Wednesday, August 18, 2010

preseason Blogpoll ballot

Maybe you know the drill, maybe you don't. Let's pretend for a minute you don't. The Blogpoll is what it sounds like: basically the AP and coaches' poll for bloggers. That makes it better. Other things that make it better, as taken (mostly) from the Blogpoll's official front page:

1. By virtue of their tendency to sit around and watch 12 hours of college football every weekend, BlogPoll voters are often better informed than mainstream media members, most of whom spend their Saturday obsessively covering one particular game, or coaches, who all obsessively cover one game.

2. All votes are totally transparent. Better yet, not only do you get to see who voted for what, you get to influence the vote.

3. It has a flexibility that mainstream polls do not. In 2009, for instance, ownership of #1 passed to and from Florida and Alabama. Before the SEC championship game voters settled on Alabama, whereupon they were proven correct by events on the field. Conventional polls seem to adhere to the idea that if you're #1 you stay #1; the bloggers are more responsive.

4. I have a vote in this one and not in the other ones.

It works like this: Every Sunday during the season, I'll post my ballot, as I've done below. Between then and around Tuesday-ish, you'll have your chance to weigh in and tell me what I'm screwing up and how to fix it, and if your reasoning is sound I'll even listen. Sometime Wednesday, the owner and proprietor (Brian of MGoBlog) writes up the statistical analysis, which is actually way more interesting than it sounds, and hands out awards for "winners" of certain categories, which is way less shiny-trophy involved than it sounds.

Astute readers who are more familiar with the subject matter will notice the poll has a new home at SB Nation, having been moved from CBS.

Below is my official preliminary preseason ballot. You have until, I guess Sunday or thereabouts, to poke holes in it. Reasoning, or a pretense thereat, follows the ballot.

If I could do an in-depth analysis of every team in the country like I have been for the ACC, I'd be educated enough to fill out my own ballot. I have not. Seeing who the media and coaches have already ranked in their polls seems like cheating, even if I then shuffle it around a bit.

So the methodology is like this: I looked at the watch lists for the individual awards - you know, like the Biletnikoff for receivers and the Outland for linemen. I used most of the applicable ones that are in the National College Football Awards Association, except for the Groza (kickers) and Walker (RBs) because they don't have watch lists out yet, and the Nagurski because it's the same as the Bednarik. And the Heisman doesn't have a watch list, but the Maxwell does and it's basically the same thing. I added up the number of times each team had a player appear on the watch list, and that's the top 25. Alabama did, in fact, come out on top. Afterwards I shuffled things a bit based on the two-second eye test, because, among other things, there's no way UNC is the #3 team in the nation. But a lot of teams, Wisconsin and Georgia for example, I just kinda shrugged and left 'em. Hey, they got players. Good ones. Lots of em. There's no reason to assume Wisconsin isn't the fourth-best team in the country just because a bunch of reporters in Mobile and Salt Lake City and San Diego think otherwise.

Granted, there's overlap because for example a linebacker can be (and often is) nominated for two, even three awards. I call that a plus, since most of the overlap is on defense and that's more important anyway. I compensated a bit by giving two points for an O'Brien (QB) nomination.

So leave your comments below.

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