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Archive for the ‘Blogger Poll’ Category

SEC Final Comments and Championship Week

In Blogger Poll, Bowls, College Football, Post-game, Preview, SEC Wednesdays on December 4, 2015 at 10:10 PM

Obviously I missed Wednesday for SEC Wednesdays, but it’s not a full week coming up anyway. I thought I should give people something to read for the morning even if you don’t stay up this late wherever you are.

There are no moral victories, or so we’re told. But I’m going to claim some anyway.

I have no idea why in the world Alabama couldn’t run out the clock instead of scoring an extra touchdown with 26 seconds left against Auburn. Saban, Kiffin, Malzahn, and Muschamp have got to be making enough money that they don’t need to be shaving points. It was a nine-point game or less almost the entire night apart from a 47-second period in the third quarter. It’s just so bizarre how the universe keeps conspiring to make me look bad whatever I pick Auburn to do or not do.

I read some commentary later that maybe it was to build the Heisman resume, but that’s still cheap in my book.

Including the point spread, Kentucky led 28-7 at the half, well beyond my wildest expectations for the team; but the Wildcats were outscored 31-0 in the second half. And I thought LSU had some bad halves this month.

LSU was only beating the spread by half a point until their late touchdown.

I was only far off in two of them.

I really got Tennessee/Vandy wrong. I’m really surprised the Vols managed 53 points against such a good defense. The Vols had averaged just 23 points per game over the last three games against powerhouses South Carolina, Missouri, and North Texas.

Florida/Florida St. was pretty far off. The Gators usually play better for that game even in a mediocre season, but maybe they’re just no good at this point.

I made the correct against the spread picks with South Carolina (who was pretty good against the spread this season despite all the losses), Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Georgia. Georgia was only correct by a couple of points, so I’m grateful not to lose all the close ones.

I finish 28-43 against the spread. It was generally positive the last few weeks, but the 1-7 mark two weeks ago killed me. If it weren’t for that, I would have finished a respectable 43%. That erased all my gains over the last month, so I basically stayed at 40%.

I improved to 55-22 in picking winners. The only one I got wrong was Florida. I guess I should have known, but Florida St. wasn’t inspiring confidence either.

Hard to believe, but it's actually been 6 years since Alabama last played Florida for the SEC Championship.  The #2 Tide beat the #1 Gators 32-13 to get revenge for losing in the reverse situation in 2008.

Hard to believe, but it’s actually been 6 years since Alabama last played Florida for the SEC Championship. The #2 Tide beat the #1 Gators 32-13 to get revenge for losing in the reverse situation in 2008.

Tomorrow, Alabama is favored by 17.5. The Tide beat a similar team by 29 when it beat Missouri to win the SEC last year. Picking the Gators hasn’t been a good bet in a while, so I’ll pick Alabama minus the points.

Alabama likes to score points that don’t matter too. In addition to the end of the Auburn game I mentioned above, they also poured it on in the championship last year, winning the fourth quarter 21-0.

I decided against picking the bowl games. I like to judge teams on what they’ve done and what kind of seasons they’re having, but a lot of times that goes out the window for bowls. Some very good teams have the ball bounce the wrong way a couple of times, and then they don’t care when it’s time for bowl prep because they’re not playing for a championship. Whereas other teams who aren’t very good are thrilled to be in a given bowl (or any bowl) and anxious to prove themselves. I’ve had good seasons picking bowl teams in the past, but I just don’t think it’s in keeping with this series.

I’m not sure what exact format this will take next year. I might just concentrate on games within the conference and keep it going the whole season.

Just to comment on the playoff briefly, if there is an upset of either Clemson or Alabama, I’ll be very interested to see whether Stanford (assuming they win) or Ohio St. finishes higher. It seems like the winner of the Big Ten and Oklahoma have their spots already.

I also did a top 10 poll on another site with some other bloggers. You can check that out here.

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All-Blogger Poll Week 14

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on December 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM
See below

See below

Sorry for getting this out late. I was waiting on responses longer than usual (there are only 5 entries this week), and it just wasn’t possible to do this yesterday.

It’s contentious toward the top. Voters that really like Auburn seem not to like Ohio St. and vice-versa. Florida St. still got a majority of the #1 votes and got #2 votes from both Ohio St. supporters for the top spot. No. 4 was interesting because two voters had Alabama two spots below Missouri, and another had the Tide two spots ahead of the Tigers. The other two had Alabama one vote ahead. So three of the five did think the Tide should go in front. That’s why they’re on top in the image above.

The Pac-12 seemed to benefit the most from the absent voters as all three teams moved up significantly even though they were all supposed to win and Oregon didn’t even look good doing it.

