Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Final BlogPoll

A little late, I know, since the official version is out, but here's my ballot:

1 Florida 2
2 Ohio State 1
3 LSU 1
4 Southern Cal 1
5 Michigan 3
6 Boise State 4
7 Wisconsin 1
8 Louisville 1
9 Auburn --
10 California 1
11 Oklahoma 3
12 West Virginia 1
13 Rutgers 2
14 Arkansas --
15 Notre Dame 3
16 Texas 2
17 Penn State 3
18 Oregon State 5
19 Brigham Young 3
20 Boston College 6
21 Wake Forest 4
22 TCU 4
23 Tennessee 4
24 Virginia Tech 8
25 Central Michigan --

Dropped Out: Nebraska (#21), Texas A&M (#24).

Like I said, the final poll is posted at mgoblog, and yours truly won the "Mr. Stubborn" award convincingly. I think my ballot looks pretty reasonable, but Brian has said I am stubborn, and Brian is an honorable man. So I suppose I should defend my ballot a bit.

Since this isn't really a "Your rankings suck!" award, but more of a "Did you even watch the bowls?" award, I won't work through my thinking for all the rankings. It would seem to me that if my rankings are reasonably close to the actual BlogPoll, they're alright, and my lack of change in my ballot is due less to ignoring the bowls, and more to my amazing skill at ranking teams prior to the bowls. So let's just take a look at the teams whose place on my ballot differs from the actual BlogPoll by more than, say, three places. Arbitrary, but it doesn't seem out of line to say that's where personal opinion starts to become personal stupidity.

10. Cal (14 in BlogPoll) - This was basically semi-irrational exuberence throughout the season that wasn't going to be corrected now, since they crushed Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl. I've had Cal ranked a little high all season. What can I say? I heart Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson (Seans unite!).

17. Penn State (23) - Big Ten pride is some of that, probably. But still, their only losses are to OSU, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame. According to the BlogPoll, the collective wisdom of the voters is that every team ranked below Notre Dame would also lose to those teams. We know PSU should be ranked below the four teams that beat them, but beyond that, it's a judgement call. My ranking isn't too crazy; Sagarin and Billingsley have PSU at 18, and they use computers and numbers and stuff.

21. Wake Forest (17) - Any faith I had in the quality of the ACC was crushed repeatedly throughout the season (Georgia Tech, Clemson, Virginia Tech, etc., not to mention Miami and FSU). So yeah, I didn't have much respect for Wake Forest. Maybe it's just because they're Wake Forest, but am I so crazy?

24. Virginia Tech (20) - See above. I got no love for the ACC.

25. Central Michigan (UNR) - Leftover wackiness, mostly. I figured winning the MAC oughta count for something, and then they went out and crushed Middle Tennessee State, so who knows? But this is almost certainly the least defensible ranking in my ballot.

So there you have it. Five teams whose rankings could reasonably be called into question. Brian himself has five teams that meet the above criteria, and Brian is an honorable man. I expect most bloggers have a similar number of questionable rankings, and they are all, all honorable men.

In conclusion, it wasn't that I was stubborn, or in denial about the bowls (much as I tried). It was that I was just that awesome at ranking teams prior to the bowl games. When you're this damn good, you don't have to change your rankings much.

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