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Tag:Penn State
Posted on: October 24, 2010 10:16 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 4:09 pm
 

One Is The Loneliest Number

Note:  Clicking a team link in this blog will show you how everyone voted for that team.  Clicking a voter name link will show you their ballot.




For the second week in a row, a team outside the top two in the human polls is the BCS No.1.  All three human polls have Oregon No. 1 and Boise State No. 2.  Yet, Auburn is the BCS No. 1 due to four of the six computers ranking them on top.  This is truly surprising considering that, historically, the voters have slighted the Broncos while the computers have usually regarded them higher.  Who would have thought that a well-respected and undefeated SEC team would need to rely on the computers to set the voters straight?  It looks like it is going to take a No. 1 ranking in the human polls, for Boise State to have any shot at the title.  Meanwhile, the computers are only going to make it harder for the Broncos as their strength of schedule gets worse with each WAC opponent.

Speaking of conference troubles, with the loss of West Virginia to Syracuse on Saturday, the Big East now has no representative in the AP, Coaches, or BCS top 25.  They are also the only Big East teams left with 2 losses, and they both have some of the best conference teams remaining.  One of them will have to step up in order to finish the season in the top 25.

Nevada is surprisingly back in the polls and in the BCS top 25 for the first time.  I say surprisingly only because it is after a bye week, and their last game was a loss to Hawaii.  In fact, Nevada was able to sneak in despite not appearing in the coaches’ top 25.  Instead, Michigan is the coaches’ No. 25.  However, the computers think better of the Wolf Pack than the Wolverines right now, so Nevada earned the BCS spot.  If Michigan can beat Penn State next week, they will likely jump over Nevada.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech should be thanking the voters and the ballots they wrote in on.  The Hokies made the BCS at No. 23 only because the human polls ranked them No. 21.  The Billingsley Report ranked them No. 25 and the other five computers didn’t rank them in the top 25 at all.

In the AP, there is very little disagreement about who should be ranked in the top 25.  A solid 18 teams appear on all 60 ballots.  While 24 teams appear on at least 50 of the 60.  That left Baylor just enough room to sneak in at No. 25 with only 32 votes.  Congrats to the Bears on their first ranking since 1993.

Eight teams received a single vote in the AP, but probably the two loneliest votes are Mike Hlas with Northern Illinois at No. 25 and Jon Wilner with San Diego State at No. 19.  Both teams have two losses, and they have only beaten one BCS-conference team between them.  Northern Illinois beat Minnesota. (edited 10/26/10)

 

Head-to-Head lines:

 

Cole Harvey and Pete DiPrimio are the only two voters to rank Florida State over Oklahoma.  These two teams have the same number of losses (one), and for those that forgot, the Sooners beat down the Seminoles 47 to 17 in week two.  If Oklahoma loses again and FSU doesn’t, there would be reason to switch the teams, but as of right now, the Sooners have clearly proven themselves the better team.

Even with a better record and a direct win over Iowa, these three voters still rank Arizona lower.  Maybe it is a Big Ten thing because these four voters still rank Ohio State over Wisconsin even though the Badgers won the head-to-head and just had another solid win over Iowa.  Thankfully nobody ranks Iowa over Wisconsin, or it would be time cancel my subscription to the Big Ten Network and just stop watching them until they get a championship game.
Posted on: October 3, 2010 7:57 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 8:48 am
 

Ghosts of Weeks Past





Note
:  Clicking a team link in this blog will show you how everyone voted for that team.  Clicking a voter name link will show you their ballot.

In the Coaches Poll, there was one less voter this week because Arizona coach Mike Stoops couldn’t be reached.  The Wildcats had a bye week so maybe Stoops went on vacation and forgot that the rest of the teams continue to play without them.  It’s too bad because at No. 11, Arizona is ranked lower in the Coaches Poll than any other BCS component or the AP.

The past is coming back to haunt a couple of teams. 
Oregon jumped over Boise State to claim the No. 3 spot in both polls.  Boise State might feel cheated, but the feeling will likely get worse over the coming weeks.  There are currently 16 undefeated teams in the top 25 (and a few still unranked).  Any of those teams has a chance to push past the Broncos depending on their strength of schedule.  If Virginia Tech wouldn’t have lost that week-two game to James Madison, Boise State would have had a shot, but now there isn’t much the Broncos can do except hope for other teams to lose.

