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Sunday Morning Quarterback

Sunday Morning Quarterback

Monday, December 26, 2005


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UPDATE! (Jan. 5): Deadline for All-America ballots extended to Sunday, Jan. 8.

Welcome, friends, to SMQ's edition of the Blog Poll Roundtable. Beware: potential stat wonkery lay ahead. As if you expected anything less.

But first, some Big Blog Poll News. SMQ ran by Blog Poll founder/guru Brian at MGoBlog the idea of a Blog Poll All-America team. He was like, "Yeah, whatever."

But SMQ is dogged and is taking on the project himself, with possible involvement from Brian in later stages.

What you, Blog Poll voter, need to do is send a ballot with first-team and second-team All-America picks to SMQ - sundaymorningqb-at-yahoo.com, for the sidebar averse - by 6 p.m. Thursday Sunday, Jan. 5 9. That gives everyone enough time to research their picks and take every last bowl game into account before submitting a ballot. Early ballots are encouraged to avoid a huge pile-up all at once. SMQ does not have entry form sophistication, so the format is up to the voter, so long as it's intelligible.

The rules:
1. Pick two teams of players as follows:

- One QB
- Any combination of five skill players (RBs, WRs and TEs)
- Five offensive linemen (preferrably divided by specific position - two tackles, two guards and a center)
- Three or four defensive linemen (again, preferrably divided into ends and tackles)
- Three or four linebackers (must jibe w/ the number of D-linemen to equal a front seven, i.e., you can't pick four linemen and four linebackers)
- Two cornerbacks
- Two safeties
- One kicker
- One punter
- One kick returner
- One punt returner

2. Each first team vote is worth two points; each second team vote is worth one. Final teams determined by most points at each position (duh).

3. Voters can't vote for players they didn't see play. Highlights don't count. For example, SMQ missed out on West Coast teams Oregon, Washington State, Oregon State and UCLA this season, so he can't vote for Haloti Ngata, Jerome Harrison, Mike Hass or Maurice Drew. If a voter somehow didn't see USC, he can't vote for Reggie Bush or Prince Leinart.

This does NOT mean that the player you're voting for had to have an All-America type game when you watched him; virtually every offensive lineman would be disqualified if voters were required to specifically have noticed every player and ignore all media hype. Statistics and other information outside of direct observation will be required for the vast majority of picks.

But the point of this rule is to encourage some votes for unsung, All-America quality players whose performances may have alerted voters to their abilities despite an absence of media hype. Hopefully, this will result in at least a few departures from Official Do Not Disturb All-America teams. If it doesn't, that's okay - as with the poll, being different is not worth being foolish.

4. All ballots are due by 6 p.m., 6 p.m. Thursday Sunday, Jan. 5 9 . The team should be out by the following weekend either here or at MGoBlog.
SMQ will be posting his team in coming days.

He'll also be posting his answers to the following Roundtable questions. The point of these queries is to get at the root of the way we evaluate teams, and how we determine exactly what it is that makes a team "good" when schedule discrepancies make simple record comparisons inadequate for doing so:

1. Assume a playoff were in place - SMQ suspects most Blog Pollsters are with him in the pro-bracket camp, but asks bowlniks to play Devil's Advocate - would you favor a BCS-style computer formula to select the tournament's participants? What criteria should be included in such a formula, and how should each bit of data be weighted?

2. When you rank teams, which is more important: a team's on-field resume, or its potential, i.e. the "What would happen head to head" hypothetical test?

For example, early in the season, Oklahoma remained ahead of TCU, by whom it had just been defeated, in both Official Do Not Disturb Polls (thus rewarding potential over resume). Similar intagibles led the final Blog Poll to rank 9-2 Texas Tech behind three-time losers Florida and Wisconsin and four-loss Michigan.

Conversely, at the end of the season, all Official Polls and the Blog Poll rank TCU ahead of Michigan, Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and Louisville, among others (thus rewarding the Frogs' one-loss resume), but how many voters believe TCU is actually "better" than any of these teams, or would beat any of them were they to meet on the field? The same could be asked of voters who selected one-loss West Virginia ahead of two-loss Virginia Tech, which had beaten the Mountaineers handily in Morgantown earlier in the season; WVU is in front of Tech in every poll - EXCEPT the BCS.

This seems rather inconsistent. So, which method do you employ? If you answer 'resume,' does that mean your first poll should have included TCU and Georgia Tech in the top five? If you answer 'potential,' how do you quantify that? Should the Blog Poll adopt one or the other as a standard for all voters? Or is consistency - which is the strength of a systematic, BCS-style approach - even desirable if it sometimes comes at the expense of human judgment?

3. Just for fun, tell us about your favorite game/season/dynasty you've put together from any of the NCAA Football franchise's nine EA Sports versions.

Answer in the comments section below or on your own blog with a link back. SMQ's answers should be forthcoming.

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9:24 AM

Since BlogPollsters who prefer the bowls to a playoff were asked to play devil's advocate, here is my defense of the bowl system.
Here are my all-America selections...

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And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.

AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...

How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation

SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday

Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet.
- State Fans Nation

Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
- Bruins Nation

Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research... - SOT2

...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.
- MGoBlog

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