Sunday, November 27, 2011

Analyzing the 11/27/2011 AP Poll: Clear #1 and #2, confusion and fishiness beyond that, Oklahoma State may have a chance

This is the next in the series of analysis posts on the AP poll.  Some very fishy goings on by a few voters.  If the coaches or Harris voters do this too, perhaps Oklahoma State can get past Alabama.

To start, here is the summary view chart.  The top-25 teams are listed across the X axis and the top and bottom of the vertical lines for each team indicates the high and low ranking the team has received.

For comparison, here is last week's chart.

Alabama's win over Auburn and LSU's over Arkansas solidified the views that those are the two best teams, but behind them, there is now an astounding 8 teams receiving 3rd place votes.  There also continues to be a wide range of votes, although perhaps not quite as much as last week.

What we do see this week is that Oklahoma State jumps to #3 from #5, leap frogging Stanford.  This is a bit odd and may be an indication that some voters are changing their votes simply to try to not have an LSU/Alabama rematch.  Yes, I know the AP isn't used in the BCS but if the AP voters are doing this, the coaches and Harris voters might too.

The reason the leap is odd is that Oklahoma State didn't play, and the opponent they lost to last week was thumped 26-6.  So you wouldn't think people's opinion of them would go up from that.  Further, the team they went by, Stanford, won fairly comfortably against a decent Notre Dame team so you wouldn't think they disappointed and would be dropped.  Yet the switch happened.

Last week Stanford had 1,224 points to Oklahoma State's 1,206 so they were close.  This week it is Oklahoma State at 1,286 to 1,281, so it is very close, yet a swap of 23 votes occurred.

Last week, Stanford was ahead on 31 ballots with an average gap of 2.39 and the Cowboys were ahead 29 times with an average gap of 1.93.  This week it is reversed, the Cowboys ahead on 31 ballots with a gap of 2.06 and Stanford ahead on 29 with a gap of 2.03.

If we look at the actual ballots, 4 voters actually swapped Oklahoma State ahead, Anderson, Gimino, Markey, and Sargeant and 2 voters swapped Stanford ahead, Higgins and Mulhern.  Let's take a look at each of these:

  • Mark Anderson from Las Vegas had dropped Oklahoma State to #8 last week, having Arkansas #3 and Stanford #4.  This week Oklahoma State is suddenly #3 while keeping Stanford #4.  How does an idle team move up 5 spots?!
  • Anthony Gimino from Tucson moved Oklahoma State from #5 to #3 keeping Stanford #4.  This is questionable, but at least not so much as Mark Anderson's.
  • Matt Markey from Toledo also unbelievably moved Oklahoma State from #8 to #3, but also moved Houston from #9 to #4 dropping Stanford from #5 to #6.  Very strange how Stanford can have a team ahead of them lose (Arkansas), but not only do they not gain ground, they lose a spot!
  • Keith Sargeant from New Jersey moved Oklahoma State from #9 to #3!  He at least did move Stanford from #6 to #5.
  • Ron Higgins from Memphis moved Stanford from #5 behind Oklahoma State to #3 ahead of them.  Rational given them beating Notre Dame.
  • Tom Mulhern from Wisconsin did the same.
How can Mark, Matt, and Keith defend the change in votes they made for Oklahoma State?  Have we ever seen an idle team with the team they just lost to losing 26-6 go up 5 or 6 spots in the top-10?