Tag:utah utes
Posted on: January 12, 2009 1:59 pm

Final Blogpoll: Florida, But Under Protest

This is all she wrote for 2008, folks:

Rank Team PPB Delta
1 Florida (46) 24.7 --
2 Utah (15) 23.4 6
3 Southern Cal (1) 22.7 2
4 Texas 22.4 1
5 Oklahoma 20.9 3
6 Alabama 19.6 2
7 Penn State 18.3 1
8 TCU 17.5 4
9 Ohio State 15.8 --
10 Oregon 15.2 5
11 Texas Tech 15.1 4
12 Georgia 13.3 4
13 Mississippi 13.3 5
14 Boise State 13.0 4
15 Virginia Tech 10.9 4
16 Oklahoma State 8.5 3
17 Oregon State 7.8 8
18 Cincinnati 7.4 7
19 Missouri 6.7 4
20 Iowa 6.5 6
21 Florida State 5.0 5
22 Georgia Tech 3.7 8
23 Michigan State 3.1 6
24 California 2.6 2
25 West Virginia 2.1 1

Also Receiving Votes: Brigham Young(1.4), Pittsburgh(1.1), LSU(0.6), Northwestern(0.5), Tulsa(0.5), South Carolina(0.4), Nebraska(0.4), Rice(0.2), Boston College(0.2), Arizona(0.1), Ball State(0.1), North Carolina(0.1), Vanderbilt(0.0), Notre Dame(0.0), Rutgers(0.0),

Total Ballots: 62

Votes by blog here, votes by team here.

A surge of Utah sympathy (and one Southern Cal outlier) is for naught, as Florida takes first with around 75% of the #1 votes. Utah does fly up to second, and if they want they can claim themselves the national champion of Alabama bloggers, who went for Utah 2-1. So you've got that going for you. Who need a playoff?

Wack Ballot Watchdog

I had a nanosecond of dark thought wherein I would program the system to ignore votes with Florida at #1 and throw the poll to Utah, not because the Utes actually deserve it—a review of the resumes shows Florida is the more accomplished team—but because, dammit, the Utes deserve something, and maybe so do USC and Texas. But, no, that's obviously a horrible idea.

Some people did go for Utah on their own merits, though, and some of them have made an effort at explanation. One of the poll's non-BCS participants—the "Frank Helps You Think It All Out," a Tulane blog—takes a stab:

[Utah has] four wins over Top 25 outfits, another win over an Air Force team that was around that level all season- and a trip to Michigan. That is better than a Big East slate- and no one would fuss at awarding a BCS Championship to Pittsburgh or Cincinnati had they run the table. …

Better BCS team schedules definitely have merit as a tie-breaker among undefeateds... notsomuch when one team has one or more losses than another. If Utah's schedule can pass a BCS League sniff test (i.e. at a minimum, this in conference plus out of conference slate is good as or better than some teams from the Big East)- and I think it does- well, they win.

I love the SEC as a League- and salute Florida's brilliant season. But, that strong SEC sort of gives Utah’s Alabama win, a long way away from Utah, on Tulane’s home field even more heft. The SEC had their chance to kill the undefeated Utes- and the Crimson Tide was handled by multiple scores from the get go.

I can go along with a lot of that, but the old "how many losses would Utah have with Florida's schedule?" is a stickler. It's probably at least one, isn't it? I respect Utah for getting by BYU and TCU and beating a pretty good Oregon State team, but the bottom drops out of Utah's schedule fast.

Meanwhile, one of the defeated Alabama blogs joins up:

I’m voting Utah #1. They’re undefeated. They scheduled a tough schedule and won their games. Without a playoff, they’ve done all we could ask any team to do: line up and beat the best schedule that they could put together. Not only did they beat TCU and Alabama (top 10 teams), they also beat BYU and Oregon State (top 25 teams).

The scheduled the winningest program in college football history and shouldn’t be held accountable for Michigan having a mostly unexpected lousy season. Their “patsy” played deep in the FCS playoffs. Their conference acquitted themselves well in the bowls. If we’re ever going to have a non-BCS Conference BCS champion, this should have been the year.

Points to the Utes for scheduling what looked like a respectable foe only to get this year's edition of Michigan, but they played who they played and the random permutations of an opponent do have impact when we're attempting to decide between near-indistinguishable teams.

