First BCS Standings Released (posted 10/19/08)
The first BCS Standings of 2008 have been released. #1 is no surprise, but there are a few surprises towards the bottom. You can now see the Official BCS standings in Pollstalker as part of the BCS + AP Compiled report HERE. Along with the BCS Standings, the first Wolfe computer rankings have also been released.
Voting Advice from Chris Fowler (posted 10/17/08)
At the end of Thursday night's Florida State vs. North Carolina State game Chris Fowler and Craig James (both AP Voters) discussed briefly if FSU should be ranked with a record of 5 - 1. James seemed to think the Seminoles should be ranked, but Fowler countered that they "hadn't beaten an FBS team with a winning record." This is the same point that Pollspeak made about Molly Yanity's #9 ranking of Kansas this week (see below). The Jayhawk's also haven't beaten an FBS team with a winning record. In fact, both teams have played and beaten Colorado: FSU won 39 - 21 and Kansas won 30 - 14. So you would think that Florida State and Kansas would be similarly ranked. Both now have records of 5 - 1 (but Kansas still has to play this week).
Checking Fowler's ballot for week 8, he has Kansas ranked #20 and FSU ranked #24. This makes sense, and you would think that he would rank FSU similarly next week as well. Kansas plays Oklahoma this week, so we are not saying FSU and Kansas should be ranked the same next week no matter how that game turns out. In fact, our point isn't that FSU should be ranked at all. Looking at who a team has beaten is a good idea when ranking teams. Our point is that if you're going to use that criteria to make your decisions, use it for every team. Note: Molly Yanity ranks Kansas #9, but has FSU unranked.
Bad Voter of Week 8 -- Molly Yanity (posted 10/15/08)
|Name ||Good Votes ||Bad Votes ||Net Bad Votes
Molly Yanity has been on the radar for a while, but she finally grabbed the attention of the public this week by voting Oklahoma State lowest (#15) after their victory over then #3 Missouri. Not only are the Cowboys undefeated, but (adding insult to injury) she ranked Missouri (#7) over Oklahoma State by the largest margin in the country. This is why she also gets Pollspeak's Pick as Bad Voter, which makes her a unanimous choice for week 8.
Additionally, Yanity voted Penn State lowest at #5, which drew some attention from the fans, but one reason she has been on Pollspeak's radar for several weeks is her insistence on ranking Kansas highest (or near highest) every week since her first ballot of the regular season. Even now she ranked Kansas 8 spots over USF, a team with the same record who beat the Jayhawks. Kansas may turn out to be a great team, but in the meantime they still haven't beaten an FBS team with a current winning record. Until that happens it looks like Yanity is simply voting on perception over performance. Kansas plays Oklahoma next week, and if the Jayhawks win, her ranking would be justified (next week). However, voting in the AP is not about telling the future; it is about reporting performance on the field. (See the first AP Guideline.) There are plenty of games left to play, and if Kansas wins next week, she can justifiably place Kansas where her crystal ball told her they belong in week 2.
Note: Craig James actually received the most Bad votes with 632, but also received 209 offsetting Good votes.
PEOPLE'S PICK: Good Voter of Week 8 -- Tom Hart (posted 10/15/08)
|Name ||Good Votes ||Bad Votes ||Net Good Votes
The fan's Good Voter of the Week placed fourth in number of Good votes this week, but is number one in all-important Net Good Votes. Tom Hart
was a fan favorite of BYU
(#3) and that's all he needed to take top honors. He could have been Pollspeak's pick as well except that he ranked North Carolina over Virginia Tech and has USF unranked (but ranked Kansas #16). So instead we'll pick...
POLLSPEAK'S PICK: Good Voter of Week 8 -- Anthony Gimino (posted 10/15/08)
Pollspeak picks Anthony Gimino as our Good Voter of Week 8 for having no obvious biases and for ranking:
- Wake Forest (#22) over FSU (Unranked)
- Pittsburgh (#19) over USF (#20)
- USF (#20) over Kansas (#21)
- Virginia Tech (#16) over North Carolina (#17)
- Oklahoma State (#4) in a reasonable spot for an undefeated team who just beat last week's #3 team, and certainly for ranking them higher than the team they just beat, Missouri (#14).
