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College football BlogPoll, Week 9: Florida hops Oregon for No. 2, eats into Alabama lead

Florida's collection of wins over well-regarded SEC teams has helped get the Gators all the way up to No. 2 in the BlogPoll rankings. What's more, the Gators are chewing into what was once a massive stockpile of Alabama first-place votes.

Chris Trotman

Alabama's roll at the top of the BlogPoll continues unimpeded for the eighth straight week. But Florida is chomping into the Crimson Tide's lead.

After dispatching South Carolina in the Swamp to notch a third win over a team in the current BCS Top 20, the Gators jump Oregon and move up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the BlogPoll, garnering 16 first-place votes in the process. That tally still pales in comparison to Alabama's 55, more than twice as many as all other teams have combined, but the Gators could add another big win this weekend against Georgia and are compiling the nation's best résumé at this point.

At No. 3, Oregon finds itself looking up at SEC titans again, but the Ducks can take solace in this fact: Alabama's lead on Florida is larger than the one it had on Oregon last week, despite the Gators more than quintupling the three first-place votes the Ducks had then.

Kansas State (one first-place vote) and Notre Dame (four) round out the top five undefeated teams, and No. 6 LSU begins the segment of the poll devoted to undefeated teams with reps, untested squads (No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 12 Mississippi State) and one-loss teams (No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 10 USC, No. 11 Florida State) with recognizable brand names and recent big wins.

Full Week 9 BCS standings

Elsewhere in the poll, South Carolina's second loss sends it tumbling 10 spots to No. 17, two rungs behind the Georgia team it blitzed; Ohio moves up to No. 20, surely its highest-ever BlogPoll rankings; Texas A&M falls just one spot after losing at home to LSU; Boise State returns to the top 25 for the first time since being swept out by a loss to Michigan State; and West Virginia just barely holds on to a spot despite being outscored 104-28 in the last two weeks.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 8

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (55) 24.41 1.05 --
2 Florida Gators (16) 23.19 1.37 Arrow_up 1
3 Oregon Ducks (2) 23.00 1.22 Arrow_down -1
4 Kansas St. Wildcats (4) 22.61 1.75 --
5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1) 20.92 1.53 --
6 LSU Tigers 18.62 2.12 --
7 Oregon St. Beavers 18.15 2.70 Arrow_up 1
8 Oklahoma Sooners 17.48 2.95 Arrow_up 1
9 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 15.34 5.12 Arrow_up 1
10 USC Trojans 15.03 3.38 Arrow_up 2
11 Florida St. Seminoles 14.51 3.40 --
12 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 12.51 3.22 Arrow_up 2
13 Texas Tech Red Raiders 11.24 3.98 Arrow_up 5
14 Clemson Tigers 11.09 3.54 Arrow_up 2
15 Georgia Bulldogs 10.97 3.84 Arrow_down -2
16 Louisville Cardinals 10.35 3.72 Arrow_down -1
17 South Carolina Gamecocks 9.97 3.72 Arrow_down -10
18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 9.20 3.72 Arrow_up 1
19 Stanford Cardinal 7.19 4.02 Arrow_up 3
20 Ohio Bobcats 5.10 4.31 Arrow_up 3
21 Texas A&M Aggies 4.70 3.95 Arrow_down -1
22 Michigan Wolverines 4.15 3.18 Arrow_up 3
23 Boise St. Broncos 4.09 3.58 Arrow_up 3
24 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 1.82 2.56 Arrow_up 5
25 West Virginia Mountaineers 1.54 2.42 Arrow_down -8
Others Receiving Votes: Texas Longhorns | Wisconsin Badgers | Toledo Rockets | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Northern Illinois Huskies | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Duke Blue Devils | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Cincinnati Bearcats | TCU Horned Frogs | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | North Carolina Tar Heels | Arizona Wildcats | UCLA Bruins | Michigan St. Spartans | Nevada Wolf Pack | ULM Warhawks | N.C. State Wolfpack | Kent St. Golden Flashes | Northwestern Wildcats | Ball St. Cardinals
Updated: Oct 23, 2012 10:00 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 79 | Votes by team | Ballots by voter

Wack Ballot Watchdog

The usual cast and crew of résumé balloters have non-Alabama teams No. 1 (Florida gets the coveted MGoBlog No. 1 vote, and ones from Notre Dame blog One Foot Down and Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation; Black Heart Gold Pants remains in Notre Dame's corner; SB Nation's LSU and Georgia blogs are among the four votes for Kansas State), but the really weird first-place vote is for Ohio State, and that's because it comes from One Bronco Nation Under God, which is using FBS wins to rank teams. Ohio State's the only team with eight, because it a) is a Big Ten team in the worst year in recent memory for the Big Ten and b) scheduled well in non-conference play. (OBNUG's also using an interesting tiebreaker again: in-state players ... specifically, the fewest in-state players. I suppose that sort of counts as a measurement of recruiting degree of difficulty? Go read the methodology and see if you disagree with it being used like I do.)

