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College Football Rankings: BlogPoll Has Alabama, Not Oklahoma, As 2011 Preseason No. 1

The first BlogPoll of the 2011 college football season rates Alabama ahead of Oklahoma, the No. 1 team in the AP and USA Today polls.

TUSCALOOSA AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide is tackled by Nick Fairly #90 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA AL - NOVEMBER 26: Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide is tackled by Nick Fairly #90 of the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It is game week in the college football universe — we're under 100 hours away from the first game of the 2011 college foorball season — and that means we're about ready to start arguing about the vagaries and inaccuracies of preseason polls.

The preseason version of the 2011 BlogPoll may have plenty of said inaccuracies, but it also has something neither the AP nor USA Today preseason poll has: Alabama as the nation's No. 1 team.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Results for Week 1

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (42) 24.33 2.21 --
2 Oklahoma Sooners (39) 24.01 1.28 --
3 Oregon Ducks (7) 22.39 1.44 --
4 Boise St. Broncos (1) 19.32 4.17 --
5 Florida St. Seminoles (2) 19.26 2.84 --
6 LSU Tigers 18.87 3.93 --
7 Stanford Cardinal (1) 18.33 3.83 --
8 Wisconsin Badgers 17.20 3.52 --
9 Nebraska Cornhuskers 15.95 3.67 --
10 Texas A&M Aggies 15.49 3.92 --
11 Virginia Tech Hokies 14.54 4.34 --
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 14.22 3.23 --
13 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 14.04 4.64 --
14 Arkansas Razorbacks 11.95 4.11 --
15 TCU Horned Frogs 11.30 4.65 --
16 Michigan St. Spartans 8.01 4.38 --
17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7.97 4.85 --
18 Georgia Bulldogs 7.41 5.00 --
19 Ohio St. Buckeyes 6.59 4.50 --
20 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 5.30 4.43 --
21 West Virginia Mountaineers 4.64 3.86 --
22 Missouri Tigers 4.29 3.79 --
23 Florida Gators 4.15 4.51 --
24 Auburn Tigers (1) 2.89 4.42 --
25 USC Trojans 2.62 3.64 --
Others Receiving Votes: Texas Longhorns | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Utah Utes | Pittsburgh Panthers | Houston Cougars | Iowa Hawkeyes | Michigan Wolverines | BYU Cougars | Nevada Wolf Pack | South Florida Bulls | Central Florida Knights | Clemson Tigers | Miami Hurricanes | Air Force Falcons | Northern Illinois Huskies | Tennessee Volunteers | Mississippi Rebels | Vanderbilt Commodores | Boston College Eagles | Northwestern Wildcats | Southern Miss. Golden Eagles | Iowa St. Cyclones | SMU Mustangs | Kentucky Wildcats | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Colorado Buffaloes | San Diego St. Aztecs | Akron Zips | Washington Huskies | N.C. State Wolfpack | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets | Arizona Wildcats | Troy Trojans | Cincinnati Bearcats | Ohio Bobcats | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | North Carolina Tar Heels | ULM Warhawks | Florida Atlantic Owls | Oregon St. Beavers | Hawaii Warriors | Navy Midshipmen | Dixie State Rebels | UAB Blazers | Baylor Bears
Updated: Aug 29, 2011 10:23 AM EDT

Total Ballots: 92

Explore votes by team | Explore poll ballots by voter

The Crimson Tide edge Oklahoma by a very slim margin, leading a top five that Oregon, Florida State, and Boise State round out. The Seminoles are No. 4 with two first place votes, a sign that voters may be looking for Jimbo Fisher's team to compete for a national championship this year.

The transparent BlogPoll balloting helps us do things like calculate the average ranking points for a team, which, in this poll, shows that there's a top two, a No. 3 team, a No. 4-7 muddle, a clearly defined top 15, and a lot of confusion thereafter.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

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, Army) would all be at the top.

