Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Guru's BlogPoll Ballot (Week 7)

The Guru's Week 7 BlogPoll, with notes below:

1 Alabama
2 Florida
3 Texas 1
4 Boise State 1
5 USC 1
6 Oregon 1
7 Miami (Florida) 2
8 LSU 2
9 Iowa 2
10 Cincinnati 2
11 TCU 3
12 Georgia Tech 3
13 Penn State 4
14 Brigham Young 2
15 Utah 10
16 Virginia Tech 11
17 West Virginia 5
18 Houston
19 Oklahoma State 5
20 Pittsburgh
21 Ohio State 13
22 Texas Tech
23 South Florida 10
24 Central Michigan
25 Kansas 7
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: South Carolina (#19), Nebraska (#20), Auburn (#21), Oklahoma (#23).

* The top of the standings underwent just a little bit of a shakeup. Boise State drops down a spot after a lackluster win at Tulsa. Texas moves up one after a hard-fought victory over Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl. And everybody else slides up after Virginia Tech loses to Georgia Tech.

* Seven teams remain unbeaten and they're among the top 11. Every Division I-A team with no more than one loss is on the ballot, except Idaho. Three teams with two losses remain on the ballot (Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Texas Tech).

* USC is the highest ranked team among one-loss teams. To me, this is a fair placement. I don't think I'll be moving the Trojans up over the top four teams as long as they remain undefeated. But for now, I also don't see moving Iowa, Cincinnati and TCU - the other unbeatens - over USC, Oregon or Miami. Those unbeatens simply haven't played tough enough schedules to warrant such a jump.

* This last statement might seem to come out of nowhere, but here it is: The more I vote, the more I'm alarmed how this inexact (or even bogus) science gets to decide the most important championship in all of college sports. I was once an AP voter, but that was pre-BCS and college football was mostly a regional sport back in those days. But now, billions of dollars and many jobs are on the line and the best we can do is rely on 173 people who may or may not have watched enough games to provide an informed opinion?

The BlogPoll, despite its idiosyncratic nature and professed bias, is actually more accurate than the Coaches Poll and Harris Poll, which make up for two-thirds of the BCS Standings. Bloggers watch copious amount of games every Saturday and our opinions for the most part are on the mark. That cannot be said for the coaches, and very little is known about the Harris voters. On top of all that, whereas us bloggers have to account for our every ballot, the coaches and Harris voters get a free pass until the season's end.

What can possibly be the justification for casting votes for Troy and Temple? But there is no transparency with either poll, so we'll never know.


Scott said...

You think Boise State's wins over Oregon, Miami (OH), Fresno State, Bowling Green, UC Davis, and Tulsa are more impressive than Cincinnati's wins or Iowa's wins?

Iowa has much more impressive wins than Boise State. Boise's only good win was a home game against Oregon. Boise plays nobody else the rest of the season. I just don't see how you can say Boise State's schedule is more difficult than Cincinnati's, Iowa's, or even TCU's.

Sonny said...

Wow, I thought you were above the typical USC loving media. I guess success has gotten the better of you. Now hear this: They lost to WASHINGTON. How about giving more credit to an undefeated team like Iowa. Or if you want to place a 1 loss team so high, how about LSU. Their only loss came to #1 Florida and oh by the way, unlike USC they beat lowly Washington.

Anonymous said...

This is very bad grammar:

*To me, this is a fair placement. I don't think I'll be moving the Trojans up over the top four teams as long as they remain undefeated.

Should be:
* To me, this is a fair placement. I don't think I'll be moving the Trojans up over the top four teams as long as those four teams remain undefeated.

dustin said...

I second Sonny, all I can say is WOW. How USC can be ahead of Iowa is amazing, I know that Iowa did not have the pre-season hype, they weren't expected to be good, especially given their very difficult road schedule. But guess what, they are doing very well, better then USC. Also, I agree that LSU's loss is much more respectable and therefore deserving of a rank higher then USC.

Ute Fan said...

No mention of the biggest up mover? I'm a Utah fan, so I won't complain, but I'm interested in your justification for such a big move for Utah (10 spots)without big win to justify it. Just feeling a bit sorry for dropping them so far for a loss to Oregon, who has now shown some promise?

