Okay, so here's a crazy theory, but bear with me...
Alright, so, we have this mascot poll, right?
Two schools with fans ready to vote till their fingers are numb.
So, people start voting. And voting... and voting. Lots of votes!
All this voting, phew... that poor, single poll ****** that CBS has just can't take it! It's getting bogged down... and backed up!
So backed up, in fact, that it gets super slow at counting up the votes! They just keep piling up.... waiting to be counted!
So ISU is voting a lot.... they see they're ahead.. and perhaps slow down a bit. But all of a sudden... here comes MSU roaring back! Oh No!
Quick to respond, ISU goes nuts with voting... but... to no avail? MSU keeps gaining! How can this be?
Ah-hah! All those votes were getting backed up! (in other words, they weren't counted yet)
The votes keep piling in... and it looks like MSU keeps gaining.
When all of a sudden... BAM! Here comes ISU!
Hmm... I see.... *gasp* that's it! All those votes that were backed up... are all of a sudden being counted! So as fast as that poll can count up votes... ISU begins gaining!
So there you have it. My theory.
NOTE: Here's the short version without the overly dramatic writing:
Poll ****** gets bogged up, votes get backed up. MSU votes a lot to comeback, eventually their votes are counted, they make a swift comeback (since votes from different times were piling up, then counted all at once). A while after MSU gains a bunch, same thing happens with ISU, since ISU fans were deliberately trying to make a huge comeback. Votes from all sorts of times get piled up, then eventually counted at once.
And that's the gist of it.
So your saying we need to keep voting like crazy because Sparty will come swinging back around? Brilliant...Just Brilliant!
Hey, that's actually not a bad idea. That makes a lot of sense. After all, it's not like the SPiN server went totally offline- that would have taken all of Sportsline with it, and would probably have had some effect on other parts of CBS. Sportsline never went down, which meant that the poll was always there, so the idea that it was just counting really slowly makes sense. If you think through it carefully- as you described- that scenario seamlessly accounts for all the bizarre shifts in power that we've seen in this round. It's essentially each team overcompensating for the poll's inability to keep up. Who knows- maybe MSU will all of a sudden come roaring back as another batch of votes gets counted when the pressure eases up overnight. Or maybe not.