September 15, 2012; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Zach Ertz (86, left) scores a touchdown against Southern California Trojans linebacker Dion Bailey (18, right) during the fourth quarter at Stanford Stadium. The Cardinal defeated the Trojans 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Alabama's early-season dominance has the Crimson Tide holding the top spot in the Week 4 BlogPoll with a vise. Follow @SBNationCFB
Another week, another chance for the Tide to roll: Alabama takes the top spot in the Week 4 BlogPoll, and earns all but one of the first-place votes given out this week in doing so.
The Crimson Tide, fresh off a 52-0 blistering of Arkansas, earned 89 of 90 first-place votes this week, and had a near-perfect 24.99 points per ballot average, only falling to No. 2 on one ballot. Stanford earned that last first-place vote by upending USC, rose 14 spots, and sent the Trojans tumbling. USC fell 13 spots, from No. 3 to No. 16.
The top five behind Alabama? LSU, Oregon, Georgia, and Florida State — with the 'Noles and Dawgs flipped from their positioning in the AP and USA TODAY polls from this week, partly as a result of how BlogPvoll voters value wins over FCS teams like the ones Florida State has.
Notre Dame makes one of the poll's biggest jumps, vaulting to No. 11 after shutting down Michigan State, and both Northwestern and Mississippi State jump into the top 25, at No. 23 and No. 24, after remaining undefeated.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
First off, let me say that I have never seen a standard deviation as low as Alabama's. That's a staggering achievement for the Tide this early in the season, to have convinced 89 college football diehards (and as a voter who has Alabama No. 1, I'm including myself) that their team is the best in the nation despite their big wins coming over two teams that insisted on misusing their dynamic starting quarterback and were missing their starting quarterback. But when the best win by any member of the top 10 is Stanford's win over USC at home, relative win quality is sort of discarded.
The one first-place vote that did go to Stanford comes from a likely culprit: Black Heart Gold Pants. SB Nation's Iowa blog is strict about its resume balloting, and gives the Cardinal the benefit of the doubt (that USC may not be truly great is ignored here) and the No. 1 spot. Alabama is No. 2 on that ballot, but with Notre Dame, Arizona, and Iowa State rounding out the top five, this won't be the only time we discuss it here.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most 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, Arkansas) would all be at the top.
|2||West Virginia Mountaineers||17.08||5.16|
|5||Ohio St. Buckeyes||11.81||4.82|
Oklahoma struggled with UTEP, then thundered past Florida A&M, then didn't play in Week 3. Not playing, especially early in the year, is a good way to make bloggers forget about your existence. (I originally forgot Oklahoma in putting together my draft ballot for this week.) Good news for the Sooners and the bloggers who must rank them: Kansas State pays Norman a visit this weekend, and should provide clarity, one way or another.
First up are The Chip Kelly Award for Boldness and Jim Tressel's 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||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||6.12|
|2||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||5.23|
|3||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||4.69|
|4||BCS Guru||USC Trojans||ballot||3.42|
|5||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||2.93|
Wow, I guess ranking Iowa State (best win: at Iowa!) fifth really does make your ballot look screwy! One Foot Down's "We've switched Florida and UCLA for Oregon and Florida State in our top five, let's see if anyone notices!" ballot is almost sane in comparison.
|1||Sippin' on Purple||Northwestern Wildcats||ballot||1.48|
|2||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.50|
|3||Vanquish The Foe||BYU Cougars||ballot||1.55|
|4||OverThePylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||1.73|
|5||The Crimson Quarry||Indiana Hoosiers||ballot||1.78|
Congrats to Sippin' on Purple, our fantastic Northwestern blog, for both winning the award for guessing what everyone else thinks better than anyone else (nerds!) and for having its Wildcats ranked in this particular week after beating teams from the Big East, SEC, and ACC. #Lean or something.
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||BCS Guru||USC Trojans||ballot||7.50|
|2||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||6.37|
|3||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||5.81|
|4||Barking Carnival||Texas Longhorns||ballot||5.37|
|5||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||3.81|
BCS Guru has USC No. 8 after a week in which USC looked like it couldn't have blocked Stanford's pass rush with eight-man protections, so that's hilarious. That the rest of this section is Texas and Notre Dame voters is even funnier: the Longhorns have looked very good, but against Wyoming, New Mexico, and Ole Miss; the Irish's finest win is over a Michigan State team that is coming to grips with the invention of the forward pass. As a Florida fan and one of a few Florida voters, I'm frankly kind of shocked that the Gators (with two road SEC wins, NBD) didn't get someone into this category.
|1||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||-1.52|
|2||Pistols Firing||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||ballot||-0.64|
|3||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||-0.11|
|4||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||-0.11|
|5||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||-0.04|
Frogs O' War has TCU No. 19; the BlogPoll has them at No. 17, with points that are about what one would expect from the No. 17 team. Meh.
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||228|
|2||Addicted to Quack||Oregon Ducks||ballot||156|
|3||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||142|
|4||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||132|
|5||Pistols Firing||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||ballot||128|
Double-digit moves in the BHGPoll ballot: Arizona, Iowa State, South Carolina, Arizona State, West Virginia. USC losing didn't impact that ballot in any way, because the Trojans weren't on it last week.
|1||The Daily Gopher||Minnesota Golden Gophers||ballot||68|
|2||SpartyMSU||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||68|
|3||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||84|
|4||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||86|
|5||BCS Guru||USC Trojans||ballot||86|
SpartyMSU and The Daily Gopher basically did that thing where a highly-ranked team loses and everyone behind that team who wins gets to move up one spot. Also: There are a lot of 6s and 8s here! It's like a slightly confused Tech N9ne album! (No one tell Jason Whitlock I made that joke.)
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