Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Analyzing the 9/4/2012 AP Poll - Very little consensus yet

Thanks to the Associated Press choosing to be transparent in their voting, we can see who votes for who each week and analyze the results and week to week changes.  I've done this the past few years towards the end of the season, but plan to take a look at it each week this year.

I did not analyze the pre-season poll, everyone was just guessing at where to rank teams in that one, but with most teams having played one game, there are at least some real results for the voters to base their voting on, so let's take a look.

As always, we have our summary chart below.  It shows us each team receiving votes across the X-axis, voting positions on the Y-axis, and then this weeks rank as well as the high and low vote in the body.

As you might imagine, there isn't a whole lot of consensus at this point, except near the top, and even there, it isn't clear cut.  Three teams are receiving 1st place votes (Alabama, USC, LSU), but one of those teams in LSU is receiving a vote as low as #9 and two #7 votes!  Even USC, last weeks poll #1 and an impressive winner over Hawaii this weekend is receiving a #5 vote.  Oregon is not that far behind the top-3 and is receiving votes between 2 and 6, but then things get crazy.

Oklahoma is receiving votes in a broad range from 3 to 17, but FSU right behind them is in the range of 3 to 23!  Other teams with large ranges include Arkansas (3 to 21), West Virginia (5 to 24), and Wisconsin (6 to 24).  It will be interesting to watch and see how things settle down and converge over the next few weeks.

Here is the chart:

Given how early it is, one can't really say that any of these voters is right or wrong, but as the season goes along, I'll work to identify oddities or biases in the voting.  Stay tuned.

And if there are any suggestions on analysis you'd like to see, let me know.