Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 5, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 5:08 pm
By Gary Parrish

Leaving Georgetown unranked is dumb. Leaving Georgetown unranked when you rank Alabama and Memphis is even dumber. But multiple Associated Press voters did it this week. Their punishment is an apperance in the Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Did you watch that Georgetown-Alabama game last week?

It was terrific, wasn't it?

Hollis Thompson hit a 3-pointer near the buzzer to give Georgetown a 57-55 win in Tuscaloosa in a game that suggested both are Top 25 teams, and so it should surprise no one that both are in the AP poll this week. But why is Alabama two spots ahead of Georgetown?

Both schools are 7-1.

They have comparable resumes.

Both have good wins.

Neither has a bad loss.

But Georgetown has a road win over Alabama and should be ranked ahead of the Crimson Tide. That's not even debatable, is it? Look, head-to-head results can't be the absolute deciding factor in polls. Otherwise, you'd need UNLV ahead of North Carolina and UCF ahead of Connecticut, and that doesn't make sense. But a head-to-head result should be the determining factor when two teams have comparable bodies of work -- especially if the road team won that head-to-head matchup -- and that's precisely the case with Georgetown and Alabama.

Georgetown has two wins over currently ranked teams (No. 16 Alabama and No. 21 Memphis) and its one loss came to No. 13 Kansas. Alabama has two good wins (over Wichita State and Purdue), but neither came against a ranked team, and the Crimson Tide's lone loss came to Georgetown. So while the bodies of work are comparable, Georgetown's is obviously better. And -- I can't stress this enough -- the Hoyas just won at ... Alabama.

So, again, why is Alabama two spots ahead of Georgetown?

Answer: I have no idea.

But Michael Phillips is as responsible for it as anybody else.

He works at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He has Alabama ranked ninth.

He has Georgetown unranked.

And that's the dumbest AP ballot I could find this week.

Dude has Alabama and its 7-1 record ranked ninth, Memphis and its 4-2 record ranked 17th and Georgetown and its 7-1 record -- its 7-1 record that features wins over Alabama and Memphis -- completely unranked. That is stupid but apparently not unique to Michael because other AP voters, inexplicably, did the same thing. Bill Cole of the Winston-Salem Journal has Alabama 11th, Memphis 21st and Georgetown unranked. Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has Alabama 14th, Memphis 19th and Georgetown unranked. Gary Laney of The Advocate has Alabama 12th, Memphis 19th and Georgetown unranked. And Jason Franchuk of the Provo Daily Herald has Alabama 16th, Memphis 18th and Georgetown unranked.

I'm sure all of those voters are smart guys.

But I bet none of them could intelligently defend those ballots.

Coaches poll: I like Ed Conroy and I think he's got Tulane headed in the right direction just like he had The Citadel headed in the right direction before he left for Tulane. The school made a good hire and he's off to a nice start in his second season -- proof being the Green Wave's 9-0 record that was enough to get them two votes in the Coaches poll.

First, let me say this: Good for Tulane.

That school and that city have been through so much over the past seven years, so seeing Tulane receive any sort of notoriety during a perfect start to a basketball season is nice on some level, and I don't even mind it, really. But let's be honest. The Green Wave don't belong on anybody's Top 25 ballot because all perfect records are not created equal.

Kentucky, for instance, is 8-0.

The Wildcats have wins over No. 6 North Carolina and No. 13 Kansas.

That's an impressive perfect record.

And Ohio State is 8-0, too.

The Buckeyes have wins over No. 5 Duke and No. 12 Florida.

That's also an impressive perfect record.

But Tulane's perfect record is different.

The Green Wave have a win over a Division II school and eight wins over Division I opponents with a combined record of 19-41. They've topped zero teams who happen to have winning records against Division I opponents, which is a round-about way of saying that Tulane hasn't beaten anybody of note. Which is fine. Seriously, it's fine. If I'm Ed Conroy, I'm scheduling the exact same way because winning early in a tenure is by far the most important thing. At the end of the season, nobody is going to sit around debating Tulane's strength of schedule. Conroy's boss will only care if the Green Wave improved in the win-loss column, and they're almost certainly going to do that.

So things are going as well as they could possibly go.

If you're a Tulane fan, celebrate this start.

