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:
Total Ballots: 105
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…
- No. 10 South Carolina (No. 12 Coaches Poll)
- No. 17 Arizona (No. 20 Coaches)
- No. 19 Nevada (No. 18 AP, No. 21 Coaches)
- 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.
|3||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||7.06||3.78|
|4||Nevada Wolf Pack||7.78||3.51|
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.
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||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
|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
|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
|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.
|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.
|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.