Blog Entry

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:53 am
Edited on: January 1, 2011 9:54 pm
by Jerry Palm

There are still seven undefeated teams in division I-A as we enter 2011, but two of them are considered longshots by most to even make the NCAA tournament.

UCF is intriguing.  They are actually in the top 20 of the RPI and even ahead of Ohio State, but as they enter Conference USA play, that number has likely peaked.  The Knights played an average non-conference schedule that has one sure quality win -- over Florida.  They also beat Miami and South Florida.

Many people dismiss them because they figure that Memphis is still the overwhelming team to beat in the league, but I think they have set themselves up for a possbile at-large bid if they can perform well in the league.

Cincinnati, which is 14-0 and has two Big East wins already, is way down at 69th in the RPI this morning.  That's a stunning number.  I've been tracking RPI since 1993-94 and could not find a 14-0 team that far down.  The last undefeated team on New Year's Day that far down in the rankings was Texas A&M in 2006 (95th at 10-0).

You have to play a pretty wretched schedule to be 69th at 14-0.  The Bearcats played the 10th worst non-conference schedule, and they played most of those games at home.  So far, they have played only one RPI top 100 team (No. 62 Dayton) and just six that rank better than 250th.

When you play a schedule like that, you are basically saying that you intend to make your case for the tournament in conference.  That means not just muddling through, but doing very well.  Cincinnati probably needs at least 12 wins, and even that may not do it for them.  They cannot afford to be anywhere near the bottom of the at-large pool with a non-conference schedule that bad.


Since: Nov 8, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2011 10:25 am

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Cincinnati needs 12 wins?  Do you mean in the conference?  That may be the most ignorant and illogical statement I have ever heard from a college basketball "writer".  12 wins would put them in the range of 3rd or 4th in the big east.  There are currently 7 ranked teams and the big east, I believe, has sent 8 teams to the ncaa tournament every year since it's expansion 6 years ago.  And, if they do get 12 wins, that would mean, most likely, that they will have beaten, at the very least, 4 ranked teams.  And those could be or may have been top 10 teams at one point.  You don't have to like the big east, but don't hate on it just because there are 16 teams.  And by the way, that A-10 team (Dayton) that is always right around the top of their conference, lost to Cincinnati 68-34.  Sure their non-conference schedule is cupcake but their 18 game big east schedule is quite the opposite. 

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2011 3:09 am

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

then let me ask you why is ohio state ranked 2nd? at this point has their play or even schedule even remotely qualify them as the number two team?... they are undefeated... but guess what they started highly ranked before they even played a game... so it was theirs to lose... so in reality much of sos comes from preseason ranking which is subjective...
Thing is, I was one of the few people that pegged Ohio State as top 10 instead of top 5, and I'm still not wholly convinced of them, either.  You have a valid point that preseason polls can keep some teams afloat when they really haven't really been tested as much as we'd like to see (Ohio State, comparable number of 'solid' wins), or those that have apparently disappointed (Michigan State).  Fortunately, unlike college football, every team has a chance to prove themselves and get their shot in the tournament, and I'll look forward to Cincinnati proving people wrong if that's what happens.  How many games they'll have to win is up for debate, but they'll finally get some competition that can change people's opinions, if they continue winning.
It's also true that you can't always predict who will be a strong opponent from year to year as you're making the schedules, but it's pretty easy to see how this one was assembled.  Does Cinci play any home and homes?  It might be time to start some up if not, to avoid this issue in the future.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2011 1:42 am

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

You can call me anything you want, but don't ever bad mouth Robert Luther Olson. If you weren't such a loser you'd know how to spell a HOF coach's name when you're trying to bad mouth him. As for Sean Miller, your comment "I will never leave eggs-avier Miller," what does that mean? Sean Miller left Xavier. He's in the desert now. As for our b-ball being stuck in the desert, no problem. Lute built the Dynasty in the Desert and Sean Miller is carrying on the tradition of great basketball. What are you going to be saying about Arizona in March when they are dancing again? Especially when Cincy isn't.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2011 1:34 am

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Arizona has lost to two top 20 teams who aren't that good according to you. How many top 20 teams has Cincy lost to? ZEROOOOO you're right, because they haven't played a top 20 team. You can say what you want about Arizona's schedule this year because it is by far the weakest schedule they've had in over 25 years. But, as weak as Arizona's schedule is, it's so far superior to Cincy's, it isn't even close. What is Cincy's SOS??? Can you count that high? How many times would you have to count your fingers and toes to add up to Cincy's SOS?? Give up?  That incredible schedule of yours is only 325th out of 346. Wow, that means the little sisters of the poor's SOS is higher. Get your facts straight before you type, please. BTW - Arizona's weakass schedule, their weakest in two decades, is 88th. Compared to 325, I'll take 88. Then again, you'll have some kind of arguement that a SOS of 325 is so that they can get their hopes up for the BE schedule.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2011 1:17 am

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Everything you type makes you sound stupid. Why complain about others? Get your facts straight if you want to argue about what you know, Ole Miss sucks, New Mexico sucks, George Mason sucks. Cincy's schedule is terribly soft. If you can't see that, you are still, stupid.

