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: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:53 pm

The Poll Attacks

In the case of Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish reporting college basketball for CBS, 2 chodes don't make a right.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

I have an idea that Parrish has to be tired of attacking Ron Morris, but in case anyone was wondering, Ron ranked UNC 4th (yes, the same UNC that suffered a 30+ point beatdown to FSU about a week ago). Not stopping there, he has UNLV ranked 21st (17 spots below the UNC team they beat!). He has Murray State at 20th, which wouldn't be awful if he wasn't ranking Wisconsin 17th.

I understand they are just rankings, but Ron should really lose his priviliges of filling out a ballot. It seems that his ballot is always one of the most nonsensical ones out there.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:17 pm

The Poll Attacks

I glance at this article occasionally, I tend to be looking at some of the fringe schools trying to make up my mind about the schools I don't follow much.

That brings me to this.  I think it would add a lot more credibility to the poll attack to place your own vote up for scrutiny as well.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 5:01 pm

The Poll Attacks

I am a Mizzou fan, but I respect Walentik for putting Mizzou at #4.  Objectivity like that is hard to find.  It's 100 times better to err toward being an anti-homer than to do the opposite.

Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

Seth Davis didn't bother to rank Kansas State.  Their losses are to WVU, Kansas, Baylor, and Oklahoma.  The OU loss stings for sure, but not even ranked?  Goodman had them at 14 on his ballot, so at least one of you two thinks they're worthy of a ranking. 

And when are you going to write a Polls Attack Hall of Fame induction for John Feinstein, who could be poll attacked every week.

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