Blog Entry

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Posted on: January 25, 2010 10:35 pm

(The Week 11 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!

Poll of the Week

Guess wachoosay didn't enjoy winning last week, so we have another newbie – KVSkubball (though admittedly, this is the best poll of the week yet)

I know KVS has a method to filling out his bracket. I can respect that. But if the BCS has taught us anything, not taking a close look at the output can lead to issues. So what exactly do I have issues with? They follow something like this:

  • Texas at 9 – Purdue, West Virginia, Duke and Michigan State all have more losses than Texas, and a loss at Kansas State is not that bad
  • Wake Forest at 14 – Yes, they deserve to be ranked, but ahead of Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Gonzaga? Not buying it
  • Baylor at 18 – They played Kansas close, but they were smoked by Colorado just 2 weeks ago
  • Missouri at 20 – Great win against Kansas State, but losses to 3 unranked opponents (Richmond, Oklahoma and Oral Roberts) over shadows that
  • Maryland ranked period – no wins against ranked teams, 5 losses and 1-5 against the Top 75

Special shoutouts to: 

  • Jermtheworm33 with Northern Iowa at 16 (bad loss to unranked team this week)
  • necko (yep, again) with Missippi State at 17 (1 good win, 1 bad loss, and 1 awful loss)
  • Jawhk (sorry bud) with Cornell at 18 (couple "good losses", but no good wins)
  • Badgers Ballers… how could you not rank Wisconsin… are they not your team?

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

           paul4cats                             West Virginia (though at least he already called himself on it)

           Duckbill30                            Tennessee

Geez you guys are getting better at this…

Until next time!


Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2010 6:35 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Badgers Ballers… how could you not rank Wisconsin… are they not your team? Because they didn't look like a top 25 team at all last week so I didn't rank them. I'm sorry, but barely beating Michigan, and then needing a monumental comeback to beat Penn State at home didn't impress me. I'll rank them this week though because they actually looked good, and should've beaten Purdump on the road.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2010 2:40 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

My view on Duke is that getting blown out by NCSU is pretty much inexcusable.  Losing is one thing, losing badly  (and playing badly) another.  Duke looked very much like Home Court Heros to that point, incapable of beating even the least of quality teams outside of the friendly confines.  The Clemson game reversed that trend, but a good deal of that (I think--I realize that Dookies will argue it was all caused by suffocating D) was simply Clemson being Clemson and wilting in the heat of ACC play.  They missed lay-ups, missed open looks, threw the ball away when Duke wasn't pressuring them, and simply failed (except for Booker) to crash the boards.  Yes, Duke played well, and won, but not by so much to convince me that they're Top 10, really.  And once you slide out of the top 4-5, it's a huge mess, so 16 is almost as good as 11, and ... well, I thought the teams I put from 7-15 were better than Duke.  Revisions are afoot though.

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2010 7:48 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Poll attacks...

Remember everyone, your polls are just your opinions, as my poll is my opinion. This week I adjusted my rankings to look mostly at the last 10 games played by each team. Some teams which did really well early, have kind of went to the dogs, while others have been much better over their last 10 games.

As my goal is to rank the teams as I think they are, NOW, and not what they were two weeks ago, or what they will be -- at the end of the season, I think looking at the most recent 10 games makes sense, at this point in the season, but maybe that's just me.

Texas rated #8 for the entire season and #15 for the last 10 games, after their two losses.

Wake Forest rated #15 for the season and # 7 for the last 10 games. The game I watched Wake play in, they looked very solid.

I don't know if you have watched Baylor play, but I think they learned something from their loss at Colorado. They played KU very tough at KU. They never folded. They have a good post game, and their guards are long and athletic, they had to replace key players and have done a great job. Udoh has been solid in the middle (transfer from Michigan). They're actually playing some defense this year. They pushed KU.

Missouri is undersized, but they have a style of play that creates matchup problems for many other teams. They also have replaced their top two post players from last year, and until the KU game, looked pretty good. The losses you quote, aren't terrible losses, IMO. Two of those three teams have reasonable shots at making the tournament. Most teams outside of the Top 10 teams have questionable losses, and at #20, I think it reflects them as a solid, but not outstanding team.

