|2||Boise State (1)||23.1||1.0||3|
Also Receiving Votes: Navy(1.5), Stanford(1.3), Oklahoma(1.1), Oklahoma State(0.9), Oregon State(0.8), Arizona(0.7), Arkansas(0.3), Virginia(0.3), Connecticut(0.2), Houston(0.2), Auburn(0.1), Florida State(0.1), Rutgers(0.1), Georgia(0.1), California(0.1), Northwestern(0.1), Middle Tennessee State(0.1), Air Force(0.0), North Carolina(0.0),
Total Ballots: 58
Plenty of movement, as you might expect when everyone plays someone about as good as everyone else, and one final non-move at the top: Alabama is #1 nearly unanimously, with one voter going for Boise State. Elsewhere, teams mostly move up or down three spots based on a bowl win or loss. Some got bigger bumps: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Utah, and Mississippi are biggest winners after surprising or flat dominant performances. Miami and West Virginia get the harshest treatment amongst the losers.
Justify Your Existence
So… yeah. By the end of the year there isn't much room for disagreement when all the results are in. And the coaches poll did, unfortunately, fix their goofy decision to put Penn State above an Iowa team with a tougher schedule, identical record, and head-to-head victory.
But there is one team with all the votes in every poll across the country: Alabama. And there is one poll in which the Crimson Tide ascended to #1 early and returned to it frequently: the Blogpoll. This poll was the only one in which the results on the field were enough to move the voters before the inevitable.
- The Blogpoll moves Boise State to #2; the coaches keep the Broncos behind Texas and Florida.
- West Virginia barely holds on at #25; they're #22 to the coaches.
As I said: at the end of the year it's hard to have a lot of disagreement. But in the event there was a choice to be made at the top, I think it's evident that bloggers are in a better spot to do that than the current folk.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
Now that the horn has tooted, the soft seamy underbelly of the thing:
- Your Boise State voter is Card Chronicle .
- The Auburner is still really into Arizona (#15) despite the Cats getting smashed by Nebraska.
- This is almost certainly an error: Beat Visitor puts Virginia, not Virginia Tech #11.
- From The Rumble Seat, who we'll see later, puts Cincinnati way down at #17 .
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation.
The Mountain West's season-long dominance of this category comes home with a final win. USC, meanwhile, figures to finish high up in this category's preseason balloting after an offseason of turmoil.
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||From The Rumble Seat||Georgia Tech||3.11|
|4||Hey Jenny Slater||Georgia||2.65|
|5||Frank Helps You||Tulane||2.56|
The state of Georgia dominates the final collection of weird ballots of the year, with GT blog From The Rumble Seat taking top honors. Nothing on their ballot is too weird until Virginia Tech shoots up to #8 from totally unranked. But the Hokies did club Tennessee something wicked and the VT vote from FTRS is a lot closer to the poll consensus, so this actually represents a correction.
The weird stuff actually starts at #15, where Oklahoma State—booted from the poll at large—resides despite losing to Ole Miss limply. Okie State is even up one spot. Then you've got Cincinnati crushed all the way down to #17, West Virginia up three to #20 after the Gator pratfall, and a number of other strange or indefensible postseason moves.
Mr. Numb Existence
|1||WSU Football Blog||Washington State||0.76|
|2||The Wolverine Blog||Michigan||0.77|
|4||Bama Sports Report||Alabama||0.81|
This award's season-long tendency to go to the cold, desparate stragglers at the end of I-A sees Washington State and Michigan bloggers finish one-two before descending into the fat and happy—at least mostly—realms of Nebraska, Alabama, and Florida blogs.
Our pointless, season-long quest for a Perfect Ballot, or at least a Perfect Top Two, ends with a thud: WSU Football blog goes with Texas and refuses to put Boise State higher than #5.
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/Krugman Award
|2||From The Rumble Seat||Georgia Tech||3.98|
|3||Double Extra Point||Nebraska||3.07|
For about the first time all year, the CK Award just plain failed. Block U was the last poll's winner and thus drew the whammy for its Poinsettia Bowl matchup against Cal. Utah covered a three point spread by seven. Last time's runner up was West Virginia, though, so there's that.
Block U wins here again, but the foul award has demonstrated no power to punish foes across season. Also there will be a preseason poll that supersedes this one when opening week 2010 rolls around. Congratulations, Utah. We would have gotten away with it without you meddling Samoans.
For the record, the CK Award finished the year 10-5 against the spread and 9-6 straight up. Some of those covers were beyond painful, though. They include Iowa's three-point win against Arkansas State and Nebraska's heart-crushing defeat in the Big 12 championship game. Sometimes the horror this thing doles out is not captured by numbers.
The Straight Bangin' Award
|2||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||-0.90|
|4||From Old Virginia||Virginia||-0.26|
This place is a ghost town, with the winner and second place turning in ballots that had their teams one spot below the poll consensus; the remainder omitted their teams that didn't really deserve votes anyway. Half-hearted congratulations to Dan Shanoff.
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.
|2||Clone Chronicles||Iowa State||162|
|4||BC Interruption||Boston College||150|
|5||Over the Pylon||Ball State||150|
I'm not really sure how one gets swings this big on the last week of the season, but here they are. Simon on Sports is your winner with an impressive 164.
I guess it helps when you shove Penn State at #24 only to see them beat LSU, or have Miami #13 only to have them lose to previously unranked Wisconsin. UNC—inexplicably included last time—is gone after being #16, and the only team on the ballot not to move is #1 Alabama.
|1||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa||62|
|3||One Bronco Nation Under God||Boise State||84|
|5||Frank Helps You||Tulane||92|
On the flip site, Black Heart Gold Pants wins this by an epic margin of 22. This is borne of two things: faith in the Big 10 and general calmness (or apathy) in the face of a bowl result. BHGP already had three Big Ten teams in the top ten and Wisconsin chilling comfortably at #17 and had to move those teams far less than virtually everyone else in the poll. And then there's stuff like Cincinnati dropping a single slot or Miami just three or GT just two and LSU actually moving up and so forth and so on.