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College Football BlogPoll Week 14: Auburn And Oregon, Neck And Neck

The race for number one is a split decision between Auburn and Oregon, Boise State no longer has to complain about being left out of the BCS, voters almost cease being wack entirely, and the fey power of the CK Award wrecks yet more hopes and dreams.

Breathing down your neck, Oregon
Breathing down your neck, Oregon

It moves. With Auburn playing Alabama it had to move, but it did a bunch of other stuff too thanks to one Kyle Brotzman and Oklahoma reclaiming the Big Twelve South for the final time. Boise State lost its chunk of first place votes and got booted out of the top ten, but hangs on at No. 11 -- Nevada does not get past them. While that usually rankles, the game was an overtime thriller decided by shanked field goals and Boise State's wins over Virginia Tech and Hawaii (Nevada's loss) seem to justify the placement.

Elsewhere, Oklahoma State and Alabama get crushed for losing to good competition. Both fall seven spots. We welcome two conferences back to the poll this week: the MAC, which I'm sure is delighted to be involved in this sentence, and the Big East, which I'm sure isn't. WVU re-enters the poll at 23; Northern Illinois debuts at 24.

Finally, we've got an interesting situation at the top of the poll: Auburn has wrested a plurality of first place votes away from Oregon after their thrilling comeback win over Alabama but because more voters slot Auburn behind TCU Oregon manages to hold on to No. 1… barely. Less than a tenth of a point separates the two. That seems about right.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 14

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Oregon Ducks (34) 24.79 2.87 --
2 Auburn Tigers (36) 24.70 2.82 --
3 TCU Horned Frogs (2) 23.20 2.30 Arrow_up 1
4 Wisconsin Badgers 21.62 2.26 Arrow_up 1
5 Stanford Cardinal 21.35 2.01 Arrow_up 1
6 Ohio St. Buckeyes 19.46 1.62 Arrow_up 2
7 Arkansas Razorbacks 18.58 1.60 Arrow_up 5
8 Michigan St. Spartans 18.30 1.54 Arrow_up 3
9 Oklahoma Sooners 15.66 1.92 Arrow_up 4
10 LSU Tigers 14.93 2.62 Arrow_down -3
11 Boise St. Broncos 14.93 3.00 Arrow_down -8
12 Nebraska Cornhuskers 13.25 2.09 Arrow_up 4
13 Nevada Wolf Pack 12.68 3.24 Arrow_up 6
14 Missouri Tigers 12.11 2.64 --
15 Virginia Tech Hokies 12.06 3.05 --
16 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 10.38 1.86 Arrow_down -7
17 Alabama Crimson Tide 10.35 2.76 Arrow_down -7
18 South Carolina Gamecocks 9.25 3.13 --
19 Texas A&M Aggies 9.17 2.33 Arrow_down -2
20 Florida St. Seminoles 6.14 1.20 Arrow_up 1
21 Utah Utes 4.07 1.87 Arrow_up 2
22 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 3.77 1.89 Arrow_up 3
23 West Virginia Mountaineers 2.66 1.74 Arrow_up 4
24 Northern Illinois Huskies 2.20 2.57 Arrow_up 2
25 Arizona Wildcats 1.18 1.64 Arrow_down -5
Others Receiving Votes: Hawaii Warriors | Maryland Terrapins | Central Florida Knights | Navy Midshipmen | N.C. State Wolfpack | Connecticut Huskies | San Diego St. Aztecs | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Air Force Falcons | Notre Dame Fighting Irish | Washington St. Cougars | Iowa Hawkeyes | Pittsburgh Panthers | USC Trojans | South Florida Bulls | North Carolina Tar Heels
Updated: Dec 1, 2010 8:35 AM PST

Total Ballots: 71

Explore votes by team
Explore poll ballots by voter

Justify Your Existence

The BlogPoll is far closer to giving number one to Auburn than either the AP or coaches poll. Whereas our margin is tiny and actually sees Auburn take more number one votes, the AP goes 36-23 for Oregon, the coaches 46-10. With Auburn taking on South Carolina in the SEC championship game next weekend while Oregon meets 5-6 Oregon State, there is a strong possibility Auburn is No. 1 in the BlogPoll going into bowl season.

