College football BlogPoll rankings, Week 10: Kansas State takes No. 2, but Alabama's breaking away

Kevin C. Cox

The BlogPoll is broken, and it's pretty much all Alabama's fault.

Alabama is the best team in college football, according to the Week 10 BlogPoll. But Kansas State's steady brilliance has earned the Wildcats the chance to be No. 2 in the top 25 this week, jumping No. 3 Oregon after Florida fell out of the top five.

The maximum points a team can receive per ballot in the BlogPoll is 25.00. For the second time this season, Alabama has received more than that: the Tide took 60 of 76 first-place votes to easily hold on to No. 1 in this week's ballot, but their average of 25.04 exceeds what should be possible in the BlogPoll calculations. Alabama just breaks things.


Spencer Hall on the Top 25 || Bowl projections || BCS armageddon

Kansas State's hold on No. 2 is tenuous, with just .32 points per ballot separating the Wildcats from Oregon, but the top four -- Notre Dame checks in at No. 4 -- all earn more than 22.85 points per ballot, a suggestion that both a) the top four of undefeated teams is the best consensus grouping in college football right now and b) there is an extra ballot messing with the math. Kansas State, with 11 first-place votes, also earns more points per ballot than Florida did last week while getting 16, suggesting that there's no one underrating the 'Cats, and their vote distribution, with just one vote for lower than No. 4, backs that up.

Beyond that top four, LSU is No. 5 and ahead of a Florida team it beat by two spots; Georgia is No. 6 and just .04 points ahead of No. 7 Florida; Ohio State follows those three one-loss SEC teams as the highest-ranked unbeaten outside the top four; Oregon State and Oklahoma fall out of the top 10; Louisville can't even get past South Carolina despite an L column goose egg; and Arizona and UCLA both show up again in the final spots of the top 25.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 9

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (60) 25.04 2.79 --
2 Kansas St. Wildcats (11) 23.75 2.55 Arrow_up 2
3 Oregon Ducks (2) 23.43 2.44 --
4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3) 22.86 2.45 Arrow_up 1
5 LSU Tigers 19.71 0.59 Arrow_up 1
6 Georgia Bulldogs 18.58 0.85 Arrow_up 9
7 Florida Gators 18.54 0.82 Arrow_down -5
8 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 18.09 4.93 Arrow_up 1
9 Florida St. Seminoles 17.79 1.45 Arrow_up 2
10 Clemson Tigers 14.53 3.09 Arrow_up 4
11 South Carolina Gamecocks 14.11 1.71 Arrow_up 6
12 Louisville Cardinals 13.83 3.67 Arrow_up 4
13 Oregon St. Beavers 12.67 3.45 Arrow_down -6
14 Oklahoma Sooners 12.63 3.44 Arrow_down -6
15 Stanford Cardinal 10.26 3.46 Arrow_up 4
16 Texas A&M Aggies 10.12 3.31 Arrow_up 5
17 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 8.24 3.72 Arrow_down -5
18 USC Trojans 7.29 3.32 Arrow_down -8
19 Texas Tech Red Raiders 6.79 3.83 Arrow_down -6
20 Boise St. Broncos 5.75 4.17 Arrow_up 3
21 Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.87 3.17 Arrow_up 8
22 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 3.86 3.40 Arrow_up 2
23 West Virginia Mountaineers 2.37 2.58 Arrow_up 2
24 Arizona Wildcats 2.33 3.03 Arrow_up 15
25 UCLA Bruins 2.05 2.96 Arrow_up 15
Others Receiving Votes: Toledo Rockets | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | Kent St. Golden Flashes | Texas Longhorns | Northern Illinois Huskies | Rutgers Scarlet Knights | Northwestern Wildcats | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Ohio Bobcats | Utah State Aggies | North Carolina Tar Heels | Iowa St. Cyclones | Central Florida Knights | Cincinnati Bearcats | Michigan Wolverines | ULM Warhawks | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Duke Blue Devils | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Ball St. Cardinals
Updated: Oct 30, 2012 8:35 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 76 | Votes by team | Ballots by voter

Wack Ballot Watchdog

Someone asked me last week to look for truly wack ballots instead of listing who voted for non-Alabama teams at No. 1. I think One Bronco Nation Under God's continual vote for Ohio State at No. 1 based on simple counting of FBS wins is getting wack; I love their wacky tiebreakers (this week's is age of head coach), because they show a commitment to taking a methodology seriously, but they give us LSU at No. 18, the Tigers' lowest ranking this week.

