Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:07 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 4:10 pm
By Gary Parrish

The Missouri beat writer is voting Missouri fourth.

I don't like it because it's wrong.

But I kinda like it because it's ballsy.

Either way, I wrote about it (and other things) in the Poll Attacks.

(Don't believe me, keep reading.)

Associated Press poll: Jeff Goodman and I ranked Missouri second in the Top 25 (and one). I believe that's right where the Tigers belong based on their body of work, but I can understand somebody putting Kentucky, Ohio State and/or Syracuse ahead of them. It would be wrong, in my opinion. But a reasonable argument could be made. So I'm not gonna freak out about the five AP voters who have Missouri ranked fourth this week. I just think it's funny that one of them is Steve Walentik from the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Yes, Steve covers Missouri in Columbia.

And he's one of the few ranking the Tigers too low.

But I kinda dig it because I know Steve must be catching hell -- especially since he has Big 12 rival Kansas ranked one spot ahead of Missouri despite the fact that KU has three losses (including a loss to unranked Davidson) while Missouri has just one loss (at Kansas State) and is coming off a road win (at Baylor) that's better than any road win the Jayhawks possess. I mean, how strong-willed do you have to be to (incorrectly) rank the team you cover lower than 60 of the other 65 AP voters? That takes some balls.

So I hereby declare Steve Walentik an anti-homer.

He could make the All Anti-Homer Beat Writer Team that'll be unveiled in March.

Anyway ...

Norm Wood screwed up pretty good this week.

He writes for a newspaper in Virginia.

He has Wisconsin ranked 10th and Marquette unranked, which is stupid for three reasons.
  1. Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked 10th anywhere.
  2. Marquette shouldn't unranked anywhere.
  3. Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked ahead of Marquette
Marquette is ahead of Wisconsin in the AP poll, the Coaches poll and the Top 25 (and one) because though Marquette and Wisconsin have similar bodies of work -- both have one win over a currently ranked team -- Marquette actually has a win at Wisconsin. That's got to count for something. But Norm has Wisconsin ranked 10th and Marquette unranked, and I bet that doesn't make sense to the folks in Milwaukee.

Or the folks in Moraga.

My guess is they're just as confused about Norm's decision to put Wisconsin so far ahead of Marquette as they are about his decision to put Gonzaga seven spots ahead of their Saint Mary's Gaels. In case you haven't been following the WCC, here's what you need to know: SMC and Gonzaga -- like Wisconsin and Marquette -- have similar bodies of work, but SMC owns an 83-62 win over Gonzaga.

Again, that's got to count for something.

I'm not saying Saint Mary's is clearly better than Gonzaga.

I'm just saying you can't have Gonzaga ranked seven spots ahead of Saint Mary's right now.

I mean, you can.

I guess.

But look at what happens when you do it.

Coaches poll: Last week was a prove-it week for New Mexico.

Some folks were already ranking the Lobos.

Others -- like us -- were not.

But what we all agreed on last Monday was that New Mexico would have a chance to prove or disprove it belongs because the Lobos had upcoming games against nationally ranked San Diego State (at home) and UNLV (on the road), and I had basically decided that a split would be enough to launch Steve Alford's team into the Top 25 (and one).

But the Lobos lost both games.

They lost 75-70 at home to San Diego State and 80-63 on the road at UNLV.

So why is New Mexico still getting votes in the coaches poll?

Answer: I don't kow.

New Mexico is 15-4 with zero wins over schools receiving votes in either major poll and two losses to teams (New Mexico State and Santa Clara) that aren't receiving votes. In other words, the Lobos are good ... but they're good with an extremely thin resume. They had two chances to record a notable win last week, but they couldn't do it. And that's why they shouldn't be on anybody's ballot until they show that they can.

Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:22 am

The Poll Attacks

Well stated 'zzounut. I add only one emendation:

   3. Think about posting (rather than posing)

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:11 am

The Poll Attacks

1. Work on reading comprehension.
2. Improve writing skills.
3. Think about posting.

Since: Feb 25, 2010
Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:03 am

The Poll Attacks

hmmmm..."I could understand someone putting Kentucky, Ohio State and/or Syracuse ahead of them (Missouri). It would be wrong, in my opinion"...well...if you voted Missouri 2nd, my assumption is that you would have had to have voted someone else at #1...but in your opinion, you voted against your conscience??? Did you mean to vote Missouri #1, but placed them at two so you could argue??? UK is #1...Missouri is #2...Kansas lost to UK, but will beat Missouri...and next year, when Missouri joins the SEC, they can lose to UK too..funny...I guess Murray State gets no love from CBS sports either, as the coaches have them at 9 and the writers at 11...still trying to wrap that idea that you voted Missouri 2nd but would argue that UK shouldn't be ahead of them, even though you voted them #1...good lord...could you be anymore vague in your disapproval/approval of the Missouri beat writer for doing what you are doing as well...waffling

Since: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:47 pm

The Poll Attacks

And don't forget Mizzou's 87-58 domination of Notre Dame who just beat Syracuse...remember, basketball D1 determines champions on the court unlike the BCS football nonsense where your ranking actually matters for the post season.  And though the Tigers are short (both bench and height) they play with a lot of heart which is why I believe they will take the Jayhawks next week. Rankings, smankings, give rockchalk a spanking and tell them to like it!

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:44 pm

The Poll Attacks

"The only poll I look at is the coaches poll.  The media (AP) is a bunch of morons.  I don't care what they think."

Do you actually believe that all those votes are actually made by the coaches? Too funny... They probably pay less attention to basketball nationwide than any other group. I'll bet I watch 5 times more games a season than your average D1 coach.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

"They don't ever seem happy, excited or appear to have fun in their jobs which is fine on the national scene but when local, cmon? "

If I had to A) live in Columbia, MO or B) cover Mizzou sports, I wouldn't seem very happy, either. That said, Mizzou should have received no votes lower than #3. You have to have them ahead of Ohio State and Kansas at this point in the season. We'll see how that looks after 2/04.

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:40 pm

The Poll Attacks

I think the Tigers should be below Syracuse
Was tonights (Cincy) game the best road win for Syracuse? NC State or Nova? Mizzou deserves to be ahead of them....for now

Since: Nov 4, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:35 pm

The Poll Attacks

Both the football and basketball beat writers for Mizzou that work for the Columbia Tribune are that way.   They actually go out of their way to try to not look biased and maybe even overcorrect a bit just to try to prove their point.    I can't stand either of them as far as their work goes.   They don't ever seem happy, excited or appear to have fun in their jobs which is fine on the national scene but when local, cmon?    If you watch their podcasts, they stumble and mumble about and look like their minds are on dinner and a nap instead of their jobs.   I much prefer the Missourian's coverage as well as the local TV stations and reporters.

Since: Dec 21, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:31 pm

The Poll Attacks


Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 11:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

Actually, I think it is wrong to rank Missouri second. I think the Tigers should be below Syracuse and Ohio State as well as Kentucky. Baylor was their first impressive win, and I'm not so sure the Bears are that great now after this past week. I think Walentik is closer to right than you are.

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