The Worst Voter of the Week Award goes to the person with the most concerning ballot. It may be due to a few major concerns, multiple minor concerns, or a combination of the two. Results will be tracked and sent to the governing bodies of each poll at season's end. New polls come out each Sunday during football season. You have until Wednesday morning to Vote and make your case on the Forums. The results will be posted here Wednesday evening. Please note that voting is a quick way to voice your displeasure, but it is not the only measure used. Solid arguments made on the Forums can be even more valuable.
Week 7 WORST Voter -- Craig James (posted 10/10/07)
Craig James is a well known commentator for ESPN/ABC and previously CBS. He is generally very knowledgeable about pro and college football, having played his college ball at SMU and in the NFL for the Patriots. However, his week 7 AP Poll Ballot makes him this week's dubious winner. Some highlights from his ballot:
1) Michigan at #22 after a huge upset loss to a I-AA team and a blow out (39 - 7) by Oregon at home. Michigan is a team that has only beaten one team with a winning record, Penn State. And Penn State hasn't beaten any team with a winning record. Michigan is still unranked, which means James is in the minority. In fact, the only people to rank Michigan #22 or better are other ESPN employees - Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler. Fowler is actually the most generous, putting the Wolverines at #18. It's enough to make Pollspeak wonder if ESPN has a big Michigan game on the horizon.
2) USC at #6 after losing to one of the worst teams in I-A, Stanford. Many people consider this the greatest upset in CFB history. The other people think Michigan's opening loss to 1-AA Appalachian State is the greatest (see #1 above). 8 pollsters ranked USC #6 or better.
3) Virginia Tech unranked. James is the ONLY voter to not include Virginia Tech on his ballot. The Hokies are currently ranked 12 in the AP Poll, but James feels they are unworthy of a place anywhere in the top 25.
4) Florida State unranked. James is not alone on this one, but definitely in the minority. 55 of the 64 ballots available for viewing rank FSU. The only reason this is a red flag is because he ranks a two-loss Michigan team (see #1 above), a two-loss Rutgers team (beaten by unranked Maryland), and a one-loss Texas Tech who has only beaten one team with a winning record (UTEP). All of these teams are unranked in the latest poll.
5) He ranks two-loss Kansas State #20 and ranks two-loss Texas #16. K State beat Texas...badly. Also, the only team Texas has beaten with a winning record is UCF and they were lucky to win that one by a field goal.
6) Big 12 Bias. James ranks 6 Big 12 teams in the top 25. This equals the amount of SEC teams he ranks. By comparison he only ranks 1 ACC team. James is alone in this ratio.
There are several other items that could be pointed out, but these six are the highlights. We'll let you discuss the rest on our FORUMS.
Good Voter of the Week -- Week 7
Kudos to CNN/SI's Stewart Mandel for having the courage to totally redo his ballot after the last two Saturdays of carnage in college football. Mandel wrote an article explaining his decision to do this and went so far as to omit his past week's rankings due to their irrelevance. See his article on the topic here: LINK