Other differences follow. BlogPoll loves:

No. 7 Arkansas (8 AP, 8 Coaches)
No. 13 Nevada (14 AP, 17 Coaches)
No. 17 Alabama (19 Coaches)

BlogPoll hates:

No. 8 Michigan State (7 AP, 7 Coaches)
No. 11 Boise State (9 AP, 10 Coaches)
No. 15 Virginia Tech (12 AP, 11 Coaches)
No. 18 South Carolina (16 Coaches)

A lot more disagreement this week than last thanks to bloggers' ongoing skepticism of Virginia Tech and willingness to jump on the Nevada bandwagon.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

There really aren't any. This section looks for votes that are plain bizarre relative to the rest of the poll and while win-everything-this week blog Hog DB has an number they're covered in the Mr. Bold section. A review of every vote shows this as a roundup of outliers:

  • Block U votes Northern Illinois 11th. Next most impressed voter has them 18th.

Other than that all I've got is a handful of Michigan State skeptics. Five voters have MSU 14th or worse.

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.

Most Disagreement

# School Points/blog SD
1 Nevada Wolf Pack 12.68 3.24
2 South Carolina Gamecocks 9.25 3.13
3 Virginia Tech Hokies 12.06 3.05
4 Boise St. Broncos 14.93 3.00
5 Oregon Ducks (34) 24.79 2.87

As soon as Brotzman missed those kicks and Nevada's guy didn't they were guaranteed to shoot to the top of this list.

Ballot Math

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.

Mr. Bold

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 2.96
2 Buckeye Commentary Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 2.66
3 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 2.16
4 Hey Jenny Slater Georgia Bulldogs ballot 1.90
5 The Bull Gator Florida Gators ballot 1.90

Last week's winner repeats and before I even look at the ballot I'll venture a guess as to why: extremely low rankings for all mid-major teams. Survey says… bingo. TCU languishes at No. 14, Boise and Nevada are 16 and 17. Northern Illinois and UCF do feature at the tail end of the ballot, but Hog DB is the only voter to place TCU lower than sixth.

Other oddities: Arkansas vastly higher than deserved (fourth, ahead of Stanford and Wisconsin), LSU still fifth, Stanford outside of the top ten, Alabama still at No. 12… a severe case of WOO SEC going on.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Baltimore Sports Report Maryland Terrapins ballot 0.84
2 Red Cup Rebellion Mississippi Rebels ballot 0.88
3 Hail to the Orange Illinois Fighting Illini ballot 1.08
4 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot 1.24
5 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 1.25

The Baltimore Sports Report regains its place as the most conformist/psychic/accurate/boring voter in all the land, but our Quest for the Perfect Ballot stops right at the top, where Auburn sits instead of Oregon.

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.

The CK Award

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 4.42
2 AtomicTeeth Missouri Tigers ballot 3.89
3 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot 2.94
4 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.93
5 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 1.75

I was busy looking up Utah's score last week until I remembered that, hey, it wasn't the Utes for the first time in a very long time. It was Oklahoma State, which turned a 2.5 point spread in their favor into a six-point loss. In the process they lost what would have been their first-ever (and last-ever) bid to the Big 12 Championship Game to their most hated rival. Yes, CK Award, yes. This is your fey power. The CK Award is now 7-5 on the year and though it spent most of the year wondering if Utah covered, it has:

  • destroyed Miami football, getting Randy Shannon fired,
  • watched the Utes implode against TCU and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks, and
  • stolen Oklahoma State's division championship.

What the award lacked in consistency this year it made up for in sheer power.

Our winner this week is again Hog DB, which places Arkansas an egregious fourth. Arkansas is done until their bowl game, whereupon the CK Award will implode them. Maybe.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 Blatant Homerism Oklahoma Sooners ballot -2.66
2 Baltimore Sports Report Maryland Terrapins ballot -0.39
3 Rakes of Mallow Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot -0.08
4 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot -0.08
5 Voodoo Five South Florida Bulls ballot -0.01

It takes dedication to continue under-voting your team even after they win a division title in thrilling fashion, so props to the ironically named Blatant Homerism for continuing its skepticism.

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.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 100
2 The Bull Gator Florida Gators ballot 92
3 BC Interruption Boston College Eagles ballot 92
4 Corn Nation Nebraska Cornhuskers ballot 90
5 OverThePylon Ball St. Cardinals ballot 88

Hey, it's Hog DB again. Yay.

Mr. Xanax

# Blog Team Ballot Swing
1 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 56
2 Tom Fornelli Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot 60
3 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 64
4 Addicted To Quack Oregon Ducks ballot 64
5 The Daily Gopher Minnesota Golden Gophers ballot 68

BCS Guru takes the crown for being exceptionally kind to Boise (down only three) and other losers and exceptionally high on Nevada, which was already ninth on his ballot and rises to fifth. Other shuffling is minimal. Result: award.