Using NEVER NEVER NEVER is really comical. Arguing that another team like UCF plays ZEROOOO top 20 teams is lame, but again, comical, since UCF beat FLA a couple weeks ago, and FLA was ranked in the Top 20. So, how does that make Zero in your mind.

What's best though is your "asking Vegas" what the spread would be. How did you come up with the bunk that Cincy would be a 7 or 8 point favorite? Would it be because they beat Dayton?? How about because they play in the Big East?

The last comment, Cincy plays 8 games against the top 20 in the nation, how did they do that? Wait for it, conference affiliation. Wow I guess if you go to a thread with DePaul and Providence fans, they'd be boasting that they play at least 8 games against the top 20 also. Does that mean now that DePaul and Providence are as good as Cincy? Actually Providence is better than Cincy (statisically speaking) with 3 losses because they have a higher RPI and SOS. Wait, I forgot, you're going to say the numbers lie, right? Figures don't lie, liars figure.

Enjoy the undefeated season, it ends the next game out. Xavier as poorly as they are playing this year, is still better than Cincy.  After that, it's on the that BE schedule where they start losing game in and game out, but who knows, they might get by USF. That may be their only win this month. That Dayton win is looking really good now isn't it?

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:54 pm

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Palm is a #s guy. He is simply giving his side of the story. For those who have watched the Cats this year, you already know UC will win more than they'll lose in the Big East. The computer rankings are pretty much worthless until the last month and a half of the season anyway.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:34 pm

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Palm is off his rocker on this one.  Everyone likes to bash Cincinnati's SoS, but Dayton or Xavier will win the A-10.  Cincinnati hammered Dayton, and has Xavier up next.  Those are obviously quality opponents.  Yes, Oklahoma is down this year, but playing in Oklahoma against a Big 12 school is not a "cupcake."  Some of the low RPI teams on Cincinnati's schedule were part of a round robin tournament, so what can you do?  (Savannah State, Florida A&M, Cincinnati, Dayton, Mount Saint Mary's were in the "Global Sports Classic").

Cincinnati played at Toledo and at Miami, true road games against MAC teams, how many BCS conference teams do that?
Cincinnati plays Georgetown twice #2 RPI, Syracuse #3 RPI, Connecticut #6 RPI, Pittsburgh #8 RPI, West Virginia #10 RPI, St. Johns twice #11 RPI, Notre Dame #14 RPI, and Villanova #21 RPI.  That's ten games in the top 25 of the RPI.  There's absolutely no way Cincinnati misses the tournament with 25 wins (which could happen with 10-8 conference record.)

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 10:11 pm

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

PER JOE Lunardi email,  Cincy's strength of schedule is projected to be 50-60 range.........Whats wrong with that? 

Schedule little sisters of the poor?  Oklahoma, Xavier, Dayton   really? little sisters of the poor?

At Miami , who beat XU and has a 81% winning percentage at home over the last 10 yrs, and AT Toledo,  both MAC schools....they are not in the SWAC, they are in the MAC.....

When you make schedules you cant predict how good or bad the Oklahoma, XU, Daytons are....How would it look if the 3 players for OKL come back and Crawford comes back to XU?   Is that UC fault they left?   The schedule is made.....

Is it UC fault ESPN cancelled the Duke game?  Teams all over the country DONT leave home like Cuse, West V, Providence, and many many others like Miami Fla.......look at Uconn schedule after Maui my god...9 straight AT HOME,   they have yet to play a road game when they lost at Pitt, .....they played ZERO rd games....

Your arguement is senseless as this article.......FYI Dayton by 34 .....they are 11-3.......

PS  Arizona is not good,   they played a weak schedule and lost to 2 average teams.......

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:55 pm

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

... what bothers me with your comments is that a good part is based on your perception based on an obvious critical attitude to the BE... sort of the attitude many have towards the sec football ... your criticism is obviously the result of a bit of hate... hey if it gets you through the day.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 9:47 pm

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

The joke is that you tout that Cinn plays 8 games against teams in the top 25 but that's only because they're part of the BE. They didn't schedule anyone in the top 25, they scheduled the little sisters of the poor hoping that by winning more games than they lose, they should get to dance. It doesn't work that way. The tougher the non conference schedule, the better your chances are of getting into the tourney.

As for them needing to schedule the number of cupcakes that they have because they needed to get their confidence up, that's a great arguement for teams with numerous underclassmen. Cinn has more upper classmen than lower. So, if seniors aren't confident, they never will be. Lose that arguement and what does Cincy have going for them, oh, that's right, conference affiliation. They are in the BE. That in itself should give them bonus points that teams in the Big 10 or SEC don't get, correct?

I do agree with you when you say they aren't Duke or Syracuse. You're 100% on the nose there. RPI won't matter for them in March because they usually don't let a team from one of the BCS conference's participate in the "Play in" games. But, with the expanded tourney this year, who knows, maybe Cincy gets in. But I wouldn't put money on it.

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