LSU was “jumped” by Central Florida and Oklahoma, who also gained four spots. LSU remained #17 though.

Duke went up the most, improving by six spots. Clemson and Wisconsin fell eight spots apiece after losses. Fresno St. only fell six spots.

Georgia also gained several spots to get into the top 25 (although they’re still significantly behind those other Bulldogs in points), in part because of Auburn’s win over Alabama. Georgia is ranked for the first time since Week 7. Texas rejoined the top 25 after a two-week absence. It didn’t take much to become ranked this week, as there was a lot of disagreement over who the last couple of teams should be.

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]

1 Florida St. (3) 123 [ 1 ]
2 Auburn 118 [ 4 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 117 [ 3 ]
t4 Alabama 108 [ 2 ]
t4 Missouri 108 [ 6 ]
6 Stanford 92 [ 9 ]
7 Okie St. 86 [ 7 ]
8 Mich. St. 84 [ 8 ]
9 S Carolina 81 [ 10 ]
10 Arizona St. 78 [ 11 ]
11 Oregon 72 [ 15 ]
12 Baylor 68 [ 13 ]
t13 N. Illinois 66 [ 14 ]
t13 Clemson 66 [ 5 ]
15 Oklahoma 56 [ 19 ]
16 UCF 53 [ 18 ]
17 LSU 51 [ 17 ]
18 Duke 37 [ 24 ]
19 UCLA 36 [ 23 ]
20 Wisconsin 34 [ 12 ]
21 Louisville 27 [ 21 ]
22 Fresno St. 21 [ 16 ]
23 Georgia 12 [ ]
24 Texas 9 [ v ]
25 Notre Dame 5 [ 25 ]

Others receiving votes: Minnesota 4 [ v ], USC 3 [ 22 ], TX A&M 3 [ 20 ], U. Miami 3 [ ], Iowa 2 [ ], Washington 2 [ ], Ball St. 1 [ v ]

(v = received at least one vote last week but was unranked)

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13

All-Blogger Poll Week 13

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on November 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM
One Alabama voter short of another tie at #1. Another change at #4, but it will probably be temporary again.

One Alabama voter short of another tie at #1. Another change at #4, but it will probably be temporary again.

As mentioned in the caption, the only thing that changed at the #1 spot is that we have one fewer Alabama voter this week, so the Tide fell behind by a single point after being tied last week. Baylor fell all the way to #13. Ohio St. picked up some support as a result and is now only a couple of points behind Alabama. But I have a feeling that will change if Alabama beats Auburn, the new #4, anyway.

After beating UCLA and securing the Pac-12 South title, Arizona St. went up as much as Baylor went down. The Bruins fell 8 spots, even falling behind USC.
LSU’s win over Texas A&M only moved the Tigers up two spots, but it moved the Aggies down 7 spots. This enabled Northern Illinois to remain #14 despite Arizona St. moving ahead of the Huskies.

Notre Dame, which beat USC, is a distant 25th after Duke, but it’s an improvement over receiving no votes last week.

The “others receiving votes” category is still small with only three teams, two of which only got a single point apiece.

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]

1 Florida St. (3) 145 [ t1 ]
2 Alabama (1) 144 [ t1 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 142 [ 3 ]
4 Auburn 127 [ 5 ]
5 Clemson 117 [ 7 ]
6 Missouri 115 [ 8 ]
7 Okie St. 113 [ 9 ]
8 Mich. St. 102 [ 10 ]
9 Stanford 86 [ 12 ]
10 S Carolina 83 [ 11 ]
11 Arizona St. 80 [ 20 ]
12 Wisconsin 77 [ 16 ]
13 Baylor 76 [ 4 ]
14 N. Illinois 75 [ 14 ]
15 Oregon 67 [ 6 ]
16 Fresno St. 66 [ 16 ]
17 LSU 64 [ 19 ]
18 UCF 55 [ 18 ]
19 Oklahoma 44 [ 21 ]
20 TX A&M 40 [ 13 ]
21 Louisville 34 [ 22 ]
22 USC 28 [ 23 ]
23 UCLA 27 [ 15 ]
24 Duke 22 [ 25 ]
25 Notre Dame 8 [ ]

Others receiving votes: Minnesota 5 [ 24 ], Ball St. 1 [ v ], Texas 1 [ v ]

(v = received at least one vote last week but was unranked)

No longer receiving votes: Ole Miss

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12

All-Blogger Poll Week 12

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on November 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM
There were nearly two ties in the top four alone, but Ohio St. edged Baylor by one point for #3.

There were nearly two ties in the top four alone, but Ohio St. edged Baylor by one point for #3.

