Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: November 21, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 8:07 pm
By Gary Parrish

Can Washington lose at Saint Louis and move up five spots on a ballot?

Yes, apparently.

But it's a stupid ballot.

Let's do some Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Did you watch any of the Coaches vs. Cancer event last week?

I did.

Good stuff.

But guess who didn't?

Answer: Future Poll Attacks Hall of Famer Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.

How else to explain his ballot?

Mississippi State beat Texas A&M by nine points and Arizona by 10 on consecutive nights to win the CVC. The Bulldogs looked good in the event; Arizona and A&M didn't. But you wouldn't know that from Scott's ballot. He's got Arizona ranked higher than any other AP voter, all the way up at No. 11. And he's got Texas A&M ranked 25th.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs?

They remain unranked on his ballot.

But there's always next week, I guess.

Another interesting ballot -- actually, this one is much more interesting -- belongs to Kevin Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner. He's got Washington ranked 14th even though the Huskies were considered nothing more than a fringe Top 25 team last week -- back before they lost by 13 points at Saint Louis on Sunday. And that's not even the craziest part. The craziest part is that Kevin had Washington ranked 19th last week, which means he moved the Huskies up five spots after a double-digit loss to Saint Louis. Seriously. That really happened. Swear to God.

(Kevin has SLU unranked, by the way. So he moved Washington up five spots to No. 14 after losing to Saint Louis but kept Saint Louis unranked. If anybody wants to try to explain this, I can be reached at

Coaches poll: My biggest pet peeve when it comes to rankings is when teams drop in polls following close road losses to higher-ranked teams. I mean, how does that make any sense? If you're ranked eighth you are, by definition, supposed to lose a road game to a school ranked third. And if you lose that road game in competitive fashion, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be ranked eighth. In fact, in some cases, it might mean you should be ranked higher. But under no circumstances should you be punished for losing a close game on the road to a higher-ranked team.

And yet that's exactly what happened to Florida.

The Gators were ranked eighth last week.

They lost 81-74 at No. 3 Ohio State.

And now they're ranked ninth.

Again, the Gators were dropped for losing a close game to a higher-ranked team on the road.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Also dumb: Texas getting 31 points. The Longhorns are 2-1 with a loss to Oregon State. They might be good when all those freshmen grow up, but they're not Top-25 worthy right now.

Also also dumb: Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson voted Ohio State No. 1 last week. He then lost to the Buckeyes by 44 points on Friday. He then dropped them from the top spot on his ballot on Monday. Would a 50-point win have been enough to keep OSU No. 1 on Anderson's ballot? What about 60? Or 90?

Since: Nov 5, 2011
Posted on: November 25, 2011 11:37 am

Cal-Los Angeles at Kansas on ESPN2-TV 28

Cool   Why had Bruins' following forwards been keepingscore against Jayhawks Centers so much as of 3 days ago?
  Please Go home, Jayhawks I.M.G. S.N. Radio staffers! Wink

Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 4:34 pm

The Poll Attacks

Just because you drop after losing to a higher ranked team, doesn't necessarily mean you are being "punished" for the loss that was supposed to happen.  It could also be a commentary on another team behind you and a reward for them.  A pollster should be evaluating each team each week, not simply taking last week's ballot and rubber stamping it.  And maybe Florida's loss didn't hurt them, but maybe the performance of Memphis impressed them enough to jump ahead of Florida, who at the best could hope to remain the same in the esteem of the voters after a loss.  Granted, hindsight is 20/20, and we now know Memphis isn't quite as impressive, but at the time, I have no problem with Florida only dropping a spot after a loss they were supposed to sustain.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:46 pm

The Poll Attacks

Hey Parrish.  San Diego State University has only one loss. They lost at #9 Baylor.  They already have a quality win over Long Beach State. Please note that Long Beach State went to #21 Pitt's court and beat them.  So here is the question. Why is neither SDSU or Long Beach State ranked over Pitt?
Yes I know Pitt was ranked number 9 before the loss at home to Long Beach State.  Since Pitt lost at home to an unranked team. Why is Pitt ranked?
So either Pitt is overrated or Long Beach State and SDSU is underrated.

Big game tommorow 11/23 for San Diego State University they play unranked (in your polls) Arizona. Arizona is ranked number 23 in other polls.  If Arizona wins that game, will they get some credibility in your polls again?  If San Diego State University wins, will they get some credibility in your polls?

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:31 pm

The Poll Attacks

Kevin Dunleavy is a joke and should be removed from voting. Pathetic.

Anyone else think Pitt should be ranked lower? They are 2-1 and lost to Long Beach State. Arizona (who beat a team from the big bad Big East), Mississippi State, and just about everyone else in the Top 25 behind them should be ranked ahead of them. Big East bias yet again.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:22 pm

The Poll Attacks

Very good point.

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: November 22, 2011 11:02 am

The Poll Attacks

I could see a team dropping one spot if a team directly behind them looked really good, and warranted being moved up.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:00 am

The Poll Attacks

"But under no circumstances should you be punished for losing a close game on the road to a higher-ranked team."

Gary, while your statement is generally true, any loss this early in the season is likely to drop you in the polls.  A similar loss in February might actually help your ranking, but not in November.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 9:54 am

The Poll Attacks

I guess you are new to college basketball as this is a series he does every week idiot. And I find it very interesting. So I say to you waste of a post! Please get a clue guitar boy.

Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: November 22, 2011 7:47 am

The Poll Attacks

My theory is that Kevin Dunleavy thought that Saint Louis beat Washington University - St Louis, not his Huskies.

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:32 am
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