I think having Georgia ahead of South Carolina on aggregate is weird, and that's part of why I fiddled with my ballot to keep the Gamecocks ahead of the Bulldogs: beating a team 35-7 is usually a good indication that one team is significantly better than the other. But two > one, especially when it comes to losses.

Oregon's only two first-place votes come from Good Bull Hunting and Cowboy Altitude. So a blog about the team that has a quarterback who was committed to Oregon before wising up and realizing that Johnny Football + Chip Kelly = death swoons from the entire college football chattering class and a Wyoming blog, respectively, believe in you, Ducks.

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, USF) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 15.34 5.12
2 Ohio Bobcats 5.10 4.31
3 Stanford Cardinal 7.19 4.02
4 Texas Tech Red Raiders 11.24 3.98
5 Texas A&M Aggies 4.70 3.95

Ohio State getting a semi-capricious first-place vote is going to help a team most think is around No. 10 top a standard deviation ranking, believe it or not.

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 3.35
2 The Champaign Room Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 2.97
3 Let's Go Rockets Toledo Rockets ballot 2.96
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 2.91
5 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 2.60

I genuinely thought BHGP was going to start falling out of contention for this spot when things settled down, but one team is helping it stay up top this week: Georgia. The Bulldogs are No. 15 in the BlogPoll, but nowhere to be seen on the BHGP ballot, as a result of their best win coming against Tennessee at home in a game in which they blew a 27-10 lead. The ripples from not ranking Georgia are other teams being even more out of their BlogPoll order than usual in the BHGP ballot.

Also, a warm welcome to the brand new The Champaign Room, which is piloted by Tom Fornelli, who has been listed as a Notre Dame voter for the last two years in this poll. TRAITOR.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Frank the Tank's Slant Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 1.14
2 Red and Black Attack Northern Illinois Huskies ballot 1.18
3 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 1.23
4 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.31
5 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot 1.35

Meanwhile, the other reliable Illinois voter has Wisconsin and Toledo ranked instead of West Virginia and Texas A&M, slating 23 of the 25 teams in the BlogPoll in his ballot. But Frank the Tank's accuracy in the top half of the ballot gives it a tiny edge here over Red and Black Attack, which ranks 24 of 25 BlogPoll teams.

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 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 6.11
2 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 4.03
3 The Ciskie Blog Wisconsin Badgers ballot 3.86
4 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 3.66
5 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 2.86

Nebraska is not ranked in the top 25, and finishes No. 29 in this week's balloting. Corn Nation has the Huskers No. 19, one of three votes for them at that level. So, yeah, richly deserved. (Nebraska's best win is either Wisconsin at home by a field goal or Northwestern on the road by a point.)

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Red and Black Attack Northern Illinois Huskies ballot -0.58
2 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot -0.29
3 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot -0.28
4 House of Sparky Arizona St. Sun Devils ballot -0.16
5 Sippin on Purple Northwestern Wildcats ballot -0.03

When a Northern Illinois blog can win Straight Bangin' by not ranking the Huskies, I think there's some math wrong here. (Also: I couldn't name a coach or a player on the NIU staff or roster before just now, and I like to think I know college football pretty well, but here's part of quarterback Jordan Lynch's bio: "Huskie Scholar holds a 3.0 GPA while majoring in kinesiology and exercise science. Enjoys watching movies. Admires Steve Prefontaine." "Enjoys watching movies.")

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 Addicted to Quack Oregon Ducks ballot 116
2 Frogs O' War TCU Horned Frogs ballot 100
3 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 94
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 92
5 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 84

With plenty of time on its hands after watching Oregon win (and reach a very early Point of No Return) on a Thursday for a change, Addicted to Quack must have realized it was going to get screwed in this category if Cincinnati lost: ATQ had the Bearcats No. 7 last week, in a very strange choice that I missed at the time. Then Cincy lost, dooming ATQ to Swing infamy; the Bearcats fell completely out of the blog's top 25.

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Bucky's 5th Quarter Wisconsin Badgers ballot 46
2 Garnet and Black Attack South Carolina Gamecocks ballot 46
3 BCS Guru USC Trojans ballot 56
4 BC Interruption Boston College Eagles ballot 56
5 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot 62

Bucky's 5th Quarter didn't even have a Wisconsin game to watch this weekend ... oh, wait, Wisconsin played Minnesota? Anyway, B5Q had tons of time to change up its ballot, and didn't, and took back the top spot in this ranking ... from The Daily Gopher, SB Nation's Minnesota blog.

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