Boise State just can't buy a break. Alabama loses, removing the primary one-loss threat to a potential title bid. But just as it looked like Virginia Tech might end up a respectable win after all, TCU took out a plasma torch on Utah and surged past them into the on-deck circle for the Hypothetical Blogger National Championship game. TCU's gap is now over a full point and the only way Boise State can make up ground is by hammering Nevada as badly as TCU hammered Utah—it will be impossible to top it.
Elsewhere, LSU and Alabama flip places after grass-eating, hat-wearing, fourth-down reverse calling Les Miles slid past the Tide, and carnage in the Big 12 sees Oklahoma State surge seven places as Oklahoma and Missouri fall. Texas A&M leaps from nowhere to No. 23, and we'd be remiss if we didn't tip our hat to Baylor upon their exit. See you in 10 years, Bears.
Justify Your Existence
Events have conspired to rob the BlogPoll of its flashy differences at the top of the ballot, but it's worth noting that blog folk are much more certain of the order in 2-4 than the AP and Coaches. Boise State is well back of TCU, which isn't as far back of Auburn but is still meaningfully distant even after they hammered Utah. Auburn's lead in the AP poll is a razor thin ten points.
Further down the ballot there are still some divisions. The BlogPoll loves:
- No. 6 Stanford (7 AP, 9 Coaches)
- No. 10 Oklahoma State (12 AP, 11 Coaches) at the expense of MSU and Alabama
- No. 16 Arizona (18 AP, 19 Coaches)
- No. 17 Missouri (20 AP, 20 Coaches)
But the BlogPoll also hates:
- No. 9 Ohio State (8 AP, 7 Coaches)
- No. 19 Oklahoma (16 Coaches)
- No. 20 Virginia Tech (16 AP, 17 Coaches)
Our memories of James Madison are long.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
A light week:
- From Old Virginia has Wisconsin No. 15, four spots lower than the next most unimpressed voter. They're two slots behind Ohio State, even. They're also one of just two NC State voters left, and while the other guy has the Wolfpack 25th he's got them 19th.
- Bull Run still has South Carolina No. 14, three spots higher than the next most impressed voter. They don't budge after losing this weekend.
- Block U slides Northern Illinois up to No. 16. The Huskies' NMIV ranks them 23rd and they only get seven votes, period. Similarly, UCF is No. 14 with NMIV 19th. Some non-BCS slant in here.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the team which spurs the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation.
|3||Nevada Wolf Pack||5.85||3.20|
|5||Virginia Tech Hokies||7.49||2.99|
I predicted Utah would lose this crown after its TCU matchup but I'm a little baffled that they didn't get hit a lot harder after TCU hit them over the head, stuffed them into a car, and threw them into a river. That's probably why they're still here: people are baffled.
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||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||2.21|
|2||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||2.15|
|3||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||2.14|
|4||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||2.12|
|5||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||2.09|
Average error plummets this week and the winner pulls in a 2.21. A number that low usually sees a ballot with slight eccentricity instead of raving loony business, and it is indeed tough to find anything truly egregious on The Ciskie Blog's ballot. Missouri and Oklahoma are too high and Okie State is too low, so there's that, and the Big Ten seems similarly disordered. But that's about it other than having the two mid-majors 1-2.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Frank the Tank's Slant||Illinois Fighting Illini||ballot||0.97|
|2||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.01|
|3||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||1.09|
|4||Blogger So Dear||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||ballot||1.12|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.18|
Conference expansion maven Frank The Tank slides his error under one and grabs the Mr. Numb Existence award for the first time. Our Quest For A Perfect Ballot again ends before we can even get out of the top five, as TCU features at #2.
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||3.36|
|2||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||2.90|
|3||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||2.14|
|4||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||1.76|
|5||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||1.20|
Yea, verily The CK Award did come down from the mountain and saw the Utes dancing around a golden calf of ballot overrating and was like "lol wut" and was wroth. He broth forth a rain of horned frogs that did poke the Utes mercilessly, and bled on them, and scored many many touchdowns to Utah's very lonely single touchdown. Yea, you do provoke the wrath at your peril.
The CK Award is now 5-4 on the season, in the black, and next up on the chopping block is… Utah. Sigh. They're playing Notre Dame, so at least their opponent is hypothetically competitive. The Utes are a six point road favorite, though.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||-7.83|
|2||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||-0.49|
|3||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||0.00|
|4||Blogger So Dear||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||ballot||0.00|
|5||The Ralphie Report||Colorado Buffaloes||ballot||0.00|
We're having some technical difficulties here, as I know Block U hammered the Utes after the weekend—they're at 21 in his ballot, which would be good for second here, but do not appear. Working on it. It does appear that Tilting At Windmills does get a legit win bit by vastly under-ranking his team after a soul-shattering performance on the 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
|1||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||136|
|3||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||126|
|4||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||126|
|5||The Crimson Quarry||Indiana Hoosiers||ballot||124|
Man, this Purple Wimple guy loves moving stuff around. Missouri and Oklahoma drop all the way out of the poll, Utah is down 15, Arizona down ten, and TCU leap to a no longer totally insane #1. Also MSU (either MSU) jumps way up, as to Ohioi State, Arkanas, and Oklahoma State. Chaos! Temple at #21! Woo!
|1||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||72|
|2||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||80|
|3||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||84|
|4||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||86|
|5||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||88|
USF blog Voodoo Five picks up the Mr. Xanax award but a quick glance at the ball show a lot of arrows and that number is very high for a winner here, so no wag of the finger this week.