Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns yells during a game against the UCLA Bruins at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 25 2010 in Austin Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Alabama's grip on No. 1 gets grows stronger, and Texas plummets. And does anyone remember what that conference that isn't the Big Ten or Big 12 is called? Big something or other. Yeah, they aren't around.
More of the same this week: after a narrow escape against Arkansas on the road, Alabama consolidates its first place votes. This is thanks in part to Ohio State playing (and dismantling) Eastern Michigan; schedule strength importance lives here.
The big move will not be a surprise, as Texas is viciously punished for their 34-12 loss to UCLA. They fall 16 spots, and that's with one very confused guy sticking them No. 4 as if nothing emasculating happened last weekend.
In news of the less powerful, the last vestige of the Big East fell by the wayside on Saturday night as West Virginia lost to LSU. The Big East has been booted from the poll entirely, marking the first time a BCS conference is totally absent from the poll. Meanwhile, the Mountain West has two slots, three if you're using the conference configuration after Utah's defection and the WAC raid:
Total Ballots: 110
Justify Your Existence
The BlogPoll loves:
- No. 3 Oregon, fourth in the other two polls.
- No. 9 Stanford, 13th in the Coaches Poll.
- No. 11 Arizona, 14th in both other polls.
- No. 17 Michigan, 19th in both other polls.
- No. 21 Nevada, 25th in both other polls.
The BlogPoll hates:
- No. 4 Boise State, third in both other polls ("hate" may be a stretch but at the top differences are usually rare and with Boise poised to plead for a BCS bid at the end of the year, having another team already in front of them before they play seven terrible teams and Nevada is worth noting).
- No. 12 LSU, 10th in the Coaches Poll.
- No. 23 Texas, 21st in the AP and 16th(!) in the Coaches Poll.
- No. 25 Penn State, 22nd in the AP and 20th in the Coaches Poll.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
Oddities and errata:
- I guess the votes for Virginia Tech are less weird after they shut out Boston College, but there are still three and they're still a little weird. The four still hanging on to Oregon State are weirder.
- On the other hand, I'm a little surprised UCLA only got five votes, four of them at No. 25, after consecutive dismantlings of Houston and Texas, the latter on the road.
- WV Mountaineer Sports didn't move Texas at all after that dismantling; they're still No. 4. Next most optimistic voters check in at #12.
- The Purple Wimple has Oregon No. 20, the only team to have the Ducks outside the top 10.
- Two resume voters have Missouri No. 6 and No. 7, far higher than the No. 16 that is the next-most optimistic voter. This is discussed below; Missouri has played a lot of teams that have played a lot of terrible teams and haven't lost.
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.
|4||N.C. State Wolfpack||4.1||4.22|
An ultra-rare week where a mid-major team doesn't even appear in the top five; they usually win. USC takes it home as people look at 4-0 at the same time they try to comprehend a narrow game against terrible Minnesota and a three-point escape from Virginia.
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||6.45|
|2||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||5.74|
|3||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||5.18|
|4||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||4.06|
|5||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||3.71|
It's almost always these same five guys, isn't it?
BHGP's most ludicrous vote this week is Missouri at #6 after wins over Illinois, McNeese State, San Diego State, and Miami (Not That Miami). The SDSU win was by three; none of Missouri's opponents has a win over (or even a close game with) a BCS program. It's "hard to move" Oregon and its touchdown Gatling gun over Missouri because their opponents have all played horrendous teams and have shiny records because of it.
The other oddities are numerous: the top OSU on the ballot is No. 9 Oklahoma State, with Ohio State No. 10; Arizona is No. 3, about which more later, Iowa is out, about which more later, Boise State is No. 18 while TCU is No. 7, etc, etc, etc. Too much spreadsheet, not enough think.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.04|
|2||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||1.78|
|3||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||1.83|
|4||The Only Colors||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||1.85|
|5||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||1.90|
The BSR takes the most boring ballot for the third consecutive week, and for the third consecutive week the Quest For A Perfect Ballot stops at #3, where a Boise/Oregon flip ruins everything.
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||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||1.72|
|2||The Purple Wimple||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||1.41|
|3||The Owl's Nest||Temple Owls||ballot||0.98|
|4||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||0.82|
|5||SpartyMSU||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||0.75|
The CK Award came up empty for the first time this year after Week 4 "winner" Utah bludgeoned San Jose State 56-3, easily covering the 32-point spread and defying their dire fate. The fey power is now 3-1 on the year.
This week we hardly even have a winner. Oklahoma's eighth in the poll at large and Tilting at Windmills wins for placing the Sooners… wait for it… seventh. Will the award bother to notice such slight impertinence? There's only one way to find out: The Red River Shootout. Oklahoma is favored by four.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||-7.37|
|2||The Only Colors||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||-1.25|
|4||Building the Dam||Oregon St. Beavers||ballot||-0.14|
|5||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||-0.12|
More later: Iowa's still totally off BHGP's ballot. Why? File not found. At this point ballots can and should have some internal consistency, so why is Iowa out of the top 25 when Florida State is 20th?
Both have blowouts over I-AA teams, terrible BCS teams (Iowa State and Wake Forest) and bad non-BCS teams (BYU and Ball State); both lost on the road to good opponents. FSU was run off the field by BHGP No. 13 Oklahoma; Iowa lost a close game to BHGP No. 3 Arizona. Having FSU 20th and Iowa out of the poll entirely makes no sense even if BYU gets more credit than Ball State, and at 1-3 with a sole win over a terrible-looking Washington team… eh… what difference does it make?
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||182|
|2||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||178|
|3||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||168|
|4||Boys of Old Florida||Florida Gators||ballot||162|
|5||Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||146|
Resume voters still dominate here, with confirmed weirdo The Purple Wimple taking the title for shooting Boise State from 13th to first after they beat Oregon State. At the same time, TCU—whose big win is Oregon State—goes from 18th to 4th for "showing domination on the road" in an "emotional" game. Which was against SMU. SMU's marquee win is either against Washington State or UAB.
I appreciate that the guy takes time to explain his thinking, but sometimes I'd be happier if he just said "I used a random sequence of coinflips this week."
|1||The Owl's Nest||Temple Owls||ballot||28|
|3||SpartyMSU||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||62|
|4||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||68|
|5||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||75|
On the other end of the spectrum, The Owl's Nest continues its habit of extreme laddering, in which the only teams that move are losers and the lucky few who slide up behind them. Everyone else in the poll had at least double the movement TON did, which means you've moved too far towards expectations that should be an ever-slimmer factor four weeks into the season.