Sunday, August 21, 2005

Thank goodness for the BlogPoll

The pre-season AP Poll has been released, and while there isn't much in the way of surprises, there is one thing worth noting: Louisville received a first place vote.

The writer who voted Louisville number one? The News & Observer's Joe Giglio. We are offered the following as his logic for doing so:

Joe Giglio of the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., voted Louisville No. 1 after examining the schedules for all BCS conference teams. The Cardinals moved to the Big East this season.

"Louisville was the only one that I came up with as going undefeated," he said.

Not, "Brian Brohm is totally going to rock everyone's socks!" Not, "I think Louisville will have an improved defense to go with its ass-kicking offense." Not, "Have you seen Michael Bush in practice? Oh. My. God."

Instead, it's, "they're playing teams like 'Rutgers.' Ha ha, 'Rutgers.' What a hilarious name!" Okie dokie.

So because Louisville has essentially no big tests on its schedule, it should be ranked first. By virtue of something external to the actual Cardinals football team. For some reason, this is less than convincing.

I thought the polls were supposed to tell us who is better than who based on things like, you know, talent. I guess Joe is more interested in deciding which contender has the best chance for a big year based on strength of schedule.

Perhaps Bill Snyder has been on to something all these years.

Who's number two, Joe? Purdue? (Hey, did you hear? They don't play Michigan or Ohio State!)

The BlogPoll is foolishly attempting to inject some sense into this whole national poll thing:

Teams should be ranked without regard to future schedules. ... At all times it should be an approximate ranking who would beat who on a neutral field this year.

Comparing teams based on the merits of their respective rosters. It's going to be a long struggle for acceptance.


Edit 8-21-2005: Update! This post is originally from Saturday, but I'm going to change the time stamp in order to move it up.

In Sunday's N&O, Giglio's full ballot has been published:

Giglio's Top 25
1) Louisville14) Auburn
2) USC15) Oregon
3) Tennessee16) Boston College
4) Texas17) Georgia
5) Miami (FL)18) FSU
6) Iowa19) UCLA
7) Ohio State20) Oklahoma
8) Michigan21) Texas Tech
9) Texas A&M22) Pittsburgh
10) LSU23) Minnesota
11) Florida24) Alabama
12) Virginia Tech25) UTEP
13) Boise State

And here is what he said about it:
"After projecting the records for all of the teams in BCS conferences and selected others, I've come up with my preseason poll. It's based on what I think will happen this season. I'm not wedded to it. The teams will change, and likely by Sept. 5.

"Two quick thoughts: I don't think Louisville will lose a regular-season game. I do think Southern Cal will. Hence, my No. 1 vote."

-- Link