LAprGuy said...

Again, just not clear on what Boise is accomplishing that warrants such a high ranking, other than having a good 1st string that beat a good Oregon team while at full strength. Beating Oklahoma two years ago (or Utah beating Alabama) shouldn't count.

Anthony said...

For all you anti-USC people out there who continually bring up the loss to Washington.....Take note, NO Matt Barkley and no Taylor Mays! Think those two players would make a difference?? If you dont think playing without your starting quarterback is a factor, just ask Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners!! Go Trojans! Fight On!!

mike said...

Oregon has proven to be a stronger team but I don't believe this is the same team that played Boise State at the beginning of the year. If they played now I would still think Oregon would be favored.

And for those who hate on USC, they have simply proved time and time again that they are one of the best teams. We have seen the same old story with Big 10 teams, go undefeated and get wiped out in bowl games. I really don't want to see Iowa in any championship game because they will get routed by anyone except maybe Boise State or Cincinnati (who I also don't want to see in a bowl game). Give me Alabama/Florida v Texas/USC and I'll be happy.

But of course we'll probably get to see USC rout Iowa in an unexciting Rose Bowl, again...

Nick said...

You said Iowa hasn't played a tough schedule....I don't know where you get that idea.

"Those unbeatens simply haven't played tough enough schedules to warrant such a jump."

According to the NCCA, Iowa has played the 9th toughest schedule so far in the season. (It will get lower as the season goes on, but right now its the 9th toughest)

mike said...

tough schedule this early in the season means nothing. your opponents can have a good record by not playing anyone good (imaging if every team in the Pac 10 played 3 FCS teams, their records and USC's strength of schedule would be falsely inflated since on average the conference would go 7-5 (3 wins plus .500 winning percentage in conference).

step up and prove you can beat a power team. how many in a row has USC or Florida won against the Big 10? how many have even been close?

Nick said...

Well, You have to remember Iowa was the only Big Ten to win a bowl game last year (SEC opponent. S.C.)

Going back to 2001.
2001: Beat Texas Tech
2002: Iowa got whooped by USC.
2003: Iowa destroyed Florida.
2004: Beat LSU.
2005: Lost to Florida in one of the biggest controversial officiating games in Bowl history. (Conf USA official got fired for it) and by 1 TD. Onside kick was called back by an in-existent offsides penalty.
2006: Lost by 2 to Texas
2008: Whooped South Carolina. (although it was expected)

Besides the whooping in 2002, Iowa has proven that it can compete outside of the Big Ten.

The big ten is not all that bad. Hopefully Iowa will be able to save the reputation. I think the entire Big Ten is counting on that

Jonathan said...

Nick: Thanks for the breakdown; I hadn't really paid attention to Iowa's bowl record.

I don't think it changes my opinion of how they'd fare against one of the top four or five teams in a big bowl, but I'm glad to see that they've performed pretty well historically.

buffalowill said...

Wow...correct me if I'm wrong but the last time Florida played a regular season OOC game outside the state of Florida was 1991 when they lost by 2 touchdowns @ Syracuse. Before that they won @ Rutgers in 1986 and before that they tied @ USC in 1983. The importance of playing in your home state cannot be understated. Home field advantage is HUGE is college football.

buffalowill said... other comments are on the previous post

mike said...

Iowa has a nice bowl record, but a lot of those are in the outback bowl where they play anywhere from the #3-#5 team in the SEC. They got killed by USC in the Orange bowl and beat LSU on a hail mary in the capital one bowl.

I'm not saying Iowa isn't a good team. But as a sports fan I just would rather see one of the matchups we've been looking for the last few years (between USC and the top SEC team). Even this year I think the Big 12 is overrated and hope that Texas doesn't get in, though at least the 2005 game was fantastic.

I'm tired of watching the SEC and USC crush the Big 10 teams. (Although wouldn't it be awesome if the contestants in the rose bowl and NC game were to play a playoff??? ONE extra game on new year's for TWO teams??)

Nick said...

We can both agree that Texas in the NC is a bad thing because I also think the Big 12 is overrated. You never see anyone complain about Oklahoma and how it chokes in big games.

With the new bowl line ups starting next year, new year bowl games will mean nothing and the only thing worth bragging about is being in a BCS game.