So it can be done, and it can be done well. Thank you for the demonstration, Mr. Gimino.
Clerical Error with Jim Lamar's Ballot (posted 10/14/08)
AP voter Jim Lamar tells Pollspeak that the wrong ballot was posted by the AP in week 7. It was a "clerical error" according to the AP and was corrected two days after release. The AP also assured us that it was just a display error on their site and did not affect the actual poll results. As of 10/14/08, Pollstalker has been updated to reflect the proper ballot.
The issue was brought to our attention when we received criticism from Florida Gator fans who noticed that Lamar actually dropped Florida in his ballot after the win over LSU. They accused Lamar of "FSU bias" since he is a writer for the Tallahassee Democrat. Lamar does have the Gators lowest in the country at #13 in week 8, however, this was three spots better than his "real" week 7 ballot. He also chose not to rank FSU either week; so if he is biased towards FSU, he's not doing a thorough job. Still, Pollspeak will continue to monitor the situation. Please continue to send us feedback; you may help us catch bias or other errors.
This week's article covers Texas getting respect, Oklahoma State getting no respect, Florida getting more respect and, of course, respecting a head-to-head win. Respect it HERE.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Pollspeak's game to watch this week is Virginia Tech at North Carolina. This should really be an exciting matchup between two ranked teams. No, they're not playing this week. They already played on September 20th, and Virginia Tech already won. However, that doesn't mean it can't be Pollspeak's Game of the Week, which is when we watch how many AP voters rank North Carolina higher. The answer is 11, but our highlights feature two voters in particular: Tom Murphy, who has North Carolina No. 20 but Virginia Tech unranked, and Eric Page, who has the largest margin between the two with the Tar Heels at No. 17 and the Hokies at No. 24. So congratulations to our Game of the Week co-MVPs.
FLORIDA WINS MORE THAN A GAME
Florida has finally gained some respect from the computers this week. Last week, the computers were not kind, ranking the Gators between 16 and 46. They're not a consistent top 25 yet, but they picked up significant ground and are now ranging from 8 to 26. It was like Florida downloaded its lack of computer respect to LSU, a team that four of the five computers now rank between 32 and 38. For example, the Tigers dropped a full 22 spots in both Anderson/Hester and the Colley Matrix, and now LSU has the largest range of rankings for a top 10 team.
TEXAS – CLOSER TO CONSENSUS
Unlike human voters, the computers weren't sold on Oklahoma as No. 1 last week. However, most of the polls (human and computer) can agree on Texas as No. 1 this week. Sagarin (ELO_CHESS) is the only one to keep the Alabama No. 1; while everyone else agrees that the Crimson Tide is No. 2. This kind of agreement has been the exception more than the rule, and it is a good sign that humans and computers may be able to live in peace in the future after all.
COWBOYS NOT GETTING RESPECT
After a humbling loss to unranked Oregon State, USC is still sitting pretty in the human polls – Coaches (No. 4), Harris Interactive (5) and AP (6). USC is a great team and deserves to be highly ranked, but should they be ranked over Oklahoma State? The Cowboys just beat the No. 2 - 3 team in the country and are still undefeated. What more could they do to jump over USC at this point in the season? The problem could be the preseason rankings. USC was ranked between No. 1 and No. 3 in those polls while Oklahoma State was unranked. Harris Interactive doesn't have a preseason poll, but voters can be swayed by their peers and the media. The result is Oklahoma State getting manhandled in the human polls, particularly the ones in the BCS formula (Harris and Coaches) where they still sit at No. 10. Using the AP Poll as an example, you can see that more than half of the voters rank USC over OSU. Pollsters should really be on the lookout for voting reputation significantly over performance. You can see another form of this in the Billingsley Report, which initially ranks teams this season based on how they finished last season.
Even more mind-boggling is how eight voters could rank Missouri over Oklahoma State this week. Even the computers didn't do this. Maybe the game ended too late for these voters to see the finish.
For more poll analysis, go to pollspeak.com.
Read more: http://www.fannation.com/si_blogs/the_sweep/posts/13981#ixzz1VXUcssaq