BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 08: Rueben Randle #2 of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Florida Gators at Tiger Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
LSU keeps rolling, and the Tigers keep garnering BlogPoll love. Alabama and Oklahoma follow closely, and tiers are developing behind the top three.
The Week 7 BlogPoll has the same ol' team on top: LSU, which reduced Florida to gristle in Week 6, reigns in the BlogPoll for a third straight week, followed by Alabama and Oklahoma. And those top three teams are still well ahead of rest of the field, too.
Oklahoma's win over Texas helped the No. 3 Sooners chop into both LSU's lead on the field and Alabama's lead on the Sooners. But it did more to extend Oklahoma's lead on No. 4 Wisconsin from a bit more than a point per ballot (1.21) in Week 6 to nearly two points per ballot (1.93). And it reinforced the idea that there are distinct tiers in the college football rankings in 2011.
There's that top three, and then Wisconsin, and then a four-pack of undefeated teams — Boise State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Clemson. Then comes valiant LSU victim Oregon, then a few teams separated by less than a tenth of a point per ballot — and then there are two tiers in the teens and thereafter of teams that are hard to distinguish from each other.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
SpartyMSU didn't vote this week, in case you were wondering.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at No. 25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Arizona) would all be at the top.
|1||Kansas St. Wildcats||10.10||4.24|
|4||West Virginia Mountaineers||9.36||4.06|
|5||South Carolina Gamecocks||8.72||3.82|
Kansas State's best win? It's over a Baylor team that increasingly appears to be Robert Griffin III driving a dynamic offense to make up for a bad defense. But the Wildcats are undefeated, and they have a BCS conference pedigree; think of them as the big brother to similarly undefeated Houston, except that K-State quarterback Colin Klein and Houston field general Case Keenum couldn't be much more different.
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||4.17|
|2||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo Rockets||ballot||3.34|
|3||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||2.73|
|4||The Crimson Quarry||Indiana Hoosiers||ballot||2.26|
|5||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||2.12|
LET'S GO ROCKETS, indeed. Finally, a blog has broken the Black Heart Gold Pants-Frogs O' War stranglehold on the first and second spots in the boldness category, proving that less strenuous methods than rigorous resume balloting can still produce BlogPoll outliers.
|1||Inside The Shoe||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.02|
|2||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||1.19|
|3||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.33|
|4||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||1.39|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.41|
On the other hand, I think abiding by the conventional wisdom so slavishly that average error threatens to dip below one is worthy of derision, not praise. Live a little, Inside the Shoe! Rank your Ohio State team as if a diseased goat were its second-string quarterback, not Joe Bauserman!
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.
|1||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||3.77|
|2||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||1.75|
|3||Pistols Firing||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||ballot||1.53|
|4||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||1.28|
|5||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||0.82|
Ranking Notre Dame when the Irish can't pull more points than chronically boring Penn State? Yes, that will get you Coulter/Kos, One Foot Down. Special commendation goes to The Ciskie Blog for somehow placing second for bias with a top-four team.
|1||Barking Carnival||Texas Longhorns||ballot||-3.51|
|2||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||-1.45|
|3||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-1.23|
|4||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||-1.14|
Not ranking your well-regarded team after its first loss is a good way to win Straight Bangin', too: Barking Carnival did just that.
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||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||104|
|2||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||102|
|3||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||102|
|4||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||94|
|5||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||88|
SB Nation Atlanta's wisdom of crowds approach keeps racking up the awards, but after topping Coulter/Kos in each of the last two weeks, the Dirty Dirty's crew moves on to Swing. Only seven teams stayed in their Week 6 spots on the their ballot.
|1||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||40|
|2||The Ralphie Report||Colorado Buffaloes||ballot||50|
|3||BCS Guru||UCLA Bruins||ballot||54|
|4||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||56|
|5||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo Rockets||ballot||56|
I mean, if I were a Nebraska fan, and my team had beaten the reigning Big Ten champion with a ridiculous, potentially season-saving comeback, I would have dropped just three teams that lost and kept my top 13 the same, too. If it ain't broke...
For more on the BlogPoll, visit the BlogPoll's home page.