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2012 BlogPoll, Week 3: Alabama Tightens Grip On No. 1, USC Slips

Alabama's impressive victories over Michigan and Western Kentucky have the Crimson Tide rolling in the BlogPoll. The next two flip, as usual, and big upsets mean big intros by newcomers.


After adding a shutout of plucky Western Kentucky to its domination of Michigan, Alabama easily retains the No. 1 spot in this week's BlogPoll, matching its rankings in the AP and USA TODAY Coaches polls.

The Crimson Tide pulled down 88 of 94 first-place votes this week and earned a mighty 24.90 points per ballot average. No. 2 LSU, with two first-place votes, was nearly two full points per ballot behind, at 22.93.

USC comes in at No. 3, displaced by LSU, and exactly a point behind (21.93) the Tigers -- despite receiving three first-place votes, the second-most in this week's polling. Oregon is about another point back, at No. 4 with 20.89 points per ballot, and Georgia rises to No. 5 after spanking Missouri.

The only other team with a first-place vote is Ohio State, which checks in at No. 13. Kansas State makes an eight-spot leap to No. 12 after decimating Miami, Florida roars up to No. 17 from outside the top 25 after coming back against Texas A&M, and UCLA makes one of the biggest jumps in BlogPoll history, vaulting 21 spots to No. 20.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results after Week 2

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (88) 24.90 0.46 --
2 LSU Tigers (2) 22.93 2.33 Arrow_up 1
3 USC Trojans (3) 21.93 4.41 Arrow_down -1
4 Oregon Ducks 20.89 4.16 --
5 Georgia Bulldogs 19.16 2.38 Arrow_up 3
6 Florida St. Seminoles 17.45 6.06 Arrow_down -1
7 Oklahoma Sooners 17.00 5.38 --
8 Michigan St. Spartans 16.99 2.84 Arrow_up 1
9 West Virginia Mountaineers 16.33 4.98 Arrow_down -3
10 Clemson Tigers 15.49 3.49 --
11 South Carolina Gamecocks 14.80 4.78 Arrow_up 1
12 Kansas St. Wildcats 12.56 4.05 Arrow_up 8
13 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 12.48 5.44 Arrow_up 1
14 Virginia Tech Hokies 11.99 3.84 Arrow_up 2
15 Texas Longhorns 11.01 4.25 Arrow_up 3
16 TCU Horned Frogs 7.94 4.78 Arrow_up 6
17 Florida Gators 6.77 4.55 Arrow_up 10
18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6.66 4.71 Arrow_up 3
19 Louisville Cardinals 5.98 3.80 Arrow_up 4
20 UCLA Bruins 5.90 4.74 Arrow_up 21
21 Michigan Wolverines 5.34 4.44 Arrow_down -2
22 Stanford Cardinal 5.07 4.85 Arrow_up 3
23 Arizona Wildcats 4.90 4.99 --
24 Tennessee Volunteers 3.97 4.49 --
25 Ohio Bobcats 1.61 3.22 Arrow_up 1
Others Receiving Votes: BYU Cougars | Oregon St. Beavers | Baylor Bears | ULM Warhawks | Mississippi St. Bulldogs | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Boise St. Broncos | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Northwestern Wildcats | Utah State Aggies | Arkansas Razorbacks | Iowa St. Cyclones | Wisconsin Badgers | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | Cincinnati Bearcats | Air Force Falcons | South Florida Bulls | Central Florida Knights | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Louisiana Ragin Cajuns | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets | Wake Forest Demon Deacons | Duke Blue Devils | Rice Owls | Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders | Rutgers Scarlet Knights | Miami Hurricanes | North Carolina Tar Heels | N.C. State Wolfpack
Updated: Sep 11, 2012 10:00 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 94

Explore votes by team | Explore poll ballots by voter

Wack Ballot Watchdog

Ohio State's first-place vote isn't actually that much of an outlier: while One Bronco Nation Under God tossed the Buckeyes on top of the heap, two other blogs, resume hardliner Black Heart Gold Pants and formula-based voter CougCenter each slotted Ohio State in at No. 2. I don't agree with any of those rankings, and I'm especially skeptical of OBNUG using Academic Progress Rate (really!) to break ties between teams with two wins over FBS teams, but I can understand the philosophy behind rewarding teams that have played good teams and won.