Maryland has looked better recently. They did look bad early and often, but I think they are getting it. Looking at their last 10 games tells me they are likely moving in the right direction. I don't think your judgment is better than mine on them. They rate #28 for the year, and T-19 for their last 10 games. Maybe my rating system is just a little ahead of recognizing where they should be rated, or maybe it is wrong, but they have a coach who has won a national title, and who usually gets his teams to improve over the course of the year, so I don't feel any need to quake and quail before your poll attack for putting them in.

The way I create my rankings means that where a team is, is going to vary a little more than most other pollsters, who place a team and resist moving them. If a team has bad losses they drop. I can live with it, and don't care much how others perceive my poll. I make an effort to not let the system over-awe my sense of which teams are best, but it does give me a perspective that is more objective than what my gut tells me, and something that creates a consistent way to view teams, and one that uses the same criteria for each team, whether I like them or hate them!

But if you're having fun with your PA's, power to you! I'll keep to my own council as to who I will rank and where. Thank you very much!

So that's my volley to your PA serve. Catch it if you can! Ta, ta!

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2010 3:01 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Schildkrotte, I agree with the assessment on Texas and MSU.  I have seen most of the KState-Texas game and parts of the Texas-UConn game, and Texas looked out of synch and lost.  On the other hand MSU seem to have worked out the early issues and are dominant in Big Ten play.  They have found their offense and they are more physical on defense than ever.  Remember, this team was picked #2 in pre-season polls.  They are starting to live up to that expectation.

We disagree on Duke, obviously although you didn't eleborate your reasons. 

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 11:37 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

I too, am one of those who punished Texas pretty severely for losing two in a row; I think I had them 11. 

To be fair, I put Duke down at 16 (I think Jhwk missed that in the poll, or I am not a reg, because it says Duke's LR is 13, and I know I put them lower) and Texas is still ahead of Purdue and West Virginia in my poll.  They are, however, behind Michigan State.

Part of it is that infernal "it's better to lose early" mentality that nags at all of us; it's hard to knock down a team that doesn't lose, so when all of the teams in front of MSU lose, they move up.  I had them 14 at one point, and they just haven't lost.  Damn Gophers!

Another part of it is the "eye test."  I know both of Texas' losses were on the road to "quality teams".  Yes, even though I don't rank UConn, I consider them a quality team.  They certainly have the talent, and Storrs is a tough place to play; they may only be HCH, but in Storrs ... no great shame in a loss.  Texas didn't just lose though; they lost their lead, lost their composure, and seemingly have lost their way.  Damion James pretty much disappeared against KSU; Pittman vanished in CT.  They didn't play D for the first 20 minutes against the Wildcats (unless you're going to count fouling the post man) and they didn't for the last 20 against the Huskies.  Their offense was everyone for himself.  A lot of commentators say that Barnes is playing too many people, so no one knows their role. Don't know about the first part, but the second part looks right.  The 'Horns look lost.

MSU, OTOH, looks "found."  Keep in mind that when they lost to UNC, part of that was mis-matches (no one established in the post)  and that UNC was at full strength.  No injuries to Davis, Ginyard, Zeller, etc.; UNC was ranked and ranked highly at the time, probably with merit.  Tom Izzo teams traditionally start slow.  The Texas game was in Austin.  (The UNC game was basically a home game for the Longhorns too, though it will be listed as neutral.)  Since then, Michigan State has not only righted itself but won some big games on the road.

So while the Ws and Ls may favor Texas, and the H2H may favor Texas, I'll argue Parish's line here: the Body of Work favors MSU at the moment.  The Horns have ventured into hostile territory five times and lost twice, to the only two quality teams they played.  Iowa State, Arkansas, and Rice aren't teams you can seriously expect to defend the home court.  They won three games (I'll give you UNC) on neutral courts.  They beat Pitt back before the Panthers were at full strength, beat UNC at the start of its current problems, and handled Iowa.  Where's the resume-building quality win on the road?

Many of us, myself included, thought it might have been Pitt or UNC.  I count dropping Texas to 11, behind MSU, because I now doubt the Longhorns' ability to win in the road, where the Spartans have proven themselves.  

