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Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 2:44 pm
By Gary Parrish

Associated Press poll: Thanksgiving weekend is tricky.

Lots of family time.

Lots of shopping.

Good football on television.

It's easy to lose track of things in college basketball, I know. But my god. There are websites all over the place -- including, of course, -- where box scores from every game played can be found, and it just seems like AP voters ought to take a few minutes and look at them before submitting their ballots. If they did, the Poll Attacks would be much more difficult to file every week. As it is, this is simple stuff.

So thank you, Mark McCarter of the Huntsville Times.

You've made my job simple on this Monday.

And I hate that it's you because I like you and we go way back. But come on, man. You put Cincinnati 25th on your ballot despite the fact that the Bearcats are 3-2 with home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall. That's two home losses. To Presbyterian. And Marshall. What does Cincinnati have to do to get off your ballot? Would a loss to Miami-Ohio this week do it? What about two losses this week -- to Miami-Ohio on Tuesday and Georgia on Friday? Surely that would be enough, right?

Also, why no UNLV on your ballot?

The Rebels are 7-0 with a win over North Carolina.

That's slightly better than 3-2 with home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall.

Obviously, I could go on for another 300 words. But that's enough. Because the Houston Chronicle's Sam Khan voted Villanova 24th, and that's similarly silly and needs to be addressed. The Wildcats are 4-2 with neutral-court losses to Saint Louis (by 12 points) and Santa Clara (by one point). I suppose that's better than home losses to Presbyterian and Marshall, but not much better. I genuinely have no idea how Sam could still be ranking Villanova, but I also have no idea how Sam can rank Memphis seventh -- 12 spots of the Michigan team that dominated the Tigers and at least sixteen spots ahead of the Georgetown team that he didn't rank despite it also beating the Memphis team he still believes belongs in the top 10.

In fact, I don't even know why he'd rank Memphis at all right now.

I'll explain that next ...

Coaches poll: Memphis will win Conference USA.

The Tigers are too talented to do anything but win Conference USA.

But at some point, to some degree, the results have to matter, and the Tigers' results through four games don't suggest they are, at this moment, the top 10 team most believed they'd be in the preseason ... or even worthy of the No. 21 ranking the coaches gave them Monday. Memphis is 2-2 with a home win over an Atlantic Sun team (Belmont) and a double-overtime win on a neutral court over a team picked 11th in the SEC (Tennessee). The Tigers' losses are a double-digit defeat on a neutral court to No. 15 Michigan and an overtime loss to unranked Georgetown, also on a neutral court. Simply put, that's not good enough.

Now I know what you're thinking: How can rank two-loss FSU but not two-loss Memphis?

Answer: Florida State's two losses are better. And FSU deserves more of the benefit of the doubt. The Seminoles are 5-2. Their losses are an overtime loss to a team we have ranked 11th (Connecticut) and a five-point loss to a team we have ranked 22nd (Harvard). Beyond that, FSU's ranking isn't based on potential nearly as much as Memphis'. The Seminoles were good last season -- third in the ACC with an 11-5 league record and a trip to the Sweet 16 -- and they returned the bulk of that roster. Meantime, Memphis was awful last season. The Tigers went 10-6 in Conference USA, basically played well for just one week in El Paso, won the C-USA tournament and got the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. So their preseason ranking was always based more on recruiting rankings and the idea that they'd this season be more like the team that pushed Arizona to the buzzer in their postseason opener last season than the team that finished fourth in C-USA, and, again, I think they will eventually. But through four games, they haven't. And that's why I can't make sense of Memphis still being ranked this week when so many other teams deserve it more.

Like Harvard.

The Crimson are 6-0 with a win over Florida State.

Or Georgetown.

The Hoyas are 4-1 with the lone loss being a close loss to No. 14 Kansas.

And Georgetown beat Memphis.

How could anybody rank Memphis but not Georgetown right now?

That's baffling.

Either way, again, Memphis will be fine in time; I still believe that. The roster remains really, really talented. But should the Tigers be ranked 21st on Nov. 28 -- ahead of Saint Louis, FSU, Harvard and Georgetown? No, absolutely not. It really can't be justified by anything that's ever happened on a basketball court.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 5:05 pm

The Poll Attacks

unless that "neutral site" happens to be Las Vegas, in which case the Rebels have (had) a much better chance, no?

Since: Oct 2, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:54 pm

The Poll Attacks

UNLV did win....give them credit, but in 10 matchups at a neutral site, i think most agree UNC wins that matchup

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:42 pm

The Poll Attacks

As a UK fan that grew up in Louisville but now lives in TX it's good to see IU fans coming back to life.. Crean will get you guys back up from the ashes.. He's a great coach

Since: Nov 29, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:23 pm

The Poll Attacks

An undefeated UNLV is ranked behind one loss UNC and you don't attack the voters for that???? Is that because you "think" UNC is better, even though the only proof we have is their head-to-head matchup? I'll take objective scoring over subjective voting anytime.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:07 pm

The Poll Attacks

I don't get it, let me start by saying I'm a big Syracuse fan and heck, they COULD be the best team HOWEVER, In the Coaches Poll and the 25+1 rankings SU is ranked better than Duke? (The AP got it right) in games of "some" note, SU beat Stanford and Va Tech but Duke beat Kansas, Michigan, Michigan St and Tennessee.  think it's clear they deserve the higher ranking based on their resume. Tonights games see Duke vs Ohio St while Syracuse faces Eastern Michigan, Duke is facing the big boys and deserves to be recognized for their strength of schedule!

Since: Feb 16, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:55 pm

The Poll Attacks


Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:34 pm

The Poll Attacks

Just responding to the "veteran" blogger who said Kansas never wins anything.  Oh these veterans.

Since: Sep 21, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:20 pm

The Poll Attacks

Oh these amateur bloggers.
Kansas has a storied basketball program, however; so do a doazen other schools.
Live in the present and not the past.
Beat Duke and Kentucky before you boast in the present day.
Oh these amateurs!

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:46 am

The Poll Attacks

Actually Kansas puts trophies in their trophy case for the 54 conference championships, 13 final fours and 3 NCAA national championships they have.  Those are factual numbers, not babble.  Most conference championships of any school in the country, most wins over last 5 years of any school in the country, 7 of the 13 final fours have been in the last 25 years which ranks well with anyone in the country.  Anything else you want?  Oh yeah, we play on Naismith court because he was our first coach, ever hear of him?

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