I can't, however, understand the philosophy behind handing Air Force, a team that destroyed FCS Idaho State in Week 1 and failed to pull an upset against Michigan in Week 2, the No. 6 spot in a ballot. The Unbalanced Line did that.

Those Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks that pulled off the season's finest upset so far are also just on the outskirts of the top 25, which would make some sense ... if their cause weren't being helped substantially by Dan Shanoff (No. 2) and Blatant Homerism (No. 4) putting them in the top five. Crediting the Warhawks massively for their win, to my mind, also means thinking that Arkansas is still a great team; the BlogPoll in sum doesn't think so, and neither do I.

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 No. 25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Florida St. Seminoles 17.45 6.06
2 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 12.48 5.44
3 Oklahoma Sooners 17.00 5.38
4 Arizona Wildcats 4.90 4.99
5 West Virginia Mountaineers 16.33 4.98

Florida State has absolutely clobbered its first two foes by a staggering 124-3 count. (The Seminoles are also averaging more than six more yards per play than their competition.) But the problem is that FSU's two foes have been FCS teams: Murray State, a middling one in 2011, and Savannah State, which has thus far been outscored 139-0 in its seven quarters of play by the 'Noles and a one-loss Oklahoma State team. I can understand the worries about Florida State's margin of victory being a mirage.

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 7.78
2 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 4.22
3 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot 3.47
4 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 2.98
5 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot 2.97

Blah, blah, resume balloting, blah. BHGP has Alabama No. 1 like much of the rest of BlogPoll Nation, but here's the rest of its top 10, in order: Ohio State, Stanford, LSU, Georgia, Baylor, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Texas. Early-season resume ballots are weird.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.39
2 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 1.40
3 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot 1.44
4 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot 1.52
5 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 1.57

You may remember that Eleven Warriors topped this category last week, and that four Big Ten blogs were in the top five. It's incredible that the Big Ten blogs are the same ones, though, and it's almost like they're slow to react to macro-scale shifts in college football.

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 Barking Carnival Texas Longhorns ballot 6.99
2 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 6.06
3 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 5.34
4 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 3.20
5 Maize n Brew Michigan Wolverines ballot 2.66

Barking Carnival has Texas eighth. Frogs O' War has TCU 12th. Frogs O' War also has a horned frog shooting blood lasers from its eyes as its new logo, so, uh, I'm just gonna back away here.

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Sippin' on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot -0.91
2 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot -0.47
3 Cowboys Ride For Free Oklahoma St. Cowboys ballot -0.35
4 Pistols Firing Oklahoma St. Cowboys ballot -0.35
5 Blogger So Dear Wake Forest Demon Deacons ballot -0.09

Don't rank your team that gets votes from somewhere and you will end up winning Straight Bangin'. I promise. Congrats to Sippin' on Purple for being as bearish on its Wildcats as 79 other voters who did not rank Northwestern were.

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 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 442
2 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 168
3 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 162
4 SpartyMSU Michigan St. Spartans ballot 154
5 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 146

Hey look a resume ballot won an award for volatility huh that's neat.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 70
2 BCS Guru USC Trojans ballot 70
3 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 80
4 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot 86
5 The Daily Gopher Minnesota Golden Gophers ballot 90

Let's Go Rockets, if I'm remembering correctly, racked up a ton of wins in the stubborn section of Swing in 2011. It's also no shock that Eleven Warriors, one of the blogs most in line with conventional wisdom, ended up with a second recognition this week.

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