Also haunted by their past, Texas dropped out of the top 25 after their loss to Oklahoma.  However, the drop was caused more by the loss to UCLA the previous week.  There are currently no teams with two losses in the polls.  Even Penn State received only one point in the AP Poll, and their two losses came from No. 1 Alabama and No. 15 Iowa.  So other two-loss teams shouldn’t expect better treatment.

However, Texas actually received 33 points, and all 10 of the voters who ranked the two-loss Longhorns neglected to rank the two-loss Bruins who beat them two weeks ago.  On the other hand, the five people who ranked UCLA, correctly left Texas off their ballots (going by head-to-head results).  Which brings us to…

Head-to-Head lines:

While everybody now believes that both Iowa and Arizona are ranked teams, we’re down to three who still put Iowa over Arizona.  Lisa Byington is still the leader in that category, with a six-place spread.  I can only scratch my head at her reasoning.    Maybe she is still waiting for Arizona to have an impressive win…like maybe over…Iowa?  Hopefully that isn’t her reasoning, or it won’t likely change until either one of the teams lose or November rolls around and Arizona plays Stanford or USC.



Michigan State upset Wisconsin last Saturday.   The Spartans won by ten points at home, and while the game was closer than the score, you would think it would be obvious to place Michigan State over the Badgers… especially considering the absence of the Spartans’ head coach.  Not the case for David Jones of Florida Today and Bob Hammond of the Laramie Daily Boomerang. They were the only two voters to rank the Badgers over the undefeated Spartans.  Was this a case of them being able to “slide” the teams only so far on their ballots, or intentionally ignoring the results on the field, or just not paying attention?  All three are bad, but I’m not sure which is worse.

Posted on: September 19, 2010 8:55 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 2:58 pm
 

Pollspeak Goes Head-To-Head With The Voters

 

 

Note:  Clicking a team link in this blog will show you how everyone voted for that team.  Clicking a voter name link will show you their ballot.

Texas is fast becoming a computer darling.  The Longhorns are No. 1 in both the Sagarin and Massey BCS ratings.  Meanwhile the AP has Texas lowest of all the rankings at No. 7.  It may be a coincidence, but the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas currently boasts a 5% enrollment increase.  We’ll be watching that UTCS isn’t promising the computers more technical support in return for higher rankings.  (The jokes may get better as the season goes on, but no promises, and frankly, it’s unlikely.)

The coaches have Arizona lowest (No. 16) of any BCS component or the AP.  If only we could see the coaches’ ballots and how many of them rank Iowa over Arizona still.  Otherwise, the USA Today Poll is pretty standard fare this week.

In the AP, Craig James is the most extreme voter this week, which is rare for a national voter.  However, I doubt the fans will tag him with Bad Voter of the Week since five of his seven extreme picks were for ranks that are highest in the nation.  Nebraska at No. 3, Michigan at No. 14, Oregon State at No. 15, Penn State at No. 17, and Texas A&M at No. 25.  On the negative side he was one of two voters to rank Boise State (No. 7) and LSU (unranked) lowest.

We’ve finally reached a point of the season where we can start talking about head-to-head issues.  As a refresher, the AP Voting Guidelines state: “Pay attention to head-to-head results.”  Now, they don’t say to slavishly adhere to head-to-head results, but voters should certainly show good reason to go against the outcome on the field.  So at Pollspeak, we regularly point out people who don’t seem to be paying attention. For example:

10 voters still have Iowa ranked higher than Arizona after yesterday’s late night upset.  The two most extreme cases are Desmond Conner and Lisa Byington who have the Hawkeyes nine places over the Wildcats.    Being from Connecticut and Michigan, maybe they didn’t stay up to see the end result. In fact, Byington still ranks Iowa highest at No. 10.

Rob long who works for Fox radio in Baltimore, has Notre Dame ranked but not Michigan State.   He gave the Irish their only vote in the nation even though they have two losses, one of which was to the Spartans on Saturday.

Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald was the only voter not to rank Auburn, but strangely, he did rank Clemson.  So he was also the only voter to rank the Tigers over the Tigers….that is, Clemson Tigers over the Auburn Tigers.

 

 

John Shinn of The Norman Transcript was the only voter to rank California even though they were just blasted by undefeated Nevada.  However, he also didn’t rank the Wolf Pack team that did the blasting.  That’s a shame because with just four more points, Nevada could have had its first ranking since they climbed as high as No. 10 in 1948!

 

Posted on: August 22, 2010 12:47 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 4:52 pm
 

Inside The 2010 Preseason AP Poll

Note: All individual links will open up that person's specific ballot. Team links will show where every voter has ranked that school. 

