Tuesday, November 25, 2014

AP ballots: Most extreme voters

The AP poll doesn't mean anything in the race for the college football national championship. It hasn't for about a decade. But it's still often cited in the news media (some participate in it) and by the schools themselves.

The public nature of the poll means the media's ballots are highly scrutinized. Each week, College Poll Tracker posts individual ballots. The site is also sortable by school, so one can see where everyone ranked a particular school.

Using the site's data, I'm bringing back a concept introduced by the now-defunct Pollspeak: extreme ballots. Essentially, voters rank teams higher/lower than others, and the extreme voters are even more bold with their ballot.

On a team basis, the schools with the most disagreement among voters in this week's AP top 25 (in order): Marshall, Ole Miss, Colorado State, Oklahoma and Missouri. And the least: Oregon, Alabama, Baylor, Mississippi State and Florida State.

But back to the individual voters. It's a lot more fun when a name/face is put to the vote. Here's who I found to be the top five extremists in this week's AP top 25:

1. Jon Wilner. Those that read Pollspeak last year knew Wilner was one of the more forward-thinking or crazy voters, depending on your viewpoint. In this week's poll, he's got undefeated Florida State No. 6. Vegas and analytics using margin of victory would agree with him, but no other voter has the Seminoles outside the top four. Wilner also has USC 20th, giving the Trojans six of their eight points in the poll.

2. Josh Kendall. Kendall's Top 7 is something else. He's got five extreme teams in those slots alone. (TCU 2, Ohio State 3, Alabama 4, Oregon 5 and Mississippi State 7).

3. Drew Sharp. Sharp's ballot isn't kind to the Big Ten, which is a little surprising considering he's based in Detroit. Nobody has Michigan State (19), Wisconsin (18) or Ohio State (10) lower than him.

4. Eric Hansen. Hansen has seven extreme teams, tied for the AP poll lead along with Kendall. He has a soft spot for Louisville (No. 16), which just beat Notre Dame (his beat coverage). Hansen has had them ranked higher than any other voter three weeks running.

5. Logan Lowery. Lowery's only got two extreme teams, which is a lot fewer than most. Still, he's the only person to rank Central Florida, and he had the Knights higher than anyone this preseason (No. 10). Lowery's also got ASU No. 21, three spots lower than anyone else.

Below, I've got the full list of voters. The rating I used is a measure of extremeness. The number in parentheses is where the voter ranked the team. You'd be surprised, but no two voters were exactly alike and none mimicked the end result from the AP top 25. Many people picked the same top 25, just in different orders. Nate Sandell had 17 exact matches with the AP's top 25, while two people had just one.

Voter NameRating# of Extreme TeamsExact AP MatchesMost Extreme Team#2#3#4#5#6#7
Jon Wilner1.42765USC (20)Utah (22)Florida State (6)Oklahoma (13)Arizona State (18)Miss. St. (2)
Josh Kendall1.31872West Virginia (24)Arkansas (18)Ohio State (3)TCU (2)Oregon (5)Miss. St. (7)Alabama (4)
Drew Sharp1.12762Michigan State (19)Wisconsin (18)Ohio State (10)Clemson (17)Georgia Tech (12)Florida State (4)
Eric Hansen1.05075Louisville (16)LSU (19)Missouri (23)Miss. St. (2)Wisconsin (17)Colorado St. (NR)Georgia Tech (20)
Logan Lowery0.97429Central Florida (25)Arizona State (21)
Eric Avidon0.94724Texas A&M (24)Michigan State (14)
Scott Nulph0.93542Miss. St. (7)Marshall (11)Arizona (17)Ole Miss (NR)
Chuck McGill0.87234Memphis (25)Ohio State (3)Arkansas (21)
Joey Knight0.85635Utah (23)Ohio State (4)Arkansas (22)
Adam Sparks0.85418Duke (20)
Tom Murphy0.84547LSU (19)Arkansas (20)Miss. St. (2)Colorado St. (NR)
Bob Asmussen0.83656Nebraska (23)Kansas State (16)Arizona (17)Georgia Tech (20)Ole Miss (13)
Ed Johnson0.83341Baylor (3)Utah (24)Oklahoma (14)Florida State (4)
Iliana Limon Romero0.81431Auburn (22)Georgia (13)Boise State (20)
Kyle Ringo0.80614Nebraska (22)
Scott Wolf0.792412UCLA (14)Arizona (18)Oklahoma (NR)Auburn (12)
Kirk Bohls0.77614LSU (18)
Grant Ramey0.74005None
Rob Long0.73728UCLA (13)Nebraska (24)
Chadd Cripe0.73715Georgia Tech (20)
Doug Lesmerises0.73615Oregon (1)
Mike Sorensen0.73324Boise State (20)Arkansas (22)
Kellis Robinett0.71836TCU (2)Georgia Tech (20)Colorado St. (15)
Seth Emerson0.71505None
Adam Zucker0.70907None
Steve Sipple0.70928Clemson (17)Ole Miss (NR)
Keith Sargeant0.70826Memphis (25)Ohio State (4)
Chris Murray0.69525Arizona State (6)Kansas State (15)
Sam Werner0.68415Duke (24)
Donald Heath0.67617Alabama (4)
John Silver0.67027Memphis (25)Boise State (19)
Jay Binkley0.66827Missouri (11)Georgia (6)
Brett McMurphy0.66426Boise State (20)Auburn (12)
Bill Rabinowitz0.66016Wisconsin (10)
Garry Smits0.65936Ohio State (4)Georgia Tech (20)TCU (8)
Michael Lev0.62915Missouri (24)
Tommy Deas0.62116Nebraska (24)
Ross Dellenger0.61507None
Larry Vaught0.584211USC (24)Oregon (1)
Charles Davis0.56629Wisconsin (9)Louisville (19)
Brent Axe0.56005None
Pete DiPrimio0.541113Colorado St. (15)
Jim Polzin0.540012None
Garland Gillen0.53505None
Adam Jude0.52205None
Gary Horowitz0.52207None
Daniel Berk0.51708None
Tim Griffin0.515111Boise State (19)
Doug Doughty0.508010None
Ken Medlin0.49708None
Steve Batterson0.48307None
Robert Cessna0.459011None
Nick Baumgardner0.42607None
Mike Herndon0.424011None
Nate Sandell0.422017None
Jimmy Burch0.42008None
Matt McCoy0.412012None
John Shinn0.390016None
Ferd Lewis0.386013None
Scott Hamilton0.336010None