Blog Entry

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

Posted on: January 18, 2010 9:32 pm

(The Week 10 People's Poll can be found here)

The People's Poll is meant to provide a voice to the average college basketball fan, free from media and homer bias. Sometimes, the people need to be reminded of this. The result: The People's Poll Attack!

Oh I love this time of year. Playoff football, conference season, and… 24!  Jack Bauer is back baby! Haha, alright, on to business.

Poll of the Week

Uh-oh, we have a new winner… wachoosay!

And boy is this poll interesting. Let’s break it down…

Vanderbilt. They’re a pretty decent team, who has performed well overall against a pretty decent schedule. A win at St. Mary’s is impressive. Losses to three unranked teams isn’t so great, which is exactly what they have with losses to Cincinnati, Illinois, and Western Kentucky. Also, considering that they are 3-3 against the top 75, that hurts them a bit. Are they worthy of being ranked? Most definitely. Slotted in at 13… I don’t think so.

Especially when you consider that the poll has Wisconsin (wins over Duke and Purdue) at 22, Purdue (wins over West Virginia and Tennessee) at 23, and Georgetown (wins over Temple, Butler and Connecticut) at 24.

Oh yeah, Louisiana Tech is also ranked at 15. All but four of us have them unranked, which is surprising as it is shocking we overlooked a team that is 1-2 against the top 75 and has a strength of schedule of 248. Like I said, it was an interesting poll.

Special shout-out to my buddy nekco (c’mon, you didn’t think I’d forget him did you?) for ranking the UConn Huskies at 14 this week. Hey, that’s bad, but at least I finally convinced him to get Missouri State out of his rankings. I’ll take whatever small wins I can get.

Also to Rebelhoops914 – welcome to the poll! I’d strongly reconsider some of your slotting though. Baylor at 11… really?

Blatant Omissions:

Those guilty of blatant omissions have left a consensus top 15 team out of their poll, with the consensus being the AP, Coaches, GP and People's polls. While everyone's entitled to their opinion, these people are pushing it:

User                                 Team Missing

           hammerboyy                       Purdue

            sprawlnuts                         West Virginia

            sprawlnuts                          Purdue

            Rebelhoops914                  Purdue

For some closing comments, I’d like to say that pollsters in general deserve a pat on the back. This job is becoming harder and harder by the week. That’s for the best though, the harder this job becomes, the more rationale voters are when completing their polls. Keep up the good work everyone!

Until next time!

p.s. the Jack Bauer Kill Count stands at 3 for anyone unfortunate enough to not be watching.


Since: Feb 24, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2010 2:35 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

I deserved that.  I just bricked.  I was planning on putting them form 12-18 and just lost it.  My bad.  I will do better next week.

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2010 1:49 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

First, if a team in my poll wins, no matter how ugly or impressively, I will not drop them in the ratings.  They will stay in the same position and will move up only if teams ahead of them lose.
There are multiple problems with that.

1. What if you have teams that need to move up because they have more impressive wins, but they can't because teams ahead of them are feasting on cupcakes?
2. It implies that when you made your first ranking, you were infallible and no corrections are needed. 
3. If there is no team to move up who deserves it, then a loss shouldn't result in a drop.
4. If we have a season where many teams both win and lose, your ranking will become illogical after a while.  I think that is why you have been chewed out. 

While in principle it might be a good system, I think you should every once in a while just re-rank to get  a fresh base.  Just forget what the previous week was. We have learned about the teams a lot by now.

Of course it is your system and it is good to have principles.  I have my mine, too, and it is good to see rankings where people have good reasons.  I am just suggesting that self-correction is also a good principle.... maybe you could include a correction-poll once a month, or every couple months, or something like that.

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2010 1:32 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

I would like to comment on Butler. Every week I try to drop them because I don't think they are that good, but all candidates to move ahead of them have lost, some in bad ways, so I can't move them up when Butler keeps winning.  Thus Butler stays ranked. 

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2010 10:16 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

Interesting rationale.  Care to clarify further?

1.  "For some reason I did."  Just what moved you to put Butler back?  They've won, granted, but against (essentially) nobody.  So, was it better teams losing, or just a vision?

2.  Ohio State is NOT undefeated since Turner's return; they lost to Minnesota in his second game back.  Too long ago to remember = too long ago to count?

3.  Since Santa's visit, the Badgers also beat Purdue--again, at home, but does it not count?  They've lost exactly how many times, since Christmas?

4.  Okay, UNI *was* on a 15-game win streak, so they move up.  This implies though, that you had them ranked 20-25 at the start of the season in order for them to have risen to Top 15; same goes for Vandy and ESPECIALLY for LaTech.  Seriously.  I can almost, almost justify putting UNI there (senior laden team, went 8-1 on the road last year in conference, made a decent post-season showing, have a big ...) and Vandy, but who ranks LaTech pre-season? 

And even now ... who ranks LaTech, much less who ranks them that high?  Do RPI, SOS or even quality of play even figure in to your thinking; even if your not a big numbers cruncher, they should mean something, no?  If not, where's Marshall?  Have you even seen LaTech play?  Has anyone?  What does it mean for a conference to be "competitive"?  Competitive against whom?  Shouldn't "competitive" mean that the teams can play with teams NOT in their conference--especially if you're going to put them in the Top 25?  Is your Top 25 just the 25 best records in the country, or does it have *any* thing to do with the quality of the teams?  You know, as in, the Top 25 teams in America?  Are the teams in LaTech's conference competitive in that sense?

