Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Blogpoll Wrapup 2.1

A hearty thanks to all the bloggers who took a moment to answer the first roundtable question for the new season. As my duty for for hosting round one, I sifted through your responses and put together this highlight reel. Brian wanted the roundtable to focus on how to improve the blogpoll, and I think there's a good deal of input on that. Also, there's a lot of fun namecalling and Quantum Leap scenarios which, while less substantive, are very salacious and worthy of some airplay here. So here goes:

1. What's the biggest ripoff in this preseason poll? Either pick a team that's offensively over or underrated, or you can rag on a particular voter's bad pick (hey, we're all adults here, we can handle it).

  • Notre Dame at No. 5? For all the reasons outlined by Sunday Morning Quarterback, I ain't buying it. How many quality losses will it take to get the Irish all the way up to No. 1? – dawgsports
    Thanks for opsitng that picture of the Bush push. If you're looking for me, check the bottom of a bottle of gin.
  • Brian from mgoblog put Iowa at #2 which is either going to turn out brilliantly or terribly. I'm voting for 'terribly' right now. -offtackle
  • I have to say that Ohio St. getting 20 first place votes is about 19 too many. They might very well be the best team, but I think there is going to be a drop off in leadership rather than a drop off in talent on defense that is going to hurt. -mountainlair
  • Apparently there is this kid that has a Tulane blog that gets a vote. (Tulane? That is weaksauce.) And he puts LSU 20th and doesn't rank Louisville -thecollegegame
  • [T]he Hawkeye fan over at The Bemusement Park who left Georgia off his preseason ballot entirely. He better find someone to start his car for him in the morning. But everyone else is safe for the time being. -heyjennyslater
    Let that serve as a warning to you all.
  • Virginia Tech. They're at 17--which is way, way too high. I'm not sure they belong in the top 25. They do have a bunch of future convicts on the roster though. -illinireport
  • I’ve said this before, but I think the most overrated team in the Blogpoll is Auburn. I was on the Auburn bandwagon for much of the offseason, but they now seem to me to be a team that is overrated by virtue of the fact that they played their best football at the end of last season. -bravesandbirds
  • I still can't figure out how Duke got two votes for #25 and Oregon State didn't. Maybe that's my fault... -buildingthedam
  • One thing that does irk me just a tad, ok more then a tad, is Orson’s childish imitation of The ‘Ol Ball Coach with his 25th pick. -pitchright
    The pitchforks are out for the two clowns who thought it would be cool to vote for Duke. Let's kick their asses.
  • If Penn State auccessfully replaces its fifth-place Heisman Trophy-finishing quarterback and four suddenly solid senior offensive linemen and a first-round draft pick and two other very productive starters on the dominant defensive line and three veteran secondary starters, maybe it can compete for a New Year's Day game. Otherwise, SMQ is thinking Alamo. Think of 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 as the mean, to which they shall return. -SMQ
  • I think both Bama and PSU have been jobbed by the system, dropping 16 spots from their previous ranking. -50yardlion
  • Notre Dame is overrated. Teams that don't play defense shouldn't be in the top five. -bruceciskie
  • Miami. #9? ... This is partially my fault for dumping them in the low teens for no other reason than "it's Miami." No it isn't, not anymore. -mgoblog
  • West Virginia is not a top five team, and I'm not sure it is a top ten team either. Fifty-one of 59 voters ranked the Mountaineers in the top fifteen; I was one of the eight who didn't. -sectionsix
    Hide your couches, my friend.

2. What shold a preseason poll measure? Specifically, should it be a predictor of end-of-season standing (meaning that a team's schedule should be taken into account when determining a ranking), or should it merely be a barometer of talent/hype/expectations?