Apologies for getting this out so late. Sometimes real life gets in the way of maintaining a blog. It was about 1 a.m. on the east coast last night when I tried to prepare this and then realized there was no good reason to try to post it when most people weren’t going to see it until today anyway.

We have our first tie for #1. The only reason Florida St. is on the left in the picture above and listed first is they got 3 first-place votes, and Alabama only got two. The reason it ended up a tie anyway was only one voter had Alabama lower than second. Two had Florida St. lower. Ohio St. got two first-place votes, but four voters ranked the Buckeyes either fourth or fifth. The other voter had them #3. Baylor, despite no first-place votes, finished only a point behind.

There were seven voters again this week, the same voters as there were last week.

Even though I think Stanford is more deserving than Oklahoma St., it’s still a good top 10. It might be the ten teams you’d least want to play. On the other hand, Texas A&M might have been in there by that standard, especially if you’re more defense-minded.

I’d say the teams the voters least knew how to handle were UCLA, Wisconsin, LSU, and Arizona St. One reason for Wisconsin/Arizona St. is Wisconsin should have been able to kick a winning field goal had the quarterback spike the ball instead of put the ball down while in a kneeling motion. Some voters treat that almost as a Wisconsin win; but if you look at the official wins and losses, it’s a good out-of-conference win for a team that also plays in a strong conference. The apparent strength of the win over Wisconsin (not to mention the win over USC) has increased lately.

UCLA has a similar profile to Arizona St., but their non-conference win was without controversy (although against an apparently weaker team), and the Bruins don’t have a non-conference loss. There isn’t a strong win to get excited about for UCLA. On the other hand, the losses are nothing to be ashamed of either.

LSU was put in its place in the fourth quarter against Alabama (after failing to take advantage of playing better than the Tide did in the first half), but the other losses were really close games on the road, so you can look at them as losses to mediocre teams (at least teams with their own share of losses) or good games that just didn’t get a good result. Even though Georgia’s team was depleted by injuries and had a bad-looking loss to Vanderbilt, it looked like they were going to beat Auburn last week. They just had one of their more fortunate performances against LSU. I’m not saying anything bad about Georgia. I’m sure they’d be happy to take the loss to LSU in exchange for a few more wins. Ole Miss had three conference games in October that were decided by a single possession apiece. It so happened they won the one against LSU. The only other loss is to Alabama the week before the loss to Auburn. The Rebels played both teams from Alabama on the road.

Speaking of Ole Miss, the Rebels were the last team out at #26. Interestingly enough, two teams are coached by former Ole Miss head coaches made their first respective appearances. Ed Orgeron is the interim head coach at USC; and David Cutcliffe, his predecessor at Ole Miss, is the head coach of Duke. Maybe if Cincinnati win a couple more games, yet another team coached by a former Ole Miss head coach (Tommy Tuberville in that case) will make it in.

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]

t1 Florida St. (3) 168 [ 1 ]
t1 Alabama (2) 168 [ 2 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 160 [ 3 ]
4 Baylor 159 [ 5 ]
5 Auburn 137 [ 6 ]
6 Oregon 133 [ 7 ]
7 Clemson 125 [ 8 ]
8 Missouri 117 [ 9 ]
9 Okie St. 111 [ 13 ]
10 Mich. St. 109 [ 12 ]
11 S Carolina 96 [ 10 ]
12 Stanford 95 [ 4 ]
13 TX A&M 83 [ 11 ]
t14 N. Illinois 77 [ 15 ]
t14 UCLA 77 [ 17 ]
16 Fresno St. 75 [ 14 ]
17 Wisconsin 68 [ 18 ]
18 UCF 55 [ 16 ]
19 LSU 51 [ 20 ]
20 Arizona St. 46 [ 19 ]
21 Oklahoma 42 [ 21 ]
22 Louisville 39 [ 25 ]
23 USC 29 [ v ]
24 Minnesota 26 [ 22 ]
25 Duke 19 [ v ]

Others receiving votes: Ole Miss 7 [ ], Texas 2 [ 23 ], Ball St. 1 [ v ]

(v = received at least one vote last week but was unranked)

No longer receiving votes: U. Miami [24], Nebraska, Va. Tech, Texas St., Notre Dame

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11

All-Blogger Poll Week 11

In Blogger Poll, College Football on November 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM
Alabama is still two points ahead of Florida St.  Stanford's win over Oregon propelled it into 4th, just barely ahead of Baylor.

Alabama is still two points ahead of Florida St. Stanford’s win over Oregon propelled it into 4th, just barely ahead of Baylor.

