Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Strong Enough for a Blog, P.h. Balanced for a Poll

Week three's ballot is up. Doink:

1 Ohio State 1
2 Notre Dame 4
3 Auburn 2
4 Southern Cal 8
5 Oregon 4
6 Tennessee 12
7 Georgia 6
8 Texas 4
9 Michigan 10
10 Florida 1
11 Oklahoma 3
12 Florida State 2
13 Boston College 13
14 Pittsburgh 12
15 West Virginia 10
16 Boise State 7
17 Louisiana State 14
18 Miami (Florida) 1
19 Virginia Tech 9
20 Arizona State 1
21 Louisville 14
22 Iowa 6
23 UCLA 3
24 Navy 2
25 Cal 1

Dropped Out: Texas Tech (#15), Penn State (#20), Clemson (#24), Alabama (#25).

Brian, what the hell happened? Last week, you steadfastly refused to make any change in the rankings, and this week, every single team is in a new spot. What freaking gives?

Aha, my lad. You see, this is the week that I officially removed all weighting of preseason rankings from my standings. For the preseason, I was fine letting everybody slide by on hype and power rankings, and even after week one, I didn't really make changes while everybody whipped themselves into shape by beating on patsies. But now that we're one-sixth of the way into the season, I'm going strictly on merit. Have you accomplished anything yet? If not, you're taking a tumble.

Initially, I wrote down the top 35 or so teams on index cards, then flipped them over and wrote the results from their games. On my first pass, I ordered the teams strictly by looking at the back of the card, completely ignoring the name on the front. Suffice to say, my first pass was batshit crazy (e.g., Pitt was at #8), and would have resulted in Brian from mgo driving down to my house and kicking me in the pillbox. Suffice to say, I tweaked it a little bit in accordance to a team's talent, but I feel like, for the most part, it's entirely based on results on the field from this year.

Briefly, OSU has the best win of the year. ND, Auburn, and USC have played exclusively against teams from BCS conferences. The rest of the poll is rounded out by teams that have looked solid, but really don't have a marquee win yet. Pitt is way up there because they have also taken down two teams from BCS conferences and haven't looked half bad doing it. Other than that, everything else should be pretty self-explanatory.

Anyway, the bottom line is I'm basing everything on how a team has performed on the field up to this point. Every week, I'm going to look at each individual team's resumé and put them in order by which is the most impressive. While this style is a lot different than the wisdom of the media wire polls, I think it's the most fair and accurate way to judge teams. Don't like my style? Let me know in the comments why it's flawed.