The regular season is a playoff, I guess, except it's the kind of playoff where you can win all your games and still lose.

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

# Team StdDev
1 Boise State 4.1
2 Iowa 3.6
3 California 3.3
4 Oregon State 3.3
5 Oklahoma State 3.2

As per usual, a mid-major team wins here: Boise State is your most erratically ranked team of the 2008 season.

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   Avg Error
1 Eagle in Atlanta Boston College 2.82
2 The Hotty Toddy Blog Mississippi 2.77
3 The Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 2.66
4 The Nittany Line Penn State 2.65
5 Braves and Birds Georgia 2.44

The final Mr. Bold goes to Eagle in Atlanta and the primary reasons are the inexplicable insertion of Virginia Tech at #5, up ten from the final pre-bowl ballot, and the even more inexplicable exclusion of Oklahoma, which may have lost to Florida but obviously doesn't deserve to be ejected entirely. Double-check your ballots, folks.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 The Hoosier Report Indiana 0.88
2 Subway Domer Notre Dame 0.94
3 Football Outsiders Michigan 0.95
4 SportsFrog Central Michigan 1.01
5 Rock M Nation Missouri 1.04

It's been a Numb Existence indeed for Indiana fans of late, so perhaps it's unsurprising that The Hoosier Report takes the final award for the most boring (or prescient, depending on your point of view) ballot.

Also of note: this is an all-midwest affair.

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

# Blog Team   Bias
1 California Golden Blogs California 5.39
2 The Hotty Toddy Blog Mississippi 4.73
3 Bears Necessity California 4.39
4 Tomahawk Nation Florida State 3.98
5 Lake The Posts Northwestern 3.55

The CK Award lands in the hands of Cal Golden Blogs for ranking a 9-4 Pac-10 team with a very respectable nonconference schedule (Michigan State, Maryland, Colorado State) #18. Which is totally reasonable.

In fact, why isn't Cal a lot higher? They're behind a Big Ten team with the same record who they beat in week #1. Pac-10 in bowls: 5-0. Big Ten: 1-6. I hereby absolve Cal of any wrongdoing in their victory here; the fault is with the rest of the poll.

As for our weekly track of how CK Award winners are doing—poorly, usually—this time it didn't quite work out as week 15 winner Tomahawk Nation saw its Seminoles turn Wisconsin into cheese shrapnel. I suggest that the dire power of the CK Award was overcome by an ever direr power that was seriously pissed off that Wisconsin bailed on a game against Virginia Tech in favor of a game against might Cal-Poly, and then won that game only because Cal-Poly's kicker missed three(!!!) extra points.

In any case, the CK Award winners finish the year 4-10 against the spread even with the clunker at the end. Moral: don't overrate your team.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 Braves and Birds Georgia -5.31
2 Hey Jenny Slater Georgia -2.31
3 Mountainlair West Virginia -1.13
4 Saurian Sagacity Florida -0.71
5 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa -0.53

Though a couple of Georgia bloggers go 1-2 for the Straight Bangin’ award, an award of special merit goes to Saurian Sagacity, which, yes, voted its own crystal-football-toting Gators #2 behind Utah.

Elsewhere, the final SBA is a continuation of its usual theme: disappointment. Usually the winners here are teams that have underperformed relative to expectations, causing fans to overreact negatively. See: preseason national championship contenders reduced to non-BCS obscurity like Georgia and West Virginia.

(Note: I was going to make a snarky remark about Citrus/Something Or Other obscurity, but West Virginia's bowl game doesn't even have a non-corporate name to fall back on.)

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   Swing
1 Eagle in Atlanta Boston College 166
2 ScalpEm.com Florida State 140
3 Bleed Scarlet Rutgers 138
4 Card Chronicle Louisville 138
5 Rocky Top Talk Tennessee 138

When you eject Oklahoma from your ballot entirely you get quite a drop on Mr. Manic Depressive; EIA's victory is not a surprise.

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Braves and Birds Georgia 70
2 Falcon Nation Bowling Green 74
3 The Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 92
4 Dr. Saturday Southern Miss 96
5 Frank McGrath Tulane 96

Braves and Birds, winner of the SBA this week, also takes Mr. Stubborn, though a final swing of 70 is uncontroversial and the ballot itself reveals nothing pathological.

Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com