The committee changed a little bit. The non-partisan voter did not submit an entry, but we have a new voter who is a Ohio St. supporter. She’s a true believer, but I thought her poll was fairer than how some of the others voted. Also, the Oklahoma voter is back. This is the first time there have been 7 voters.

The top 10 is about as expected despite the change. Alabama still clings to a lead by two points since the more pro-Ohio St. voters put Florida St. #3; and conversely, the pro-Florida St. voters put Ohio St. below #2. Oregon fell from third to seventh, and the rest of the top 9 remained in the same order.

Baylor was placed in the top 4 by 5 of the 7 voters, but Stanford is still getting high marks as well, so the Cardinal stayed ahead. Both have substantial competition ahead though, so it’s far from settled.

South Carolina jumping into the top 10 was unexpected from looking at last week though. I didn’t expect Oklahoma to tumble all the way to #21, although I do think it’s hard to argue that the big names from #20 to #25 should be any higher. Nothing else was too weird, except maybe for Texas A&M and Michigan St. going ahead of Oklahoma St. and Fresno St.

USC went up to 28th on the strength of just one vote. It is the Trojans’ first vote since I started this a few weeks ago. After the win over Miami, which had been 11th, Virginia Tech also rebounded well from failing to receive any votes last week.

Duke, Texas St., and Notre Dame (obviously) are also only receiving the support from one voter apiece. Ball St. got support from two, but that may change given the Cardinals’ loss yesterday.

I’m a little surprised that Ole Miss hasn’t gotten a vote yet. The Rebels lost to #1, #6, and #11 and have beaten #20 and #23. South Carolina, on the other hand, is #10 but has lost to two teams, neither of which has any points in the poll at the moment. The Gamecocks did beat #9 and #16, so they should be ahead by at least a little; but I don’t see them as (at least) 23 spots higher than Ole Miss.

LSU probably varied the most from poll to poll. The Tigers were ranked as high as #13 but were also un-ranked by two of the voters.

Anyway, despite some serious disagreements, I’m satisfied with the overall result.

All-Blogger Top 25

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]

1 Alabama (2) 170 [ 1 ]
2 Florida St. (3) 168 [ 2 ]
3 Ohio St. (2) 162 [ 4 ]
4 Stanford 149 [ 5 ]
5 Baylor 147 [ 6 ]
6 Auburn 134 [ 7 ]
7 Oregon 127 [ 3 ]
8 Clemson 124 [ 8 ]
9 Missouri 113 [ 9 ]
10 S Carolina 99 [ 15 ]
11 TX A&M 95 [ 17 ]
12 Mich. St. 89 [ 18 ]
13 Okie St. 83 [ 13 ]
14 Fresno St. 76 [ 14 ]
15 N. Illinois 70 [ 16 ]
16 UCF 62 [ 21 ]
17 UCLA 54 [ 19 ]
18 Wisconsin 53 [ 20 ]
19 Arizona St. 49 [ 23 ]
20 LSU 47 [ 12 ]
21 Oklahoma 41 [ 10 ]
22 Minnesota 34 [ v ]
23 Texas 28 [ 25 ]
24 U. Miami 24 [ 11 ]
25 Louisville 22 [ v ]

Others receiving votes: Nebraska 16 [ v ], Va. Tech 11 [ ], USC 9 [ ], Duke 7 [ v ], Ball St. 6 [ ], Texas St. 5 [ v ], Notre Dame 1 [ 22 ]

(v = received at least one vote last week but was unranked)

No longer receiving votes: Texas Tech [24], BYU, Houston, Michigan, Georgia

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10

All-Blogger Poll Week 10

In Blogger Poll, College Football on November 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM
The top 4 is unchanged, although Florida St. has inched closer to Alabama.

The top 4 is unchanged, although Florida St. has inched closer to Alabama.

So our Oklahoma fan didn’t get a ballot in this time, and the Michigan voter is back. That means (A) votes for Minnesota and Nebraska and (B) Texas and Texas Tech almost falling out of the top 25. Also, Wisconsin jumped a few spots, although they may have anyway. Oklahoma St. seems to have gotten an extra boost with no Oklahoma voter. Three of the six voters placed the Cowboys in the top 11.

According to the poll, these are the participants in three big games this weekend (not too different from the BCS standings):

Tonight:
(3) Oregon @ (5) Stanford
(10) Oklahoma @ (6) Baylor

Saturday:
(12) LSU @ (1) Alabama (blog on the LSU/Alabama series)

Most of the other games should be boring, although Arizona hosts (19) UCLA, (20) Wisconsin hosts BYU, (21) Central Florida hosts Houston, and Utah hosts (23) Arizona St. Two teams who received votes will play when Michigan hosts Nebraska. Also, Virginia Tech, which just fell out of the top 25, travels to (11) U. Miami.