  • My #1 team is Texas. I think they would have the best shot to beat each team ranked under them at least 51% of the time. My #2 is USC, etc., etc. And, as always, I'm right. So you should pattern your own poll after mine...I'm joking...mostly. - imarealist
  • I'm part of the group that looks at preseason polls as a prediction of where a team will end up. Sure it's fun to put sexy teams at the top but if you don't think they will truly finish as an undefeated or 1-loss team why would you waste your time. -tamu-and-baseball
  • Preseason polls should measure what voters think the poll is going to look like at the end of the season. Once the season starts, they should measure performance (in practice, this means wild swings week to week), but there is no way to do this beforehand. There's nothing to measure but last year, and last year's not relevant anymore. -SMQ
  • Jason Whitlock’s preseason ballot is an example of a) why the Blogpoll is necessary and b) the exact wrong way to fill out a ballot. Look, I know I’m not breaking any new ground here by pointing out that Whitlock’s an idiot. But to pick West Virginia number one based on their schedule, then pick Notre Dame number two while pointing out their difficult schedule…what kind of sense does that make? -thedjlzone
  • I'd propose the following measure for preseason polling:
    (Overall talent/coaching/etc.) + (surrounding hype) +/- (schedule*) = School's Rank
    *[if a hard schedule they can win its a plus/if a hard schedule they can lose its a minus/if a easy schedule they can win its a minus)
    Math? Logic? Formulas? He's a witch, burn him!
  • Like many, I don't care who a team plays. That, to me, is Phil Steele's biggest flaw. He weighs schedules too much in his otherwise pristine analysis. -bruceciskie
  • A preseason poll should measure the aggregate opinion of a bunch of truly sanguine thinking about which teams are adequately prepared to compete in their conferences. But it usually measures popularity of coaches, recruiting classes, and traditions. -thebemusementpark
  • Put the gremlins of outrageous fortune, injury, and unheralded recruits who evolve overnight into world-beating assassins on the field, and trying to give birth to the perfect end-of-season poll becomes an act of science fiction. We feel like most people–ourselves included–are essentially regurgitating everything seen over the last six games of 2005 and projecting them into an arbitrary order. -EDSBS

3. What is your biggest stretch in your preseason ballot? That is to say, which team has the best chance of making you look like an idiot for overrating them?

  • Did I mention that I put Cal #1? While I'm still not wild about the Bears on top, I haven't yet found an overwhelming choice to replace them. As a result of this wide-openness, I'm as excited for this season as any in recent memory. -offtackle
  • I am one of the voters who put Virginia Tech in my top ten and I’ll defend that decision any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Tech is the reverse of Auburn, in that they lose their quarterback and running back from last year, but return a significant amount of talent on both lines. Then, let’s add in the fact that Tech was better than Auburn last year and has a better coach. -bravesandbirds
  • [T]he early returns suggest that the teams getting the most buyer’s remorse among BlogPollers are California, Iowa, and Clemson. - viewfromrockytop
  • Louisville. I am falling for the Louisville hype again. I like their high powered offense a lot and love the job Coach Petrino has done with the program. But I have this feeling they are not worthy of a top-10 ranking. -bruinsnation
  • I put Clemson in my Top 25, primarily because Tribble Reese sent me a message on Facebook telling me I had to for the embarassment I caused him since posting about his nipple fetish. -boifromtroy
    Just as we all suspected. Thanks to BFT for that very, um, honest and excessively informative response.
  • [W]e picked FSU [as #1] because it seemed just as logical (or illogical) as any other pick. Having said that, I think we might look mighty stupid about this pick by the end of the year (or after the first weekend). -michiganzone
  • Northern Illinois. Unfortunately, that’s just because they may get the MAC stigma that comes along with things. They’ve got the talent to be a very, very good team, unfortunately, in the MAC, that means getting out to an 8-0, 7-1 type start, and one more loss gives it all back. I still think they’ll dent most polls at some point this year. -haveyoumettony
  • That’s easy, since everyone has told me the answer. Oregon at #10. -pittblather
  • I’m well aware that some people are honked that I left Georgia off my initial ballot. I don’t know what to say, other than that last year I left Louisville off my initial ballot, and it turned out I was basically right. -thebemusementpark

4. What do you see as the biggest flaw in the polling system (both wire service and blogpolling)? Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced? If you say the latter, enlighten us with your new plan.

