The RTT computer BlogPoll ballot: the raw numbers

[Note by Joel, 09/28/08 9:43 PM EDT ] Change in plans. Some big news about the BlogPoll on the horizon, and there is now a deadline for draft ballots as well as the Wednesday deadline for final ballots. I'm going to go ahead and make some of the revisions. If y'all have any, try to leave a comment before 10:00 tomorrow.

Time for yet another iteration of the RTT Ready, Fire, Aim BlogPoll ballotty thing. For a complete refresher on what we're doing, go here, here, here, and here.

Adjustments for this week:

  • I'm using hooper's "square root of the sum of the squares trick" because frankly, it just sounds impressive and it's a fine way to limit the criticism to only other mathy types. What non-geek is going to argue with that? Divide and conquer, say I. I'll work up something out of a law journal, preferably in latin, for next week, and hooper and I will have conquered the world.
  • Seriously, hooper's infatuation with squares seems to make a lot of sense, and the results looked more reliable than the other way, so there. That's the only tweak this week.
  • The categories again: Win/Loss, Strength of Schedule, Pass Efficiency Defense, Rush Defense, 3rd Down Offense, Total Defense, Pass Efficiency Offense, Experience, Opponents Points Per Game, Total Offense, and 3rd Down Defense. The AVG R column is Average Ranking, and the last column is Weighted Average.
  • The current weighting of the categories: 30, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Then tweaked by the square root of the sum of the squares manuever.
  • Current spreadsheet here.

All right, then. The Top 35, according to the computer, and for those of you that are new this week, no, this isn't our BlogPoll ballot. It informs our eventual BlogPoll ballot:

Rank
Team
WL
SOS
PED
RD
3DO
TD
PEO
EXP
OPPG
TO
3DD
AVG R
W AVG
1
Oklahoma
1
31
4
12
18
15
3
59
13
7
11
15.82
39.55
2
Utah
1
22
61
5
28
5
16
14
41
28
23
22.18
58.91
3
Alabama
1
41
18
3
14
18
42
95
15
57
13
28.82
58.97
4
Kansas
20
13
13
21
4
35
17
32
18
12
47
21.09
63.83
5
Texas
1
55
40
2
12
26
2
116
6
10
14
25.82
75.02
6
Florida St.
20
5
35
8
21
3
76
53
3
38
3
24.09
75.13
7
South Fla.
1
83
17
4
20
8
31
66
28
16
26
27.27
83.25
8
Missouri
1
55
58
24
17
79
5
32
47
2
45
33.18
85.79
9
Boise St.
1
2
54
73
29
44
6
114
20
19
12
34.00
86.41
10
TCU
19
53
31
1
9
6
96
26
14
44
10
28.09
88.13
11
Georgia
19
7
69
6
27
22
30
90
39
30
37
34.18
88.22
12
Duke
20
31
14
71
22
33
56
21
26
61
8
33.00
89.26
13
Penn St.
1
97
10
15
5
14
13
38
11
9
9
20.18
90.97
14
Wisconsin
20
36
16
34
67
30
47
77
30
37
79
43.00
91.21
15
LSU
1
83
24
10
54
19
39
77
18
27
22
34.00
92.62
16
Ohio St.
19
55
21
22
66
12
50
59
23
83
56
42.36
93.88
17
Vanderbilt
1
41
26
45
74
73
65
90
30
112
65
56.55
95.83
18
California
20
41
11
29
80
28
44
90
37
20
39
39.91
96.51
19
Nebraska
20
11
55
35
85
64
12
32
40
33
70
41.55
101.26
20
Georgia Tech
20
55
8
63
36
25
52
109
17
43
95
47.55
103.03
21
Northwestern
1
92
36
36
44
41
86
59
9
67
15
44.18
109.47
22
BYU
1
112
27
33
2
27
8
49
7
10
68
31.27
109.69
23
Wake Forest
20
46
5
74
89
24
46
49
30
92
78
50.27
110.31
24
Air Force
20
46
67
55
30
48
102
7
30
85
44
48.55
113.39
25
Michigan St.
19
55
29
44
84
63
80
68
28
42
34
49.64
113.45
26
Oklahoma St.
1
109
33
56
8
42
4
45
53
4
7
32.91
115.09
27
Texas Tech
1
113
28
25
16
61
23
68
23
3
4
33.18
115.70
28
Notre Dame
20
25
32
60
86
85
54
95
34
88
57
57.82
115.72
29
Kentucky
1
106
3
13
77
4
89
38
1
73
5
37.27
117.47
30
Ball St.
1
81
20
102
3
84
9
53
45
13
83
44.91
117.92
31
North Carolina
20
78
42
65
45
56
18
72
47
80
39
51.09
119.64
32
Florida
20
103
15
17
37
7
33
116
10
71
21
40.91
121.64
33
Minnesota
19
50
45
70
81
75
24
112
49
58
52
57.73
122.96
34
Arizona
20
111
2
41
25
2
26
77
21
32
6
33.00
123.67
35
Cincinnati
20
55
99
31
37
68
14
59
63
29
89
51.27
123.95

