Clarity returns to our college football rankings after a couple weeks of chaos spurred by 'Bama's loss to South Carolina. Seven or eight teams were pulling down votes at No. 1 two weeks ago, but a spate of losses amongst the undefeated has whittled that down to four, only three of those getting more than token single No. 1s. Moreover, there's clear separation between
- Solid No. 1 Oregon
- Solid No. 2 Auburn
- The two mid-majors
- The two surprise major-conference undefeateds (and Alabama)
- The remainder
This is cast in stone until next week, when everything will change.
Missouri is this week's big winner, leaping up to No. 6 after beating Oklahoma; Oklahoma is this week's big loser. The moves are getting less extreme as each game adds less to the overall body of work, so no ten-slot swings any more. Iowa, LSU, and Oklahoma State are other losers, but no one other than Mizzou moves up more than three spots. Auburn did leap Boise State after beating the other Tigers.
Finally, let's welcome Baylor. Yes, Baylor. This is a poll with Boise State, TCU, and Michigan State in the top five, Stanford ahead of LSU, no Texas, Florida or Penn State that wraps up with No. 25 Baylor. The Mayans were off by two years.
Total Ballots: 104
Justify Your Existence
The first difference between the BlogPoll and both the AP and Coaches polls is the most important one possible in the BCS era: a different No. 2. As mentioned above, Auburn leapt Boise State after beating previously undefeated LSU. Though Boise's VT win is looking better, Auburn has beaten No. 13, No. 17, No. 20, and No. 21 in this week's poll—there's no way to justify Boise over Auburn, which is why the computers thrust Auburn to No. 1 in the BCS standings.
Elsewhere there's not a whole lot of wobble save some single-slot flips. BlogPoll loves:
- No. 6 Missouri (7 AP, 8 Coaches)
- No. 8 Wisconsin (9 AP, 9 Coaches)
- No. 12 Stanford (13 AP, 14 Coaches)
- No. 21 Mississippi State (23 AP, 23 Coaches)
BlogPoll hates :
- No. 23 Virginia Tech (21 AP, 21 Coaches)
- No. 20 Arkansas (19 AP, 20 Coaches)
Wack Ballot Watchdog
- Husker Mike still has Alabama No. 2.
- Hawaii's picking up scattered votes at the end of the poll after beating Nevada, which okay. But No. 18 seems way high for a WAC team that features a 31-13 loss to Colorado, Men of the Scarlet and Gray.
- Iowa State has one vote, that a probable error from the Baltimore Sports Report since it's at No. 19 and Iowa, which would normally go there, is omitted. Normally I would say the same thing about Block U's vote for Louisiana-Monroe—the team that just got smashed by previously winless-in-I-A Western Kentucky—but LSU's also on the ballot. Worst vote ever? Maybe. This is why you post your ballots, people.
- Blogger So Dear, a Wake Forest guy, drops Michigan State seven slots after their narrow win over Northwestern. In doing so the undefeated Spartans end up six slots behind Wisconsin, a team they beat handily. No other voter has MSU worse than tenth.
- Similarly, On The Banks, a Rutgers blog, has undefeated Missouri No. 21, 13(!!!) slots behind an Oklahoma team they just beat by two scores. This would be the most pessimistic Mizzou vote by ten(!!!) slots if not for Husker Mike ranking them No. 15.
- Two voters have Oregon No. 6, i.e. "behind every other reasonable undefeated team."
- Orange:44 ranks 3-3 Oregon State No. 14; the Beavers have one other vote in the poll period.
- Tomahawk Nation has Utah No. 22, five slots worse than 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.
|1||Oregon Ducks (69)||24.97||3.31|
|2||Auburn Tigers (27)||24.20||3.15|
|5||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||4.02||2.76|
Er… there is some more breakage in the numbers this week. Teams at the top like Oregon and Auburn do not finish first in this department; Utah is you real winner, as it has been designated Undefeated Mid Major We're Suspicious Of for 2010.
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||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||2.71|
|2||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||2.67|
|3||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||2.61|
|4||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||1.91|
|5||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||1.85|
Vindication for Black Heart Gold Pants and its wild and crazy Missouri love, and also its wild and crazy Iowa skepticism, sees them finally relinquish their iron grip on the top spot here. SB Nation Atlanta scores the top spot but their ballot at the time of publishing was broken like whoah. Please bear with us as we nail down this bug for the final time.
The real winner is TCU blog The Purple Wimple, which doesn't do anything too crazy in the top ten except shove the top four around willy-nilly and overrate Wisconsin a bit. The weirdness starts at No. 12, which is Florida. Yes, that Florida. This is probably a ballot error since Florida State mysteriously disappears from tPW's ballot at the same time. Insert scolding about posting your ballot on your blog for a reason here.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||OverThePylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||0.94|
|3||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||0.99|
|4||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||1.13|
|5||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.18|
Average error is dipping here, too, with three blogs under the 1.0 mark. We've only had one ballot so far this year under 1.0. Over The Pylon is your winner here, but the Quest For The Perfect Ballot ends at No. 5, where Wisconsin is bizarrely stationed two spots above an undefeated conference-mate that beat them by ten despite ending up –3 in turnover margin.
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 Coulter/Kos Award
|1||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||2.72|
|2||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||0.87|
|3||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||0.17|
|4||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||0.14|
|5||Buckeye Commentary||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||0.14|
The CK Award is really hurting this year as wild overrating evaporates and is replaced by a slightly excessive Utah fan who keeps ranking the Utes sixth and watches his team beat the stuffing out of some overmatched Mountain West tomato can. This week it was Colorado State. The Utes were 35-point favorites and won 59-6; the CK Award has finally broken under .500 after three years, now standing at 3-4.
Utah finally faces an interesting game this week against Air Force. They're a touchdown favorite, which means they'll win by 20.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||-2.37|
|2||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||-1.54|
|3||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||-1.41|
|4||The Only Colors||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||-0.95|
|5||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||-0.50|
As per tradition, the Straight Bangin' Award goes to a blog covering a team that's just suffered a horribly dispiriting loss. Sooner blog Tilting At Windmills just saw its coach admit he punted down nine with two minutes left so the team would look prettier in the polls; they show remarkable restraint by not hacking their ballot to rank Oklahoma at No. facepalm.
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||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||116|
|2||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||96|
|3||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||90|
|4||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||90|
|5||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||88|
Frequent winner The Purple Wimple takes it again this week; the Florida/Florida State screwup pushes him well over the top.
|1||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||54|
|2||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||56|
|3||Blogger So Dear||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||ballot||64|
|4||Buckeye Commentary||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||64|
|5||OverThePylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||68|
BCS Guru features the least altered ballot this week. Sometimes this is an indicator of a broken balloting approach but other than some excessive mid-major enthusiasm (Boise and TCU above Auburn, Utah No. 6) that infects scattered give-em-a-chance voters across the spectrum there's nothing particularly egregious. Usually a winner will have to be in the 30s for serious weirdness to show up.