, but now is when the freak flag flies. This week:
- No. 2 Boise and its 30 first place votes; both other polls have them third.
- No. 10 Miami is two spots higher than its placement in both other polls.
- No. 14 Utah is six spots higher than in the other polls.
- No. 9 Florida is No. 6 in the Coaches Poll.
- No. 12 Oklahoma is two spots lower than in both other polls.
- No. 20 Arkansas is five or six spots ahead in the other polls.
- No. 22 USC is No. 16 in the AP poll. (The Coaches do not rank USC.)
Wack Ballot Watchdog
As you'll see below, with nothing to contradict outlandish voters that can't be met with a "that's just, like, your opinion, man" this part of the analysis is still on vacation. First tentative suggestions that ballots are nonsensical come next week.
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 No. 25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
|5||Virginia Tech Hokies||11.3||5.51|
It's traditional for a mid-major playing a weak schedule to be at the top of this and Utah is no exception. Oklahoma and Florida, powerhouses that played weak competition and struggled, are Nos. 2 and 3 here, respectively, as some voters punish them like whoa and others shrug their shoulders and wait for the meat to hit the grinder.
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.
|1||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||9.22|
|2||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||8.44|
|3||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||7.91|
|4||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||6.99|
|5||CBSSports.com||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||3.92|
Ah, week one, when several voters' devotion to logic that would make an android pause and say "maybe we should do this more by feel" catapults several voters into the stratosphere here. "Resume" voters like Boys of Old Florida (previously Saurian Sagacity, for those well versed in BlogPoll lore) and Rakes of Mallow toss out all preseason expectations immediately and rank exclusively on who did what in week one. This results in some weird things, like LSU popping up at No. 4 ... and UNC at No. 6 in BOOF's ballot, or Michigan featuring at No. 4 in ROM's.
But that's not good enough to win here: Black Heart Gold Pants ranks strictly on margin of victory (MOV) after week one. Resume voters remove the expectation one degree: okay, no preseason expectations except about who you beat. BHGP gets rid of even that, resulting in Oregon No. 1 since they made their mascot do more pushups than anyone else this weekend. I railed about this a couple years ago, they said "suck it, I will continue doing what I do," and here we are.
And even that's not good enough to win since The Purple Wimple manages to combine all this resume stuff with a mid-major bias powerful enough to see East Carolina hit No. 12 after beating Tulsa on a Hail Mary and USC stick at No. 6 because they only gave up 500 yards of offense to Hawaii. We get it: people like you, they really like you.
|1||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||1.85|
|2||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||1.90|
|3||There Is No Name On My Jersey||Penn St. Nittany Lions||ballot||1.94|
|4||The Owl's Nest||Temple Owls||ballot||2.03|
|5||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||2.10|
Successfully topping this list in a week where people are doing the stuff detailed above is a feat, but it doesn't lend itself to comments like "you put UNC where?" so usually this award commentary consists of the Search for the Perfect Ballot, which never even comes close to happening until late. No different here.
Next we have the Coulter/Kos 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.
|1||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||5.84|
|2||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||3.27|
|3||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||2.61|
|4||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||2.11|
|5||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||2.10|
Hog Database gets the dread CK Award just in time for the Razorback's titanic matchup with ... Louisiana-Monroe. Bleah. Hog DB has their preferred team No. 13, which is still in the realm of like, opinion, man after Tennessee Tech got BOOM MALLETT'D in the opener.
The CK Award does not do I-AA games since they don't have point spreads, so Miami escaped the hangman last week, FWIW. Still at zeroes; this week Lousiana-Monroe is a 34-point underdog. Go Warhawks?
|1||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||-16.22|
|2||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||-14.58|
|3||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||-9.58|
|4||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-1.78|
|5||CBSSports.com||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-1.78|
As discussed, BHGP posts the crazy monkey ballot with the MOV, and Iowa doesn't measure up; BOOF was suitably unimpressed by Miami of Ohio to kill Florida's appearance on the ballot, as well.
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.
|1||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||484|
|2||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||446|
|3||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||354|
|4||CBSSports.com||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||170|
|5||The Crimson Quarry||Indiana Hoosiers||ballot||140|
Next up, the Ritalin Award:
|1||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||48|
|2||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||50|
|3||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||58|
|4||There Is No Name On My Jersey||Penn St. Nittany Lions||ballot||62|
Finally the ranks of voters decidedly opposed to resume madness make an appearance. These are the tortoises of the poll, willing to hang on to preconceived notions until about week five, when they join the ranks of people with enough data to make judgments on what's happened on the field. The Ciskie Blog takes the crown the first week for its patience with Florida, VT, and Oregon State, each of whom drop a maximum of three spots, and the leisurely laddering of the teams who move up, unmoved by the still-raging fire in Oklahoma's secondary. Except for you, Penn State. Sophomore quarterback or GTFO.