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: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:05 pm

The Poll Attacks

Frankly I don't care much where Murray State is seeded, however if the committee puts UNC and Duke in Greensboro (which there is no doubt) and UK in Louisville (which they will), I will be pissed if an undefeated Murray State is not in Nashville.

I am curious as to why there is ALWAYS a first round site in the state of North Carolina?

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:59 pm

The Poll Attacks

6 seed is best they get

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:57 pm

The Poll Attacks

UL 14-5 Fla 14-4 and neither has as good of wins as Cincinnati at 14-4.....they all 3 have bad losses but Cincy has better wins.  With 4 road wins already at Pitt at Georgetown, at Ga, at Wright St.......UL hasnt left its building except in playing terrible Butler and getting drubbed by ky.   It has cost them in the route by Prov of all teams.

The Big east and Big ten are both identical this yr.  1 top flight team,  2 or 3 really good teams, then 4 teams that will make toureny.  Both will get about 8 teams and maybe 9 if Northwestern and ND get some decent wins.

The SEC is a notch below. Ky is elite. Vandy and Fla are OK and Miss St and Alabama will make dance, everyone is terrible.  I dont want to hear about LSU they are not very good and Palm is smoking something with them anywhere near the dance.    

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:52 pm

The Poll Attacks

Right on Carolinaman! These polls are a bad joke. Duke is constantly rated around 8 places above how they play. 

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:21 pm

The Poll Attacks

A weak big east is still 100x better than the SEC in basketball. 

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:14 pm

The Poll Attacks

Trust me Kentucky fans don't want to see that stat.

Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:14 pm

The Poll Attacks

The Big Ten Is exactly like the Big East...A couple good teams, a few pretty good teams, and a bunch of bottom feeders.  And each week any team can take out any other regardless of how good we all think they are our are not.  Ask Wisconsin about Iowa...MSU about Northwestern...same as Uconn, Marquette, or Georgetown losing to a Rutgers, Providence, or a St. Johns. 

Since: Jan 17, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:12 pm

The Poll Attacks

I am so sick of Kentucky fans I want to puke.........some of you are great people, but alot are just idiots that are flat plain stupid. We'll play you at Rupp if you have the guts to come to the dome in Syracuse.......we'll see you in March.

Since: Sep 10, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:37 pm

The Poll Attacks

The fact remains that Kentucky has played Kansas, Penn State, Louisville, South Carolina, and Indiana out of conference.. While Syracuse has played Standford, Florida, NC State, and to Virgina Tech? --- I think anyone would look at those schedules and think Kentucky has had a rougher road to 17-1 then Syracuse has to 20-0.. No matter what the "other teams records are"

You didn't seriously just add Penn State and South Carolina for UK to the "rougher road" argument, did you?!? In addition, I guess that only teams from "BCS" conferences matter to you.

No doubt that UK beating Kansas is very impressive and I will even throw in UNC, though they just did lose to Florida State by 33 points. Louisville looked good initially, but have been on a freefall the past few weeks. In addition, just by looking at RPI alone, UK has had many more cupcakes than Syracuse.  If we only take a simplistic approach to games vs. opponents in the Top 100 for RPI, it is not even close.

Syracuse vs. RPI Top 100:

Seton Hall (4)
Marquette (12)
Marshall (32)
Florida (44)
@N.C. State (55)
*Stanford (67)
*Virginia Tech (82)
Bucknell (85)
Pittsburgh (93)

* Madison Square Garden

Kentucky vs. RPI Top 100:

Kansas (8)
@Indiana (17)
UNC (20)
Louisville (47)
Loyola, Md. (86)

Since: Dec 16, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

I dont get it. Do you guys honestly think Murray St is'nt going to be a #1 seed if they go undefeated?

HELLO! St Joes went 28-1 in the regular season a few years ago and were a #1 seed! And they played NOBODY ALL YEAR.

Most of the top seeds are determined by ranking anyways. Right now, Murray St is ranked 10th. Thats a 3 seed. Right now.

By the end of the season they'll be ranked in the top 4, no question, and they'll be a #1 seed, no question.

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