It moves. With Auburn playing Alabama it had to move, but it did a bunch of other stuff too thanks to one Kyle Brotzman and Oklahoma reclaiming the Big Twelve South for the final time. Boise State lost its chunk of first place votes and got booted out of the top ten, but hangs on at No. 11 -- Nevada does not get past them. While that usually rankles, the game was an overtime thriller decided by shanked field goals and Boise State's wins over Virginia Tech and Hawaii (Nevada's loss) seem to justify the placement.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma State and Alabama get crushed for losing to good competition. Both fall seven spots. We welcome two conferences back to the poll this week: the MAC, which I'm sure is delighted to be involved in this sentence, and the Big East, which I'm sure isn't. WVU re-enters the poll at 23; Northern Illinois debuts at 24.
Finally, we've got an interesting situation at the top of the poll: Auburn has wrested a plurality of first place votes away from Oregon after their thrilling comeback win over Alabama but because more voters slot Auburn behind TCU Oregon manages to hold on to No. 1… barely. Less than a tenth of a point separates the two. That seems about right.
Total Ballots: 71
Justify Your Existence
The BlogPoll is far closer to giving number one to Auburn than either the AP or coaches poll. Whereas our margin is tiny and actually sees Auburn take more number one votes, the AP goes 36-23 for Oregon, the coaches 46-10. With Auburn taking on South Carolina in the SEC championship game next weekend while Oregon meets 5-6 Oregon State, there is a strong possibility Auburn is No. 1 in the BlogPoll going into bowl season.
Other differences follow. BlogPoll loves:
No. 7 Arkansas (8 AP, 8 Coaches)
No. 13 Nevada (14 AP, 17 Coaches)
No. 17 Alabama (19 Coaches)
No. 8 Michigan State (7 AP, 7 Coaches)
No. 11 Boise State (9 AP, 10 Coaches)
No. 15 Virginia Tech (12 AP, 11 Coaches)
No. 18 South Carolina (16 Coaches)
A lot more disagreement this week than last thanks to bloggers' ongoing skepticism of Virginia Tech and willingness to jump on the Nevada bandwagon.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
There really aren't any. This section looks for votes that are plain bizarre relative to the rest of the poll and while win-everything-this week blog Hog DB has an number they're covered in the Mr. Bold section. A review of every vote shows this as a roundup of outliers:
- Block U votes Northern Illinois 11th. Next most impressed voter has them 18th.
Other than that all I've got is a handful of Michigan State skeptics. Five voters have MSU 14th or worse.
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||Nevada Wolf Pack||12.68||3.24|
|2||South Carolina Gamecocks||9.25||3.13|
|3||Virginia Tech Hokies||12.06||3.05|
|4||Boise St. Broncos||14.93||3.00|
|5||Oregon Ducks (34)||24.79||2.87|
As soon as Brotzman missed those kicks and Nevada's guy didn't they were guaranteed to shoot to the top of this list.
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||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||2.96|
|2||Buckeye Commentary||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||2.66|
|3||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||2.16|
|4||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||1.90|
|5||The Bull Gator||Florida Gators||ballot||1.90|
Last week's winner repeats and before I even look at the ballot I'll venture a guess as to why: extremely low rankings for all mid-major teams. Survey says… bingo. TCU languishes at No. 14, Boise and Nevada are 16 and 17. Northern Illinois and UCF do feature at the tail end of the ballot, but Hog DB is the only voter to place TCU lower than sixth.
Other oddities: Arkansas vastly higher than deserved (fourth, ahead of Stanford and Wisconsin), LSU still fifth, Stanford outside of the top ten, Alabama still at No. 12… a severe case of WOO SEC going on.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||0.84|
|2||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||0.88|
|3||Hail to the Orange||Illinois Fighting Illini||ballot||1.08|
|4||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||1.24|
|5||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||1.25|
The Baltimore Sports Report regains its place as the most conformist/psychic/accurate/boring voter in all the land, but our Quest for the Perfect Ballot stops right at the top, where Auburn sits instead of Oregon.
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||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||4.42|
|3||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||2.94|
|4||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||1.93|
|5||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||1.75|
I was busy looking up Utah's score last week until I remembered that, hey, it wasn't the Utes for the first time in a very long time. It was Oklahoma State, which turned a 2.5 point spread in their favor into a six-point loss. In the process they lost what would have been their first-ever (and last-ever) bid to the Big 12 Championship Game to their most hated rival. Yes, CK Award, yes. This is your fey power. The CK Award is now 7-5 on the year and though it spent most of the year wondering if Utah covered, it has:
- destroyed Miami football, getting Randy Shannon fired,
- watched the Utes implode against TCU and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks, and
- stolen Oklahoma State's division championship.
What the award lacked in consistency this year it made up for in sheer power.
Our winner this week is again Hog DB, which places Arkansas an egregious fourth. Arkansas is done until their bowl game, whereupon the CK Award will implode them. Maybe.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Blatant Homerism||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||-2.66|
|2||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||-0.39|
|3||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-0.08|
|4||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-0.08|
|5||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||-0.01|
It takes dedication to continue under-voting your team even after they win a division title in thrilling fashion, so props to the ironically named Blatant Homerism for continuing its skepticism.
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||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||100|
|2||The Bull Gator||Florida Gators||ballot||92|
|3||BC Interruption||Boston College Eagles||ballot||92|
|4||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||90|
|5||OverThePylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||88|
Hey, it's Hog DB again. Yay.
|1||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||56|
|2||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||60|
|3||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||64|
|4||Addicted To Quack||Oregon Ducks||ballot||64|
|5||The Daily Gopher||Minnesota Golden Gophers||ballot||68|
BCS Guru takes the crown for being exceptionally kind to Boise (down only three) and other losers and exceptionally high on Nevada, which was already ninth on his ballot and rises to fifth. Other shuffling is minimal. Result: award.