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Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:29 pm
By Gary Parrish

We've got a Murray State problem that needs to be addressed.

And this is a good place to address it.

So let's do some Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Louisville is 14-4 with two losses to unranked teams and zero wins over schools that are currently ranked. Take away everything you thought you knew about the Cardinals in the preseason, focus on what I just told you and then I think, you'll understand why we are no longer ranking Rick Pitino's team in the Top 25 (and one). The Cards have bad losses and no great wins to offset those losses. That's the bottom line. So Louisville does not deserve to be in the Top 25 (and one). Or 23rd in this week's AP poll.

And the Cards sure as hell don't deserve to be 10th.

But guess who has them ranked 10th?

Answer: Ron Morris.

Ron actually has Louisville 10th and Florida 11th even though both schools are 14-4 with two losses to unranked teams and zero wins over currently ranked teams. Meantime, he has Indiana 16th even though the Hoosiers are 15-3 with just one loss to an unranked team and three wins over currently ranked teams, specifically No. 2 Kentucky, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan. I genuinely have no idea how anybody could look at what Louisville and Florida have done and conclude it's A) worthy of a top 15 vote, or B) better than what Indiana has done.

But, somehow, Ron does.

I bet he couldn't explain why he does.

But, according to his latest ballot, he absolutely does.

Coaches poll: I don't think Murray State is one of the nation's 10 best teams.

If you do, that's fine.

I don't have an issue provided you really believe it. But what I do have an issue with is how the Racers are moving up the polls based on little more than the fact that they play in the Ohio Valley Conference and every other relevant team does not. They are advancing because they're spending each week playing grossly inferior opponents while a Big Ten team might host Ohio State one night and be at Michigan the next. Put another way, there are lots of weeks when a split should be considered a good week. But splits almost always move teams down in the polls while 2-0 weeks move folks up. And while that's somewhat OK in most cases because the power-conference schedules tend to balance themselves out over time, this simple approach to ranking creates issues when a solid team from a bad league gets involved.

That's what's happening here.

That's why the Racers are ranked 10th.

So my question is simple: When does it stop?

If Kansas loses to Baylor late Monday but then beats Texas this weekend while Murray State handles Morehead State and SIU-Edwardsville, are voters gonna move the No. 7 Jayhawks below Murray State based on the idea that KU went 1-1 while Murray State went 2-0? I hope not. Because weeks, like overall records, need context, and it's silly to continue to advance the Racers without considering the context of what their wins really show and what others' losses really mean.

That's why we've kept the Racers at No. 20.

Because that's about where they belong regardless of how many consecutive OVC schools they beat.

Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 5:11 pm

The Poll Attacks

Thomas they'd certainly get love if 1) Memphis was any good and 2) The Alaksa Shootout was a good tournament still.

Neither of those are true.

Im not discounting Murray State here, they have a fine team and deserve some accolades but do I think they are the 10th best team in the country? I dont think so. 20th? Probably.

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:27 pm

The Poll Attacks

When mentioning other teams, you talked about the wins and/or losses they have.....>Does Murray State not get any recognition of beating Memphis (on their home floor), or winning the Alaska Shootout??  Just like Boise St. in football, don't be a hater because they're in a "Non-Power Conference" and don't be a hater on the system that they're in.  If Aska is healthy, there's not a team in the nation that would want Murray St. on their schedule.  I've seen them in person, they're really good.

Since: Feb 17, 2010
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:55 pm

The Poll Attacks

I'm a Murray State fan and avid basketball fan that has no problem with them being a 20th in your 25 and 1. I think they could be about 16-17 with Aska healthy, !0th best team in the country. I wish, but we will sure that all the PR we can get. It'll help with recruiting.

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