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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: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:42 pm

The Poll Attacks

let's start with an overall strength of schedule of 200+

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:40 pm

The Poll Attacks

u got a good point they deserver to be ranked were they are until they lose a game or are proven they aint worthy of being ranked

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:39 pm

The Poll Attacks

First, let me say that I graduated from Murray State in 1981.
I also graduated from Vanderbilt in 1996.

Murray State is a joke as the #10 team, or even the #12 team in any national ranking.
They play a featherweight schedule, but I cannot argue that they are undefeated.

Where is the love for Vanderbilt?  This week will be the acid test for the Dores as they play in Tuscaloosa on Thursday and host Mississippi State on Saturday.

If they sweep both, they need to be ranked.
If they split, they should be ranked.

If they lose both, then I am full of hot air.

Time will tell. 

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:37 pm

The Poll Attacks

I think being 18-0 is good enough. In adition to that, if I'm not wrong, they may have the most road wins in NCAA Division I basketball right now, which is pretty strong if you ask me. Wins on the road at Memphis 3-0 and 12-5, Southern Miss, who is 3-1 and 16-3. And lets not forget they beat Dayton, who is tied for first place in the Atlantic 10 with Massachusetts. So I'm not seeing the problem here?

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:28 pm

The Poll Attacks

cant wait till wvu plays louville in regular season play if they played like the played against marquette i didnt see much!!

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:25 pm

The Poll Attacks

i agree they treat teams like boise and murray like there both in a different legaue until they get a bcs bowl or in the final four or somethingSmile

Since: Jan 7, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

funny bit i didnt see you blasting boise state over the same thing in football.....instead you were singing their praises.....lets be consistant here

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:03 pm

The Poll Attacks

a Murray State problem?  Parrish I never knew you were such a drama queen.  Why is Murray State being in the top 10 a problem for you?   Polls are harmless fluff.  War and poverty are problems, not prima dona writers making a poll.

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:58 pm

The Poll Attacks

i can agree with you on that bud wouldnt hurt for murray to be ranked but wvu should also be ranked they wont give certain teams no love or attention at allCool

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:34 pm

The Poll Attacks

Polls aren't relevant anyway at this point in the season.
What's wrong with Murray being in the top 20, or the top 10? Nothing.
It helps their program by adding some interest, maybe helps their recruiting a little.
What's wrong with that?

It isn't hurting college basketball to rank an undefeated team, no matter who they play. The OVC isn't evil.
Geez, Gary, pandering to the powerbrokers of basketball isn't doing the sport any good at all.

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