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.


Comments

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Cincy is undefeated against some of the worst competition available and you're complaining about Palm not giving them any respect? If Cincy was a "real" contender, they'd schedule like it. But they aren't and they schedule like it. How can you brag about the wins they have when they came against the Little Sister's of the poor? If Cincy goes 11-7 in Big East play, they might dance, but I'll take the odds on them not going 11-7. Starting next week, they'll lose the next two, and at least 4 of their next 5. They only play Nova, UConn, Pitt, and Louisville once in conference play. They get the Johnnies twice and DePaul twice, that plays into their weak non conference schedule. If you want props, earn them. Cincy hasn't yet.
 
Arizona's schedule this year is their weakest non conference schedule in years and it's a tougher schedule than Cincy. It's also the first time in a quarter century that the Cats are coming off a season that they didn't dance.  Lute always scheduled the toughest non conference schedule year in and year out. His philosopy was, "play the best teams in November and December and you'll be ready in March." If you want to be relevant, schedule like it. Cincy hasn't and their inflated record just amplifies it.





Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 1:31 pm
 

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

Wow, Jerry must get kick backs from the NCAA committee?  If I were the Bearcat's I would forfeit the rest of my games.  No way I see this team not going to the BIG DANCE @11-7 in conference play but then again I don't spend my time projecting fake bracket's but I do spend my time responding to garbage like this.  Hey Jerry, I remember the 2005-2006 season when the Bearcat's got the royale screw over by the committee and went .500 in the Big East but had a top 20 rpi and you had them safely in.  That was the last blow I will take from your projections for money.  I hope you don't make an honest living off this puke.  RPI's are for losers.  Im sorry Duke and Espn took away the Bearcat's from an earlier non-conference game made for tv because Sir Lance went to the NBA.  Maybe that would have put are RPI ten points higher and we wouldn't be talking about this dung. 



Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 11:48 am
 

Undefeated, but are they worthy?

I thought that maybe 9-9 in Big East play would get UC an at large, but now agree with Palm. Their schedule has been absolutely abismal. But, Mick's last year at UC, and he's taking nthe "I can beat the worst teams, so let us in" approach. Yea, they are undefeated, but who have they beaten? Absolutely nobody, and that is why they are not ranked. Nobody is impressed when you beat the worst teams from the worst conferences at home. Even the Big East schedule has started easy for UC....DePaul....Seton Hall????? Even the UC fans are not impressed, as there are still no more than 5,000 showing up for games. UC will likely be looking for a new coach after this season. I wonder what Mid Major coach they choose to lead their team for the next 3 years.


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