  • The fact that they're subject to favoritism, prejudice, ego-tripping and everything else under the sun that shouldn't determine the champion of a sport is their biggest flaw. - rollbamaroll
  • Voters in the AP poll and the Harris poll have an agenda... They even gave a bunch of computer nerds who don't know a thing about the sport a say because they would be "unbiased" and yet even that was messed up. -myopiniononsports
  • As far as the blogpoll goes, I like how Brian points out the biased homers, but I would be interested to see if people punish their rivals in the rankings. -blackshoediaries
    Now that's a pretty solid idea. Call it the "Spurrier Award" for abjectly punishing teams based on petty prejudices. What say you, Brian?
  • I think the biggest flaw is the inclusion of computers. Everyone who reads this regularly knows that we here are no fans of technology, in fact we don't even own a computer. We write all of this on a telegram then hand it to a serf who tills our backyard, and then he takes it to someone with a computer in God knows where, and then that person posts what we've written. -thecardreport
  • Too many idiots are given votes that matter. Having 113-some-odd people vote doesn't really make sense. Get a generous handful of people who know what they're doing, make them sit around a table, and discuss it until they come to a group decision. -buildingthedam
  • A point-dispersal ranking format. That is, you'd have, say, 100 points to distribute across the poll in any combination you'd like. So voters can give teams they feel are even the same number of points rather than have to guess which one should be first in line, and overload teams they feel very strongly about -SMQ
    Whoa, Nellie. Fuhgettaboutit. That's way beyond my mental ability. Shit, I have trouble economizing my "recruiting points" in NCAA 2007 (which is why I have 20 five star lineman and a walkon at quarterback).
  • Polling is and always will be integral because of the lack of a central organizing authority with any real power. It’s a sport consisting of regional duchies of varying power and financial pull who negotiate for prime spots in season-ending exhibitions. -EDSBS

5. You're Scott Bakula, and you have the opportunity to "Quantum Leap" back in time and change any single moment in your team's history. It can be a play on the field, a hiring decision, or your school's founders deciding to build the campus in Northern Indiana, of all godforsaken places. What do you do?

  • Major Harris screwing up his hip in the '89 Fiesta Bowl. That was a really good team, but without Major at 100%, it was hard to watch. ND was pretty good too. -mountainlair
  • I guess I'd probably go down to Miami in June or July of 1944 and leave a big box of extra-strength condoms on the bedside table of the Rev. J. Graham Spurrier. -heyjennyslater
    Congratulations, Hey Jenny Slater, you are the winner of the funniest remark in this roundtable. Think about a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger materializing in the Spurrier household armed with his trusty box of rubbers. Come with me if you want to live.
  • I don't know the exact date, but whenever the Illini decided to copy the New York Giants and adopt that goofy helmet logo we have. Hopefully, in addition to Ron Zook bringing in a top 25 recruiting class, he'll move on from this logo, too. -illinireport
  • November 6, 2004. With the clock winding down late in the first half and the team backed up in its own territory, the offensive coaching staff opted to call a pass play instead of simply running out the clock. Quarterback Erik Ainge, who was enjoying a fine freshman season, had to chase down an errant snap. Instead of simply falling on the ball for a loss, Ainge opted to pick it up and try to make something happen. What happened was that he was sacked and awkwardly landed on his throwing shoulder -viewfromrockytop
    Ah, treasured memories. That snapping of bone sounded like sweet music to me.
  • Yes, had those fucking zebras from on the night of December 5, 1998, made the obvious right call, and called Bruin flanker Brad Melsby down, instead of calling the fumble, the history of college football in the following years would be different. UCLA would have continued to dominate the scene of college football in LA. -bruinsnation
  • [L]et's replay that goal line series against Alabama in the 1979 Sugar Bowl -50yardlion
    Was there a game that day? All the intelligent football fans were watching the Chicken Soup Bowl
  • Pretty sure we'd be heading back to January 4th of this year. But in all honesty, if we could time travel back to any game/USC team moment, we'd probably just suck it up, take the L to Texas, and breeze back to last October in Notre Dame. We could spend the rest of our lives reliving that final drive, and it still wouldn't be enough. -trojanwire
    You. Son. Of a Bitch.

Thanks, fellas. Catch you next roundtable.