Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 19, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 3:46 pm
By Gary Parrish

UNLV should be ranked ahead of Illinois.

Only six Associated Press voters don't understand this.

But hopefully those six will learn their lesson in this week's Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Leaving UNLV off your ballot is wrong.

Leaving UNLV off your ballot that includes Illinois?

That's way wrong.

But six AP voters -- Bill Cole, Elton Alexander, Pete Glibert, Roger Clarkson, Ron Morris and Rod Beard -- managed to do exactly that this week, and so now they find themselves in the middle of the Poll Attacks. Merry Christmas, fellas. Did you see what UNLV did to Illinois on Saturday in Chicago? The Rebels won 64-48. And, no, head-to-head matchups aren't the deciding factor on everything. They can't be. But UNLV doesn't only have that 16-point victory over the Illini in Illinois, the Rebels also have a better overall body of work.

UNLV has wins over No. 5 North Carolina and No. 25 Illinois, and the Rebels' only losses are at No. 13 Wisconsin and at Wichita State, which is receiving votes in the AP poll.  Meantime, Illinois has zero wins over schools currently ranked. So UNLV has better wins than Illinois, no real bad losses and -- don't forget this -- a dominant win over the Illini in Chicago. In my opinion, both schools should be ranked. So I'm not killing Illinois. All I'm saying is that UNLV should also be ranked. And definitely above Illinois. Because ranking Illinois while not ranking UNLV is almost as dumb as Will Barton being an official candidate for an award given annually to the nation's top point guard.

Coaches poll:
Would you drop a team because it lost a game when three players fouled out?

Of course you would.

We all would.

Which is why I have no problem with the coaches dropping Xavier from ninth to 15th in this week's poll even though Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons and Dez Wells did not play in Sunday's home loss to Oral Roberts, because they essentially fouled out of the game before it started via the roles they played in that brawl against Cincinnati. They were all suspended because of their actions. So why shouldn't Xavier pay a price for that?

An injury?

That's nobody's fault.

That's why Ohio State didn't suffer when Jared Sullinger's absence cost the Buckeyes at Kansas.

But Holloway, Lyons and Wells are responsible for putting their team in a bad spot just like when somebody else's starting center picks up two dumb fouls early and puts his team in a bad spot. When that team loses, we don't excuse it and say, "But that team wouldn't have lost if its center would've played smarter." So why should we excuse Xavier's loss and say, "But the Musketeers wouldn't have lost if Holloway, Lyons and Wells would've acted appropriately against Cincinnati?"

Answer: We shouldn't.

So I'm OK with how the coaches handled Xavier.

It's similar to how we handled the Musketeers in the Top 25 (and one).

And I realize this is sort of a reverse Poll Attack, but whatever. I wanted to make that point.

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:34 pm

The Poll Attacks

Agree that it is incomprehensible that UNLV wouldn't be somewhere on everyone's ballot.  The truth is that because the timezone that UNLV plays and the relative ignorance of most of the sportswriters about mid-major hoops, it does make sense.  Most don't know how experienced is this UNLV team.  Most believe that UNLV beating both UNC and Illinois were upsets.  Little do they know that UNLV is the most experienced team in the country and they added their best player in Moser.  I think UNLV needs to be a favorite right now to go to the Final Four.  They have that kind of team.  If they lose any more games, it will be surprising each time.  (I know they will likely lose, but they shouldn't)

I didn't think Xavier would lose, but interesting isn't it.  Also, Ohio State without Sullinger is a different team.  Buford took up slack, but remember Kansas? 

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:33 pm
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Since: Mar 31, 2007
Posted on: December 20, 2011 10:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

I dont think anyone is really saying this team or that team is #1.  The thing that most people agree on is that anyone could be #1 at this point in the season.  My opinion is some teams should be ranked ahead of others.  I am not dillussional saying IU deserves the #1 ranking.  All I am saying is that they can claim to be anywhere from thier current ranking or higher.  Maybe its just my thinking.  I am just excited to see them winning again and honestly could care less where the writers rank them.  I have watched this team and know that the win against UK was no fluke.  They are a legitimately good ball club.

Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 8:38 pm

The Poll Attacks

For those that feel Syracuse is over rated, it comes down to their reputation in preseason and their high ranking in the preseason polls. As long as they win, they will stay there. But the same holds true for the teams breaking into the Top 25. They can be hurt by their preseason reputation. UNLV should probably be ranked higher than Illinois, but preseason ranking and strength of conference will hold teams back, just as some teams will be elevated based on preseason opinion, teams will be weighted down.

1) What value is there in the polls this early in the season anyway? So much is based on reputation, not performance. Starting low in the polls holds you down and you have to fight to climb from the bottom and teams cruise at the top until they lose. Is there any value for having polls this early in the season other than to hype games? Would we benefit from holding off on having a poll until after the first of the year? Would this make the final polls for seeding the NCAA tournament more accurate, or do you think the final polls are fine?

2) Are the polls supposed to be a prediction as to how the teams will finish at the end of the year, or is it how good the team is this week? The voters seem take into account how hard it is to climb back up in the polls so they see OSU's Jared Sullinger injured and say when he is back, they are still the #2 team and keep them there (though there were two AP voters that dropped OSU to #9). But with Xavier, they blame the players for getting into trouble and drop the team to #15 with their loss, though when they get those players back, they are going to be a Top 10 team. So it seems we have two different standards. OSU should be #2 at the end of the year so we keep them there, but right now, without the suspended players in Xavier, they drop in the polls. How do you believe the polls should be handled?
Personally, I think they should wait to have the first polls on New Year's Day, or the first Monday after New Year's Day, to begin the race to March. As for what the polls reflect, the team's strength now or the prediction of where they will be at the end of the season, I don't know. Just seems like the voters should be on the same page and obviously they aren't.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 7:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

trolly made perfect sense in his reasoning. Just because you dont like it, does not make him wrong. Theres this tournament at the end of the year, and all this gets decided. were not a third of the way through this season. its not even january. Trolly can have an opinion on any team he wants, just as you can. If he doesnt think IU is a top ten team (hes not alone in that), his argument is just as valid as yours for saying IU SHOULD be in the top 10. IU has one quality win, a great win, but that doesnt suddenly make them world beaters. They rose from unranked to 17th, a big jump. you dont go from unranked to top 10 with ONE quality win, FAIR OR NOT. They win a few more games, a few teams ahead of them lose, you will very likely see them with one digit next to their name on saturdays.

like i said, its a LONG season. If theyre a top 10 team, they will find themselves there. You can understand why people are hesitant.... IU has been dreadful since Crean arrived.

Just my opinion. Feel free to disagree, thats the beauty of these boards. I'm not arguing, though, these are just the facts. I hope the best for IU, its good for college basketball if they are contenders. Hope to see you at Rupp next year.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:32 pm
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Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 3:32 pm

The Poll Attacks

And if you're best argument for being in the top 10 is "Baylor has just as crappy of a resume" I still contend that you're making a better case for Baylor dropping than you are for IU being ranked highe

I am forced to argue someone's opinion based on their opinion.  Parrish has 2 teams in top 10 that have a worse SOS and several more with comparable..  I don't know how to argue any other way.  Arguing the premise of the conclussion is how you show the falacy of the argument.  Fight about the conclussion and you are only stating an opinion.   I use Mis and Baylor as a "model" to why Parrish's ranking is flawed.   Trying to not just be "stubbornly obstinate".

These are all just opinions.  I argue the reasoning behind the opinions.  No right or wrong.  We just disagree and I feel my reasoning is the less flawed.... even after reading yours.

You can say it is just because I am an IU fan.  But I have shown my reasoning and so far I don't see where you have refuted any of my premise.  Just have to disagree I guess.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 3:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

Your 1) is the reason I feel voters are keeping them out of the top 15.  Not that I agree.  The preseason expectations mean very little to me.  Especially in week 7.   Start the poll this week, i think things would look a lot different.

