Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hater in the House!

An anonymous commenter (I'd give your blog a shout out, but you didn't leave a link!) on our blog alerted me to a glaring error in one AP voter's ballot for this week. While I'm not really all that wrapped up with rankings in general, what pisses me off the most is the fact that there is ZERO excuse for the voters missing this last game. It was a 3:30 Eastern kickoff, televised regionally on abc, but readily available outside the western region, and it featured the only match up on Saturday that had ranked opponents playing each other...not to mention all the national coverage the game got via ESPN. Yet there are clearly some pollsters out there that aren't doing their freaking jobs by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah, the polls are mostly garbage, and they aren't the fairest way of determining a national champion. But Bear fans know all too well the effects of shady pollsters. Hopefully these people learn how to properly do their jobs and this type of post won't have to be a regular thing...but here's a list of voting irregularities that I've found...(As a caveat, I couldn't find the records of the previous week's votes, so I don't know for sure how long these idiots have been undervaluing Cal.)

Incompetent #1:

Congratulations Bret Bloomquist of the El Paso (TX) Times. You're the clear winner of the "most incompetent voter" award. This genius cares so much about the quality of his reporting that he placed Cal @ #13 and Oregon @ #5. Either Mr. Bloomquist can't read a box score or a headline, doesn't know the difference between 13 & 3, or mixed up Cal & oregon's positions on his ballot. While the most likely answer is the last one, putting south florida @ #3 and ohio state above (Cal/Oregon) @ #5 is laughable as well.

Granted south florida pulled two big upsets so far this season, but the win at auburn didn't really shock that many and Friday's win over west virginia took place @ home (and WVU lost their starting QB during the second quarter). Again, I don't know where Mr. Bloomquist had south florida before this weekend, but I highly doubt that it was above where Cal was...even with all the losses in the top 10, I don't see south florida jumping above the #5 spot where it seemed he meant to place Cal.

As far as putting ohio state above Cal, there might be at least some justification for this vote...but that justification is based solely on the program prestige that ohio state enjoys. Based on what's transpired this season, there's absolutely no logical reason for voting ohio state over Cal. To illustrate, ohio state has victories over: Youngstown State(Div IAA...screw the new designation), 2 win Akron Zips, @ 2 win Washington Huskies, 2 win Northwestern, and @ 1 win Minnesota. Cal's victories over tennessee (then ranked # 15) at home, and #11 oregon @ oregon should alone be worth more than all of ohio state's wins combined. Even if you see the victory over Tennessee as a win over an unranked team (even though their only two losses came to Cal and florida), these facts remain unchanged...ohio state hasn't even played a ranked opponent...and the total wins of their BCS conference opponents is 5, whereas Cal's BCS conference opponents total 8 wins.

Incompetent #2 (3 tied):

Rodney McKissic of the Buffalo (NY) News
(GO SEE ABOUT HIM MARSHAWN!) rates Cal as the #5 team in the nation behind wisconsin @ # 3 and ohio state @ #4. Not trying to be flippant, but what in the world is this guy smoking...seriously!? wisconsin has been even more unimpressive than ohio state. Not only have they played absolute nobodies (until this past game when they HOSTED michigan state (and barely won). But along with texas, wisconsin has been the most vastly overrated team in the nation. Their lone blowout (over 2 win washington state) was actually a 7 point game heading into the fourth quarter. Their average margin of victory over the likes of mighty unlv, citadel, iowa, and michigan state (ALL UNRANKED)...Seven lousy points! Cal might have had less than impressive wins over some bad teams, but they still were winning by more than a freakin touchdown, and oh yeah, they've beaten two ranked teams Mr. McKissic! Do your research please.

Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle and Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Ok, so these two only placed ohio state at #3 above Cal @ #4. But what really draws my ire is that these are west coast guys! Maybe they're just bitter because they work for terrible publications...maybe Ratto's surname comes from the rat and he's just trying uphold his family's reputation. Or maybe Ray "head up my ass" Ratto has a lover amongst the tree dwelers.

In the words of the great Johnny Drama "that's great, zero stars in my own hometown paper!?" What the hell Ratto, West Coast teams have a hard enough time with the rest of the idiots around the nation. Were you too busy wetting your pants in anticipation of the furd's next loss you jackass?!?!

I'm getting carried away here, but you all get the point...the logical arguments against ohio state being ranked above cal are in the section for incompetent #1...so no, I'm not just bashing them for not being homers.

Incompetent Honorable Mention (I've got my eye on you fools):

Chuck Banning of The Day of New London (CT)
Eric Hansen of the South Bend (IN) Tribune
Tom Keegan of the Lawrence (KN) Journal
Glenn Guilbeau of the Gannett Louisiana
Dave Birkett of the Oakland (MI) Press
Jon Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer
Austin Ward of the Capser (WY) Star-Tribune

These voters were only guilty of putting ohio state at #3 and Cal at #4. I know that the list isn't extensive, and they might have always had ohio state above Cal...But I still can't see a logical reason for keeping ohio state above Cal after this weekend. And the fact that there are still 7 (11 total) writers that aren't giving Cal the proper respect is highly annoying (and it makes your betrayal all that more ignominious Ratto).

An Outlier shows Cal some love:

Joseph Hawk of the Las Vegas Review-Journal
ranked Cal at #2 behind only lsu. As outrageous as this might seem to usc fans, based upon the results of the season thus far, Mr. Hawk's rankings are very legitimate.

