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The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

Posted on: February 1, 2010 10:00 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2010 12:40 pm

(The Week 12 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

We've got a new first this week - there's no one poll that stands out significantly more than the others! However, there are two that stand out more than the others. Congrats to the first joint winners: KVSkubball and Schildkrotte.

What could possibly lead to a joint poll of the week? They've both got an absolutely ludicrous ranking within their poll.

First up is KV. In no possible scenario can I understand why Missouri is ranked at this point. They are 16-5, with a blowout loss to Kansas and meager 2-2 record in their last 4 games, which included a loss to Oklahoma. An RPI of 32 is alright, but a loss to Oral Roberts is awful. Despite all of this, and them not being ranked in any poll, KV ranked them at 15, which is ahead of Vandy, who beat them head to head

Next up is Schildkrotte, and I think this is likely the winner if I absolutely have to pick betwen the two. Sure Cornell is having a great season. An 18-3 record is impressive, and two of their losses were to Syracuse and Kansas (i.e. good losses). Based on their body of work, I have no opposition to ranking them this week. But at 6? Schildkrotte... are you serious? They have no good wins (Top 50) and an SOS of 133... and you had them unranked last week! I just don't understand this...

Special shout-outs to:

    -  Anyone who contributed to having the poll rank BYU ahead of New Mexico, and Tennessee ahead of Vanderbilt. Pay attention people!
    -  DCOrange44 for ranking Duke all the way down at 21 - sure they got blown out by Georgetown, but that's taking it to far
    -  s0merand0mdude for ranking Georgetown 5 slots behind of Duke, where have you been?

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: N
ONE! Though hammer was pushing it by not ranking BYU.

Until next time!


Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2010 11:30 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

TN vs Vandy
TN 7-3 vs top 100, RPI 22
Vandy 7-4 vs top 100, RPI 14
TN's worst loss tie USC & Georiga RPI 89 & 88
Vandy's W. Kentucky 153
TN best Win Kansas 1
Vandy win over TN is their best

It's probably a wash, so no harm either way.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 3:41 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

BTW, canuck ... I have Duke at 18.  It's not just the loss to Georgetown, ugly as that was.  It's the loss to NC State, the fact that Gonzaga is the only ranked team the Blue Devils have beaten, and the paper-thin guard position. Scheyer, who I think should be #1 or #2 in the POY conversation right now, is playing 37 minutes a game, and Smith isn't far behind.  The Blue Devils are suspect in the backcourt, wretched on the road, and really just not playing all that well.  As someone with Duke on their "favorites" board, I have to say I think they're getting the benefit of name recognition (just as UConn and UNC did for so many weeks) when people keep them in the Top 10.  They're not that good a basketball team right now.

And to open the other can of worms:  Scheyer and Scottie Reynolds are 1 and 1a for Player of the Year right now.  GP and the media may worship John Wall, but I don't think you can be POY with a turnover:assist ratio near 1:1.  Evan Turner is too careless with the ball as well, though I'd probably still put him at 3.  Wall is in the Sharron Collins zone (4-10), along with James Anderson (OkSt), Wesley Johnson (Syr.) and a couple others.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 3:05 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

I've acknowledged, both in the poll itself and in the commentary, that 6 is probably a bit too much; I did it in part to make a point, that being: from 6-26 is pretty much a huge ball of slush, and it really doesn't matter where teams are ranked in there. 

Now, before you get all worked up about my violation of the spirit of the poll  (after all, rankings are inherently meaningless in a sport where the champion is actually determined by a tournament, so the point of doing them is to try and determine just who is better than who at any given point), let me say that I think there's a decent case for Cornell to be made.