No one has Alabama lower than third, but one of the Tide's five No. 3 votes comes from Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats, which has K-State No. 1 and Notre Dame No. 2.

Only two blogs have LSU at No. 4, taking the spot of one of the top four: RazorBloggers has Notre Dame No. 5 instead; The Daily Gopher remains skeptical about K-State. Both of those blogs have Florida State in their top seven, ahead of both Florida and Georgia, as well, and RazorBloggers has Clemson No. 7, the Tigers' highest ranking. (But Crimson and Cream Machine has Clemson No. 7, too.)

Another ballot I side-eyed: From Old Virginia had Florida No. 1 and only drops the Gators to No. 4 ... which makes sense because Texas A&M is up at No. 7, by far their best ranking. I suppose Florida's road win over the No. 7 team carries weight? (Georgia is No. 18 on that ballot, in case you were curious.)


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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, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 18.09 4.93
2 Boise St. Broncos 5.75 4.17
3 Texas Tech Red Raiders 6.79 3.83
4 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 8.24 3.72
5 Louisville Cardinals 13.83 3.67

Ohio State's still inflated by the OBNUG love, but it's clear that no one has any idea what to do with an undefeated team whose best win is a victory over depleted Penn State. The rest of the top five here: a one-loss team with no good wins; a team that dumped undefeated West Virginia and got rolled by Oklahoma and Kansas State; a one-less team whose "good" win is over Tennessee; and an unbeaten Big East team. I'd be lying if I said that I knew where these teams should go.

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 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 3.28
2 The Champaign Room Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 3.23
3 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 2.88
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 2.64
5 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 2.53

Frogs O' War had one of the most consistent résumé ballots in 2011, but has been far less strict this season. This week, it did something radical: slate five SEC teams in the top nine while finding room for Louisville at No. 7, all while dropping Florida State and Clemson despite wins and putting Nebraska at No. 16.

The Champaign Room has Florida ahead of LSU and LSU ahead of Georgia, and is of the few blogs that dared to rank the Gators ahead of the Bulldogs despite the loss. (To give you a sense of the rarity of that: I write SB Nation's Florida blog, think Florida's still better than Georgia more than 50 times out of 100, and still couldn't bring myself to apply the logic of A > B because B > C despite A > C.)

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.04
2 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 1.08
3 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot 1.15
4 OurDailyBears Baylor Bears ballot 1.24
5 Frank the Tank's Slant Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 1.25

Eleven Warriors is beginning to bore me 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 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 3.22
2 Card Chronicle Louisville Cardinals ballot 3.17
3 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 3.13
4 BCS Guru USC Trojans ballot 2.71
5 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.91

It's rare that a Toledo blog gets to overrate Toledo, but they're No. 26 and Let's Go Rockets has them at No. 21.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot -1.18
2 Red and Black Attack Northern Illinois Huskies ballot -0.88
3 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot -0.18
4 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot -0.11
5 House of Sparky Arizona St. Sun Devils ballot -0.05

Texas is No. 29, and isn't in our top 25, which puts us in accordance with the AP Top 25, and in disagreement with the USA TODAY and Harris Polls, otherwise known as "the ones that the BCS counts." Burnt Orange Nation didn't rank Texas and is No. 1 here. You shouldn't win Coulter/Kos for not ranking your team if that team's No. 29, and I suspect this is another thing we need to fix on the back-end.

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.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 162
2 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 144
3 The Champaign Room Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 140
4 Addicted to Quack Oregon Ducks ballot 130
5 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 130

FO'W's previously mentioned rejiggering of the top 10 for maximum SECage and vindictive anti-ACC bias also carries the day here. Maize n Brew had to move Notre Dame four spots to get the Irish to No. 3, and so the ripples of that ranking were a bit more significant than expecting. Dropping USC entirely out of the top 25 was also bold.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 70
2 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 90
3 And The Valley Shook! LSU Tigers ballot 92
4 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 96
5 The Ralphie Report Colorado Buffaloes ballot 98

I don't even know if B5Q watches the games anymore. No team moved more than seven spots from last week in their ballot. C'MON, GET WITH THE OVERREACTION.

Check the national college football scoreboard right here, and look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

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