After claiming the 2011 BCS National Championship in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game on Monday night, Alabama made a clean sweep of the final USA Today poll of the 2011 college football season and earned all but five first-place votes in the last AP Poll of the year. The final BlogPoll of 2011 tells a slightly different story.
Alabama's on top, earning the lion's share of the first-place votes in the BlogPoll, but both Oklahoma State and LSU earned first-place votes of their own. Perhaps more interestingly, Oklahoma State actually tied LSU for second place in the BlogPoll, earning the same number of points per blog.
Oregon and Arkansas round out the top five in this post-bowl poll, Michigan State re-enters the top 10, and Kansas State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and USC all take tumbles.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
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||Alabama Crimson Tide (39)||25.18||3.50|
|5||Oklahoma St. Cowboys (6)||23.98||3.28|
Speaking of the Trojans, that's a downright absurd level of disagreement on a 10-2 team that beat the No. 5 team in the BlogPoll on the road. USC's been a regular in this column since the Trojans went from Lane Kiffin's vanity project to legitimately terrifying outfit some time around midseason, with some voters very high on them and some leaving them off ballots entirely. We'll see if that holds in 2012.
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||In The Bleachers||North Carolina Tar Heels||ballot||2.36|
|2||Dawg Sports||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||2.28|
|3||Braves & Birds||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||2.21|
|4||Smoking Musket||West Virginia Mountaineers||ballot||2.18|
|5||Crimson and Cream Machine||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||2.16|
In The Bleachers' top five: LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Arkansas, Oklahoma State. That's not actually Arkansas' highest ranking, but it's Oklahoma State's lowest. It's also not actually that bold for the somewhat chatty blogger: he had Oregon, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State 3-4-5 in his final regular season ballot.
|1||Block U||Utah Utes||ballot||0.96|
|2||Card Chronicle||Louisville Cardinals||ballot||1.04|
|3||Red Cup Rebellion||Mississippi Rebels||ballot||1.06|
|4||BCS Know How||USC Trojans||ballot||1.16|
|5||For Whom the Cowbell Tolls||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||ballot||1.32|
Block U is one of a number of voters who have submitted ballots every week this year — BCS Guru, Big East Coast Bias, Black Shoe Diaries, Bucky's 5th Quarter, Card Chronicle, Corn Nation, Crimson and Cream Machine, Dawg Sports, Falcon Blog, Let's Go Rockets, On the Banks, Sox & Dawgs, and Alligator Army (read: the person writing these words) all had perfect records, as did Dan Shanoff and Tom Fornelli — but its last BlogPoll ballot of the season isn't as boring as you would expect: Oklahoma State is on top in it.
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||Conquest Chronicles||USC Trojans||ballot||6.39|
|2||BCS Know How||USC Trojans||ballot||4.39|
|3||Smoking Musket||West Virginia Mountaineers||ballot||4.39|
|4||Crimson and Cream Machine||Oklahoma Sooners||ballot||1.08|
|5||Hammer and Rails||Purdue Boilermakers||ballot||0.98|
The final BlogPoll of this year: where ranking your own 10-2 team highly after a bowl season without that team gets you unjustifiable flack for homerism, as does rewarding your team for setting a new bowl record for points. As for Hammer and Rails ranking Purdue, I'll let those fine folks explain.
|1||Dawg Sports||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||-3.04|
|2||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||-1.53|
|3||Braves & Birds||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||-1.04|
|4||Team Speed Kills||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||-0.43|
|5||Dr. Saturday, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BCS||Southern Miss. Golden Eagles||ballot||-0.16|
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||Alligator Army||Florida Gators||ballot||106|
|2||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||94|
|3||Dawg Sports||Georgia Bulldogs||ballot||84|
|4||In The Bleachers||North Carolina Tar Heels||ballot||80|
|5||Block U||Utah Utes||ballot||80|
So I do the voting for Alligator Army, and I thought I put together a solid, fairly consistent post-bowl ballot: I kept LSU as my No. 1 team, moved a few teams around, and rewarded West Virginia for its record-breaking bowl victory. Little did I know that I actually made a few massive moves (sorry, Kansas State and Virginia Tech: you should have played each other, and been less bad) that would "win" me a category.
Remember that list of names of blogs that had been part of the BlogPoll each week? It's a little less surprising that three of them are in this list than that there are four in the prior list, I think, but it is amusing to see that consistency can breed both more consistency and a tendency toward chaos.