Monday, October 18, 2010

The Guru's BlogPoll Ballot (Week 8)

No significant changes for the ballot from last week, aside from Ohio State getting bumped down. Notes below:

* Sometimes you wonder if the voters actually pay attention, and this goes for any poll, including the BlogPoll. How else would one explain that Ohio State somehow stayed ahead of Wisconsin in all the major polls this week after a loss in a game that wasn't close? Or that Iowa is SIX spots ahead of Arizona (in coaches and Harris polls), despite losing to the Wildcats and playing a schedule that's not nearly as competitive (Sagarin has Arizona's SOS at No. 27 and Iowa No. 78)?

* Don't look now, but Virginia Tech, left for dead after losing to I-AA James Madison to start the season 0-2, is now in the driver's seat in the ACC Coastal and has regained its preseason status as the team to beat in the conference. The Hokies' surge will help Boise State in the computer ratings, but more importantly, with the voters. VT is back on the Guru's ballot, at No. 23.

* Other teams considered: Miami (Fla.), Texas, Air Force, USC.


Maestroh said...

This ballot is a joke. Alabama FOURTEENTH? And rated BELOW Nebraska who lost to an UNRANKED team at home while Alabama lost to a RANKED team on the road?

Underdog Rally said...

I've been following your site for a few years, Guru, and I certainly appreciate your penchant for BCS chaos and rooting for the underdogs. I'd like to see a non-SEC team win a championship, and I would love the fallout from Boise BEATING an SEC team in the championship game, but I'm most interested in teams being fairly and consistently evaluated.

I've noticed, however, that this bias seems to be getting stronger with every ballot. I've written before that I think the fundamental problem with rankings is consistency. At one extreme, I could rank based on what a team has accomplished to date. At the other extreme, I can rank based on how I would bet my life savings. Most algorithms (human and computational) blend the two to different degrees. In the best case, you can link the two mathematically. What I find most frustrating is when even that blend isn't consistent applied.

Looking at your history of blogpoll rankings, I think that you're increasingly using different criteria for different teams in order to satisfy your bias. This isn't really any different than the AP/Harris/Coaches votes who slot vote, or vote based on where they'd like a team to be.

For example, do you really believe that Boise, TCU, MSU and Utah are 4 of the 5 strongest and/or most accomplished teams in the country? Would you pick Utah or MSU to beat all the teams below them at a neutral site more than 5 times in 10 games? Do you think they've accomplished more via victories, offensive or defensive stats, scores, SoS, etc. than the teams below them?

I think that if you want teams like Boise to break through the ceiling, the best thing you can do for them is offer a consistent basis for evaluation, and convince others to do the same.

LAprGuy said...

I've read the Guru from the start and enjoy his writings, so I see Underdog Rally's point. I sdo ee where the Guru has his own bias - just as the other pollsters do. This year, it's apparent that he didn't originally think Michigan State or Auburn were going to be the best teams in those conferences, so he isn't yet prepared to rank them ahead of Boise and TCU. You know: They have to "earn" their way past those teams (since he originally ranked them higher).

It's the same bias throughout the system: Nobody is REALLY putting the 25 teams in order (and why 25? what happened to 10? to 20? Oh, that's right, the coaches vote and more can get their teams "ranked" this way!). They just want to make sure that the teams they liked in April and ranked in August can keep that number [ranking] in December.

The Guru writes about chaos - and he's a good writer at that. I'd like to see him rally and help cause some chaos. More visitors to his site might help him to make a difference.

Joseph said...

I think its funny that the two comments you make are how can team A be ranked ahead of team B despite losing to team B, and then you post about how VTech should be ranked, though you have James Madison clearly ranked well below them.

The Guru said...

@Joseph: James Madison is a I-AA team, not eligible for the BlogPoll.