AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 15: Running back Jeremy Smith #31, center, of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys is congratulated by tight end Wilson Youman #86, left, and wide receiver Justin Blackmon #81, right, after running in a second quarter touchdown against the Texas Longhorns on October 15, 2011 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Oklahoma State beat Texas 38-26. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
Aside from Oklahoma State leaping over Boise State, there is little change atop the Week 8 BlogPoll rankings. But there is tons of movement in the bottom half, where teams like Michigan State, Michigan and Illinois experience huge shifts.
Ruling the top of the BlogPoll is becoming old hat for the team coached by The Hat. LSU has held the top spot for a solid month, and Week 8 is no different. Eat your heart out, BCS: the BlogPoll had LSU No. 1 before SEC play even began.
But LSU's season might come down to a titanic showdown in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers travel to Alabama's stomping grounds in November for a tussle with the Crimson Tide, No. 2 in this week's BlogPoll, that might determine the winner of the SEC and should give the victor the inside track to the BCS National Championship Game.
Elsewhere in the Week 8 BlogPoll, Oklahoma State slides past Boise State and into the top five, Kansas State rises to No. 11, Michigan State soars into the top 15 after a win over Michigan that dropped the Wolverines from the ranks of the unbeaten, Auburn rejoins the BlogPoll, and Washington enters it for the first time.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
Crimson and Cream Machine cast the lone vote for Virginia. Mountain West Connection is the only Ohio State believer. Boise State is no lower than the No. 10 spot, where Subway Domer puts it. Tilting at Windmills has Georgia 10th. But no SpartyMSU again makes this section a little less gleefully insane.
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, my Florida) would all be at the top.
|1||Texas A&M Aggies||6.66||4.46|
|2||South Carolina Gamecocks||10.01||4.15|
|4||Penn St. Nittany Lions||3.34||3.91|
Texas A&M has two major collapses against top-10 teams and one thrilling throttling of a team that appears to be Robert Griffin III and very little else; who could agree on that? South Carolina, meanwhile, falls into the trap between evaluating a resume and projecting a future sans Marcus Lattimore, while Houston's excellence in obscurity has voters scratching their heads.
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||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||3.48|
|2||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||3.32|
|3||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo Rockets||ballot||2.32|
|4||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||2.19|
|5||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||2.11|
Resume balloting's hegemony in this category is gone, and unlikely to come back. At this point in the season, it's easier to be divergent from the conventional wisdom by just sort of throwing things together (like, uh, Georgia at No. 12) than by grading teams strictly based on the accomplishments of their seasons.
|1||Frank the Tank's Slant||Illinois Fighting Illini||ballot||1.12|
|2||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||1.15|
|3||OverThePylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||1.28|
|4||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.30|
|5||Inside The Shoe||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.31|
Honestly, ol' Frank's ballot is just boring.
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||Hog Database||Arkansas Razorbacks||ballot||1.88|
|2||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||1.70|
|3||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||1.38|
|4||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||1.14|
|5||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||0.92|
Hog Database has been in this group seemingly every week, and having Arkansas ninth when the Razorbacks appear to be on the outside of a consensus top nine isn't going to help matters.
|1||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-1.62|
|2||Barking Carnival||Texas Longhorns||ballot||-0.41|
|3||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||-0.41|
|4||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||-0.40|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||-0.03|
Fornelli didn't rank Notre Dame, and though the Irish were technically No. 27 in this week's poll, they got 1.62 points per ballot. Straight Bangin' Rule No. 1: leaving your possibly ranked team off your ballot will get you a victory in this category more often than not.
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||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||160|
|2||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||128|
|3||Inside The Shoe||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||94|
|4||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||92|
|5||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||92|
Swing is the place where resume balloting could still dominate, and this week, Black Heart Gold Pants corrected for losses by Michigan, Illinois, and Georgia Tech by dropping each team at least 11 spots. Most other blogs didn't have those teams as high as BHGP did, and didn't drop them as far; ergo, BHGP takes this win in a walk.
|1||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||58|
|2||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||60|
|3||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||70|
|4||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo Rockets||ballot||70|
|5||Barking Carnival||Texas Longhorns||ballot||70|
Bucky's 5th Quarter's top 10 remained entirely the same, and its biggest change was dropping previously undefeated Georgia Tech out of the top 25. I'll assume Red Cup Rebellion is just so numbed by Mississippi's disastrous season that it didn't realize Georgia Tech lost before elevating the Yellow Jackets two spots.