Sunday, December 5, 2010

Checking in on the week 14 polls; AP observations and analysis

I've been checking in on the polls the last few weeks and here is this weeks observations of the 12/5 AP poll.

At the top, Auburn supplants Oregon as #1 based on 13 voters swapping them on their ballots plus a few that had Auburn behind TCU moving them up.  Given the result, that is understandable, although I think some voters are forgetting how dominant Oregon has been, that they were playing a rivalry game on the road, and that Auburn had already experienced South Carolina so knew how to handle them.

Behind that, things are pretty static until #9 where Oklahoma moves ahead of Boise State despite Boise State gaining votes.  Some voters that had dropped Boise as low as #20 had mercy and brought them back up.  It baffles me how one missed field goal changes a voters opinion of a team so much.  Desmond Conner had Boise #3 and dropped them to #20 because of it, and likely would have kept them #3 or at least #4 had they made it.

Voters seem to have maxed out Virginia Tech as they won but stayed #12 and only gained 56 points.

One thing you might have expected is that the SEC as a whole would benefit from Auburn's move up, but that isn't the case.  Arkansas lost 9 points while LSU gained 7 and idle Alabama gains 31 and moves up 2 spots!  That is likely more due to Nebraska losing and falling than any side effect from Auburn.

UConn doesn't deserve to be in the top-25, but voters felt obligated to vote them there, 27 including them on their ballot this week while only 7 did last week.

Now a deeper dive.  I already tweeted who the voters were that swapped Oregon and Auburn and where they are from, no real surprises there.

Here is my chart that shows each of the top-25 teams and their high and low spot on the ballots.

And just for comparison, last weeks.

You can see there is less volatility around a number of teams, many of which didn't play, which makes me think some pollsters are influenced significantly by the poll totals and thus the other voters.  As noted above, clearly some voters overreacted to Boise's loss last week, but the Big-Ten didn't play and here Michigan State is suddenly more consistent in their votes.