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2012 BlogPoll, Week 8: Florida can't top Oregon, Alabama tightens grip again

After returning to action in Week 7, Alabama's grip on the No. 1 spot in the BlogPoll got a bit tighter. And after returning to earth against Texas Tech, West Virginia dropped like a rock.

Steve Dykes - Getty Images

Alabama's still No. 1 in the Week 8 BlogPoll, using a 42-10 win over Missouri to make up for ground lost during their Week 6 bye. And the Crimson Tide doesn't have West Virginia to watch out for anymore, not after Texas Tech's 49-14 obliteration of the Mountaineers.

West Virginia was No. 4 in the Week 7 BlogPoll, and earned one first-place vote; now, the 'Eers are No. 17, falling 13 spots after their belly flop in Lubbock, and appear no higher than No. 9 on any ballot.

Losses by West Virginia and former No. 3 South Carolina freed up top-five slots, and while Oregon stayed at No. 2 after a bye, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Kansas State, and No. 5 Notre Dame all took advantage and slid up two spots.

No. 6 LSU is the highest-ranked one-loss team, one spot ahead of now-No. 7 South Carolina; No. 8 Oregon State stays ahead of No. 9 Oklahoma despite the Sooners' strafing of Texas. And No. 10 Ohio State receives the only first-place vote awarded to a team outside the top five of this week's poll.

BCS standings coverage and reaction

In the lower regions of the poll, Texas Tech ends up at No. 18, one spot behind West Virginia, and undefeated Ohio takes the No. 23 spot for a second straight week.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 8

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (62) 24.64 0.84 --
2 Oregon Ducks (3) 23.32 2.15 --
3 Florida Gators (5) 22.51 1.40 Arrow_up 2
4 Kansas St. Wildcats (1) 21.99 1.36 Arrow_up 2
5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4) 21.30 1.81 Arrow_up 2
6 LSU Tigers 18.41 2.62 Arrow_up 3
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 17.05 2.44 Arrow_down -4
8 Oregon St. Beavers 16.89 3.84 Arrow_up 2
9 Oklahoma Sooners 16.18 3.44 Arrow_up 5
10 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 16.05 5.49 Arrow_down -2
11 Florida St. Seminoles 13.70 3.69 --
12 USC Trojans 13.09 4.69 --
13 Georgia Bulldogs 11.82 3.12 --
14 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 10.21 3.80 Arrow_up 5
15 Louisville Cardinals 9.88 3.84 Arrow_up 3
16 Clemson Tigers 9.49 4.56 --
17 West Virginia Mountaineers 9.29 3.46 Arrow_down -13
18 Texas Tech Red Raiders 8.32 4.52 Arrow_up 13
19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 7.33 3.61 Arrow_up 1
20 Texas A&M Aggies 6.36 3.70 Arrow_up 4
21 Cincinnati Bearcats 6.24 3.87 --
22 Stanford Cardinal 4.83 4.42 Arrow_down -5
23 Ohio Bobcats 3.96 4.92 --
24 TCU Horned Frogs 2.11 2.61 Arrow_up 4
25 Michigan Wolverines 1.76 2.58 Arrow_up 4
Others Receiving Votes: Boise St. Broncos | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Iowa St. Cyclones | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Northwestern Wildcats | Nevada Wolf Pack | Texas Longhorns | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Northern Illinois Huskies | Toledo Rockets | North Carolina Tar Heels | UCLA Bruins | Wisconsin Badgers | Virginia Tech Hokies | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Ball St. Cardinals | Utah State Aggies | Kent St. Golden Flashes
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 76 | Votes by team | Ballots by voter

Wack Ballot Watchdog

At least there's a method to the madness that spurred One Bronco Nation Under God (OBNUG if you're nasty) to vote Ohio State No. 1:

Therefore, to choose the best from the FBS, I am building my BlogPoll based on one very big factor: Wins over fellow FBS teams. When ties happen within my standings (and they happen A LOT early in the season), I will do the tie-breaking based on a new stat every week, like, say, points allowed or Dairy Queens per capita. You know, real scientific stuff.

This week's tie-breaking method is the lowest average of recruiting stars. In other words, who does the most with the least (no offense, Sun Belt)? The suggestion came courtesy of a comment, and the data came courtesy of MKingery who computed Rivals star ratings for the past four years for every team in the country and then came up with an overall average. Complete details are here, if you're into spreadsheets.

