Sunday, October 24, 2010

blogpoll ballot: week 8

Well. If you looked with a discerning eye, Oregon probably jumped out at you the hardest. So that probably requires a little explanation, given that conventional wisdom calls Oregon the best in the country. Why is Oregon 7th when they will be #1 everywhere - including the eventual results of this poll? A couple reasons:

1) We're voting on resumes up to this point, not on who we think is the actual best team in the country. Oregon would probably smoke Auburn right now. The media polls don't resume-vote. If I were an AP voter, I'd put Oregon #1 too.

2) My system isn't nice to teams with bye weeks. (See: Boise State and their two byes.) MSU and TCU took advantage of not having a bye to leapfrog higher than I'd put them if I were ranking by "who would beat whom." They'll get theirs.

3) Missouri? Well. First, consider the records of their respective opposition: 17-33 (Oregon) vs. 29-21 (Missouri.) No contest. Oregon's third-best win is a whupping of 2-5 Tennessee; Missouri's is a very solid 26-0 win over a considerably better Colorado team. (If you doubt that Colorado is that much better than Tennessee, take a gander at Georgia's schedule.) Missouri's sixth-best game is a win over 5-2 San Diego State; Oregon played New Mexico. 72-0 is certainly a drubbing, but I tend to be more impressed by degree of difficulty rather than end result. SDSU will be going bowling; New Mexico would lose to at least half of the teams in I-AA, they're that horrible.

Fact is, should they both end up undefeated, Missouri will have a far stronger resume than Oregon. It's stronger now. Their non-conference schedule is light-years better. (It's not Oregon's fault Tennessee and New Mexico suck ass, but they do.) I'm totally comfortable ranking Missouri higher than Oregon.

The rest of the ballot seems logical enough, except for my mild surprise that Nevada made it back on. A rare example of a bye week team going up rather than down. I guess it's not too surprising. Michigan took the bye week hit and their strength of schedule took a major beating thanks to the suckitude of UConn and Notre Dame, as well as Iowa's loss. The other contenders are Hawaii (extra loss and a couple unconvincing wins hurt) and Baylor (just, no.)

Edit: this is the new and improved second edition, which, per very logical suggestion, drops Alabama a few notches. Also drops MSU a couple places, because that would have put them #2. No team that beat Florida Atlantic by 13 is the #2 team in the nation.

Comments, as always, strongly invited. A strong argument in favor of getting rid of NC State and/or Nevada will find traction, as long as it doesn't involve Syracuse or West Virginia. I was charitable just to include Syracuse in the calculations this week, and the system bombed them. WVU likewise, you know, for losing to Syracuse.


Brandon said...

Looks pretty good, I've got everyone in similar "tiers" to this, few people in different spots by a couple, but fairly meh. My last two extras were Michigan and USC, but it was a rather unpleasant decision making process that led me there, so I'm not going to try and talk you into joining me. Only thing that really jumped out at me was Alabama; don't really get that one. Just to compare to wisconsin, bama's 3 best wins are Arkansas, Florida, and... well, pick one of Penn State, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. Wisconsin's are Ohio State, Iowa, and Arizona State. Ohio State you have 9, Arkansas 21... then Iowa is 18th, Florida unranked... then Arizona State, prior to the cal game (cal confuses me more than anyone else this year) has hung with the good teams they faced, and beaten the bad, so even at one point I have a hard time saying the mess of other bad teams alabama beat are worth more than that. Basically, is the fact that the bad teams alabama beat are better than the bad teams wisconsin beat really worth that much more than the fact that wisconsin has two superior wins to anything bama's done? Wisconsin also lost to #3 while bama lost to #16, neither by a last second field goal or some such. Anyway, what I'm saying is I have a hard time separating the two teams, so I find it hard to believe there should be such a gap between them. Bama passes the eye test, and probably _are_ that good, but I don't really think they've proven it on the field yet.

Brendan said...

Alabama did turn out surprisingly high. Does seem logical to bump them lower; I'm very sold on the quality of resume for teams like Mizzou and TCU.

Probably not as far as Wisconsin, though. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it, my system weights the top, middle and lower parts of the resume equally. It won't kill you to have an off-week, but it does reward teams that didn't. Wisconsin....has had quite a few off-weeks. Their first two games were against very poor competition and they didn't show well at all. And I'm not sold on ASU, either.

Alabama, definitely. They should be bumped a bit. I'll leave Wisconsin where they are for now - they just strike me as too much of a hot-and-cold team.