Also Receiving Votes: Pittsburgh(1.3), Utah(1.2), Wisconsin(1.1), Missouri(0.7), Mississippi(0.5), Arkansas(0.5), West Virginia(0.4), Central Michigan(0.3), Texas Tech(0.3), Arizona(0.1), Oregon State(0.1), Georgia(0.1), Stanford(0.1), Michigan(0.0), Tulsa(0.0), Idaho(0.0), UAB(0.0), Tennessee(0.0),
Total Ballots: 98
The Alabama-Florida war gets incredibly tight, with Alabama holding on to the top spot by less than a tenth of a point despite having a solid edge in first place votes. Elsewhere, LSU and Auburn take precipitous falls, Houston re-introduces itself with a third win over a BCS opponent, Iowa leaps Ohio State to become the top-ranked Big Ten team, and Notre Dame slips in at the end for what figures to be a brief appearance.
Justify Your Existence
The main thing remains the same: for the third straight week, the Blogpoll is the only poll to even consider the possibility that someone other than Florida is the top team in the country: UF gets 50 of 60 AP first-place votes and 53 of 59 coaches' first-place votes.
Other differences of note:
- The bottom end of the top ten is considerably different than the coaches, with Cincinnati, Miami, and Iowa up 2, 3, and 3 spots from the coaches poll. TCU, LSU, and Ohio State take dives of similar length.
- Bloggers have gotten over that Boise State game a lot faster, ranking Oregon #13. The coaches have them #16. Nebraska and GT are also up three spots.
- Taking the hit for those folks are Oklahoma State (down 4) and Oklahoma (down 4).
Wack Ballot Watchdog
There aren't a whole lot of massive oddities this week, but there are a few:
- Some wag no doubt wanting to taunt the AP poll slipped Idaho in at #25. Idaho is 5-1 but lost its only game against a BCS opponent 42-23 to Washington.
- Orange::44 actually moved Georgia up three spots to #20 after they got beat up by a giant catfish.
- Buckeye Commentary is the first voter to violate Boise-Oregon lockstep causality by placing Oregon #12 and Boise #17. Several other bloggers are hovering near that step and will probably take it the next time Oregon beats a quality opponent at the same time Boise is running it up on, well, Idaho.
- Saurian Sagacity has a couple of weird votes: USF #6 and USC #16 , each of those at least three points worth of outlier in the appropriate direction.
- Black Heart Gold Pants is enthusiastic about… Pittsburgh ? #14, four slots higher than any other voter? Okay.
- I don't get people hanging on to Ole Miss, which is five games into the season and has nothing but wins over Vandy and a couple of nonconference tomato cans to its credit. The most egregious hanger-on is Corn Nation , which still has the Rebels #14 .
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.Highest stdev
Oklahoma, which still hasn't done anything but should be good, still takes the top spot here. See also: Kansas, Penn State.
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.
|1||Buckeye Commentary||Ohio State||3.62|
|2||The Tortilla Retort||Texas Tech||3.46|
The numbers here have fallen precipitously as the season has churned along and we finally have definitive answers on many teams: Ole Miss no, Iowa yes.The resume folk are still amongst us (SimonOnSports and Dawg Sports count themselves in that number) but are no longer sweeping the top spots.
This week the top spot goes to Buckeye Commentary , forcing me to remember my vow not to taunt Ohio State fans for as long as they can put a FOR SALE sign at Michigan Stadium. This is extremely difficult when 3-2 Oklahoma finds itself the #8 team in the country, up eight, and previously #10 Oklahoma State falls 13 places. Oklahoma beat Baylor by a lot. Oklahoma State squeezed by A&M. Did Buckeye Commentary confuse the two? Don't make fun. Be respectful. Don't make fun. Yes. Yes, it appears so. Why would you have either team in the top ten? I don't know. Sir.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||The Wolverine Blog||Michigan||1.01|
|2||WSU Football Blog||Washington State||1.18|
|3||We Will Always Have Tempe||Ohio State||1.25|
|4||The Bull Gator||Florida||1.26|
|5||The Only Colors||Michigan State||1.29|
The numbers dip here, too, with The Wolverine Blog—a repeat winner—threatening to dip under 1.00 error. But we're still a ways from the Ballot of Perfect Boredom: The Wolverine Blog doesn't make it past #6 (Cincinnati) before hitting a difference.
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 Coulter/Kos Award
|1||Subway Domer||Notre Dame||9.07|
|2||Big Red Network||Nebraska||6.55|
|3||FNF Magazine: The Blog||South Florida||6.21|
|4||The Joe Cribbs Car Wash||Auburn||6.04|
|5||Fantasy College Blitz||Oklahoma State||5.78|
For three quarters it looked like the CK Award would go a creepy 6-0 on the season (when measured against the spread). A torrential downpour shut down offenses, a last second fourth-and-goal conversion staked Missouri to a two-score lead, and no one was going anywhere. Then Blaine Gabbert threw two straight preposterous interceptions and Nebraska came roaring back. Curses. The award is now 5-1 on the year, and we have are answer to the question about the CK Award's ability to focus its rage: it does pretty well for two weeks but gets confused and wanders off just at the end.
Nebraska's poll surge has bounced many—though not all—of the enthusiastic Huskers out of the top five and leaves Notre Dame blog Subway Domer clear by more than two full points. Notre Dame, of course, has USC this week. The Trojans are favored by ten.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|1||Gobbler Country||Virginia Tech||-2.15|
|2||Foul Balls||Notre Dame||-1.93|
|3||The Rakes of Mallow||Notre Dame||-1.93|
|4||The Ciskie Blog||Wisconsin||-1.08|
|5||Rock M Nation||Missouri||-0.71|
With the nation's big early disappointments removed from either their latest wreckage or the polls themselves—I'm betting Georgia bloggers would have taken the opportunity to rank their team #121 of 120 if given the opportunity—the numbers here get very slim. Gobbler Country 's placement of VT #7, three slots below its final poll position, is your winner, with a couple of Notre Dame blogs that omitted the skin-of-their-teeth Irish from their ballots coming up just behind.
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.
|1||Tomahawk Nation||Florida State||154|
|4||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||126|
|5||Team Speed Kills||South Carolina||120|
If you're wondering how to win this award, try having Florida #20 and shooting the Gators all the way to #2 in the aftermath of their win against LSU, and then top that by having #25 Ohio State fly up to #13 and dropping #12 Georgia all the way out of the poll. Not that that last decision isn't justified, its just… why would you have Georgia #12 even before the events of Saturday?
|1||My Opinion on Sports||Oklahoma||26|
|2||Big Red Network||Nebraska||36|
|3||Husker Mike's Blasphemy||Nebraska||42|
|4||The Tortilla Retort||Texas Tech||44|
Some of this is prescience: both Nebraska blogs already had the Huskers higher than the general population and didn't have to move them that far after they beat Missouri. But some of it's just plain stubborn: you winner here didn't move anyone in his top ten except to flip LSU and Ohio State (8 and 6 now, respectively) and dropping Mississippi six spots, inexplicably leaving a team that hasn't done anything at all this year #17.
The poll discourages looking at your old ballot when you're coming up with your new one because that encourages the sort of intertia you see in a lot of these ballots; overvaluing your opinion last week tends to undervalue actual on-field events.