Your 2) IU has won the 7 games they were suppose to.  BUT it is the fashion in which they won the games avg. 32ppg.  3 games they wouldn't have been expected to win in the preseason NCSTATE, ND and Butler.  Now Butler isn't as good as everyone thought they would be, still probably not a bad team.  NCSTATE right there where people thought as well as ND.  I don't see how anyone would have expected IU to beat any of those three based off preseason rankings.  But  how can you argue expectations, right?  I can say I never expected IU to improve so much.  and I follow the hoosiers.  32ppg average margin of victory is impressive even if you are expected to win .  12 ppg average margin of victory against 3 teams they would be expected to lose is also impressive.  Beating KY by 1 point, still impressive, especially since IU was in control of the entire game.

Your 3) well hard to argue with your expectations.  Very surprised if you expected IU to be 10-1 at this point.  Again, can't argue it though. 

Then you go back to SOS, you are using a rating system that you disagree with.  You can't do that.  Seriously.  Like I said, either its good info or it is not.  If you like that rating system you have to agree with IU being ranked #3 in the country.   I think we both disagree.  have to throw that out.

Use someone elses SOS ratings, like maybe the current RPI (IU somewhere around 233), however in other posts you have said you don't agree with that.  So I don't know, find a rating system you agree with and use it.

In the end, I still think IU should be around 10.  Not really complaining about the AP and Coaches, was complaining about Parrish.  23 is an insult.  IU fans think they deserve better.  And again, havn't seen anything to make me feel otherwise.

Since: May 31, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:58 pm

The Poll Attacks

Add the KY win, which is really what we are talking about and IU has a better SOS than 2 top 10 teams and yet that is the argument you are using to keep them out of the top 20.
No that isn't my argument.  

My argument for not having them in the top 20 is three-fold.

1) I, like nearly everyone else that bother to rank teams on a non-mathmatical basis, keep preseason expectations in mind when I rank teams.  I'm more than happy to change my mind about a given team, but 1 game isn't going to do that.  1 loss to a barely ranked IU team doesn't suddenly make me think that UK isn't a top 5 team, just like one win over a top 5 team doesn't suddenly make me think that IU is a top 10 team.  I need to see something else contrary to my expectations to make me change my mind about a team.  

2) So far, the only thing that is contrary to my expectations regarding IU is the UK game.  As an objective observer I don't know if that was a fluke or a sign of things to come.  Before I change my mind, I want to know that it wasn't a fluke.  I need more than 1 good win.

3) Outside of the UK game, everything is still within my expectations for IU, so it doesn't really effect my opnion of them.  Undefeated or not. 

As far as the SoS ranking sans UK, I said it was arguably the worst SoS.  If you want to split hairs over 1 or 2 spots, knock yourself out.  If you can prove that it would be 340 instead of 341, go right ahead.  My point was that it was in the neighborhood.  You don't seem to be contesting that, so I'll just chalk that up as another point for team Trolly.

And if you're best argument for being in the top 10 is "Baylor has just as crappy of a resume" I still contend that you're making a better case for Baylor dropping than you are for IU being ranked higher. 

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:48 pm

The Poll Attacks

I don't really nned to defend IU not being ranked in the top 15.  The FACT is they AREN'T ranked in the top 15.  And so far, I've yet to find an IU fan (or anyone else for that matter) that has made a compelling argument for them to be ranked higher than they currently are.

Their are plenty of people who think IU should be in top 15.  Dick Vitale (used him because he is someone of note) has them at 14.  I have seen NO ONE keep them out of the top 20 except parrish.  Have seen several in top 5, 10 and 15.  Which was the point I was making in my first post on this thread.  You come back with an argument, i point out the flaws, you get all mad call me a smartass... well whatever makes you feel better.

Compare the teams.  Not saying you have to agree, at least make a compelling argument.

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