But voters have to use context when putting together a ballot, and the truth is that there are probably more than 100 schools that would be undefeated against Tulane's schedule. Bottom line, the Green Wave do not belong in anybody's Top 25. Not yet. Let them win at Syracuse -- or even play Syracuse competitively on Dec. 22 -- and be 15-0 or 14-1 after a January 4 game at UCF, and then we'll talk. But for now, ranking Tulane is a little silly. Again, I don't mind it, really. I can't be mad at Tulane or New Orleans. But these are the Poll Attacks, and Tulane getting votes is the silliest thing in this week's coaches poll.

Since: Nov 16, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:51 am

The Poll Attacks

Duke will be out in the second round, it's annoying now having Dook tossed into our faces undeseverdly, but come the 4th weekend in March, they will be an afterthough...I think anyway. Win by a possession over Belmont and no one blinked an eye...not even Parrish, I found that estonishing.  

Since: Nov 16, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:47 am

The Poll Attacks

Parrish is, as he usually is, hard on Memphis when they have a little slip up. He overcompensates for the fact that he lives in Memphis and ranks them harshly if there is any sign of weakness in a game. He knows, and I know that Memphis IS a top 25 team, they just need to iron things out. Gary keeps teams in the 25 (and one) unmoved when they lose to stronger opponets, or if they lose to an other ranked team, he will drop them a few that Georgetown is in the mix, Memphis has only lost to ranked teams, ergo, should be in anyones top 25(20-25th). I'm of course humoring myself that my opinon matters. 

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:32 am

The Poll Attacks

Although I wish preseason polls were abolished and the first basketball poll came out about the 2nd week of December atleast with Basketall the polls are only for entertainment purposes only and have no real meaning when it comes time to seed the national tournament like D1 college football does.  

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:05 am

The Poll Attacks

They're not paid off by colleges or conferences. They're paid by papers and networks who have low standards as long as their people either create controversy or build a fanbase (Twitter!), or look good in a monkey suit on TV.
I do better than almost all  the  TV "experts" in predicting the FB bowl games and march madness every year, these guys (and gals) are never evaluated on their actual predictions, which is the purest form of whether you know what you are talking about.
This is also why our economy sucks. The economists of the Beltway, who get TV time, are the same ones who have been wrong for 10+ years about every prediction they made!


Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:57 am

The Poll Attacks

The rankings don't matter much in NCAA Bball. It's fun to watch and scream about them, etc.  But with 30+ at-large selections to the NCAA tournament, any team truly left out of the top 25 unjusty will get an invite.
Coaches have no business voting in any poll.  Blame it on USA Today for that nonsense, and for the rest of the sports media for accepting it. But it's even worse. Some sportswriters shouldn't be voting. I saw an article about college FB Harris Poll journalist-voters, and how they said they would vote in the final poll.  One of them, from the Wash Times, said he didn't have time to watch Saturday's FB games because of professional obligations.  Well, if you're a sportswriter with a poll vote, watching the games IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL OBLIGATION!
And Heisman voters are lifetime appointees, some of them are journalists who switched from sports to news (like Olbermann).  So who knows why they vote like they do?

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:46 am

The Poll Attacks

Georgetown is ranked behind ALA because the odds of that guy hitting a 3 pointer with one second left was less than 50%. This isn't rocket science.

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:55 am

The Poll Attacks

the afroementioned voters need to be asked why they have the rankings the way they do.  it is absolutly deplorable that the hoyas are ranked lower than alabama and memphis after beating them both.  the ap and ncaa should be questioning them as well.  some of these pollsters are probably paid off by certain colleges to keep them ranked. 

Since: Nov 23, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:12 pm

The Poll Attacks

Parrish.  Stop are for it in football when it favors your bias.  Until both Football and Basketball stop ranking teams before they actually play a game, this will continue to happen.  

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

i know you're an Alabama fan, but educate yourself.  My family was IN China this summer at the game where the brawl happened, and anyone with eyes could see what really happened.  Your Alabama team lost to a very good Georgetown team - nothing to be ashamed of, its just that Alabama doesn't have the quality of wins (especially on the road) that Georgetown does.  Read a newspaper or something, if you can read one.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:51 pm

The Poll Attacks

I don't care how good their opponent was, can someone explain to me how Duke loses by 25 and drops 1 spot? Another example of the Duke media bias if you ask me.

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