The Headscratching AP Poll Voters Are....

Bucksfan's picture
December 1, 2013 at 2:01p

The AP votes that have my ICON all bunched up (the bold ones are the most ridiculous):

Patrick Brown from Chattenooga Times: 1 FSU, 2 Mizzou, 3 OSU

Ryan Brown from WJOX Birmingham: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 OSU

Donovan Campbell from WSVN Miami: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 OSU

Pete DiPrimio from Ft. Wayne News-Sentinal: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 OSU

Joe Giglio from Raleigh News & Observer: 1 Auburn, 2 FSU, 3 Alabama, 4 Ohio State

Hugh Kellenberger Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 OSU

Tom Murphy from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 Alabama, 4 Ohio State

DREW SHARP from THE DETROIT FREE PRESS: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 Mizzou, 4 Alabama, 5 Oklahoma State, 6 South Carolina, 7 Stanford, 8 Ohio State  !!!!!! ARE YOU MOTHERFUCKING KIDDING ME?!!?!?!?!

Gary Smits from Florida Times-Union: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 Ohio State

Mitch Vingle from Charleston (WV) Gazette: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 Ohio State

John Wilner from San Jose Mercury News: 1 FSU, 2 Auburn, 3 Alabama, 4 Mizzou, 5 Ohio State

Scott Wolf from Los Angeles Daily News: 1 Auburn, 2 FSU, 3 Ohio State

I just want to point out that the vast majority of these are from voters in the SOUTH.  The most outrageous one, of course, is the poll from Drew Sharp out of Detroit, who has us at 8th.  Here is his twitter handle if you'd like to twitter bomb his ass back to hell: @drewsharp.  In fact, feel free to twitter bomb the rest of these a-holes in your free time.  The only way we get our way is if we bitch and complain the same way the SEC does.  Make sure you point out that Michigan State, Iowa, and Wisconsin are all top-10 defenses.  They already hate our university, its students, alumni, coaches, fans, and football team, and think that we're all annoying.  So, screw them.

And before you go off saying in the comments that the AP Poll means nothing, I understand that sentiment.  I'll just reply to that right now by saying that I feel the AP poll is both a reflection and a driver of the narrative that we all hate.  It does have an impact on what the voters of other polls think.

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AngryWoody's picture

This is why we don't use the AP poll to determine the champion anymore. This poll is a joke and is becoming less and less relevant every year. I can't wait for the day ten years from now when my son looks up at me and says "Dad, what was the AP poll?" and I say "Son, it was a bad thing, but we don't have to worry about it anymore".

Our Honor Defend!

Bucksfan's picture

The AP poll might have an even bigger sway next year if it, at all, impacts the minds of the committee in charge of selecting playoff participants.

kalabuckzoo's picture

If this were next year it wouldn't matter.  we'd be firmly in the top 4.  no matter what going forward with the way the B1G is now, OSU has to go undefeated to make the playoff anyway.

Toilrt Paper's picture

You are aware that the SEC would not agree with a 4-team playoff UNLESS the agreement had language specifically stating that 2 teams from the same conference COULD be included in the 4 team field.
There will be twice as many issues with a 4 team NCAA playoff, as opposed to the 2 team BCS game. NO ONE will have any idea what is going on until the 4 teams are announced. NO computer poll and NO real person poll will have any meaning what so ever. The ONLY thing that will matter is how the committee votes and that won't be known until after all games have been played.

IGotAWoody's picture

This is not accurate. They have a structure in place to do standings just like the BCS does, with some transparency about how the voting process happens. It won't be a mystery until the last minute and the playoff participants are announced, which is how you described it.

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

cplunk's picture

One post here said something about allowing two teams from one conference. Small correction: the committee can actually take four teams from one conference if it feels they are the best four teams. There is absolutely no conference limits, unlike the BCS which allowed a max of two from one conference.
If this year where the playoffs, you can bet there would be people arguing Auburn, Alabama and Missouri should all be in, with FSU and OSU battling for the last spot. 

kalabuckzoo's picture

they may have tried to make that argument but after this weekend it wouldn't matter.  either mizzou or auburn will have a second loss and would thus be eliminated.  

3cent's picture

I said this in an earlier thread and will say it again. If you are a voter and your votes are way off on what the actual overall rankings are then you should lose your vote.

KLF Buckeye's picture

One of the pillars of scientific research is that peer review governs what gets published and what gets rejected as bad results. 
In football, why would we give much credit to the AP when the Coaches Poll serves as peer-review?

Bucksfan's picture

It's hardly valid to compare science to football.

KLF Buckeye's picture

Please, tell me more about how science and football are unrelated? 

Bucksfan's picture

Every single game is an n=1 and cannot be repeated.  Preseason ranking misjudgments (hypotheses, if you will) directly affect the outcome of the season, as opposed to being thrown out as invalid as the season progresses.  The people who submit a vote do not actually observe the results on which they're voting, nor is their vote accepted or rejected by any peers.  Rather, they are accepted as-is, without review.  Another non-reviewable component are the computers, the formulas for some of which are proprietary and cannot be independently verified or questioned.
College football is actually the anti-science, if anything.