In short then, I think at least ranking MSU and maybe ranking WVa ahead of Texas at this point can be justified.  Less certain about Pitt (HC loss is troubling, even if to a good team) and Purdue (the three game streak included HC loss) 

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2010 10:49 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Canuck, I think our disagreement is that I consider two straight losses a lot worse than one loss followed by a win. I also consider recent games with more value. 

I do agree about Purdue, I have them at 12.  The team that I have ahead of Texas that KVS does not is Kansas State, which obviously wins your head-to-head argument this week.   I only use the head-to-head if the teams are about equal and the game is recent.

I move teams up and down more freely based on recent performance.  One loss is not bad if it isn't a trend; which is why Duke's loss to NC state didn't affect their ranking - it was a road loss sandwiched between two top wins, and the one after was a road game wallopping of #23 Clemson (in my rankings).  So in that case I am convinced that Duke still has the edge and "it was just one game".  They come in at #3 in score ratings and are #2 on Pomeroy; computer ratings love them all over the country and I think right now they are better than Texas.

MSU has been hot; they are unbeaten in Big Ten play; I don't think anyone questions slotting them at 6; in fact they are #5 in the People's Poll - so I don't really get your argument there; our voters ranked Texas below them.

Oh, and overall, I love your Poll attacks and they inspire great discussion - keep up the good work :)

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2010 9:49 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

I get what you're trying to say gezemice, but here's an expanded discussion on why I can't see how you can justify having Texas behind Purdue, West Virginia, Duke and Michigan State:

  • Texas has only two losses; all the others have three
  • Texas was well ahead of Purdue last week in everyone's eyes, as the Boilermakers were reeling and in the midst of a 3 game losing streak. Purdue then beat Illinois and Michigan (without Harris) this week. I get that Texas lost twice, but how does beating two unranked teams make up such a huge gap, when one of Texas' losses was to a borderline Top 10 team?
  • Texas beat Michigan State straight up, granted it was 4 weeks ago, but that still has to count for something. Michigan State also lost to North Carolina, who Texas smoked. MSU was also had two uninspiring wins this week, beating Minnesota and Iowa by a combined 8 points. Finally, two of MSU's three losses were to unranked opponents.
  • Duke lost to NC State this week. You cannot argue that losses to Kansas State and Connecticut combined are worse than losing to NC State by 14. I also discount the Clemson win a bit, as they always seem to lose games badly at this time of year
  • West Virginia I can somewhat understand being ranked ahead, but keep in mind that Texas is 5-2 in 2010, West Virginia is 4-3. West Virginia lost recently to an unranked Notre Dame team. Also, Texas is 2-2 against the Top 25, while West Virginia is 0-2.

Personally I can't understand how any of those teams are ranked above Texas, though admittedly I could understand if some people dropped Texas to maybe 6 or 7, with 1 or 2 of the above teams ranked ahead of them. Putting all four of those teams ahead of them, I can't buy it.

And just to add, though it may seem like I've picked on KVS consistently, I don't have an issue with his system. I like that people in the poll are taking the time and effort in to creating their own systems. I think you just need to be cognisant of the fact that any system may need some slight tweaking.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2010 9:07 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

Jawhk,  If Cornell wins a game in the Tourney it will be the first win by the IVY since 98 when Princeton beat UNLV.  If Cornell makes it this would be their 3rd year in a row.  The Cornell vs Harvard game will be the first game in a long time that will be worth watching.  (Hoping someone carries it)

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2010 9:00 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

I may have Cornell a bit high.. but I do think they are one of the best 25 teams.

I think they are the classic 12 who will knock off a 5 in the tourny. Maybe my perception is a bit biased considering what I saw vs KU, but it wouldn't shock me to see them in the sweet 16 and this years Cinderella.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: January 26, 2010 8:49 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 11

, nice write up.  I find it interesting that after just a few weeks of Poll attacks how consistent the submitted polls have become.  If only the voters in the AP & Coaches Poll were this good.

I did it find it interesting that the following teams received votes:  Siena, Alabama, Northwestern and Old Dominion.

time for my plug.  On the Sunday before the polls are due I will have the week in review posted including results through that Saturday, and either late Sunday evening or first thing Monday all games for the week will be included.

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