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]

1 Alabama (3) 145 [ 1 ]
2 Florida St. (2) 143 [ 2 ]
3 Oregon 137 [ 3 ]
4 Ohio St. (1) 134 [ 4 ]
5 Stanford 122 [ 5 ]
6 Baylor 119 [ 7 ]
7 Auburn 105 [ t9 ]
8 Clemson 93 [ 12 ]
9 Missouri 88 [ 8 ]
10 Oklahoma 85 [ t9 ]
11 Miami 83 [ 6 ]
12 LSU 72 [ 11 ]
13 Okie St. 69 [ 20 ]
14 Fresno St. 64 [ 16 ]
15 S Carolina 64 [ 13 ]
16 N. Illinois 61 [ 15 ]
17 TX A&M 59 [ 17 ]
18 Mich. St. 57 [ 21 ]
19 UCLA 46 [ t25 ]
20 Wisconsin 31 [ t25 ]
21 UCF 27 [ t18 ]
22 Notre Dame 22 [ v ]
23 Arizona St. 21 [ v ]
24 Texas Tech 18 [ 14 ]
25 Texas 17 [ t23 ]

Others receiving votes: Louisville 12 [ 22 ], BYU 12 [ v ], Minnesota 8 [ ], Houston 8 [ v ], Nebraska 8 [ ], Michigan 6 [ t18 ], Duke 6 [ v ], Georgia 4 [ v ], Texas St. 4 [ v ]

(v = received at least one vote last week but was unranked)

No longer receiving votes: Va. Tech [ t23 ], Oregon St.

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9

All-Blogger Poll Week 9

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on October 31, 2013 at 1:16 PM

top-4-week-9b

I’m going to try to post something tomorrow about inter-conference games, but it might have to wait until next week. For now, I’m just going to post and discuss the All Blogger Poll.
We have one new voter taking the place of one we had the last couple of weeks, so we’re staying at six. I’ll just say that the voter who happens to be a Michigan fan didn’t submit a proper ballot and was probably not being serious anyway. Anyway, we have a new voter who’s not particularly a fan of any team, but he’s from Texas and now lives in the Los Angeles area, if that means anything.
The returning voters, if you’re not familiar, are an LSU fan, a Texas fan, an Oklahoma fan, a Notre Dame fan, and I (I’m an LSU fan who almost exclusively relies on my computer formula). I’m still open to allowing new voters, I think one with allegiances on either coast might be a nice addition. I think we all try to be reasonably fair, but there are some cases where bias creeps in a bit.

I’ll just make a few comments about the changes to the rankings in this poll and will post them below.

Although Florida St. is 6 points behind for #1, they could challenge if not overtake Alabama with an impressive performance this weekend. They are third, fourth, and fifth on three of the ballots, so they could become #1 by passing up the Tide in two of them or even by being second in all three. Alabama is idle this week after winning by 25 points or more in the last 6 consecutive weeks. On the other hand, none apart from Ole Miss are top 25 candidates in the near future (and Ole Miss hasn’t even gotten any votes here yet). Oregon and Stanford are also idle before facing one another on Nov. 9.

Oklahoma went from #15 into the top 10 after beating Texas Tech, which only fell 4 spots. South Carolina improved from #19 to #13 by beating Missouri, which fell from #4 to #8.
Virginia Tech and UCLA went from Nos. 13 and 14 to barely staying in the top 25 after losses.

There are less clear reasons, other than the change in voters, but there were also notable ranking improvements for Miami, Northern Illinois, Michigan, Michigan St., and Louisville.

BYU, Duke, and Texas St. are all receiving a vote for the first time this week. Houston received votes after not getting any last week. 33 teams got votes this week, and a total of 6 others have gotten votes in prior weeks.

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]
1 Alabama (4) 146 [ 1 ]
2 Florida St. (2) 140 [ 2 ]
3 Oregon 139 [ 3 ]
4 Ohio St. 134 [ 5 ]
5 Stanford 120 [ 7 ]
6 Miami 115 [ 9 ]
7 Baylor 111 [ 6 ]
8 Missouri 106 [ 4 ]
t9 Oklahoma 95 [ 15 ]
t9 Auburn 95 [ 8 ]
11 LSU 84 [ 12 ]
12 Clemson 82 [ 11 ]
13 S Carolina 74 [ 19 ]
14 Texas Tech 62 [ 10 ]
15 N. Illinois 58 [ 20 ]
16 Fresno St. 52 [ 17 ]
17 TX A&M 46 [ 16 ]
t18 UCF 45 [ 18 ]
t18 Michigan 45 [ 24 ]
20 Okie St. 43 [ 21 ]
21 Mich. St. 36 [ ]
22 Louisville 21 [ ]
t23 Texas 18 [ 25 ]
t23 Va. Tech 18 [ 13 ]
t25 UCLA 14 [ 14 ]
t25 Wisconsin 14 [ ]

