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 1, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:40 pm

The Poll Attacks

Tony .. please read through my statements.. numbers don't lie. Also you have major flaws in your argument. 4 top 100 RPI wins vs 9. Add Marshall to that list and Bucknell as well. Marshall has a shot to win the CUSA and is a physical, in your face team that plays very good defense. Name dropping does you nothing. NC State, Stanford, Tech, Florida, marshall, bucknell is a nice stretch of teams that play good fundamental basketball. UK can throw Louisville, UNC and Kansas out there.. but after that the drop off is significant. Lamar? Old Dominion? The best road non conf win UK has is their last 2nd loss to IU.

Again you do need to look at statistics and watch some of these teams play. The Big East is down.. however its not dead either. Pitt was a top 10 team until they fell off.. they have the talent and coaching to recover. Providence is a scrappy squad. I could go on.. yes the BE has its bad teams.. but its not a cakewalk. SU is legit.. not many wish to admit it.. seems to be an inane amount of hate for SU.. reality is other than a couple of games Cuse has rolled every team its faced. As a whole their schedule is balanced and tougher than UK's.. the statistics aren't lying. UK has struggled mightily on the road to both good foes and mediocre.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:02 pm

The Poll Attacks

can agree with that both have a tough schedule but the big east is the biggest confernce in the ncaa baketball division wvu should be ranked yes there 13-5 but look who they have lost games too they had i think 1 bad loss that wasnt a ranked team its pothetic
Illinois plays in undoubtably the toughest conference in the nation, the Big Ten, and until yesterday they were not in the Top 25 with a 16-3 record, with those losses being Missouri on nuetral court, UNLV on nuetral court, and Purdue on the road.  So unfortunately the records arent always about "who you beat" or "who you lose to" as this article eludes to.

With that being said, yes you are correct, the Big East is the biggest conference in the NCAA which means it is diluted with teams that lack talent, and outside of Syracuse really doesnt have a team to hang its hat on

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:55 pm

The Poll Attacks

so any of you UK and Cuse fans really think you could go into Kansas and win a game?  Forget the RPI's.  Kentucky has its moments at least Cuse has been consistent.  Like Mama always said "you can't make Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh... 
As I am not a fan of either (I cheer on the Fighting Illini).  I would be comfortable in saying, that I feel both UK and Syracuse have a better chance winning at Kansas then Murray State. I am also comfortable saying, I think Kansas would have a fairly good chance of beating Murray State at home and probably Syracuse, but not so sure Kansas could do into Rupp Arena and beat Kentucky..

dont forget UK is a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer away from being undefeated too, with a much much much more impressive resume then either Syracuse or Murray State, or for that matter until yesterday Baylor had.... and I hate Kentucky basketball, but the facts are the facts.

However, Murray State is 20-0.. kuddos to them, they shouldnt lose a game in conference, if they do, it will stop the talk of how good are they really.. but your team will get their chance to sit in the company of Indiana with an undefeated season.. if they win the title, then I guess you can truly say they are the better (best) team

Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:53 pm

The Poll Attacks

The big east is done when Syracuse and Pitt leave.
Kent St beat WVU. LOL

Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:51 pm

The Poll Attacks

Serious ? SU has beaten NC State, Providence, Villanova and DePaul ?
Those teams will have trouble making the NIT this year.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:48 pm

The Poll Attacks

At the moment the teams that Kentucy has played are 175-146 (54%), the teams Syracuse had played are 211-129 (62%) which means Syracuse has played better teams
I know you did not just make this argument. I understand after taking the time to add up the win/loss of each team on their schedules you had to do something with it. But I thought we all knew the, "The team we played, beat the team you played, that we played on a nuetral court before Christmas." argument held no water.  Apparently not, in any case, just because Syracuse beat Albany (12-8) and Manhattan (12-7) while Kentucky beat Radford (3-16) and Little Rock -Ark (8-11) in November and December, it doesnt mean they played a tougher schedule. I would imagine Kentucky and Syracuse both would have the lofty expectations of beating any of those 4 teams.

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"

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:44 pm

The Poll Attacks

so any of you UK and Cuse fans really think you could go into Kansas and win a game?  Forget the RPI's.  Kentucky has its moments at least Cuse has been consistent.  Like Mama always said "you can't make Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh... 

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:35 pm

The Poll Attacks

Good Lord - Do any of the UK fans posting here have higher than an eighth grade education. Look at the facts for what they are .. not how you want them to appear. SU has beaten NC State, Providence, Villanova and DePaul on the road might I add not just beaten but manhandled. UK has beaten Auburn (struggling with a team who was manhandled 81-59 by the Same Seton Hall team SU destroyed by nearly 30) and Tennessee on the Road.. meanwhile feasting on 4 teams with RPIs over 200. In all UK has 4 wins over top 100 RPI squads while SU has 9. Additionally go a bit further and UK's RPI 100 - 200 wins are heavily weighted towards the back end .. (7 of 9 are teams with an RPI over 140) while SU has 4 of 9 in that bucket.

Its really not even.. and while the RPI will adjust.. its close enough now to take more seriousness. Add to the fact that SU has won its 4 away games by 16, 13, 29 and 14.. and really none of those games were even that close. UK  struggled with the mighty Auburn and 8-8 Tennessee for their only two road wins of the season along with losing to a unranked IU squad who only joined the ranked conversation after beating UK.  

Lets be real.. a few top heavy wins are nice.. but that does not seal a resume. SU has played a balance schedule with many teams who will actually fight for conference championships. Additionally .. the numbers don't lie.

Since: Apr 8, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:16 pm

The Poll Attacks

Kansas won't be playing on their home court during the Tournament.

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:58 pm

The Poll Attacks

see cbs has got them at 18th on the rpi and 26th on the 25 and one but they need to be ranked in ap poll and the reason they aint is cause there gettin over look by the people that judge the rankings they need to take a look at there rpi and base there vote on that wvu mountaineers it dont really matter right now because comin march is when  the show begins its gettim time these undefeated teams are going to get beat

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