Wednesday, August 24, 2011

preseason blogpoll ballot

One of many signs that it's getting to be That Time of Year is the advent of the polls.  And far more entertaining and interesting than the AP poll or the coaches' poll, in which you have to stretch the bounds of your googlehunting skills to find who voted how, is the Blogpoll.

You don't have to go very far to find one of the ballots: for the fourth year running, there's one right here.  Yours truly is a voter, along with, oh, about 80 or 90 other blogs, and the best part is that you can easily track down who voted for whom and why and all the good stuff you wish you knew about the monolithic and mysterious Serious Media Polls.  Actually, maybe the best best part is that you can, with a persuasive enough argument, influence the ballot itself.

See, the Blogpoll is like this: Every Monday during the season, it posts, and therefore every Sunday I sit down and compile my ballot, and post it for your amusement, edification, or whatever you get out of it.  That's the routine.  For the preseason version, which is released next Monday, I was just bursting with anticipation of voting, and couldn't hold it any longer, so here is my ballot.  This also gives you a chance to make your criticisms, but be forewarned that in this case I'm a little less receptive to them here because of the fairly rigid methodology that goes into the preseason one.  The later ones are more resume-based but also can be rather subjective.
There you have it; now, the methodology.  Last year, see, I had a bit of an epiphany.  I've completed most of the ACC previews so I'm smarter than the average bear about who's good inside the conference, but the other 108 teams are a challenge.  I could just parrot the AP poll then and ladder a few teams up and down based on some sort of lame gut feeling, but that's not very satisfying and nigh-impossible to defend.  If only there were a way to find out which teams still had good players besides the five or so that find their way into the news cycle.

Then I had an apostrophe.  Lightning struck my brain.  There is a way: the individual award preseason watch lists.  Somebody's already gone through and found out who the likely best players are at all the positions, I just had to tally them up.  So I did.  I took 13 of the biggest awards, which are:

Bednarik - best defensive player
Biletnikoff - best wide receiver
Butkus - best linebacker
Groza - best kicker
Guy - best punter
Lombardi - best lineman/linebacker
Mackey - best tight end
Maxwell - best overall
O'Brien - best quarterback
Outland - best lineman
Rimington - best center
Thorpe - best defensive back
Walker - best running back

That covers pretty much every position.  Each team gets a point for every player it has on each of these watch lists, except for the O'Brien and Maxwell, where each team gets two.  It's all based on the loony theory that the team with the best players ought to be the best team.  I realize there's some overlap and some players are on multiple lists, and I don't really care, because the overlap involves some of the really important positions like the lines and linebacker.  And if a guy is good enough to be on the list for the best defensive player and not just his position-specific trophy, that should be worth extra points.

So I just add all those up, and there's the list.  There are many ties, of course, and these are broken somewhat subjectively.  Like, there was a tie between USC, Okie State, and UGA, and USC was the only one that got its points without a punter being nominated for the Ray Guy award.  Punter should only be worth half a point anyway, so USC goes on top.  So that's kinda your glimpse into the thought process there.

By the way, Miami's ranking is extremely provisional, as every single one of their watchlist players is in the shadow of the NCAA banhammer.  If said hammer strikes between now and Monday when final ballots are due, I obviously reserve the right to adjust accordingly.

In case you're wondering about UVA's performance in this deal, it's somewhat heartening, actually.  BC tied with three other teams with a total of 11 points - I picked them because they had nominees for more of the trophies than the other three, and didn't need no punter award either.  UVA comes in with five points.  The downside is that ties us with NC State for second-worst total in the conference ahead of Georgia Tech and Wake Forest with 1 each.  The plus side is that five is three more points than we had last year, and they come from Chase Minnifield, Kris Burd, and Colter Phillips when last year's two points were just Ras-I Dowling getting nominated for two awards.  Talent, we do not has it all the way yet but we are getting there.

OK, anyway.  Blogpoll Central is here.  Enjoy.


Now for some quick programming notes.  Tomorrow runs the last of the ACC team previews in Wake Forest, and then on Friday, a roundup and compendium of the ACC.  This weekend, compressed versions of these previews for each of our OOC opponents.  Monday will be a weekend review type thing, maybe appended on to the bottom of another recruit profile, maybe not.  Tuesday and Wednesday, the real deal preview of our own season, offense and defense again each getting their own post.  Thursday is GO TIME BITCHES as we bring to you the first game preview of the year.  Thursday, in fact, is game preview time all season, and then Friday and Saturday are my off days as Sunday is Blogpoll day, with Sunday and/or Monday being game reaction stuff depending on how I feel about the game.  This particular weekend it's not quite that way because I'm out of town and on a boat starting Thursday evening (you'll still get your game preview) and won't be back til Monday.  But it's a routine otherwise.  Time to strap in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking ahead to 2013 recruiting, it sure looks like a lot of the best talent from VA will be from the Richmond and NoVA area. Off the top, I don't recall which UVA assistant is actually in charge of the Richmond area. Whoever it is, here's hoping we can make some inroads there, instead of letting Shane Beamer clean up.

That said, Ryan Burns and Jon Allen are from NoVa, and there seems to be a good chunk of talent from NoVA this year. I'm intrigued with Bucky Hodges, but sure feels like, if the Hokies want him, he's going to be a strong lean in that direction.