Joe Giglio
, of the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina gave Boise State its lone No. 1 vote.  This helped the Broncos to their highest-ever poll ranking at No. 3.  Pollstalker also tagged Giglio as this week’s most-extreme voter.  For those new to Pollspeak, “extreme” doesn’t mean “bad.”  It means this person has the most rankings on the edge (highest or lowest).  Now that COULD be a sign of a bad voter (i.e. a monkey throwing darts would likely be extreme), but it could also be a sign of somebody doing their own research and thinking…especially in the preseason where there are fewer tangibles to base ranks upon.

The key is to determine if the person is being rational, unbiased and consistent.  Based on the reasoning in
his blog, it seems Giglio isn’t throwing darts.  Although, fans of teams he ranked lowest: Texas (his No. 12), Florida (his No. 15) and Virginia Tech (his No. 19) will still accuse him of missing a chromosome or two.

Wade Denniston was the second most-extreme voter.  Denniston, who writes for the Logan-Herald Journal in Utah, gave both BYU (his No. 11) and Utah (his No. 17) their highest rankings.   This is only one better than their final rankings in 2009, so his rankings are justifiable.  Plus BYU has been ranked in the final polls since 2006 and Utah since 2008 (where they were 13-0 with a No. 2 ranking.)  So giving these teams the benefit of the doubt isn’t crazy-talk, even though there could also be some homerism involved. 

Still, it is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.  Denniston also seems to just like ranking teams highest, giving
Penn State (No. 8), Cincinnati (No. 10), Mississippi (No. 20), Oklahoma State (No. 23), and Central Michigan (No. 24) their highest votes.  The biggest exception is Oklahoma, whom he ranks lowest at No. 25.  It’s hard to blame him since the Sooners were unranked last season, but Sooner fans will blame him anyway, especially since he also ranked their in-state rivals highest.  Here is actual footage of Denniston’s last complimentary ride on the Sooner Schooner.

On the opposite end of the Sooner spectrum, Randy Rosetta gave Oklahoma their only No. 1 vote.  The Sooners are ranked everywhere from No. 1 to No. 25… that’s quite a difference of opinions.  Meanwhile Scott Wolf gave rival Texas, their only No. 1.

Temple, Middle Tennessee, Boston College, Oklahoma State, Central Michigan, UCF, Mississippi and SMU all received just one vote.  At least half those teams won’t see more votes than that this year.  Which ones?  You tell us.

While preseason is a bit early to talk seriously about head-to-head, on-the-field results, I’m going to do it anyway.  It’s a good primer for the rest of the season.  So, for example, Iowa beat Georgia Tech 24 to 14 in the Orange Bowl last season.  Arguably Georgia Tech (a VERY run-oriented offense) loses more of its team than Iowa, including their running back, Jonathan Dwyer, who went in the 6th round to the Steelers.  Still, 3 of the 60 voters ranked Georgia Tech over Iowa, as seen in this report.  Of those, Craig James was the most drastic, ranking the Yellow Jackets No. 7 and the Hawkeyes No. 13.

Looking at the AP Poll’s structure this year, there were no major changes.  There are still 60 voters and the same number of voters per state as 2009.  However, there was a typical amount of voter turnover with 29 new voters this year.  You can check out the complete list of changes here:  AP VOTER CHANGES 2009 – 2010.

Long time voter Tom Hart (formerly of CBS) now works for the Big Ten Network.  While many journalists might work in specific college markets, this is the first time we know of where an AP Voter has a formal relationship with a specific conference. While there is no hint of Big Ten bias in his preseason ballot, it will be worth keeping an eye out for it as the season progresses.  In fact, he ranked incoming member Nebraska, lowest of any voter.  Maybe it is a form of rookie hazing similar to Tebow’s monk-cut.

Number of Teams in the AP Preseason Top 25:

  • SEC:  6
  • ACC:  5
  • Big Ten:  4
  • Big 12:  3
  • Pac-10:  3
  • Big East:  2
  • M-West:  1
  • WAC:  1
  • C-USA:  0
  • MAC:  0
  • Sun Belt:  0
  • Ind.:  0

Comparing the number of teams ranked per conference to the Coaches’ Poll, the only major change is the replacement of the Mountain West’s Utah, with the Pac-10’s USC.  Of course, the reason is that the coaches aren’t allowed to vote for USC due to NCAA probation.  The AP voters are under no such restriction.  If USC can win out, there is a very good chance for a split national championship this year.

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