Final BlogPoll Ballot and a Defense of Week 1 Resume Balloting

So I take Poseur at his word when he said he wasn't directly taking a shot at me when he said this about Week 1 resume balloting. But it's worth taking a look at what he said about it and why I think he's wrong at least in his description of resume ballots.

The biggest problem with resume voting after week one is really all you're doing is a Power Poll of team's week one opponents. If we're doing a true "resume only" poll, really, you have no idea how good the opponents team are other than the old power poll. Unless you are voting straight margin of victory, regardless of opponent.

Which is all well and good, except that it's not really saying anything convincing. And what it is saying that might be convincing is really a case against ALL early-season polls.

All polls at this point are based on assumptions. Every single one of them. If we "have no idea how good the opponents team are," then we also have no idea how good the teams are to begin with. In which case a power poll is little more than a guess. It's an assumption that Alabama or LSU or whoever is as good as we guess they are.

What resume balloting attempts to do -- at least when it's done honestly and in good faith -- is to move those assumptions down one degree. Your basing a team's ranking not on how good you think they are, but on thoroughly they defeated a team and how good you think the opponent was. You're not just magically guessing a team's ranking even if the only thing they proved in Week 1 is that they can demolish a terrible Sun Belt team from Texas that wears green. For example.

Is assuming that Michigan is going to be a solid team based on what they did last year and what they bring back this year, and then assuming that Alabama so far has the best resume because they beat the Wolverines soundly, really any worse (or better, in fairness) than assuming Alabama is the No. 1 team just because you think so?

Or is putting the way I put it really any different than saying: "Yeah, that was pretty convincing. Clearly the #1 team in the nation"? I'm not really sure if a ballot that says it's a power poll ballot but uses that logic to defend its pick is a power poll ballot or a resume ballot. (This also gets to the fact that any non-preseason power poll ballot is a little bit of a resume ballot, but that's another point entirely.)

And we don't truly know how good an opponent is until its schedule is complete. Taking that argument to its logical extreme means that no one can do a "true" resume ballot until the end of the season, because until then you're just guessing how good the opponents are. Even worse, you're doing so based in part on whom they beat and by what margin, no?

Resume balloting early in the season is really an attempt to say that you don't know -- but you're going to try to at least put something empirical (a result) together with your assumptions of an opponent's value to arrive at a ranking, instead of just assigning teams to a certain position based purely on opinion or imaginary games that are being played only in your head. It is built on the idea that, like actual public opinion polling on political races, a poll is a snapshot in time that doesn't actually have a result until the end of the season.

Listen, I've gone the other path and I understand the logic behind it. I probably would have done the same thing this year had it not been for the happy accident that I didn't get my preseason BlogPoll ballot done on time. But this is all supposed to be an exercise in fun, and someone's opinion on how to do this does not make them an "idiot" or "insane" just because you happen to disagree with them.

All that said, the ballot after the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game:

I dropped Washington to make room for Virginia Tech. Talk about unsure -- I'm not sure how seriously to take defeating Georgia Tech by seven in overtime this year, so I split the difference between No. 4ish and No. 8ish.

As for Texas State, which was mentioned in the comments on the BlogPoll draft: First, they're not a part of the current BlogPoll system, so I couldn't vote for them even if I wanted to. Second, when a team goes so far as to push out its offensive coordinator after you defeat them, and this is the same team that just lost its head coach and the best quarterback in its history, I'm going to wait for a bit more evidence to rank you.

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