## 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.

• 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.

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
25 Duke 1

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

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