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: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:18 am

The Poll Attacks

I disagree with Parrish, that's not how those polls work, but either way, no matter how you feel about Murray's ranking, you have to appreciate the fact that at least in this sport they get to prove at the end of the season that they were deserving of the high ranking unlike in football.

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:17 am

The Poll Attacks

which is completely idiotic but as a student it's great hearing national media cover our school.  I think regardless of our rankings though, that the selection committee is pretty smart usually, and MSU, regardless of their ranking will get between a 4 and 8 seed

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:14 am

The Poll Attacks


As an Murray State student I want to say that 99% of us realize we're not a top 10 team.  Personally I dunno that we are even a legit top 25 team.  We've only won 2 tourney games ever.  If we managed to make the sweet 16 this year, it would be a huge accomplishment.  Rankings both AP and Coaches have and always will be about situational losses.  Is MSU goes undefeated we'll wind up in the top 10 by the end of the year

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:22 am

The Poll Attacks

I fail to see how you have dealt with Parish's actual argument. You have offered an emotional counterpoint for why the team SHOULD be rewarded, but you haven't given one shred of an argument for why the Racers actually are BETTER than teams currently ranked below them who have played solid schedules.

And please learn how to spell amateur. :-) 

Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:22 am

The Poll Attacks

Parrish has the worst fake tan ever.

Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:07 am

The Poll Attacks

Parrish, I can't believe you are a professional and I am an amatuer. Don't you see what is actually going on in the coaches poll. Coaches are giving The Racers high marks so they can say to their kids "look at what hard work and team ball will get you. These kids weren't even recruited by the BIG schools and look what they can do with defense an the x-tra pass" If was a college Coach I would show Murray clips every practice. You can't teach height, but you can always play harder!

Since: Feb 23, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:56 am

The Poll Attacks

These polls are nothing but a farce!  How in the world can Duke move all the way from 8th up to 4th in the AP poll on the strength of beating Viginia at Durham by only 3 points and barely hanging on to beat Clemson?  There is no way these polls are objective.

BTW, my Carolina team also has no business being ranked in the Top Ten after a 33-point loss to Florida State!

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:00 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:59 pm
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Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:44 pm

The Poll Attacks

Gosh Thomas, that drive from Mayfield must be treacherous to see the Racers play..:)

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