College Football BlogPoll Rankings, Week 6: Alabama's Dominance Cannot Be Contained By Math

TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads his team onto the field to face the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Traditional powers Texas, USC, and Penn State exit the poll as another, Alabama, gets more first place votes and more points than are possible. This could be a bug, or it could be obvious. Also: boo, Utah, boo.

It's a far out week in the BlogPoll too with USC, Texas, and Penn State all exiting in the same week. Since the poll came into existence, USC and Texas have never been outside the top 25. Florida also takes a huge dive after being thumped on the head and dragged back to Alabama's cave.

As a result of that last game, Alabama takes No. 1 so forcefully that they break the system, gaining 108 of 107 available first place votes. Their new hypothetical BCS championship opponent is Oregon, which this poll also slides up a spot after they handled Stanford. Around here the Ducks were already in front of Boise State, however, and the victim is former No. 2 Ohio State.

Also: hi, Air Force.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 6

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (108) 25.9 4.92 --
2 Oregon Ducks (2) 24.3 4.52 Arrow_up 1
3 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 23.4 4.17 Arrow_down -1
4 Boise St. Broncos 22.3 3.56 --
5 TCU Horned Frogs 21.0 3.57 --
6 Oklahoma Sooners 20.2 2.97 Arrow_up 2
7 Nebraska Cornhuskers 19.2 0.47 Arrow_down -1
8 Auburn Tigers 17.9 1.14 Arrow_up 2
9 Arizona Wildcats 17.0 1.23 Arrow_up 2
10 Utah Utes 14.0 3.66 Arrow_up 4
11 LSU Tigers 13.0 4.01 Arrow_up 1
12 Arkansas Razorbacks 12.9 4.03 Arrow_up 3
13 Miami Hurricanes 12.3 3.27 Arrow_up 3
14 Stanford Cardinal 11.7 3.10 Arrow_down -5
15 Michigan St. Spartans 11.6 2.83 Arrow_up 7
16 Iowa Hawkeyes 11.6 2.73 Arrow_up 2
17 Florida Gators 11.1 3.43 Arrow_down -10
18 Michigan Wolverines 9.9 3.31 Arrow_down -1
19 South Carolina Gamecocks 7.2 3.76 Arrow_up 1
20 Nevada Wolf Pack 6.3 3.31 Arrow_up 1
21 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 5.3 4.08 Arrow_up 6
22 Wisconsin Badgers 4.5 3.06 Arrow_down -9
23 Missouri Tigers 3.5 3.81 Arrow_up 3
24 Florida St. Seminoles 3.2 2.91 Arrow_up 5
25 Air Force Falcons 2.0 2.10 Arrow_up 6
Others Receiving Votes: Kansas St. Wildcats | Northwestern Wildcats | West Virginia Mountaineers | USC Trojans | Virginia Tech Hokies | Texas Longhorns | Oregon St. Beavers | N.C. State Wolfpack | Penn St. Nittany Lions | UCLA Bruins | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Houston Cougars | Baylor Bears | North Carolina Tar Heels | Clemson Tigers | Temple Owls | California Golden Bears | South Florida Bulls
Updated: Oct 6, 2010 7:28 AM PDT

Total Ballots: 107

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Justify Your Existence

This poll already had Boise State below Oregon, so the mainstream polls coming around is a small victory. Other differences, starting with the love love love focused on the Pac-10:

  • No. 2 Oregon is third in both other polls.
  • No. 9 Arizona is eleventh in the Coaches Poll.
  • No. 14 Stanford is 16th AP and 18th Coaches.
  • No. 20 Nevada is 21st AP and 23rd Coaches.

The hate is spread out:

  • No. 3 Ohio State loses its hypothetical championship game slot to Oregon.
  • No. 17 Florida is 14th AP, 12th Coaches.
  • No. 22 Wisconsin is 20th AP, 19th Coaches.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

  • Stray first place votes: The Daily Gopher is the lone OSU voter. Eagle in Atlanta and The Unbalanced Line go for Oregon.
  • EIA also has Northwestern No. 13… really?
  • UNC got a singe vote at No. 20 from Rise Northwestern.
  • The Smoking Musket has Penn State No. 17, unmoved from last week despite a 24-3 loss to Iowa and seven slots higher than the next most optimistic voter.
  • Orange:44 has Oregon State No. 14, also seven slots higher than tNMOV.
  • BHGP's inexplicable love of Missouri continues. No. 5, seven slots higher than tNMOV.
  • I assume WV Mountaineer Sports's No. 10 vote for Arizona State was actually intended for Arizona.

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 Alabama Crimson Tide (108) 25.9 4.92
2 Oregon Ducks (2) 24.3 4.52
3 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 23.4 4.17
4 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 5.3 4.08
5 Arkansas Razorbacks 12.9 4.03

Er. So Alabama has all but three first place votes. They can't have the poll's highest standard deviation, they have to have the lowest. Also, they have more first place votes than ballots entered and they've got more points per ballot than is possible since No. 1 is worth 25. This is a bug with first place votes, it seems.

