The Washington Times - August 18, 2008, 07:55AM

Yesterday was a day off for the Maryland football team.

The same was true —- well, mostly anyway —- for the writers covering it.


So there are no obvious stories to relay.

But since this is “Linked In,” I’d better provide a link. And this one’s pretty cool, and sure to become a blog staple this school year.

It’s called Poll Stalker, and it allows you to figure out not just who voted for what teams in the AP football and basketball polls, it also shows just how many times a voter deviates from the pack.

For example, Virginia got all four of its points from a 22nd-place vote from Marcus Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He has Kansas quite a bit higher than most (ninth) and Texas quite a bit lower  than the norm (18th), in addition to the rather extreme Virginia vote.

The most extreme vote of the preseason AP poll? Maybe it’s Mark Tupper of the Decatur Herald and Review placing Arkansas at No. 12. No one else saw fit to rank the Razorbacks.

A voter who’s thinking quite a bit like me?’s Stewart Mandel places Oregon State at No. 21. He’s the only voter to rank the Beavers, and he also Cincinnati ranked. True, the presence of Pittsburgh sort of soils the end of the ballot, but that should sort itself out eventually (and maybe as soon as Aug. 30 when Bowling Green visits the ‘Burgh).

Of course, I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t link to colleague Barker Davis, who loves himself some Tennessee this year. Well, at least until they lose and Phil Fulmer turns back into the Great Pumpkin.

More in a bit once I get to College Park.

—- Patrick Stevens