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Poll Dancin' - Preseason Edition

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We're back for another year college football fans!  For those of you not already familiar with how this works, every week the AP Poll is released we'll be here to break it down for you.  As you probably already know, the AP Poll is the only major CFB poll that releases their ballots on a weekly basis thus giving us all something to talk about.  So what we do here at CCM, courtesy of the super cool site pollspeak.com which releases the AP Poll voter ballots, is analyze who voted for who and where they placed them.  The focus, understandably of course, starts with OU, but we'll also check out most of the other Big XII-2 teams, national teams of relevance, and any thing else that stands out.  The fun part and what typically happens is the opportunity to criticize once we find out just how stupid some of these voters can be.  In this respect, the AP Poll is by far the most interesting for CFB fans, despite not being included in the BCS formula, since it removes the sacred veil of secrecy so many other polls and voters hide behind.

So without further adieu, here are the details behind the initial 2011 version of the CFB AP Poll.

  • As we established yesterday, OU secured the top spot with 36 of a possible 60 first place votes.  Of the 36 voters who had the Sooners #1, here are some of the names you might recognize.  Andy Staples (SI), Chris Fowler (ESPiN), Craig James (Douchenozzle), Dave Matter (Columbia Tribune), and John Shinn (Norman Transcript).
  • As we already know, OU was ranked as high as #1 and no lower than #4.  14 AP voters had the Sooners ranked #2.  Of those, all but three had Alabama as their #1 team over OU.  The three who didn't Kirk Bohls of the Austin American Statesman had LSU #1, Scott Wolf of the LA Daily News (a notoriously horrible voter fyi) had Boise State #1, and Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune had Oregon #1.
  • Only two voters had the Sooners ranked as low as #4.  They were Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Hearld and Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Gazette.  McKewon had a top three ahead of OU in the following order; Oregon, Alabama, Boise State.  Murphy had a top three ahead of OU in the following order; Boise State, Alabama, Oregon.
We'll dig a little deeper and take a look at the poll in general after the jump.
  • Through the course of our discussion above, we've determined who all did not have either OU or Bama at #1. Oregon garnered four first place votes, Boise State two, and LSU one.  Bama I get, a popular choice.  Oregon I can also see, though I think they lost quite a bit they play in a pretty weak overall conference.  LSU is a bit of a reach in my opinion, at least as long as they still claim Jordan Jefferson as their starting QB.  And as can be expected, a couple guys looking to stand out by putting Boise State at #1.  Those two guys, Scott Wolf and Tom Murphy, had some other interesting votes in addition to Boise in the top spot.  Wolf had Florida State at #4, only five other voters had them higher, and Texas A&M #5, only one other voter had them higher.  Murphy had Virginia Tech #5 and no other voter had the Hokies that high or higher.
  • Two teams whose outlook is a bit mixed from a national perspective was certainly reflected in the poll released yesterday.  Arkansas and TCU easily drew the most wide ranging opinion with AP voters.  Both finished as high as #6 on some ballots and actually unranked on more than a couple.  Now that is a pretty big discrepancy.  Only Notre Dame was worse, finishing as high as #5 on one ballot (Pete DiPrimio of Fort Wayne, IN, SHOCKING that an IN guy has them that high) and unranked by multiple voters.
  • Defending national champ (at least for now) Auburn highest ranking was #14 by Phil Miller despite their most common ranking (21 voters) leaving them out of the top 25 altogether.
  • Future Texas opponent BYU was ranked #15 by Jon Wilner, #24 by Bret McMurphy and Scott Wolf, then unranked by the other 57 voters.
  • OU's marquee non-con opponent, FSU, was ranked anywhere from #2 to #15.  Randy Rosetta of the Baton Rouge Advocate is apparently projecting a #1 vs. #2 matchup on Sept. 17th with his #2 ranking of FSU (no one else had the Seminoles as high or higher) and the Sooners at #1.  FSU's most common ranking was #6.
  • Lester's bar brawlin' LSU Tigers were ranked as high as #1 (Kirk Bohls) and as low as #12 with their most common ranking being #4.
  • The fightin' Nevin Shapiros Da U were ranked as high as #20, but left unranked by 53 of the 60 voters.
  • I know everybody just loves the SEC, SEC, SEC! but is Mississippi State really at top 10 team?  I mean really?  Well at least two voters think so as Joe Giglio of the Raleigh Observer has them #8 (their highest ranking of any voter) and our old buddy Scott Wolf had them #9.  Their most common ranking was a much more reasonable #18.
  • The Missouri Tigers are a team I've felt has been placed a little too low in the preseason polls, about the #20 range.  Jim Wogan of WATE-TV in Knoxville certainly agrees with me considering he has the Tigers at #10.  Now I definitely wouldn't go that high and Mizzou was placed anywhere between #10 and unranked, which along with #22 was their most common ranking.
  • Oklahoma State was ranked as high as #4 and as low as #18.  Now I enjoy poking fun at little brother as much as the next guy, but #18 is pretty ridiculous even by my own biased standards.  Joe Giglio, he of the Miss St. at #8, was the lone voter who had Okie State that high among his other baffling selections.  Giglio had South Carolina #6, Tennessee, #21, and Michigan #22 all of which were the highest ranking for each of any voter. 
  • OU's opening opponent Tulsa, finished no higher than #24 and only garnered two votes in the top 25.
  • Texas A&M was placed as high as #4 and as low as #19 with a most common ranking of #8.
  • And finally our rivals to the South, the mighty seven loss Longhorns.  We had a lot of fun in these last year as their season went down the crapper and yet voters still found ways to include them in their ballots.  So here we are, just two weeks before the season with the Horns coming off a 5-7 season, no QB, no RB, no TE, 1 proven WR, a weak o-line, and a green secondary.  So naturally that's the ideal formula for a preseason top 25 team right?  Not only top 25, but apparently top 15 according to Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV in Lansing, MI.  I mean are you freaking kidding me Jeremy?  Looks like we have a new name to watch this year for Dumba#@ Voter of the Year Award.  Aside from Sampson's ridiculous #15 vote, they also received votes between #17 and #25.  However, their most common ranking, and deservedly so, was unranked (30 voters) which lead them to head up the "others receiving votes" category.  Their first victory of the season, get excited!!!
So there it is.  If you enjoyed this, make sure you check back each week once the season kicks off as this will be a recurring story with the weekly release of the AP Poll.