Your actual winner is Oklahoma State, undefeated but only just after narrow escapes from Texas A&M and the Troy Trojans of Troy (We're From Troy!). Like previous winner Michigan, they love scoring just enough in wild shootouts.

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 5.75
2 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot 4.06
3 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot 3.89
4 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 3.31
5 SB Nation Atlanta Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ballot 3.20

Same story here though usually by this point in the season the resume guys have fallen back to the pack more than this. BHGP has a system, though, and uses it to do weird things with…

  • No. 9 Arizona, third on the BGHP ballot
  • No. 17 Florida, seventh
  • No. 18 Michigan, eighth
  • UR Kansas State, seventeenth, and
  • No. 10 Utah, twenty-fourth.

And so forth and so on. There's no explanation for the oddities but… you know what? BHGP's weird ballot has a couple of good points.

Point one: Utah is not what you think it is. They leapt up on everyone's ballot thanks to an OT win over Pitt to open the year; Pitt went out and got clubbed by Miami 31-3. Utah's other games have been against terrible UNLV, terrible New Mexico, and terrible San Jose State. This is a typical random end-of-top-25 resume masquerading as a top ten team, and Miami should be well ahead of the Utes on everyone's ballot since their Pitt win was way more impressive (it was even on the road!) and they went to Clemson and won by two scores. Raise your hand if you think Utah beats OSU on the road. Right, then.

Point two: Kansas State should be ranked. Their win over UCLA now comes with cachet, and even beating Iowa State has some value after they took out Texas Tech. A I-AA game and a close call against UCF round out the the schedule, but they've done more than, say, Wisconsin has. KSU is 26th in the poll but should be several slots higher.

I still have no idea what the deal is with No. 23 Missouri, fifth in the BHGP ballot despite doing nothing but beating Illinois, and several other bits, but there's some value in the bizarre this week.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Baltimore Sports Report Maryland Terrapins ballot 1.16
2 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot 1.55
3 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot 1.55
4 The Ralphie Report Colorado Buffaloes ballot 1.55
5 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 1.78

All right, BSR, we get it: you like try white toast. Quest For The Perfect Ballot ends at No. 2, where Ohio State intrudes.

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

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 1.15
2 The Owl's Nest Temple Owls ballot 0.96
3 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 0.95
4 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 0.64
5 SpartyMSU Michigan St. Spartans ballot 0.41

You know, when I started tracking this I wanted to squash accusations of homerism I figured were natural when you asked a bunch of bloggers to vote for their favorite teams. When I started tracking the terrible performances of teams whose fans had the impertinence to stuff the ballot box, the CK Award took on a life of its own. I've gotten emails begging for a vote change because people don't want to be the guy who jinxed the team.

Now the CK Award is suffering from its own success. No one dares to inch their team more than a slot above where you could reasonably expect it to go. Last week an Oklahoma blogger won for putting the Sooners seventh instead of eighth. The CK Award's malevolency was suitably unimpressed and let it go. Oklahoma won the Red River Shootout, covering a four point spread.

This week, Arkansas takes the title because Hog DB voted them No. 12, which is exactly where they ended up in the poll. The reason they're here is because the average points for Arkansas were lower than they would have been if everyone voted them 12th. Arkansas plays Texas A&M this weekend and is a six point favorite. I can't in good conscience declare the whammy lowered.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot -3.47
2 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot -3.07
3 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot -1.57
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot -1.16
5 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot -1.03

Sanity here at last, with the winner (and second-place finisher) representing a team that's just suffered a deflating loss. The Ciskie Blog ejects the Badgers entirely after they were +3 in turnover margin and still lost to Michigan State; BOOF shoots UF down to 18th after they were clubbed by Alabama.

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 The Purple Wimple TCU Horned Frogs ballot 158
2 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 150
3 Boys of Old Florida Florida Gators ballot 146
4 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 130
5 SB Nation Atlanta Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets ballot 124

The Purple Wimple takes this largely on the strength of very wrong assessments of Oregon (up 15 to No. 5) and Stanford (down 13 to No. 21) the previous week. Also that Stanford swing seems a little extreme. Also, LSU was told to GTFO and a bnuch of other guys moved around for obscure reasons (Air Force up six?).

Mr. Xanax

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Block-C Clemson Tigers ballot 40
2 Hey Jenny Slater Georgia Bulldogs ballot 52
3 The Owl's Nest Temple Owls ballot 64
4 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 66
5 SpartyMSU Michigan St. Spartans ballot 68

A torpid Block-C wins for doing the bare minimum. They ejected the big three everyone booted, moved Wisconsin down a bit, slid Oregon in front of Boise State, and left Stanford alone despite losing by three touchdowns.

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