College Football BlogPoll Rankings, Week 7: Alabama Falls, And All Is Chaos

You are #1 for now, Duck.

The Crimson Tide goes down, spreading the now mathematically-accurate count of first place votes across seven teams. Oregon is your contrarian No. 1 around these parts; South Carolina can't quite get by Alabama but it's closer here than elsewhere.

A week after Alabama's dominance was such that they managed more than 25 points per ballot and more first place votes than ballots, they implode. The CK Award may have taken a week off, but someone's getting BlogPoll wrath for beating up math. Truth.

Alabama's demise means everyone gets first place votes. Seriously. Seven(!) different teams now claim #1 on some ballot or another—a poll record. I'm surprised it isn't eight, but no one felt generous enough to slap Auburn at the top of their ballot. Your new number one is Oregon, which beats out #2 Ohio State 47-31 in first place votes and by about 0.7 points per ballot. This is in opposition to the two other polls, both of which anoint Ohio State. This is not the first time this has happened; last year it was a week-to-week war between Florida and Alabama. The AP had Alabama on top for one week and then went back to UF. The coaches poll never wavered from Florida. The BlogPoll switched almost week to week before settling on Alabama before the SEC championship game.

So that's awesome for the poll, but that doesn't mean we managed to slide South Carolina in front of the team they just beat by two touchdowns. Boo. For what it's worth, the BlogPoll did come closer to a dang lick of sense than any other poll: just 0.2 points per ballot separate the two teams and they're right next to each other in the rankings; Alabama is still two spots clear of South Carolina elsewhere.

The numbers proper:

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 7

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Oregon Ducks (47) 24.03 1.24 Arrow_up 1
2 Ohio St. Buckeyes (31) 23.28 1.96 Arrow_up 1
3 Boise St. Broncos (14) 22.23 2.26 Arrow_up 1
4 TCU Horned Frogs (2) 20.93 2.27 Arrow_up 1
5 Oklahoma Sooners (8) 20.39 2.70 Arrow_up 1
6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1) 20.28 3.09 Arrow_up 1
7 Auburn Tigers 19.03 2.36 Arrow_up 1
8 LSU Tigers (2) 17.03 3.47 Arrow_up 3
9 Alabama Crimson Tide 16.39 3.00 Arrow_down -8
10 South Carolina Gamecocks 16.19 2.42 Arrow_up 9
11 Michigan St. Spartans 14.82 3.23 Arrow_up 5
12 Utah Utes 14.22 4.15 Arrow_down -2
13 Arkansas Razorbacks 12.35 3.13 Arrow_down -1
14 Stanford Cardinal 12.12 3.47 --
15 Iowa Hawkeyes 10.42 3.17 --
16 Florida St. Seminoles 9.02 3.20 Arrow_up 8
17 Arizona Wildcats 7.94 3.42 Arrow_down -8
18 Nevada Wolf Pack 7.78 3.51 Arrow_up 2
19 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 7.06 3.78 Arrow_up 2
20 Missouri Tigers 6.90 4.06 Arrow_up 3
21 Wisconsin Badgers 6.33 3.45 Arrow_up 1
22 Air Force Falcons 3.84 2.64 Arrow_up 3
23 Florida Gators 2.68 2.89 Arrow_down -6
24 Oregon St. Beavers 2.50 3.04 Arrow_up 8
25 Michigan Wolverines 2.19 2.68 Arrow_down -7
Others Receiving Votes: West Virginia Mountaineers | N.C. State Wolfpack | Miami Hurricanes | Virginia Tech Hokies | Texas Longhorns | California Golden Bears | Mississippi St. Bulldogs | USC Trojans | Maryland Terrapins | Kansas St. Wildcats | UTEP Miners | Northwestern Wildcats | Syracuse Orange
Updated: Oct 13, 2010 7:38 AM PDT

Total Ballots: 105

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Your other big winners are Florida State, Oregon State, and Michigan State; Arizona, Florida, and Michigan all take big hits but hang on. Miami is told to GTFO.

Justify Your Existence

Having a different #1 than the two major polls is kind of a big deal, and the margins here are significant: Oregon gets only 15 of 60 first place votes in the AP poll and 6 (!) of 59 in the Coaches Poll. Here Oregon gets just under half. In other differences…

BlogPoll loves:

  • No. 10 South Carolina (No. 12 Coaches Poll)
  • No. 17 Arizona (No. 20 Coaches)
  • No. 19 Nevada (No. 18 AP, No. 21 Coaches)

BlogPoll hates:

  • No. 6 Nebraska (No. 5 AP, No. 4 Coaches)
  • No. 12 Utah (No. 11 AP, No. 10 Coaches)
  • No. 21 Wisconsin (No. 18 AP, No. 16 Coaches)

Wack Ballot Watchdog

  • This isn't wack but I think we have our first-ever Syracuse vote.
  • The excitable Dan Shanoff has South Carolina No. 2, which is somewhat ridiculous since Auburn is No. 9 and an undefeated team in possession of an eight-point win over the Gamecocks. Similarly, Tomahawk Nation's 3-4-5 reads Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn. E.G.: beat team X, get ranked directly in back of team X.
  • Shanoff is also the poll's least enthusiastic Oregon voter, ranking the No. 1 Ducks eighth, down six for no apparent reason.
  • NC State's still picking up scattered votes at the tail end of the poll after losing to Virginia Tech, but From Old Virginia must have missed that event. It's still ranking the Wolfpack 12th.
  • I can't even begin to figure what caused Boys of Old Florida to shoot Missouri up to No. 4 from 15th after they beat a sad-sack Colorado team. Illinois beating Penn State?
  • Michigan State has a bizarre chart with a solid base around 10 and outliers as high as No. 3 and as low as No. 24.
  • Orange::44 has Iowa No. 5. Next most optimistic voter has them No. 10. Arizona is 21st. They also have Auburn 19th, nine spots behind a South Carolina team they beat and six spots below the next most pessimistic voter.

