Monday, October 8, 2012

blogpoll ballot week 6

I'm giving you this to chew on whilst I decide how vitrolic, sad, or spiteful I want to be this week.  Full review coming later tonight.

I think quite a bit bears an explanation this week.

-- First, the fudge.  The system gave me BYU as the #24 team and Ohio as #30, which is a perfectly logical result when you (that is, Ohio) struggle for two straight weeks.  A 3-point win over 0-6 UMass is having exactly the result the system intends.  That said, BYU has two losses and nothing even remotely inspirational on their resume.  Six to three over Utah State is not "inspirational."  With a win over increasingly decent-looking Penn State, Ohio gets to stay another week.  If they continue to not dispatch MAC foes with the brutal prejudice required for any MAC team that wants to be top 25, I can't keep giving them gifts.

-- Auburn's newfound suckitude is having a very bad effect on their opponents, notably Clemson and LSU.  Clemson takes a precipitous drop because, since Auburn and GT actually suck, they haven't really done anything except lose nobly to Florida State, which itself did not help Clemson out either.  Clemson is kind of a victim of what I call the winner's paradox, which is basically that if a team loses enough games, at some point one of those losses will cause me to readjust my thinking downward about how good that team is.  This in turn causes the team that just beat them to drop, or not get the bump that they would have before.  "That team" is Georgia Tech in this case.  Clemson caused me to readjust my thinking on GT, so they were in kind of a no-win scenario since their win over the Jackets didn't help them one iota.

-- The flip side of the coin is a team like Stanford.  They skyrocket this week - beating Arizona helps (Arizona has a 3-3 record and a win over Okie State to protect Stanford from the winner's paradox) and my thinking about the teams Stanford has beaten (specifically, 5-1 Duke and 4-1 San Jose State) got significantly readjusted upward.  The result: #7 Stanford.

-- Whoa, Alabama's fifth.  Very true.  Byes hurt you at this point of the season, and they just don't have quite the firepower on their resume at the moment.

-- Notre Dame would be the #1 team right now by a very long ways if they didn't have a bye.  #2 with a bye is pretty damn good.  South Carolina is #1 because they're 6-0, with no byes and without yet playing their I-AA fruitcake.

-- Iowa State being nine spots ahead of the team that beat them (Texas Tech) is a little strange, but ISU's resume is clearly the stronger of the two, with their top three wins over 4-1 TCU, 5-1 Tulsa, and 3-2 Iowa.  TTU has a quasi-I-AA team in their top three (Texas State.)  Truth is, a wide gap like that is strong evidence in favor of leaving it like that.  The same holds true for NC State and FSU.  Beating a team by one point does not entitle you to automatically leapfrog them, not when you're 4-2 and your next-best win is a 10-7 snoozer over UConn and after that you've got The Citadel and South Alabama in whatever order you like.

-- A whopping 42 teams ended up in consideration this week.  The 42nd of them was Nevada, and their performance was so bad - the distance between them and #41 so huge - that I'm rewriting the eligibility pool rules next week to purposely leave them out.  Up til now you're required to have had a certain record (5-0 this week) or a certain slightly worse record (4-2) plus a win over a Big Five team; next week, that Big Five team will have to have at least a .500 record.

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