MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 24: Rueben Randle #2 of the Louisiana State University Tigers celebrates with teammates Spencer Ware #11 and Will Blackwell #60 after scoring against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the first half during the game on September 24, 2011 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
After running their early-season gauntlet with nary a scratch, LSU dominates the Week 5 BlogPoll. Elsewhere, tiers are forming in the top 10, and teams that lost their first games in Week 4 get punished accordingly.
The LSU Tigers have dominated one of nation's toughest schedules so far, and for that, they reclaim the top spot in the Week 5 BlogPoll portion of the college football rankings. Fearing Les Miles' Bayou Bengals would seem appropriate, as their 71 first-place votes are a new high for the BlogPoll in 2011 and place the Tigers just more than a full point ahead of the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide.
Week 4 No. 1 Oklahoma falls two spots to No. 3 — the Sooners only got to trounce Missouri, while LSU feasted on West Virginia and Alabama routed Arkansas — but rounds out a top three that has opened a large gap on the rest of the field. Boise State, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, and Stanford form a second top tier, and Nebraska, South Carolina, and ascendant Florida round out the top 10.
Elsewhere, Clemson leaps into the top 15 at No. 13 after dispatching Florida State, which has gone from getting first-place votes to just barely clinging to No. 25, and the ranked teams that failed their first major tests — Texas A&M, Arkansas, West Virginia — all tumble.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
Card Chronicle ranked Clemson fourth; that's the Tigers' best ballot. Eagle in Atlanta has Georgia Tech fifth. Big East Coast Bias has South Carolina 25th, which I actually find more amusing than annoying.
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, Oregon State) would all be at the top.
|1||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||7.65||4.50|
|2||Texas A&M Aggies||10.03||4.47|
|5||Illinois Fighting Illini||4.85||4.22|
Nice to see Georgia Tech come up and steal this spot from teams that have lost games against ranked teams because of the disparity between how great the Yellow Jackets have looked and how bad their opponents have been. Texas A&M takes Florida State's spot in the You Guys Are Supposed To Be Good But You Lost To A Better Team So Hmmm rankings, edging Oregon.
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||4.77|
|2||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||4.27|
|3||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||3.47|
|4||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||3.04|
|5||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||2.55|
Resume balloting, again: Black Heart Gold Pants has Michigan (!) fourth and South Florida sixth, while Frogs O' War has the Wolverines seventh and Bulls eighth. The commonality, here, is that both teams beat Notre Dame — which makes Notre Dame fans taking up the next two spots here a weird coincidence.
|1||Over The Pylon||Ball St. Cardinals||ballot||1.06|
|2||Inside The Shoe||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.20|
|3||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||1.30|
|4||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||1.35|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.41|
To be fair, I would be feeling pretty numb if my team had given up 402 yards in a 27-point win despite the other team not completing any passes. But Over The Pylon being on this list despite not submitting a ballot last week is even more impressive, somehow.
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 a shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
|1||SB Nation Atlanta||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||ballot||3.35|
|2||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||2.11|
|3||Voodoo Five||South Florida Bulls||ballot||1.64|
|4||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||1.38|
|5||The Key Play||Virginia Tech Hokies||ballot||0.84|
SB Nation Atlanta actually has Georgia Tech at 15th, just two spots ahead of where the Yellow Jackets landed, but the confusion about where to place Georgia Tech (and most of the bottom 10 teams in the top 25) means that their point value is actually closer to the positioning expected from a 19th-ranked team.
|1||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||-2.12|
|3||SpartyMSU||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||-0.96|
|4||Inside The Shoe||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||-0.13|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||-0.13|
Garnet and Black Attack has South Carolina 13th, far from the Gamecocks' lowest ranking, but while the 'Cocks have crept up the BlogPoll thanks to other teams' losses, their closest followers have seen fit to keep them in the middle tier of the top 25. And EDSBS adds a third top-three placement in Straight Bangin' for the 2011 season.
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||184|
|2||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||142|
|3||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||140|
|4||Tilting at Windmills||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||130|
|5||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||118|
Resume balloting is, of course, still potent here, because the lower tiers are especially susceptible to change early on in any season.
|1||SpartyMSU||Michigan St. Spartans||ballot||42|
|2||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||46|
|3||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||60|
|4||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||60|
|5||Baltimore Sports Report||Maryland Terrapins||ballot||66|
SpartyMSU: Where Florida State is ranked eighth despite its two losses, and South Carolina moves past Boise State after blowing out Vanderbilt. I won't pretend to understand, but I will say that I've stopped checking for this ballot for Wack Ballot purposes, because I'm pretty sure it will show up somewhere else.