SMQ knows going on out on a limb for or against any non-juggernaut/cupcake team just sets you up for an embarassing and painful public fall upon said team's immediate resurrection/collapse. So here we go...
Even before Peter elaborated on the similarities and differences among various voters methodologies in this week's Blog Poll, SMQ was preparing a short, hopefully civil rebuke to fellow voters, who are individually very wise, gracious and sufficiently anti-perspirated, but collectively are baffling. Specific insanity regards five teams: Texas, West Virginia, Florida, LSU and especially Boston College.
SMQ should first state that he loves the Blog Poll, loves Brian's specific and wonderful team and voter grids and thinks that automatically makes it better than the mainstream alternatives. He checks the Blog Poll obsessively every week to see if he's won either of the coveted and sexist "Mr. Bold" or "Mr. Manic-Depressive" awards ("Coulter/Krugman," likely cinched by the mere appearance of Southern Miss on his ballot, is just a little too easy).
Rarely, though, does he really look at the poll. If the idea is to distinguish in any way from the Official Do Not Disturb human polls, or even to bring a fresh perspective to the same conclusions, it's not so pretty.
Irrational Texas and West Virginia-related exuberance can almost slide, because (including the Harris Poll) rate the Mountaineers and Longhorns fourth and fifth, just an insignificant inversion of the Blog Poll; also predictable is the reactionary trapdooring of Florida, ninth everywhere, and unanimously behind Tennessee.
SMQ would have an easier time accepting these trends if his love/hate relationship with the cold logic of the dreaded computers didn't come in so much closer to his own: the typical machine, like SMQ but unlike any of the four human polls compared here, has Auburn and Florida each in the top five and ranks California and Notre Dame ahead of Texas, West Virginia and Louisville - the Longhorns and Mountaineers, particularly, are ranked a full ten spots lower by the computers than by the human consensus. We all disagree slightly on what to do with Tennessee, and that's fine, because Tennessee was a little deranged its first three games.
So those little discrepancies are acceptable, if a little annoying. SMQ understands different voters in each poll have different methods, often no method at all, and that's their prerogative, and a certain "power poll" case can be made for West Virginia and Texas among the top five regardless of their schedule strength, if voters are using whatever magical information they possess to guess these teams would beat Auburn and Florida in some hypothetical showdown. Disagreement is wonderful and good, and Texas/West Virginia supporters are invited to make their case.
But what is up with LSU remaining in the top 20 and the universal snubbing of Boston College? What is the case for the Tigers? West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers and Boise State may be avoiding the heavy lifting, but they are at least winning big every week; yet currently sitting 14th in each Do Not Disturb poll and 15th in the Blog Poll is a team that scored a combined 13 points in its only two games against quality competition and counts Arizona as its best win. SMQ did not realize blowing out the rabble meant so much when documented struggles against real teams were present at the same time.
The across-the-board relegation of Boston College to, respectively, 22, 21, 21 and 22 by the human polls seems close to egregious. It's telling that two voters - SMQ and I'm a Realist - ranked Boston College 12th and 8th, considerably higher than any other Blog Pollers, and both are professed "resume" voters. We see a team at 5-1, that's yet to play a losing team (yeah, yeah, there was Maine, which is 4-2, but every team in question has an equivalent - or a pair of equivalents), and that's dealt the season's only loss to Clemson and one of only two defeats to both Virginia Tech and BYU (the Cougars have made their own case by snapping TCU's national-best winning streak and being the only team to date to beat Tulsa). That adds up to three wins over quality teams, which neither Clemson, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, LSU, Oregon, Boise State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Wisconsin nor Oklahoma could begin to say right now. Voters apparently want to punish severely for the wild, last-second loss at NC State, and certainly that's keeping BC out of top ten consideration, but after gaining the value of that win over Va Tech last week, what's keeping the Eagles from getting the head-to-head credit for the defeat of Clemson? What has Clemson, Georgia Tech, LSU, Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin or Oklahoma done that BC hasn't? Which of BC's demerits is worse than any of those teams'? If the Eagles put an arrow on the side of their helmets, would they or would they not be widely ranked in the top 12 or higher?
Can't voters put a little love in their hearts for Tommy O's Eagles?
But since SMQ is virtually alone in defending BC, he beseeches the prudence of the masses: what's the big knock against Boston College relative to the ten teams currently rated ahead of it in the Blog Poll and the Do Not Disturb polls? Maybe we can bridge this disconnect.