1)  Lack of quality wins.  True, though technically you could count the defeat of Harvard, since they had an RPI in the low 30s at the time of the game.  Add to that road wins v. St. Johns and Alabama, and I think there's some demonstration there that Big Red is a legitimate team, particularly when you consider the road struggles of the "better" teams.  Purdue barely beat Alabama on the road; Cornell didn't even have to mount a comeback.  St. Johns has beaten Temple, Cincinnati, and Siena.  So in at least three cases, you can argue that Big Red has, at least, not fallen to an inferior opponent as so many of the others have.  Blather on all you want about tough schedule, night-in night-out, etc.  SOS is largely based on perception, even at this point in the season.  Playing Louisville counts for more because people thought they'd be good, because they're in the Big East.  My eyes say Cornell performs as well as the "big boys" consistently.

2) Quality losses.  Big Red lost to Kansas, in the Phog, by five.  Who else has come that close there?  Only Baylor.  Missouri got blown out.  Texas Tech got blown out.  Big Red lost to Syracuse by 15, which is bad, but I don't see anyone saying Georgetown doesn't belong and they lost by a similar margin, in a much worse-looking performance.  So Cornell's worst loss is on the road to Seton Hall, by 11.  Guess who else lost to Seton Hall: Pittsburgh.  So, Cornell takes care of business.

3) Actually watching the team.  How many of you know that Cornell: a) starts four seniors; b) has been to the tournament for the last two years; c) has a decent 7-footer in the paint (played Aldrich well, and gave Syracuse fits for stretches); d) has size on the wings, and an athletic shooter in Wittman?  In other words, this is not your average Ivy League team; it's not Princeton, winning with the modified four corners attack that just frustrates you because you haven't seen it; it's not Penn, relying on one athletic guard surrounded by a bunch of pasty 6' 3" forwards who scrap for rebounds.  This is a team with size, athleticism, and experience.

4) Look at all the teams 7-26 who lost last week: Georgetown suffered more at Syracuse than Cornell did; Temple lost to Charlotte; BYU lost to New Mexico; Pitt lost twice; Gonzaga lost to the other USF; Duke and Vandy got ripped on the road; Texas completed a 1-3 stretch with a loss to someone forgettable; Baylor lost to KU just like Cornell did; KSU coughed up a game at home ...   Now if you want to argue that those were all "good losses," I'll refer you right back to #2 on this list.  So, maybe Purdue and WVa should have slipped ahead of Big Red, but who else?  Are you seriously going to tell me that the HCH at Wisconsin or Duke are locks to go into Ithaca and beat Cornell?

5) I didn't rank them last week.  First, I was waiting to see the game against Harvard (whom I did rank); second, they not only beat the Crimson, they eviscerated them.  The final margin was 36, and it didn't look that close.  Third, I can be an idiot some times.  Maybe ranking Cornell 6 is one of those times, but I'd argue it's as legitimate as ranking Butler 9, Missouri 25, or jumping Baylor, who split a pair of games, from NR to 13 (Yes, I mean you GP).

So, there's my volley to your serve. :)

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 1:05 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

Alright, let's breakdown New Mexico vs. BYU a little bit more, given that some people feel my Poll Attack needs to be attacked...

New Mexico
Record: 20-3
RPI: 11
SOS: 49
Top 25 RPI Wins: BYU, California
Record against Top 25 RPI: 2-0
Record against Top 50 RPI: 5-2
Bad Losses: 1 - Oral Roberts

Record: 20-2
RPI: 18
SOS: 105 (!)
Top 25 RPI Wins: None
Record against Top 25 RPI: 0-1
Record against Top 50 RPI: 2-1
Bad Losses: debatebly 1 with Utah State, as they lost by 10

In summarizing all of this together, I don't know how you can justify putting BYU ahead of New Mexico. New Mexico has a better RPI, SOS and record against the Top 25. BYU doesn't have as bad of a loss as New Mexico does, and has beaten two teams that New Mexico lost to. Even if you consider only those last to sentences to be a wash (which is fair), New Mexico beat them head to head, which gives them the edge IMO. Having the loss at New Mexico only prevents BYU from falling out of the top 16-18 or so.