All that being said, I again reiterate that the Polls are really more for fun than anything else at this point in the season...and the AP poll won't have an effect on the BCS standings or a Rose Bowl berth. But for a poll that deliberately split itself off from the BCS because it found the latter to be far too politically biased and untrustworthy, voters like these need to take a long hard look in the mirror. I think the only reason I'm coming down so hard on these AP guys is that my innermost hope is for a Cal Rose Bowl victory over an undefeated ohio state and an AP National Championship (knock on wood)...so don't screw it up!

18 comments:

Pete Morris said...

The guy in El Paso notwithstanding, lighten up on the AP voters. It's still early in the season, and even after this crazy weekend, there are still more than a dozen undefeateds left. Cal would indeed be my #3, because, well, I'm a homer. But a reasonable observer could rank the Bears below OSU, USF, and probably a few others. Things will sort themselves out in October, and we Bears fans have nothing--Nothing!--to complain about. Compare to the likes of Missouri, ASU, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Hawaii; they just keep winning and still can't crack even the Top 10.

rugpony said...

I'm apparently the only one in the country who watched a significant portion of the Wisconsin/UNLV game a few weeks ago. Wisconsin sucks! UNLV (UNLV for Christ's sake!) had them on the ropes and they barely wriggled free. And they haven't looked much better against anybody else.

Is USC doing a repeat of last year? Obliterate a quality opponent on the road (Arkansas last year, Nebraska this year) then stumble through the first part of their PAC 10 schedule. Hopefully they won't get it together again before we meet them like they did last year.

RollOnYouBears said...

Thanks for posting this.

fairviewbears said...

Pete, like I mentioned a couple of times in the post (I know my posts are pretty long-winded so maybe you just glossed over them)I'm not really caught up in the polls. This post was really just about exposing guys like the El Paso writer who aren't taking the time to do their jobs properly. Yes, it's early in the season, and yes Cal got its #3 ranking despite glaring errors like his. But there's no denying how much rankings and early positioning mean in the long run...(see your cited examples of teams struggling to move up).

I think that there's a reasonable argument for usf...had they been ranked near or higher than Cal prior to this weekend...but they weren't. Which only further emphasizes how important early positioning is.

As for ohio state and wisconsin, there really isn't a reasonable explanation for ranking them above Cal based on their performances to date. Of course this is my opinion, but I defy anybody to provide solid facts that refute those cited in this post.

My most venomous attacks were reserved for the chronicle writer...simply because I've never liked his work & the fact that he's ignoring the best football team in his own back yard. Basically it was just fan(atical) trash talk with a rational basis.

I agree that Cal fans have nothing to complain about...right now. But you'd better believe that we've got plenty to fear. Especially if West Coast writers are going to contribute to the already existing East Coast bias. Like I said, the AP won't determine our BCS chances...but '04 is still fresh enough in my mind to make me leery of pollsters.

Rishi said...

As long as the Bears take care of their duty, all these issues will eventually sort themselves out.

Besides, plenty of the AP voters only look at box scores and numbers, which is fine. Outside of the voter from Texas you pointed out, the rest I don't agree with, but they're excusable. Remember, it's only week five.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who still reads Ray Ratto (I stopped about a year ago) knows that he hates Cal. No surprise there. That man loves cheeseburgers and hating on East Bay teams.

Anonymous said...

When I first noticed Bloomquist's ballot, I fired off an e-mail pointing out his mistake. Assuming he turned off his television set just a Colvin caught Dixon's pass and headed toward the endzone, I let him now what happened next.

I haven't heard from him. I wonder when he'll get back to me?!

As far as Ratto, I stopped reading him after his post-Tennessee/"Cal will never amount to anything" rant he eeked out last year. Obvioulsy, he's not up for the job as the Chronicle's Cal beat writer, but he has yet to turn in his resignation.

Christopher Neal said...

I’m simply lost for words but I do know that Cal needs a coach the nation loves to hate. A coach that is willing to take risks, a coach that has enough integrity to bench a an injured player and use his back-up quarterback (at least Riley can scramble). Tedford has had some great players in the past few years and a strong defense but most of those players have either graduated out or went to the pros, now his true coaching is exposed. Tedford is a good coach but good does not win national championships. Cal needs a Les Miles, a Pete Carroll, a great coach who can take you to the nationals. Cal will never go to the Rose Bowl or the BCS Championship with Tedford because he gets out-coached in crunch time. If Cal wants a national title they need to acquire the players and coaching staff to get the job done…period. This is the most horrible football performance I’ve seen in a long time. I bet Grant High School in Sacramento, CA., or De La Salle could give Cal a pretty good fight after what I saw last night against ASU…horrible Cal football, what an embarrassment to U.C. Berkeley.

Christopher Neal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Neal said...

I’m simply lost for words but I do know that Cal needs a coach the nation loves to hate. A coach that is willing to take risks, a coach that has enough integrity to bench a an injured player and use his back-up quarterback (at least Riley can scramble). Tedford has had some great players in the past few years and a strong defense but most of those players have either graduated out or went to the pros, now his true coaching is exposed. Tedford is a good coach but good does not win national championships. Cal needs a Les Miles, a Pete Carroll, a great coach who can take you to the nationals. Cal will never go to the Rose Bowl or the BCS Championship with Tedford because he gets out-coached in crunch time. If Cal wants a national title they need to acquire the players and coaching staff to get the job done…period. This is the most horrible football performance I’ve seen in a long time. I bet Grant High School in Sacramento, CA., or De La Salle could give Cal a pretty good fight after what I saw last night against ASU…horrible Cal football, what an embarrassment to U.C. Berkeley.

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