SMQ has gotten into the habit of talking a lot about polls and rankings and the like, in a typically critical tone, but it should be noted that he does not think voters of any gender, geographic location, medium or operating system are stupid. He only has problems with the basic premise of an opinion poll factoring into deciding a championship game, and occasionally disagrees with those opinions. These men and women and hard drives no doubt take their hard-earned balloting responsibilities seriously.
That sentiment precedes to explain SMQ's restraint from reveling in a little anti-establishment schadenfreude in the wake of this stunning development in the AP poll:
Jim Kleinpeter of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans said he tried to find the score of the Oklahoma game, but was unable to do so.
He said he was in the press box at the Alabama-LSU game "and I was asking about different teams, thinking about the poll the next day. I thought somebody told me that Oklahoma was losing to Texas Tech at some point. And I asked after the LSU game was over, 'Did Oklahoma win?' Somebody said Oklahoma lost," Kleinpeter said.
The Sooners rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Texas Tech 34-24.
Because he believed the Sooners (8-2, 5-1) had lost, Kleinpeter said he dropped Oklahoma from 15th to 24th on his ballot.
The Sooners actually moved up one spot, from No. 17 to No. 16, in the current poll.
"It was my fault," Kleinpeter said. "I probably had other avenues I could have gone to get the score, but I usually rely on the morning paper here in Baton Rouge. And for some reason, they didn't have the score. I looked all through it.
"It's as simple as that. It was a mistake."
Bob Stoops , of course, would argue every voter gave Texas Tech credit for an unearned victory over the Sooners last season. Hey-O! Even when Oklahoma wins against Tech, it loses.
Kleinpeter's ballot, for the record. SMQ would lobby to keep him on board solely for bucking the weirdest trend of the poll at large by appropriately keeping Louisville in front of West Virginia.
The biggest lesson here? Give voters more time to get ballots in. Kyle's been on this train for a while. Let the poll come out on Mondays rather than Sundays. These guys and gals and machines are all hardworkin' folks, covering games on Saturdays, sometimes very late, rushing to get stories and stat boxes and everything in on an already-extended deadline - don't make them rush to put together complicated rankings of waylaid contenders, too. Let `em have a beer. Digest the action, put it into perspective. As someone who's had to rush to push a couple of his BlogPoll ballots through on time, SMQ says with confidence: the more time available for the task, the better the results.
But also: dude, get a laptop in the press box or something. They got Internet hookups there, huh?