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    OTP covers Ball State University sports from the blog perspective in the most overzealous manner possible, proving that as long as there is someone with enough free time you can obsess over anything.
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Week 9 Blogpoll Ballot

This week’s blogpoll ballot is the first one after any substantive chaos. Oklahoma’s loss and Wisconsin’s loss shake up our top 5 while Alabama, LSU, and Boise State cement our top 3. Comments in the comment section for things we may have missed or what you’d change…


Week 8 Blogpoll Ballot

The deltas are missing because of a technical glitch that prevented our Week 7 ballot from being submitted, a similar sort of glitch that showed up all day Sunday for us as well and tonight. While I don’t want anything to be wrong with the Blogpoll itself, a small part of me hopes that it is systemic there and not something wrong on our end. Because that would mean I would have to do something technically savvy to solve it, and frankly, that’s a bit over my skis.

Thankfully, I was able to slide a ballot in at work today, so here’s our ballot this week…

To me at least, and as has been the case most of this season, there’s a pretty major divide in my opinion between the top six and the rest. Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Boise State and Stanford could all theoretically make a claim to be number one, but LSU has definitely been the most consistent deathstar most of this season.

Week 6 Blogpoll Ballot

Let us know anything we may have missed, ranked too high, or ranked too low.


Week 5 Blogpoll Ballot

No deltas this week since we didn’t get last week’s ballot in. The new timeline sort of hosed us up a bit, but we should be good to go now. It’s all just ridiculous still, even now. After this weekend though, the polls should begin to make sense as almost every team will have played at least a couple teams of substance either confirming what we thought or proving what we hadn’t wanted to admit. A side note… no Ball State in our ballot. Yet. I’d say a win on Saturday and we may have to put them in, don’t you?


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.


The Final Poll of 2010

Our ballot for the final entry in this year’s SBNation Blogpoll. Comment, dissect, etc. if you must…

Week 14 Blogpoll Ballot

Quite a bit of movement this week, but so it goes when you have a season to look back on. One week to go in the regular season… and this is the time when we all get a little sad. Comments in the comment section if you see some major problems with what’s below.

Week 13 Blogpoll Draft

Comment away if there’s things we need to change.

Week 12 Blogpoll Draft Ballot

Hey… look at us! Getting the Blogpoll ballot in on time, which we missed last week by about 30 minutes, hence no deltas for change. The ballot…

This week’s logic goes as follows for some key points above…

  • Auburn has our top spot, more for what they did. Is Georgia a topnotch sort of team? No. But the fact that Auburn had their way with the Dawgs despite the controversy and problems around that program was impressive enough to warrant a top ranking in your humble Ball State blogger’s eyes.
  • Boise State/Oregon/TCU are basically interchangeable at 2, 3, and 4. Boise State rises because of their dismantling of Idaho and TCU and Oregon drop because of their performance against SDSU and Cal respectively. Oregon came one penalty away from dropping out of the top 10.
  • Spots 5-10 are basically interchangeable as well, so we ranked Wiscy ahead of them all. Sure, 83 points is staggering in a conference game, but we’ve been high on Wiscy for weeks now.
  • The rest of it is mostly a jumbled mess of two-loss (or more) teams that have moments of brilliance and moments of extreme frustration. Your guess is as good as ours, but feel free to make your case in the comments.
  • We had to give some love to our fellow MAC brethren NIU. Operating on the same principle as Wisconsin, dominating from pillar to post a conference opponent the way NIU did is worthy of at least a little love. Or perhaps we just want them to be ranked when we beat them. OOOOO…. reverse psychology trickery.

Comments in the comment section about what we’ve overvalued or undervalued. Make your case by Tuesday and we’ll switch up our ballot accordingly. The blogpoll is only as good as we make it together.

Week 10 Blogpoll Ballot Draft

Let us know what we messed up or what you don’t agree with. The blogpoll is only as good as you make it.