Blogpoll – Week 1Posted by rtmsf on November 14th, 2007
After 12 seconds of hand-wringing and almost twice as much debate, the first regular season Blogpoll is out. Make sure to tip your local bloggers for this public service. The complete ballots (we’re up to 11 bloggers now!) are located here.
Justifying Our Ballot. We moved UCLA into the #1 spot and dropped Kansas from there simply because we watched both teams play several times this week and just feel like something is off with the Jayhawks. Maybe it’s Brandon Rush not back yet, maybe we’re just seeing things. But for now, we think UCLA is the better team. Memphis and Indiana also impressed us more than KU, so we moved them ahead also (and we expect UNC to do so tonight). Similarly, we watched parts of all three Oregon games over the weekend and felt they were underrated at #10. Same goes for Duke (up to #13 from #20) and Stanford (#15 to #12). The only other teams we dropped were simply a spot or two in order to make room for teams we watched play and thought deserved the higher rankings. The first few weeks will be like this, as we work to adjust based on expectations v. performance.
Two Left Out. The two teams we voted for on our ballot who were left out were #20 Syracuse and #25 Gardner-Webb. What can we say, we’re a sucker for those kickass Orange unis. And we made a vigorous pitch for the inclusion of GW as a symbolic #25 (similar to what App St. got in the AP poll for football after beating Michigan), but nobody was listening.
Early Season Creep. Obviously, this early in the season there isn’t going to be a lot of movement unless someone loses, but we’re seeing a little bit of creep in either direction with a few teams. The top seven teams are the same, but clearly the bloggers took Michigan St.‘s exhibition loss to Grand Valley St. into account by dropping the Spartans from #8 to #13 (interestingly, we only dropped MSU one spot on our ballot). Oregon, Indiana, Duke, Stanford, Davidson and VCU were rewarded with slight bumps up the list, while Marquette and Mississippi St. were downgraded for, um, what exactly (it wasn’t us!)? NC State (grrrr…) and Southern Illinois entered the blogpoll in place of A-Sun upset victims Kentucky (who still shockingly had two blogpoll votes) and USC.
Where’s the Argument? We added the Standard Deviation column (Std Dev) this week to show where bloggers were having significantly disparate opinions on teams. A high number (> 5.0) represents substantial variance between how the bloggers ranked a team. A low number (< 3.0) represents consistency in the strength of the ranking. So here are the teams that bloggers are having the most trouble getting a handle on.
- Michigan St. (stdev = 7.39; range = 6 to NR)
- Stanford (6.04; 10 to NR)
- Indiana (5.53; 4 to NR)
- Gonzaga (5.52; 10 to NR)
- NC State (5.36; 12 to NR)
The top 4 are tight, though. Kansas has the lowest collective ranking among Memphis, UNC, UCLA and itself at #7 in one ballot.
- Memphis (stdev = 0.81; range = 1 to 3)
- Kansas (1.19; 2 to 7)
- UNC (1.21; 1 to 5)
- UCLA (1.60; 1 to 6)
It’ll still be a few more weeks before we get a good sense of who the favorites will actually be this season.