Others receiving votes: BYU 10 [ ], Houston 10 [ ], Notre Dame 10 [ ]. Arizona St. 3 [ ], Duke 2 [ ], Texas St. 1 [ ], Oregon St. 1 [ 23 ]

No longer receiving votes: Georgia, Nebraska [22], Florida

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

All-Blogger Poll Week 8

In Blogger Poll, College Football on October 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Same voters as last week: two LSU fans (myself included), one Texas fan, one Oklahoma fan, one Michigan fan, and one Notre Dame fan.

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]
1 Alabama (5) 148 [ 1 ]
2 Florida St. (1) 140 [ 5 ]
3 Oregon 138 [ 2 ]
4 Ohio St. 130 [ 4 ]
5 Missouri 129 [ 7 ]
6 Baylor 115 [ 10 ]
7 Stanford 109 [ 11 ]
8 Auburn 106 [ 20 ]
9 Miami 100 [ 8 ]
10 Clemson 97.5 [ 3 ]
11 Texas Tech 88 [ 16 ]
12 LSU 78 [ 6 ]
13 Va. Tech 66 [ 15 ]
14 UCLA 58 [ 9 ]
15 Oklahoma 55 [ 17 ]
16 TX A&M 54.5 [ 13 ]
17 Fresno St. 47 [ 18 ]
18 N. Illinois 42.5 [ 22 ]
19 S Carolina 40 [ 14 ]
20 UCF 37 [ ]
21 Nebraska 35 [ 23 ]
22 Okie St. 28 [ ]
23 Oregon St. 19 [ ]
24 Michigan 15 [ ]
25(t) Texas 15 [ 25 ]
25(t) Mich. St. 15 [ 24 ]

Others receiving votes: Louisville 14.5 [ 12 ], Wisconsin 11 [ ], Arizona St. 7 [ ], Notre Dame 5 [ ], Florida 5 [ 21 ], Georgia 2 [ 19 ]

No longer receiving votes: Houston, Washington, Utah, N’western

Previous rankings:
Week 6
Week 7

Once again, Texas’s only votes came from the Big X(II) participants, and it was enough to sneak them into the top 25, although they’re tied with Michigan St. The first unranked team, Louisville, received votes from four voters.

This week was the first time I’ve gotten ties on ballots, and I got them from two people. As far as I know, the AP still allows it, so I’m allowing it.

Auburn jumped 12 spots, but they still didn’t take over as the top one-loss team. That honor goes to Stanford.

Texas Tech gained 5 spots but not nearly enough to compete with most of the undefeateds. The Red Raiders will face four of the current top 25, so the opportunities to advance should be there.

Once again, we had a change of the top 5 with the last ballot. Ohio St. edged Missouri for #4.

In another regional eccentricity, the two Midwestern voters were the only two to place Nebraska higher than 23rd.

Rankings Reminder and Discussion

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on October 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Once again, please submit your top-25 rankings, by Wednesday if possible. I may not post them until Thursday evening though. If you’re like me and most of your sports time is reserved for the weekend, feel free to leave a comment on my most-recent rankings blog (once all the games are finished) on any of the various sites I post it. I haven’t had anyone (that I know of) contact me through intheneutralzone.com, which I allow to republish my WordPress blog automatically, but that’s the only place where I might not get it.

I will post my full rankings tomorrow, but in the mean time, you can view my computer ratings. I haven’t gotten many views this week, I guess because Kenneth Massey didn’t get around to posting most of the ratings until right around the time the BCS standings were released. I will vote Alabama #1, for what it’s worth; but for the time being, Missouri is ahead slightly in my formula.

If you don’t want to post your personal rankings publicly, that’s fine. Send a message. If you do post them publicly, I’ll take that as an invitation to discuss your list (and I think anyone else should be able to discuss it). For the vast majority of teams, I don’t have a comment. For instance, the team I primarily cheer for is LSU. An argument could be made that LSU is a top-10 team. Another argument could be made that because LSU has two losses, particularly combined with the fact that the two teams that beat LSU each have multiple losses, LSU should not be in the top 25. I don’t have a problem with either. Just please try to be aware of major results and treat similarly situated teams similarly. If you don’t, I’m still going to accept your list, at least for the foreseeable future; but I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request.

