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BlogPollin', Justified Edition

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SMQ's "resume" method is spreading like a highly logical and only slightly idiosyncratic wildfire! Er, well, just to I'm a Realist, for now. But soon the entire BlogPoll will see the superiority of our ways and join the legions of resume voters. Yes.


Soon, they'll all vote with SMQ!

In the meantime, as always, every team has been reevaluated with complete disregard to last week's ballot, which SMQ does not remember, and therefore there are inconsistencies with that effort. This is not important - more time was spent on the particulars this week, more numbers crunched, more direct comparisons forged and studied, pen caps chewed, and SMQ is confident in the still-flawed-but-less-flawed-and-so-is-your-ballot-so-shut-up wisdom of the results.

Specifically, he sussed out for each of the 31 teams considered: average margin of victory, number of opponents played from one of the six BCS conferences (excluding Duke) and overall record of opponents defeated. Note that it's opponents defeated, and not just opponents in general; this statistic was the most important, and margin of victory the least (though it definitely mattered). Also, he ranked each team's performances in specific games from best to worst per team.

First, the poll:

BlogPoll Ballot, Week Eight
This is not a power poll...
1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Southern Cal
4. Auburn
5. Florida
6. Tennessee
7. California
8. Notre Dame
9. Texas
10. Louisville
11. West Virginia
12. Boston College
13. Clemson
14. Arkansas
15. Georgia Tech
16. Oregon
17. Oklahoma
18. Nebraska
19. Wisconsin
20. Boise State
21. Rutgers
22. Pittsburgh
23. LSU
24. Texas A&M
25. Iowa

Waiting: Missouri, Wake Forest, BYU. It's pretty sorry down here.

Now, back to the method.

The biggest winners, as judged by the size of their wins:

   1. Clemson (Average margin of victory: 30.57)
   2. Texas (29.0)
   3. West Virginia (28.5)
   4. Louisville (28.0)
   5. LSU (27.0)

(Note that "average margin of victory" in this case may be slightly anachronistic, as it includes averages of scores from all games, including losses)

The biggest winners, as judged by who they beat:

   1. Boston College (Defeated opponents' composite record: 22-10)
   2. Southern Cal (25-15)
   3. Florida (24-15)
   4. Ohio State (29-20)
   5. Michigan (27-21)

Ohio State, Michigan and USC are all undefeated with double digit average margins of victory; no-brainer 1-2-3, with the former getting priority virtue of better margins and "best win" nods for Texas-Iowa and Notre Dame-Wisconsin, respectively.

Florida, based strictly on resume, would be fourth, because, aside from a good string of wins and a good margin of victory, its one loss was a tough road game to another very good opponent. It happens, though, that said opponent was Auburn, whose resume is comparable enough to give it the edge, taking into account head-to-head. Both AU and UF have "secondary" wins over LSU, which has slightly more value at this point than Tennessee's win at fast-tumbling Georgia; call the Vols' loss to Florida "better" than Auburn's home defeat to Arkansas if you must, but that loss taken with UT's damning struggles with Air Force make Tennessee pretty clearly the third wheel of the SEC's upper crust for now (and SMQ knows all C-USA teams are created equal to the rest of the country, but Florida's wins over Southern Miss and UCF are worth a tad more than Tennessee's over Marshall and currently bottom-dwelling Memphis). California would have a better chance of overcoming the head-to-head penalty from its opening debacle in Knoxville if not for Portland State and the rapid devaluation of big wins over Minnesota and Arizona State.

Arkansas, record not withstanding, is not among the first tier in the SEC because of four factors: a smaller average margin of victory (10) than any of its peers, a good-but-not-as-good "opponents defeated" record (18-16), a worse loss than Tennessee or Florida (by 32 at home to USC), and, most of all, very suspect secondary wins over Alabama (a gift from the Tide) and Vanderbilt by just a field goal apiece. So the Hogs fall behind aforementioned Boston College and Clemson, whose strengths (schedule for BC, margin of victory for Clemson) cancel out, leaving the Eagles up a nose via of the narrowest head-to-head win. In between, Notre Dame and Texas are interchangeable; the Irish have a worse loss but a tougher schedule and get the nod for better secondary wins over Penn State and Purdue. Ditto Louisville and West Virginia, where the Cardinals are up for taking care of Miami, a better team at this point than WVU has faced.

Georgia Tech brings up the rear of this group - most people seem to have the Jackets higher, but as the bottom falls out of Virginia Tech, wins over Virginia, Maryland, Troy and Samford don't look so great, either. Average margin of victory is a modest 12.5. Big strides are possible Saturday night against Clemson, which will bring a little clarity to this segment of the rankings.

Oklahoma ahead of Wisconsin is against the trend of the rising Badgers, but Wisconsin's defeated opponents are 15-25, and its best win in light of the past weekend is over Indiana; a large part of UW's claim is that it didn't get blown out of the stadium by Michigan (even when it pretty much did). Oklahoma, for its part, is still only getting credit for a half of a loss at Oregon, which is the only thing keeping it a spot below the Ducks right now.

Boise State and Rutgers: sorry, dudes, but with the competition around y'all hitting conference play, big wins over Utah and quarterback-less Navy aren't going to facilitate a rise. Rutgers will have its chance in the coming month, but BSU may be stuck in high teen purgatory without even a Fresno State to boost its strength of schedule.

At the bottom, LSU's resume, frankly, is weak, and bolstered purely by margin of victory. The Tigers are going to have to beat somebody better than Arizona or Kentucky. Pittsburgh wishes it could get the Michigan State game back, because it's schooling folks otherwise and would be getting Rutgers' undefeated hype with the hottest quarterback this side of Troy Smith. In spite of all, Iowa remains ahead of Missouri based on Texas Tech's dismal defeat at the hands of Colorado, thereby devaluing Mizzou's best win, and the Hawkeyes' strength of schedule: Iowa's defeated opponents are 18-16, by the far the best mark in this territory. Though that number is inflated by 5-1 Montana, so...well, you know, this isn't exactly a science.