Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Blogpollery, Week 6

First, a little Blogpoll (excuse me, BlogPoll) fun fact: the team representing the BlogPoll's Coulter-Krugman award winner is now a perfect 0-6 this season against the spread.

Check it: Week 1 Michigan St. (+6.5) loses to Cal, Week 2 Boston College (-6.5) loses to Ga. Tech, week 3 Auburn (-waaaaaay too many) loses to Miss. St., Week 4 Utah (-10) loses to Air Force, Week 5 Ohio St. (-20) loses to Minnesota, and then Week 6 Michigan St. (-6.5) returns to lose to Iowa. Remarkable, no? But wouldn't cold hard logic call even this kind of streak a fluke--there's no way the silly ranking whims of a bunch of bloggers or any sort of resulting "karma" can have any impact on the field, right?

No, of course not. But I think it's fair to say the CK Award has become an accurate reflection of how a program--fans all the way down to players--feels about itself at the moment, and if a team's feeling a little bit better itself than it probably deserves to, underachieving performances are likely to follow. (Not to mention that the excited fans of said team are more likely to bet the spread increasingly in the distorted direction.) It's comparable to another, substantially more famous sports "jinx" which you may recall claimed another victim last week:

Just as a team/athlete riding high enough to merit an SI cover is likely at the height of their accomplishments and ready for a regress to the mean--giving the SI Cover jinx a fairly firm basis in reality--so a team who's gotten their representative bloggers fired up enough to claim the CK Award is likely ready to endure an off-week. Gamble accordingly.

On with this week's ballot:

1 Alabama --
2 Oklahoma --
3 Missouri 2
4 Penn State --
5 LSU 2
6 Texas 1
7 Vanderbilt 1
8 Utah 2
9 Southern Cal 3
10 Georgia 1
11 Ohio State 7
12 Boise State 3
13 Florida 1
14 Virginia Tech 1
15 Texas Tech 8
16 Oklahoma State 6
17 Northwestern 2
18 California 8
19 Wake Forest 5
20 Brigham Young 7
21 Tulsa 5
22 Ball State 2
23 Pittsburgh 3
24 South Florida 18
25 Michigan State 1

Dropped Out: Oregon (#16), Auburn (#17), Connecticut (#21), Mississippi (#25).

1-6: Same as last week's top 7, minus the departed South Florida. Little bit of shuffling based on some wins--LSU's over Auburn--losing value and others--Missouri's over Illinois--gaining it. Winner of Texas-Oklahoma ascends to top spot next week; even with the Georgia win, the Tide's struggles against lesser teams in comparison to the Sooners' and Longhorns' consistent wallopings mean their position at the top is temporary.

7-8, 12: Vandy and Utah have enough across their resumes to stay out in front of the chasing one-loss BCS juggernauts, but with Oregon's thumping at USC Boise St. slips to just in front of the one juggernaut--Florida--that doesn't have a major scalp.

9-11, 13-14: With Ohio St.'s win at Wisconsin, they hop back up the poll. USC's aforementioned bludgeoning of Oregon makes them the top one-loss team on the ballot. Florida should maybe slide behind Virginia Tech since the Hokies have substantially better wins, but I just think the Gators are still a substantially better team.

15-17: Texas Tech and Okie St.'s continued dominance against semi-actual competition gives them a bump. Red Raiders will probably leap ahead of the one-loss pack with a similar beatdown of Nebraska.

18-25: It gets stupidly tricky through here as accurately comparing undefeated-but-relatively-untested mid-majors to one-loss BCS teams is sorta impossible. In the end I felt like Cal and Wake's pair of wins (Mich. St., Arizona St.; Ole Miss, Florida St.) trumped the blowouts piled up by the mids. (And yes, particularly given BYU's struggles versus awful Washington, the Cougars are no longer distinguishable from Tulsa or Ball St.) The bottom three's wins over fellow one-loss contenders UF, Kansas, and Notre Dame are enough to slide themselves into the poll. (One quick note: you'll notice Wake moved ahead of BYU and Ball despite the fact the mids won while Wake was idle. This is because I engaged in a ranking process this week known as "changing my mind.")

Waiting list: North Carolina would probably be No. 26, but as neither Miami nor Rutgers look like world-beaters and the Heels only beat mediocre UConn on a series of punt blocks, I like the teams above better. Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, and Kansas are in the mix, too.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Those polls are always twisted. I don't think they actually reflect anything. Most of the time, like you said, they just give too much confidence to a team that needs to work harder.

Good post