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.

Most Disagreement

# School Points/blog SD
1 Utah Utes 14.22 4.15
2 Missouri Tigers 6.90 4.06
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 7.06 3.78
4 Nevada Wolf Pack 7.78 3.51
5 Stanford Cardinal 12.12 3.47

Utah hops into the top spot here after last week's complaint about their high ranking relative to their schedule, which is bad and only got worse last weekend as primary scalp Pitt lost again, this time to a 3-3 Notre Dame team. They did club Iowa State, I guess, but even if ISU does have a win over Texas Tech they're still Iowa State. As a result there's the usual disagreement about a mid-major team with a weak schedule.

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

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 3.83
2 SB Nation Atlanta Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ballot 3.29
3 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot 2.94
4 Red Cup Rebellion Mississippi Rebels ballot 2.84
5 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot 2.80

Yes, this again. All it takes is one two-point loss to Oregon State for Arizona to plummet from #3 to #23, which takes bye-week Iowa down with it; these events will see BHGP pop up a couple additional places, because yes this again. At this point I've given up trying to figure it out. Boise State is up nine, Auburn up eleven because their previous wins got shinier, which I sort of get but the wild swings point to something odd in the way this ballot is compiled.

The weirdest presences are still No. 8 Missouri, which is 20th at the poll at large (but at least down three on BHGP's ballot), No. 12 Oklahoma State (19th at large), No. 14 Nebraska (6th), and No. 16 Michigan (25th). At least there does seem to be an internal consistency here, and South Carolina is just ahead of 'Bama.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Baltimore Sports Report Maryland Terrapins ballot 0.96
2 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot 1.17
3 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 1.29
4 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.43
5 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.49

Why can't anyone else win either of these awards? After filing its ballot the Baltimore Sports Report likes nothing more than a glass of skim milk and Murder, She Wrote on the television. Afterward, it likes to curl up on the couch with a Dan Brown novel. In the mornings it watches the local news and sighs fitfully at any coverage of adorable moppets. It wears mom jeans. What I am trying to say is that maybe the BSR could liven it up a little. Get medium salsa, rent a PG-13 movie, go to Chi Chi's instead of Olive Garden, that sort of thing.

Also since the BSR goes with OSU #1 the Quest for the Perfect Ballot ends before it can start.

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.

The CK Award

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 3.78
2 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot 1.77
3 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.72
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 1.72
5 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot 1.07

So… for the last couple weeks this award has hardly been won, but people with an eagle eye on the ballots have pointed out that the calculations were wrong, likely for the same reason that Alabama managed more first place votes than, you know, voters last week. We can't go back and whammy people retroactively, however, so the record stands: 3-2 against the spread.

Last week Arkansas blog Hog DB ranked the Razorbacks right where the rest of the poll did, so a moratorium was declared on doom. Arkansas beat A&M by seven.

This week we do have a real winner, but it's frickin' Utah again. Last time this happened they were up against ridiculous tomato can San Jose State. This time they're up against ridiculous tomato can Wyoming, a 2-4 Mountain West team with an eight point win over Southern Utah. The Utes (We're From Utah!) are favored by 20.5.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot -9.42
2 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot -4.33
3 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot -2.68
4 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot -0.50
5 Baltimore Sports Report Maryland Terrapins ballot -0.04

Here's the second appearance of BHGP, which slots Iowa just 25th after Arizona, Penn State, and Iowa State blew up Iowa's SOS this weekend. This is actually justifiable since Iowa's best wins have come against two teams that are looking like long shots for bowl eligibility; while most of college football got in a week of conference play on Saturday Iowa was on a bye.

While this is not entirely crazy from a resume perspective, this is also not an endorsement of the idea that Iowa will lose to Michigan this weekend.

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.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 186
2 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot 170
3 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot 152
4 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot 126
5 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 126

And, yes, BHGP sweeps by winning in each set of rankings. As mentioned in the long long ago when we were discussing the craziest ballot, 1-2 on the BHGP ballot (Boise State and Auburn) moved up nine and ten spots each. Paired with Arizona's 20-point drop and plenty of movement elsewhere, this is enough to send them over the top.

Mr. Xanax

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 The Owl's Nest Temple Owls ballot 78
2 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 92
3 SB Nation Atlanta Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ballot 94
4 Buckeye Commentary Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 94
5 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot 94

A repeat winner here as well. The Owl's Nest has been hitting the snooze button on the entire year, offering a ballot goofy for its compleete lack of movement. Arizona loses and does not move. USC loses and does not move; they are #16, a spot in front of the team that just beat them and has a better record than them. Alabama moves down seven but is still four spots ahead of South Carolina, which gets  a whopping two-spot bump for beating the #1 team in the country by two touchdowns. And Iowa is four spots in front of Arizona. This is not a ballot that makes sense.

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