For instance, if team A (one loss) beats team B (only loss), and team B beats team C (only loss), and your ranking looks like this:
10. Team A
11. Team C

18. Team B

I might say something resembling, “Say, kind sir, were you aware that Team B beat Team C?” I would be especially inclined to ask that if Team C didn’t beat anyone ranked #25 or higher and obviously Team B did. We can also add in the fact that Team B beat Team D, who beat Team A.

Turning to the first release of the BCS ratings, I predicted Florida St. to come out ahead of Oregon, and they did. They deserve it. They probably won’t deserve to be #2 in December, but why don’t we put off talk about who deserves what in December at least until late November? I’m not going to do that right now though, because the talking heads on ESPN have already opened the door to that discussion.

ESPN suggested that Florida St.’s rating was “a mirage” and that Oregon would surpass the ’Noles. They may well be right about the latter, but I don’t understand why people insist on looking at it that way. Being #2 at the moment in no way suggests that you should remain #2 or higher as long as you don’t lose. In recent history (the last 10 years) there have been Michigan, Cal, and USC fans, among others, who never seemed to understand this; and I think the failure to address this was part of the problem with the public perception of the BCS.

If voters maintain the same confidence in Oregon that they have currently, I do think Oregon will surpass Florida St., but it won’t be because Florida St. isn’t more deserving at this moment.

I don’t see a legitimate dispute there. Florida St. is the only team to beat Clemson, one of two teams to beat Maryland, and one of two teams to beat Pittsburgh. That should count for more than being one of three teams to beat Washington and one of three teams to beat Tennessee. To be clear, I do think beating Washington is more impressive than beating Pittsburgh and beating Tennessee is more impressive than beating Maryland, but Oregon hasn’t had a third big decent win yet. Washington St. isn’t terrible, but they’re no Clemson. Florida St.’s best three wins certainly should put them above Oregon.

B-but Florida St. plays in the ACC and Oregon plays in the Pac-12 North!

I didn’t make the schedule. Oregon does have quite a remaining slate, but they shouldn’t get credit for the teams they’re GOING TO play, only the ones they’ve played so far. I don’t think rankings (especially not computer rankings, which comprise 1/3 of the formula) should assume when picking teams that they’re all going to win their remaining games. But I definitely anticipate being on the Oregon bandwagon (at least as a proponent of them being in the title game) if they beat UCLA next week and then after the following bye week win the following games in consecutive weeks: @Stanford, Utah, @Arizona, Oregon St., and the Pac-12 South champion (Most likely, the winner of UCLA and Arizona St.).

However, if they can’t do it and Florida St. keeps winning, then the current BCS standings will be vindicated. In my view, the reason a team derives more credit for a more difficult schedule is it overcame greater odds of losing. So it’s not a knock on Florida St. that I think any given team has greater odds of losing a game against Oregon’s future schedule than it would against Florida St.’s. Nor is it a knock on Oregon that I think any given team would have had greater odds of losing against Florida St.’s schedule to this point than it would have against Oregon’s. I think it makes more sense if you consider the BCS computers from the same perspective. You don’t get credit for overcoming those greater odds of losing until you’ve faced them.

I don’t know why this is the case, but it’s always seemed to me that voters usually have in the back of their minds, “What’s going to happen if both teams keep winning?” One time they didn’t necessarily do that was when Michigan was ranked #3 after losing to Ohio St. in 2006. They didn’t think #3 was going to be a BCS championship team until #2 USC lost, then they thought about who should be in that game and selected previously #4 Florida to “jump” Michigan.

The exception proves the rule in a way. They don’t want someone to feel cheated because they held serve, so to speak, and fell in the rankings anyway. So some of them are putting Oregon ahead because they know the Ducks will eventually be tested enough to substantiate a #2 ranking even if all of the top 4 go undefeated. Others are putting them ahead because they had a higher opinion of Oregon going into the year (and perhaps factored in the schedule at that point), something else that the computer formulas don’t contemplate.

So it’s not that one is right and the other is wrong, but the computers and the voters have different perspectives, and they’re both right from those respective points of view. Despite what I said above about Florida St. deserving #2, I would pick Oregon to beat Florida St. on a neutral field.

All-Blogger Poll Week 7 and Week 8 Preview

In Blogger Poll, College Football, Rankings Commentary on October 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

This week, the submissions are from two LSU fans (myself included), one Texas fan, one Oklahoma fan, one Michigan fan (new participant), and one Notre Dame fan. All the contributors from last week have returned.