KLF Buckeye's picture

You correctly identify where the football ranking system fails to fit within the positivist paradigm of scientific inquiry. Very good points. I, as I think you do, see the system being more naturalistic and involving a lot of subjectivity. But I don't think this means it crosses into the realm of anti-science. 
For example, the coaches poll is essentially the Delphi method . The "researchers" randomly select from a panel of experts. The panel (n=62) rank the top 25 teams every week based on their opinion of teams' performance; presumably taking into account all observations in the season. Yes there is bias, but the sample size and multiple iterations temper it. Admittedly, consensus is never fully reached as in the Delphi method. However, the design is reliable and the expert nature of a college coach gives the results validity. I think this meets the standard of an accepted scientific approach, even if it is "soft" science. 
I'll give you the last word, I fear a hail of DVs for nerdiness if I continue this conversation.

Bucksfan's picture

No, no downvotes.  I'm a scientist myself.  I'll give you props for organizing your argument this way.  Science, at the very heart of it, is describing what you see in nature, and explaining whether you feel your observations support or refute what you thought you were going to see (hypothesis).  In college football, there is a hypothesis...Team X is better than Team Y.  That hypothesis is generated in August with no data (flaw #1).  As the season progresses, that hypothesis invariably is discovered to be false (that is expected, so that's fine).  Instead of throwing the polls out and re-establishing a new poll entirely, that original poll is still used as being supremely valid.  This makes the supposed "hypothesis" more like a "conclusion," one that can't really be fully questioned.  This effectively flies in the face of everything that we do regarding the null hypothesis.  Poll voters in college football assume that their opinion was valid before they saw any football played.  Their future votes are affected by this bias.  Since the computers (the ones we know about) are somewhat based on this flawed assessment of worth, when the BCS finally starts moving, it is dramatically affected by what voters held true before any football was observed.  And this is giving them the benefit of the doubt that they even watch the games, which we know they don't as many are on record saying an assistant fills them out (still unclear who those assistants are, or if they're watching the games).
We have a saying, "if it's not hard science, then it ain't science" (actually, I just made that up, but it's something I personally believe).  Here's my prime example, though this goes for everyone: Ohio State's strength of schedule is based almost entirely on the polls that began the season.  It was determined that the B1G sucked, and seeing as how no teams were ranked at the beginning of the season, there was no way for Ohio State to improve its schedule strength as the season wore on.  It was a conclusion made in August.
But, I'll concede to you that even big name scientists disagree with each other on how to best tackle a problem, how to set up a valid experiment, and how to interpret the results.  At least in their case, they have discourse about it.  I don't think Brady Hoke is accepting or rejecting Urban Meyer's football poll.  There are no conferences where the coaches poll voters meet the harris poll voters and they go over how they're going to best tackle this issue of accumulating data and/or interpreting it.

4thandinches's picture

Very true. Besides the predetermined rankings, the whole 'potential' a team has and 'they put up a good fight' in a loss just astonishes me.

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

kholmes's picture

Drew Sharp hates the B1G and constantly writes articles about how it is inferior. He is extremely disliked by Michigan fans as he has a vendetta against the local colleges. Look at his twitter feed from yesterday - it brings him such joy when Michigan loses and when he can find a way to criticize the B1G. Bringing up Sharp's name on an MGoBlog topic almost guarantees the topic will be deleted. He had MSU 13 in his poll and had Wisconsin unranked this week. 

Hovenaut's picture

He's extremely disliked by Ohio State fans too.

3cent's picture

Then why doesn't he take his a$$ down south and cover the SEC. I just don't get it, MSU, Mich, and other local sports fans indirectly pays this guy's salary. Why bite the hand that feeds you.

kholmes's picture

I think your fellow Buckeye writer Tony Gerdeman from the OZone explained best why he acts like that in 2 tweets this morning.
@GerdOzone: Drew Sharp ranks Ohio State #8. Why did it take him so long to realize he could troll OSU fans just as easily as he could UM and MSU fans?
@GerdOzone: You can tell when somebody's whole goal in life is to eventually land a job arguing with Skip Bayless or Woody Paige.

3cent's picture

He is right. Journalists would rather be on shows like Around the Horn instead of developing their craft and being objective.

Haybucks's picture

I guess anyone can be a sports journalist at the Free Press. This guy is as Sharp as the leading edge of a bowling ball. Somebody Drew a mini Mark May! What an asshat.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


teddyballgame's picture

Doesn't the AP still have Stanford @ #7 with 2 losses (one of which is to Utah)...just lol.

Bucksfan's picture

Yes, and that's 3 spots higher than where they have Michigan State.  The Coach's Poll goes pretty much by your W-L record, and when there is a tie, THEN it seemingly goes based on conference reputation...aside from the AAC, which gets no respect whatsoever.

BuckeyeEd's picture

We do not need to Bitch and Complain like the SEC.......All we have to do is Win, watch, and enjoy.

DefendYoungstown's picture


What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

HighBallAce's picture

Yeah lets twitter bomb them and make our fan base look even more like jerks....good idea

LiveLoveARob's picture

As a college student studying journalism, this kind of stuff just kills me. Literally this is exactly what my profs spend half of class talking about.


AP = Asshole Poll

AndyVance's picture

have my ICON all bunched up

Funniest thing I've read today. Well played, sir :)

boojtastic's picture

If needed, here are Jeff's arguments from yesterday in convenient flowchart form.