I really hope the top 4 teams are so close in the last bcs rankings so that we can finally end all this controversy and maybe finally they will fix this.

I would love to have Iowa in the Rose Bowl, but only if it is against USC. But I would love it more (as a non-biased fan) to see USC play Ala/Fla in the NC. And I would like to see Iowa play Ala/Fla in say, the Orange bowl and have Mich. St go to the Rose.

Beating anyone but USC in the pac-10 would not help the Big Ten's reputation.

I really hope Iowa can give the Big Ten some credibility back this year.

-It would be awesome to see just that ONE or TWO extra games, yes, a sports fan's dream.

Jonathan said...

Honestly, I've kind of given up on hoping for a playoff and am just happy that we now have a system that is seriously better than the one I grew up with. And that's coming from an Auburn fan.

It is entirely possible that the Big 12 is overrated this year. If that's the case, my guess is that it will take Texas losing to Florida (if they can hang on till then) or Alabama in the championship game for voters to shift the emphasis back on USC for the title game. Then the Big 10 and Big 12 will have had their shots, and the cycle can move on. Big East and ACC: Maybe your day will come eventually.

Talk to me in a couple of weeks, though. The whole landscape might have shifted by then.

Larry said...

The only reason USC is the top ranked 1 loss team is actually because of their resume. They're the only team to beat 3 ranked teams on the ROAD. Miami beat 3 ranked team too but 2 of them were at home. USC will play two more ranked teams, one being Oregon on the road. Yes, they lost to Washington, but it was w/o their starting QB and Taylor Mays.

Florida, Texas, Boise, Okla St, LSU, BYU and Iowa have only beaten 1 ranked team each (at the time the teams were ranked). That's why USC is getting so much love because they're beating multiple ranked teams. Penn St, TCU, Kansas, W. Virginia hasn't beaten 1 ranked team yet! Just keeping it real!

Nick said...


The playoff system does seem far off, and I don't think they will ever implement it until we see 3 or 4 undefeated dominant teams in BCS conferences. (Boise St. will never influence the decision)

They may have beaten 3 teams that were ranked that week but look at the teams that beat teams that are currently ranked in the BCS standings.

The only team that has beat 3 ranked teams is Iowa.

@ Wisconsin
@ Penn State

And if you go by the whole QB not starting excuse, would you say Texas only beat OU because OU didn't have their QB?

Texas is a fraud.

Jon said...

Most of these problems would be solved if other conferences played each other more connectedly. See to see what football rankings would be like if there was such a thing as the ACC/SEC challenge or something similar.

Jonathan said...

Jon: I would need to look over some real and hypothetical schedules a bit more to fully flesh out an opinion; however, my feeling is that such a scenario would certainly be an improvement, but not as much as it seems at first glance. There's a fair amount of diversity in OOC scheduling anyway; the issues are: (1) Many schools schedule an FCS opponent each year, and it'd be tough to tell schools that they absolutely can't do that anymore (money, usually an easy win, no questions asked regarding home-and-home); and (2) It really isn't the Pac-10/MAC (for example) linkage that people want to's BCS conferences vs. other BCS conferences (or a few powerful non-BCS teams).

With that said, maybe something simple along those lines--like a requirement that each BCS conference team schedule at least two teams from other BCS conferences each year--would be workable and beneficial.

Jonathan said... more thought. This has probably come up elsewhere, or maybe even on this blog, but it just occurred to me this morning.

What if, in 2006, the Trojans get the TD they need and win vs. UCLA. They're probably in the NC game, and let's assume they win handily over OSU.

So then, in 2007, there are all these 2-loss teams that think they should be in the title game, and yeah, the Stanford loss looks bad, but man, USC is the defending champ, and look what they did last year in the NC game, so let's vote 'em in! And maybe they win again.

And then last year, this bit of extra USC hype maybe plays into voters' opinions, and maybe they take on Texas in the title game.'s possible to imagine that USC fell four points short of four straight title game appearances and maybe two or three straight wins. Meanwhile, we SEC fans would be screaming for some respect and thoroughly hating the beauty contests that are the polls.

Chaos theory for the BCS. It's both the beauty and the curse of the system.