That's starting to look pretty good, I think. A few differences with the AP and Coaches polls:

  • The computer is bullish on Utah and Kansas, which are 15 and 16 respectively in both traditional polls and 2 and 4 in our modest little computer ranking.
  • Ditto Florida State, Boise State, TCU, Duke, Cal, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Why?
  • The computer is bearish on Penn State, LSU, and BYU. Why?

Let's take a closer look at some of these differences.

  • Utah. The Utes are 5-0 against Michigan, UNLV, Utah State, Air Force, and Weber State, a schedule that ranks 22nd in the country. They rank fifth in rush defense and total defense. They rank no worse than 28th in any particular category above with the exception of pass efficiency defense, and their average ranking in those key stat categories is 22. Is that better than Alabama, Texas, or Missouri? Maybe not Alabama, which has beaten No. 9 (at the time) Clemson and No. 3 (at the time) Georgia, but can we really say that Texas' or Missouri's resumes to date are clearly better?
  • Kansas. The 3-1 Jayhawks have been knocked for their 34-37 loss to South Florida, which was No. 19 at the time and is currently No. 10. Kansas' other wins have been fairly dominating, but they've come against Florida International, Louisiana Tech, and Sam Houston State. I'm not quite sure what to make of their 13th ranked strength of schedule because that certainly doesn't sound very difficult. I'm thinking the pollsters are right on Kansas and the computer's wrong. Is a tweak necessary to correct this? If so, what?
  • Florida State. The Seminoles are 3-1, with whoopin's of Western Carolina and Chattanooga, a victory over Colorado, and a loss to Wake Forest, which was No. 18 at the time and is currently 25th. And here's where we identify the trend of error of the computer rankings. The strength of schedule data is wack. How is that the 5th-most difficult in the nation? Any ideas here? Strength of schedule should be a heavily-weighted factor, I think, but I'm skeptical of the data. Perhaps the cumulative opposition metric is more accurate? It would seem that past opposition would be more in line of a resume system, but what do y'all think?

Okay, so let's do essentially the same thing this week that we did last. Rather than me doing more issue-spotting of the computer results and implementing the human interventions myself, you all implement the interventions.

Let's say we can change ten things in the top 25 above. What would you change? For instance, one revision might be "move Alabama above Utah." Another might be "move Kansas to 15." You get the idea. Yes, it will get messy, but we'll deal with that as well as we can. I won't actually submit the ballot MGoBlog's site until we're somewhat comfortable with it.

So have at it. Ten revisions. Go.

Current draft:

Rank Team Delta
1 Oklahoma 5
2 Alabama 5
3 Utah 8
4 Texas 4
5 Penn State 13
6 LSU 3
7 Missouri 2
8 South Florida 6
9 Brigham Young 1
10 Georgia 6
11 Vanderbilt 9
12 Texas Tech 14
13 Kansas 4
14 Boise State 5
15 TCU 2
16 Wisconsin 7
17 Florida 15
18 Ohio State 2
19 Northwestern 7
20 Virginia Tech 6
21 Oregon 5
22 Florida State 4
23 Wake Forest 8
24 Nebraska 12
25 Duke 1

Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#1), Ball State (#21), Clemson (#22), Illinois (#23), Colorado (#24), Fresno State (#25).

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