All-Blogger Poll Week 7

rank/team(first place votes)/total points[last week’s rank]
1 Alabama (5) 149 [ 1 ]
2 Oregon (1) 138 [ 2 ]
3 Clemson 137 [ 3 ]
4 Ohio St. 129 [ 5 ]
5 Florida St. 125 [ 6 ]
6 LSU 119 [ 8 ]
7 Missouri 102 [ 21 ]
8 Miami 96 [ 11 ]
9 UCLA 94 [ 13 ]
10 Baylor 91 [ 19 ]
11 Stanford 86 [ 4 ]
12 Louisville 83 [ 12 ]
13 TX A&M 81 [ 10 ]
14 S Carolina 74 [ 14 ]
15 Va. Tech 66 [ 23 ]
16 Texas Tech 59 [ 17 ]
17 Oklahoma 51 [ 9 ]
18 Fresno St. 42 [ 20 ]
19 Georgia 41 [ 7 ]
20 Auburn 29 [ ]
21 Florida 27 [ 18 ]
22 N. Illinois 25 [ 24 ]
23 Nebraska 18 [ ]
24 Mich. St. 14 [ ]
25 Texas 13 [ ]

Others receiving votes: Okie St. 12 [ 25 ], Houston 11 [ ], Washington 11 [ 15 ], Michigan 11 [ 16 ], Wisconsin 6 [ ], Oregon St. 3 [ ], Utah 2 [ ], Notre Dame 2 [ ], N’western 2 [ 22 ]

Oregon edged Clemson on the last ballot, which also kept Alabama from being perfect. It will be interesting to see what happens if Clemson wins on Saturday. If you were wondering, Texas’s only points come from the two Big X(II) participants. The Missouri/Georgia game caused the most movement, as Missouri shot up 14 spots and Georgia fell 12. The Bulldogs did not appear at all in two of the rankings.

Stanford only fell 7 spots, and Oklahoma only fell 8 spots. Auburn’s jump into the top 25 was a bit of a mystery. We’ll see how well they can defend their position against Johnny Football and the Aggies, who fell three spots after a lackluster performance at Ole Miss. Baylor made a significant jump (9 spots) despite a relatively unspectacular win over Kansas St. Virginia Tech also moved up considerably (8 spots) after beating an unranked Pitt team, also by 10. Washington and Michigan both fell dramatically after losses.

Previous ranking

Week 8 Preview

I referenced a couple interesting games this week above. This was the hardest week for me to pick so far, at least among the top 25. I could see Auburn upsetting Texas A&M, being dominated, or anywhere in between. I think Florida will beat Missouri, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gators’ offense can’t score enough points to accomplish that.

I have no idea who’s more likely to win the FSU/Clemson game. I picked Clemson since they’re at home and I think they proved a lot in the Georgia game. That team we saw in Athens last week was not the team Clemson beat. But none of that means that Florida St. isn’t better, they just haven’t shown it yet. They blew out Maryland, but I’m skeptical Maryland deserved to be ranked (or even come close) in the first place.

If Ole Miss plays the same game they played against Texas A&M, I’m going to be a little worried for my Tigers. Games against Ole Miss (apart from the disaster of Houston Nutt’s last season) are usually pretty close. Hopefully, they used all their energies on the Texas teams, as they also did pretty well against the Horns.

Arizona St./Washington is an interesting contest as well. Arizona St. seems to get preseason hype fairly often before it fizzles. Washington could well be a top-10 team as far as quality, despite the two losses (to Stanford and Oregon). I wouldn’t go by these rankings. Keep in mind that we have no one with a West-coast cheering interest. If you have any suggestions of how to change that, let me know.

There are a couple other major Pac-12 games of note. Utah faces Arizona, which may be another case of hype going up against on-field accomplishments, although the Utes had a couple of questionable performances before upsetting Stanford last week. Speaking of which, UCLA travels to Stanford. I guess we’ll see if there are any serious challengers to the superiority of the Pac-12 North. Seems incredible, but with a win, UCLA could be in the top 5 in the initial BCS standings. There is one other major game involving a Pac-12 team, and that’s USC travelling to Notre Dame. Both teams have two losses already, which takes a little bit away from the rivalry, but either could return to the top 25 with a couple more good wins. Oregon plays Washington St., but I don’t expect that to be close for more than a half (if it’s even close beyond the first few minutes).

There are a couple of non-major games of note, both involving AAC teams. The AAC is a BCS conference this season, but I think few people take them seriously in the national-title hunt. Houston plays an enigmatic BYU team (which has lost to Virginia, blown out Texas, nearly beat Utah, and looked better against Georgia Tech than the U. of Miami had). Louisville puts their undefeated record on the line against Central Florida, but there will be more pressure because it’s a conference game. The Cardinals have won every game by at least 14 so far. Houston has looked shaky a couple of times.