5.  If you do not, even for a moment, think that teams deserve a ranking, why would you rank them there?  Is the system that iron-clad?  In the grand scheme of things, it *is* what you think ... that's hardly inconsequential, and neither is 1/40.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2010 9:28 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

Gee canuck, I don't whether to feel honored or offended since you called me out!  I had to do this last year too, so I guess I'll try to offer some rationale behind my rankings.

First, if a team in my poll wins, no matter how ugly or impressively, I will not drop them in the ratings.  They will stay in the same position and will move up only if teams ahead of them lose.

Second, teams in my poll who lose pay a heavy price.  I hold them to a high standard, and right or wrong, losing teams can expect to drop anywhere from 5 to 9 spots in my poll.  It's crazy, but I like to shake things up once in a while.  Since I got mentioned two weeks running, my plan seems to be working Wink!  Really, I'm not a publicity hog, but I realize my rankings raise eyebrows, roll eyes, etc.  It's not intentional though.

You mentioned Vandy and La Tech, Georgetown, and my 3-car Big 10 pileup.  So, for you and anyone else curious as to the whys and hows of my poll, here goes....

I have Tennessee at 4.  I know the Vols had their world rocked by USC, and I dropped them from 9th to 17th in December (in retrospect, it probably should have been more).  Since then, Tennessee has not lost.  Some of their games haven't been pretty, but teams ahead of them have lost since Christmas.  They looked pretty good against Kansas, while the Jayhawks played like they weren't interested until the last 6 minutes of the game.  Accordingly, I dropped KU 6 places from 1st to 7th.  Too harsh, too light, or just right?  I don't know.

I have BYU at 9.  It probably is too high for the Cougars, but again they have not lost.  Once they do, they will be dealt with accordingly.  Same story, different teams:  12. Northern Iowa  13. Vanderbilt  15. Louisiana Tech     I don't think for a moment these teams deserve to be ranked this highly.  But again, I'm being true to the parameters I set when participating in the People's Poll not only this year, but last year too.  I'm not going to move the foul line closer to or farther from the basket in the middle of the season.  If I want to change my flexibility, I'll do it at the start of the 2010-11 season (If Jawhk still does this and I'm allowed (or decide) to participate).  The Cougars, Panthers, Commodores, and Bulldogs all moved up because teams ahead of them lost.  Again, I don't know if it's right or wrong, but hey, it's my poll (which is only 1 out of 40 or so considered each week), and in the grand scheme of things, what I think is inconsequential.

19. West Virginia--probably too low,
20. Butler--fell out of my poll after the loss to Georgetown at MSG.  I really didn't want to put them back in this week, but for some reason, I did.
21. Ohio State--Without Evan Turner, the Bucks lost to Butler, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Since he came back, OSU is unbeaten with a win at Purdue and an avenging home win against Wisconsin.
22. Wisconsin--Yes, the Badgers did beat Duke, but it was at the Kohl Center where they are very tough to beat, and it came before Santa put the bridle on his team of reindeer.
23. Purdue--Bolermakers have lost 3 straight (2 to teams that were unranked at the time).
24. Georgetown--probably too low as well, but the Hoyas have some games where they are slow out of the blocks (big halftime deficits to Connecticut which they were able to win, and Villanova where their rally fell short).  They lost to Marquette.  Good wins over Butler and Temple (only by 1 and it came at D.C. in November).  They beat Washington, which on some nights seems impressive and other nights, not so hot.

Earlier this season, I had New Mexico as high as 8th.  Since their unbeaten start, they've gone 3-3 in their last 6 games, and I haven't put them back in my poll.  I had St. Mary's 14th last week.  I hadn't seen the Gaels play until their home encounter with Gonzaga, who turned back every challenge SMC threw at them after they had built a double-digit lead.  St. Mary's never got closer than 5 or 7 points, so I was more impressed with the Zags (who were 19th last week, according to me) than I was with the Gaels.  In effect, I thought there were other teams that deserved a look.  I'm not a big numbers cruncher on RPI and SOS.  I look at the record first, then the schedule.  In the case of Louisiana Tech, I thought they deserved some credit for so far, leading a competitive conference that will probably only get 1 bid this year.

I'm not one to massage the wrists of a beaten team and say, "oh well, it was one bad game".  If you want to be ranked in my poll or anyone else's, you ought to bring your best game each and every time, and let the chips fall where they may.

Since: Jan 4, 2010
Posted on: January 19, 2010 3:37 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

And here I thought I was going to be burned at the stake for ranking North Carolina and Connecticut.  Sheeeww!  I guess I dodged a bullet this time or is the criticism reserved for the regular pollsters?  I was just asking before the next poll is due. Not that I would change my mind or anything, but I may have to talk myself into being less emotionally attached to some of the teams I had listed this week; especially if they have a less than perfect record this week.  It's possible for teams to get into a rut and go through a stretch where they look pitiful.  When it comes to their record vs. their overall potential, the stats can be misleading.  I'm not saying this is the case with the Tarheels or the Huskies.  However, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out.  This week should shed some light on the truth for me.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2010 2:50 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

as always, great job canuck.  I agree that the actual playing of games seems to take some of the irrational, emotional, and simply homerous out of the polling process.  I'd still like to see the name-recognition factor toned down a bit too though.  UConn and UNC may be back in March, but they're waaaaay back right now.

And while I try to give some love to the non-name teams playing well (Vandy, UNI, Harvard ... ) 13 does seem, well, a bit much.  Good call.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: January 19, 2010 5:32 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 10

My Response:

With Purdue having 2 loses last week my intent was to move them down to the 18 - 22 range.  As I completed my top 25 I made the mistake of not including them back in.  So it is nothing more than a simple mistake. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or