# School Points/blog SD
1 Georgia Bulldogs 7.41 5.00
2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7.97 4.85
3 TCU Horned Frogs 11.30 4.65
4 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 14.04 4.64
5 Florida Gators 4.15 4.51

No one has any idea whether Georgia's a top 15 team or the No. 25 team, which seems fair, because I don't think anyone outside of Mark Richt's office or Dawg Sports knows which Bulldogs offensive linemen are healthy.

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.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 TomahawkNation Florida St. Seminoles ballot 10.11
2 BCS Guru UCLA Bruins ballot 4.73
3 EDSBS Florida Gators ballot 4.39
4 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa Hawkeyes ballot 4.03
5 NittanyWhiteOut Penn St. Nittany Lions ballot 3.70

Tomahawk Nation is going to factor into a lot of these categories this week because it ranked teams by strength of schedule as a way of protesting preseason polls. That No. 1 vote for Auburn? Yeah, it's Tomahawk Nation.

BCS Guru earns an honorable mention for doing all sorts of unorthodox things: South Carolina is No. 5, TCU No. 6, Utah No. 10, Wisconsin No. 21, and SMU No. 25 in his poll.

Those two make Black Heart Gold Pants driving Virginia Tech's bandwagon look a little less divergent.

# Blog Team Ballot Avg Error
1 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 1.30
2 SpartyMSU Michigan St. Spartans ballot 1.60
3 Mountain West Connection Utah Utes ballot 1.74
4 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot 1.78
5 Voodoo Five South Florida Bulls ballot 1.89

Congrats to Hog Database for ranking every team in its ballot that ended up in the BlogPoll except for USC. You win a groupthink Groupon*! (*Not really. And aren't all Groupons groupthink Groupons? Think about it, group.)

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 Pistols Firing Oklahoma St. Cowboys ballot 8.96
2 Inside The Shoe Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 5.41
3 NittanyWhiteOut Penn St. Nittany Lions ballot 4.35
4 Hog Database Arkansas Razorbacks ballot 4.05
5 Eleven Warriors Ohio St. Buckeyes ballot 3.41

Pistols Firing has Oklahoma State No. 3, which is impressive bullishness on a team that lost its leading rusher and savant offensive coordinator from last year. Congrats to you, first CKA winner of 2011!

And I now know that I cannot wait for Ohio State blogs to overrate their Buckeyes on a weekly basis, claiming that the world at large is biased, is holding Jim Tressel's sins against Luke Fickell's team, and just doesn't get how good Joe Bauserman is. Maybe Brian Cook picked the right year to get out of this game?

# Blog Team Ballot Bias
1 TomahawkNation Florida St. Seminoles ballot -19.26
2 EDSBS Florida Gators ballot -2.15
3 Burnt Orange Nation Texas Longhorns ballot -2.12
4 The Key Play Virginia Tech Hokies ballot -1.54
5 Eye On CFB Notre Dame Fighting Irish ballot -0.97

HEY LOOK GALS AND GENTS IT'S TOMAHAWK NATION NOT RANKING ITS OWN TOP-FIVE TEAM and thus winning the Straight Bangin' Award by a margin we will almost certainly not see matched this season.

EDSBS and Burnt Orange Nation's ballots not ranking Florida and Texas, both marginal top 25 teams, are good enough to take second and third in this category. Why? Because it's the beginning of the year, and most voters haven't had their foolish optimism about their team's sun-kissed dream season shattered yet.

And now, housekeeping: due to the new, faster turnaround for and transition of management of this year's BlogPoll, I'll be continuing to manage the poll rolls and accepting new applications to be part of the BlogPoll through this Thursday, September 1, at 7 p.m. Eastern. If you run a college football blog or write about college football on the Internet and want to commit to participating in and discussing the 2011 BlogPoll on a weekly basis, email me at andrew.b.hutchins at gmail dot com, subject line BlogPoll, and let me know why you're interested in the BlogPoll, your team affiliation, and your credentials as soon as possible.

Furthermore, you can find the BlogPoll on Facebook and Twitter, and I promise I will heckle you discuss rankings with you there just as I will in the comments.