Sunday, August 17, 2008

Idiocy in practice (or "The Annual Pre-Season Polls")

So the polls are out, the AP had Ohio State at #3. Fine. But this year (apparently), they are releasing the vote by vote seedings, with names. Finally, some accountability.

Still, why not hold off on any polling until, let's say, mid-October. Usually by then there's a team who started off in the teens or twenties who is thinking "we may not be able to get to #1/#2 because of our pre-season rankings."

Here are the guidelines for AP voters:

  • "Base your vote on performance, not reputation or preseason speculation.
  • Avoid regional bias, for or against. Your local team does not deserve any special handling when it comes to your ballot.
  • Pay attention to head-to-head results, and
  • Don’t hesitate to make significant changes in your ballot from week to week. There’s no rule against jumping the 16th-ranked team over the eighth-ranked team, if No. 16 is coming off a big victory and No. 8 just lost 52-6 to a so-so team.
Here's Doug Lesmerises article. (Tyler--or Taylor-- Zarzour is from a radio station in Raleigh, NC. )
For anyone really into the college football polls, this a reminder to go ahead and bookmark now, which provides the chance to break down the polls in various ways.

Among the 65 AP voters, Ohio State's breakdown went like this:

21 - No. 1 votes
15 - No. 2 votes
12 - No. 3 votes
9 - No. 4 votes
3 - No. 5 votes
1 - No. 6 vote
2 - No. 8 votes
1 - No. 11 vote
1 - No. 13 vote

I'm not fond of criticizing fellow pollsters, but I must say that for any team that finished No. 5 last year and returned 19 of 22 starters, No. 13 seems ... low.

And now West Virginia fans can start yelling at me.

I had the Mountaineers at No. 19, lower than every voter but one. Kirk Herbstreit had them 18th and Tyler Zarzour, the same guy who had Ohio State 13th, left West Virginia unranked.

I also had USC No. 6, along with five other voters, and only one voter had the Trojans lower, at No. 7.

Here are where all the voters ranked Ohio State:

Bob Hammond 1
Doug Lesmerises 1
Eric Hansen 1
Eric Page 1
Glenn Guilbeau 1
Jason Franchuk 1
Joe Giglio 1
Joe Rexrode 1
John Heuser 1
John Silver 1
Kent Taylor 1
Kirk Bohls 1
Marcus Fuller 1
Mark Tupper 1
Mike Ceide 1
Molly Yanity 1
Myron Patton 1
Robbie Andreu 1
Sal Interdonato 1
Steve Sipple 1
Stewart Mandel 1
Aditi Kinkhabwala 2
Brett McMurphy 2
Craig James 2
Ferd Lewis 2
Herb Gould 2
Jeff McLane 2
Jeff White 2
Jim Lamar 2
Joe Person 2
Jon Johnson 2
Joseph Duarte 2
Mark Anderson 2
Mike DeArmond 2
Mike Prater 2
Pete DiPrimio 2
Chris Fowler 3
Jimmy Burch 3
John Hunt 3
Jon Wilner 3
Kevin Pearson 3
Maurice Patton 3
Mitch Vingle 3
Randy Harrison 3
Ray Fittipaldo 3
Ray Ratto 3
Scott Wolf 3
Tom Mulhern 3
Anthony Gimino 4
Barker Davis 4
Bret Bloomquist 4
Jake Schaller 4
Kirk Herbstreit 4
Matt McCoy 4
Randy Rosetta 4
Steve Conroy 4
Tom Keegan 4
Jim Mashek 5
Tom Hart 5
Tom Murphy 5
Mike Strain 6
Adam Van Brimmer 8
Bill Cole 8
Doug Segrest 11
Taylor Zarzour 13