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Blogpoll: Week 2

OverThePylon, the resident Ball State experts (read: the only Ball State blog on the web) is fortunate and honored to again be included in the BlogPoll.

What is the BlogPoll?

The BlogPoll is structured exactly like the AP and Coaches’ polls, except the voting members are active bloggers who write about college football.

How does it work?

Voters submit a draft ballot on Sunday that they post on their site. They then solicit feedback from their readers and submit a revised ballot early Tuesday. These ballots are then compiled into the poll Wednesday afternoon.

How is the BlogPoll different from other polls?

A few different ways.

One: 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.

Two: All votes are totally transparent. The poll makes a point of calculating various poll statistics so it can examine outlying ballots (especially those that are biased in favor of the home team), and asks voters to justify their stranger picks.

Three: The BlogPoll has an explicitly declared poll philosophy that voters are directed to follow. Not every voter and every ballot manages to do so, but the philosophy effects the poll as a whole. This usually manifests itself in a skepticism of teams that play very weak schedules. The 2007 Hawaii team, which cruised through its regular season and was crushed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, is the most obvious example.

Why should I care about any of this?

As the poll has developed it has shown a flexibility mainstream polls have 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. Though the debate was academic because the two teams would meet at the end of the season, there are plenty of occasions when hotly debated teams don’t meet on the field. Conventional polls seem to adhere to the idea that if you’re #1 you stay #1; the bloggers are more responsive.

As for voting philosophies, there are a couple general schools of thoughts. Some will be straight resume rankers. So for the traditional power schools that schedule light and easy cupcakes to start the season, they won’t sniff some members’ ballots. Others look more toward power rankings and who they deem to be the “best”. OTP is a little from column A and a little from column B, as are many others in the poll. To start the year, these preseason rankings are not necessarily power rankings in the truest sense of the word. Instead, they are our evaluation of a team’s potential, their chance of success, and how we think their season will play out. That’s our starting point, but it isn’t the end all be all. Preseason polls are by nature wildly speculative, and no way is any better than the others.

As the season progresses, at least for the first few weeks, it is still our evaluation of a team’s potential, talent, and appearance. As the weeks roll on, though, it becomes more and more about resume ranking, evaluating the actual wins and losses on the field. It’s worked well the last couple of years, and it’s something we’re proud to be a part of. Ultimately, our ballot is only our opinion. Disagree? Think we’re crazy? Comment away and make your case for why Team A should be ranked ahead of Team B. That’s what makes it all so special.

OTP’s Ballot
As stated above, wildly speculative. You’ve been warned… We didn’t get in a preseason poll because we’re lazy like that, but this is week 2. And yes, we thought about ranking the Cardinals, but frankly, IU was so piss poor we don’t take a lot of glory in beating a middling Big 10 team that would struggle in the Sun Belt. Because we didn’t turn in last week’s poll, the deltas don’t work, but it’s still wicked awesome.

 

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One Response

  1. I can’t really disagree with any of your placings. Save for NIU. Don’t get me wrong, I love the MAC representation and definitely think that NIU could be top 25 as well. However, at this point the season, I just couldn’t justify putting them in there…yet. True that they did quite well against Army, but I feel that TCU still needs to be on that list or even Utah St. before NIU. TCU lost to Baylor (whom you’ve ranked 20th) by just 2 points and that was in the last 2 minutes. Other than Utah State’s complete collapse at the end, they played a very solid game against the defending national champions. True you could say anyone can get up for one game (you know the argument) but this was the FIRST game for both teams so you can’t use the worn down defense on that. Do I believe that NIU will probably be ranked by the end of the season? Most likely. Depending on how Toledo does against OSU, they could be as well. Heck, even we could be if we do well against USF and beat them. There is just a lot of season left to go so we shall see how next week shakes up. As a side note, CLEARLY some bias happens as well when I’m seeing in the receiving other votes category EMU. I mean really? lol

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