So to specifically address the comments from Lobofan2003 and LAOJoe:

- BYU has less losses, but have played an easier schedule
- Up until this weekend Maryland led the ACC, were they the best team in the ACC? Nope! Want to know why BYU leading the MWC means little right now? Teams are about 50% of the way through their Conference schedules - hold off until about 75% have been played before you can realistically use the conference standings as a legitimate argument

So that's the support for my stance on the subject. Feel free to continue to debate it though...

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:42 pm

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

 I don't understand this comment - why is it wrong to have Georgetown 5 slots ahead Duke?  The People's poll has them that way - GT at 6, Duke at 11.  Did you mean he had it the other way around? Good catch by a couple people. I had it wrong and edited the blog. He had Duke at 6 and Georgetown at 11.

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 11:05 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

-  s0merand0mdude for ranking Georgetown 5 slots ahead of Duke, where have you been? I don't understand this comment - why is it wrong to have Georgetown 5 slots ahead Duke?  The People's poll has them that way - GT at 6, Duke at 11.  Did you mean he had it the other way around?

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 10:58 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

BYU and New Mexico by the numbers that I use - score rating (evaluation of record) and Pomeroy rating (evaluation of potential):
BYU Score rating 8, Pomeroy 4
New Mexico Score rating 14, Pomeroy 35

Let's dig into these numbers a bit.  On the surface, the records seem similar (score rating close) but the Pomeroy number indicates that BYU is a lot better.  The losses stack up like this:
New Mexico to UNLV, BYU to New Mexico - about even
New Mexico to SDSU, BYU to Utah State - about even, however the Utah State loss was much earlier in the season. Both are away losses.
New Mexico has a very resume damaging loss to Oral Roberts that BYU does not have.

Each team has one top win (UNLV and BYU itself).

There is only one reason to rank New Mexico ahead of BYU, and that is that they beat them last week.  If you go by overall resume, BYU is unquestionably better.

When I did my rankings they ended up next to each other - so I just switched to put New Mexico ahead because of the head-to-head matchup last week.  But this game was a conference game at New Mexico, and it was a close one; in no way does it indicate that New Mexico would be better at a neutral site, so ranking them the other way around is also valid because BYU's resume is better.

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 10:21 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

-  s0merand0mdude for ranking Georgetown 5 slots ahead of Duke, where have you been?
Not sure what the attack here would be, unless you had those teams flip-flopped Canuck

I'm a person that ranked Tenn ahead of Vandy and I'm sticking by that decision. Tenn has had better wins IMO, and while Vandy has been strong and beat Tenn, I just don't think their Tournament resume is as good as Tennessee's quite yet.

On the other question of BYU and NM, I DID rank New Mexico ahead of BYU for the same reason.  They have better wins, including the game H2H so I can't see why BYU is ahead of NM.  That being said, BYU did finish ahead of them in the AP, Coaches and The People's Poll, so aparently most people are on the same page there.  Happy to say me and you had it right though Canuck!

Now about Missouri, I can definitely see them being ranked.  I don't have them ranked personally but I have them VERY close! (26th in fact)  You mention their loss to Oral Roberts, but praise NM despite them having lost to OR a lot more recently.  Just want you to be consistent on that. MU has the 2nd longest home winning streak (at 32 games I believe) behind KU and has key wins over K-State and decent wins over Oklahoma St, Old Dominion, Illinois, Georgia, and @Texas Tech. If they continue their home winning streak this week against Tex A&M and win @Colorado, they will almost certainly make my Top 25 next week!

Not slamming your Poll Attack Canuck, just letting you know where I agree and disagree.  I enjoy reading these each week. Wink

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 5:28 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

On my submission for week 12 I have BYU at 13.  New Mexico at 15

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:31 am

The People's Poll Attack - Week 12

okay I reread it and it seams that we agree on the Vandy thing but not the NM thing. Am I correct.

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