2012 BlogPoll, Week 2: No. 1 Alabama Breaks Everything, Including Michigan

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (8) tackles Michigan Wolverines running back Vincent Smith (2) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Nearly 100 of the brightest blogging minds in the country voted on the top 25 college football teams after Week 1. And Alabama got almost all of the first-place votes.

After clobbering Michigan on Saturday night, Alabama has taken the top spot in the BlogPoll, mirroring its one-spot rise in the AP Poll and USA TODAY coaches poll to displace USC from the throne.

The Crimson Tide did such a good job of wiping out Michigan, in fact -- the Wolverines tumble from No. 8 to 19 in this week's poll -- that they received 81 first-place votes ... and more points per ballot than is mathematically possible, at 25.16. (It's a glitch in the BlogPoll that is producing a phantom ballot, and we're aware of it and getting it fixed, but ROLL TIDE, and September polls are silly anyway, right?)

Following Alabama in the top five are USC (10 first-place votes), LSU, Oregon (one first-place vote), and Florida State. Oklahoma State, ranked No. 15 overall, earns the final first-place vote issued in this week's poll after an 84-0 throttling of Savannah State.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results after Week 1

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (81) 25.16 2.79 --
2 USC Trojans (10) 23.62 0.95 --
3 LSU Tigers 22.16 3.00 --
4 Oregon Ducks (1) 21.60 2.84 --
5 Florida St. Seminoles 18.20 4.94 --
6 West Virginia Mountaineers 17.77 3.09 --
7 Oklahoma Sooners 16.89 4.60 --
8 Georgia Bulldogs 16.86 4.35 --
9 Michigan St. Spartans 16.45 3.09 --
10 Clemson Tigers 15.52 3.35 --
11 Arkansas Razorbacks 14.11 4.93 --
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 14.00 4.34 --
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers 11.65 3.91 --
14 Ohio St. Buckeyes 11.16 5.74 --
15 Oklahoma St. Cowboys (1) 10.56 5.08 --
16 Virginia Tech Hokies 9.77 4.45 --
17 Wisconsin Badgers 9.10 4.84 --
18 Texas Longhorns 8.78 4.76 --
19 Michigan Wolverines 6.10 4.58 --
20 Kansas St. Wildcats 6.07 4.66 --
21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 5.68 5.45 --
22 TCU Horned Frogs 5.13 4.41 --
23 Louisville Cardinals 4.00 3.87 --
24 Tennessee Volunteers 2.66 4.96 --
25 Stanford Cardinal 2.32 2.87 --
Others Receiving Votes: Ohio Bobcats | Florida Gators | Utah Utes | BYU Cougars | Boise St. Broncos | Baylor Bears | North Carolina Tar Heels | Central Florida Knights | Washington Huskies | Miami Hurricanes | Missouri Tigers | Nevada Wolf Pack | Connecticut Huskies | Duke Blue Devils | Northwestern Wildcats | UCLA Bruins | Iowa St. Cyclones | Mississippi St. Bulldogs | Texas A&M Aggies | South Florida Bulls | Illinois Fighting Illini | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Louisiana Ragin Cajuns | Purdue Boilermakers | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Iowa Hawkeyes | Utah State Aggies | New Mexico Lobos | Temple Owls | Fresno St. Bulldogs | Colorado St. Rams | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Auburn Tigers | New Mexico St. Aggies | N.C. State Wolfpack
Updated: Sep 5, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 91 | Explore votes by team | Explore poll ballots by voter

Wack Ballot Watchdog

The first note in this bit goes to me, your BlogPoll steward. A bit of oversight on my part left FBS newcomers Texas State, UT-San Antonio, and UMass out of the list of choices on the first BlogPoll ballot of the year, which likely denied Texas State its best chance to be ranked in 2012 by keeping the Bobcats off the ballot one week after they upset a ranked Houston team. CougCenter's Craig Powers took up the Bobcats' cause, thanks to a formula that also got Miami (!?) the No. 5 spot.

I knew without looking what blog ranked Oklahoma State No. 1: Black Heart Gold Pants, our most resolute resume vote. BHGP puts the 'Pokes ahead of Florida State, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Connecticut in its first ballot, relying heavily on margin of victory. Resume balloting is hardest to justify early in the season, when results like UConn's thrashing of UMass get overvalued, but the funniest thing about the BHGP ballot, which still isn't "wack," per se, is that Alabama is No. 24 and LSU is No. 25.

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, Florida) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes 11.16 5.74
2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 5.68 5.45
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys (1) 10.56 5.08
4 Tennessee Volunteers 2.66 4.96
5 Florida St. Seminoles 18.20 4.94

I suspect Ohio State's going to stick around in the top spot here for some time to come. The Buckeyes trampled Miami (Ohio), but only after an uninspired first quarter; add performances like that, which have dubious value, to the deflationary effect that NCAA sanctions have even on BlogPoll ballots (we saw this throughout 2011 with USC), and the Buckeyes are going to be all over the place.

Notre Dame's 50-10 win over Navy in Ireland has all sorts of conditions attached to it, too: did the Irish beat up on a terrible Navy team or persevere despite missing most of their starting backfield? That, and ingrained biases against jumping on the ND bandwagon, help keep Notre Dame controversial.

Oklahoma State's maybe the best example of #ImpressiveWinOverTerribleTeamProblems: the Cowboys covered the largest spread in college football history against Savannah State, which means very little to anyone who has no context for how good Savannah State is.

Ballot Math

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.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 12.61
2 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot 4.16
3 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 3.98
4 BCS Guru USC Trojans ballot 2.97
5 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 2.96

I've already explained the BHGP ballot (other highlights: Louisiana at No. 11, Western Kentucky at No. 15, New Mexico State at No. 23), so there's no reason to belabor that point.

Instead, I want to point out that Barking Carnival's divergence from the poll at large is almost entirely based on devaluing the Big Ten. I can get behind that!

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.48
2 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot 1.54
3 Vanquish The Foe BYU Cougars ballot 1.70
4 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 1.70
5 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 1.71

Meanwhile, four Big Ten blogs plod along with the pack 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.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot 10.22
2 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 9.32
3 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 6.87
4 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 5.00
5 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 4.90

Barking Carnival has Texas No. 7. CBS Sports' Fornelli has the Irish No. 11, which is a) not nearly their highest ranking, thanks to CougCenter, and b) strange, because Notre Dame isn't Italian.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Vanquish The Foe BYU Cougars ballot -1.27
2 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot -0.45
3 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot -0.30
4 Frank the Tank's Slant Illinois Fighting Illini ballot -0.24
5 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot -0.12

Vanquish The Foe does the age-old thing to get ranked here, by not voting for its own team in a week that sees that team earn votes. The only truly strange thing here: someone ranked Iowa!?!? Let's retroactively add Blatant Homerism to that Wack Ballot section.

Swing could not be calculated this week, as the poll rolled over from 2011 to 2012. But BHGP probably would've won that, too.

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