I will never not support the use of unorthodox methodologies to fill out BlogPoll ballots (the only guideline is picking the best 25 teams each week), but this one seems kind of silly to me: ranking Ohio State No. 1 based on wins over FBS teams without considering that the Buckeyes have beaten a lot of bad ones (best win: Nebraska at home?) is a head-scratcher, just like ranking Ohio No. 2 (yep!) for its six wins (best win: at Penn State) and giving it a bump over the four other teams with six FBS wins -- Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, and South Carolina -- because of terrible recruiting. But, hey, it's an interesting methodology.

The BlogPoll in sum putting West Virginia one spot ahead of Texas Tech is just funny: we tried to get the Red Raiders in front of a team they just walloped! But Tech is on 70 of 76 ballots, and WVU is on 74 of 76; even if Texas Tech had gotten four No. 18 votes from those six remaining ballots, instead of none (yes, the No. 18 team got zero 18th-place votes), it would only have shaved about half a point off WVU's edge.

Of Notre Dame's four first-place votes, two come from résumé voters Black Heart Gold Pants and CougCenter; Florida gets its five from Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation, SEC blog Team Speed Kills, Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats, Notre Dame blog One Foot Down, and Matt Hinton of Sunday Morning Quarterback and CBS Sports' Eye on College Football. The Irish are making the typically skeptical eat their words with a strong set of wins; the Gators are forcing their rivals and poll competitors to respect their big wins.

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, Boston College) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 16.05 5.49
2 Ohio Bobcats 3.96 4.92
3 USC Trojans 13.09 4.69
4 Clemson Tigers 9.49 4.56
5 Texas Tech Red Raiders 8.32 4.52

This isn't purely based on OBNUG's first-place vote, but it's close. Note that Ohio finishes second; that's purely OBNUG's doing.

Ballot Math

First up are The Chip Kelly Award for Boldness and Jim Tressel's 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.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 4.55
2 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 3.42
3 Addicted to Quack Oregon Ducks ballot 3.31
4 State Of The U Miami Hurricanes ballot 3.28
5 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 2.98

Texas Tech's highest ranking, No. 8, comes on the BHGP ballot; so does Texas A&M's, at No. 10. Iowa State moves up a spot after losing (I don't get that, either) and Georgia falls six spots after not playing.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 OurDailyBears Baylor Bears ballot 1.01
2 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot 1.15
3 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.26
4 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.39
5 Pistols Firing Oklahoma St. Cowboys ballot 1.44

It takes serious effort to even approach 1.00 for average error, so kudos to OurDailyBears for being the Nate Silver of the BlogPoll this week. Your prize is Baylor's defense, which is still horrendous.

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.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 5.89
2 BCS Guru USC Trojans ballot 2.91
3 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 2.87
4 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 2.24
5 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 1.70

Frogs O' War has TCU No. 18, one of three votes for the Frogs at that rung, but that's a lot higher than the No. 24 ranking they got and the 2.11 points-per-ballot average they boast.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot -0.64
2 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot -0.42
3 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot -0.42
4 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot -0.22
5 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot -0.04

I feel like I've written that not ranking your team that gets votes is a great way to win C/K 20 times in the last two years, but that's what SOP and BON and BarkCar all do here. (I'm on familiar terms with all of our voting blogs.) (No, but there's probably something wrong with how this category's numbers are run.)

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.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 132
2 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 124
3 Addicted to Quack Oregon Ducks ballot 122
4 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 116
5 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 116

Fornelli had West Virginia No. 4 and dropped it all the way to No. 24, the largest single delta for the 'Eers on the week. (And The Valley Shook! had them at No. 1 in Week 7, the lone voter to do so, but dropped them to No. 14 from there.) The shockwaves from that helped Fornelli take the top spot here.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 The Daily Gopher Minnesota Golden Gophers ballot 50
2 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 66
3 The Ralphie Report Colorado Buffaloes ballot 70
4 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 74
5 BC Interruption Boston College Eagles ballot 78

50 is a very small number for Swing that one only gets when one drops West Virginia only eight spots after a 49-14 loss. Congrats on that.

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