Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 8, 2008 5:48 pm

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 5-0.

They beat Miami.

They beat Notre Dame.

And yet 12 AP voters still opted not to rank OSU.

That's hard to understand.

But it's easy work for the Poll Attacks.

AP poll: I told you in the Monday Look Back that anybody not voting for Ohio State would have to be a victim of the Poll Attacks, and because I'm a man of my word I'm going to list the names. I'm not going to be mean or anything; I'm just going to point out that the Buckeyes are one of only five schools that are undefeated and in possession of two wins over ranked opponents, and that the others are North Carolina, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Syracuse.

Needless to say, UNC, UConn and Oklahoma are on everybody's ballot.

Syracuse is on 71 of the 72 ballots.

But despite having a similar resume to those schools, Ohio State was omitted from the ballots of Elton Alexander, Gary Horowitz, Jeff Walker, Jerry Tipton, John Shinn, Joshua Parrott, Michael Murphy, Michael Vega, Pat Ridgell, Paul Arnett, Roger Clarkson and Seth Davis. Of those ballots, the wildest probably belongs to Vega, who did not rank Syracuse (undefeated with two good wins) or Ohio State (undefeated with two good wins), but did find room on his ballot to slot Michigan State (5-2 with no good wins) all the way up at No. 9.

I mean, I like Tom Izzo more than anybody, but that's crazy.

And I'm pretty sure Tom Izzo would agree with me.  

Coaches poll: I'm not here to argue Michigan over Michigan State, because I do think that the Spartans will be better than the Wolverines by February or March or whenever things start to really matter. So don't get me wrong: I'm not looking for a fight. But I believe the bottom line has to matter to some degree, and that the people currently ranking Michigan State ahead of Michigan are totally disregarding the results of the first month of the season.

For proof, let's compare bodies of work:

-- Michigan --

Record: 6-2
Wins over ranked teams: 2 (Duke and UCLA)
Losses to ranked teams: 1 (Duke)
Losses to unranked teams: 1 (Maryland)

-- Michigan State --

Record: 5-2
Wins over ranked teams: 0
Losses to ranked teams: 1 (North Carolina)
Losses to unranked teams: 1 (Maryland)

So as you can see, Michigan has two wins better than any win Michigan State possesses, and the schools have a common loss to Maryland (though it should be noted that Michigan's loss was by five points at Maryland while Michigan State's loss was by 18 points on a neutral court). Furthermore, Michigan has a 15-point loss to Duke while Michigan State has a 33-point loss to North Carolina, which means that by any measuring stick Michigan is having a better season than Michigan State, and I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but it seems that it should be taken into account on some level.

That's why I ranked Michigan 26th and did not rank Michigan State in the Top 25 (and one).

Again, Big Ten play could change everything.

But for now, that's the way it should be.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2008 12:16 pm

The Poll Attacks

In Michigan State's defense, they've played all of their toughest games to this point minus Goran Suton, who's easily their best post player. He should be back shortly, and I think you'll see significant improvement once he is. Had that not been the case and the scores had been the same, it would be just about impossible to justify, but some people may be keeping MSU up in the polls because they don't think those losses are reflective of the team's real strength with a key player missing.

That said, Michigan does have the two better wins thus far, and if you want to go strictly by resume Michigan's is better (although they did need OT to beat Savannah State). I have my doubts as to how long that will last, and I think a healthy Spartans team would lay waste to Michigan eight or nine times out of 10 (as, I think, would be true of Duke), but I can't really argue against your decision to put Michigan ahead for now.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2008 9:25 am

The Poll Attacks

I am so sick of Duke and North Carolina I could vomit. All of this hype is creating a disgust among we, the disinterested. All things including greatness run in cycles, (this is certainly proven by the end of the "Kentucky Era" in the SEC. In 15 years when North Carolina is 10W and 12L, and Duke is 12W and 10L....I hope you can still muster the same prefabricated hype.

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2008 9:36 pm

The Poll Attacks

Therein lies the problem of having AP preseason polls. It's hard to overcome brainwashing by those who don't do their due diligent research, instead simply buying into colleagues suggestions who merely speak for the sake of speaking. In Ohio State's defense, the AP had them nowhere because they were so young. Yet,,, and all suggested this Buckeye incoming class was special and would have to be dealt with come NCAA tourney time. Right now has this inexperienced OSU team third in it's power rankings behind only UNC and Gonzaga. Then you have the opposite like Duke and UCLA who get propped up on pedestals so high their losses don't seem to matter, irregardless of who the team is that's beating them down. That's why when I want to understand who the teams are that will seemingly be 'bursting onto the scene' later in the year, I tend to value the analysis of the three websites and their experts' analysis before the season starts so I know beforehand whether what I'll be reading on the major newswires jives with what the true experts have suggested is going to transpire, barring unexpected injuries. It's a far better predictor of reality than the other way around.

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: December 10, 2008 5:10 pm

The Poll Attacks

Michael Vega is probably someone who doesn't have the time to do the polls and just submits the same every week - maybe with minor changes.  I feel that most voters in these polls know a lot less about what is actually going on in college basketball than the average fan who follows the polls. 

Hey Gary, when are you going to attack our People's Poll?

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2008 3:50 pm

The Poll Attacks

Had Jack McClinton not made the boneheaded move of slapping an Ohio State defender, the Canes probly win that game by virtute of McClinton's 3-point shooting (he was 4-4 from behind the arc at that point). His ejection turned the tide in the game and UM just didnt have enough offense to stave off Diebler and the rest of the Buckeyes.To be fair, RebelPat, the tide really didn't turn until Matta made some adjustments at Half Time.  McClinton lost his cool with 10:22 left in the first half, and Miami maintained their lead to 14 points at the half.  You are right that McClinton was on fire in the first 10 minutes, but that is no guarantee he would have continued at that pace all game long.  Does anyone think Matta would not have changed his D to slow him down?  Also, why did the officials allow McClinton's last trey?  He shot it after fouling Crater, which was called after reviewing the play.  McClinton was unguarded because Crater was laid out with a poked eye.  No doubt the ejection did affect the the game, but bottom line is, nobody knows what would have happened.  But many thanks to Lavin for pointing out that McClinton was ejected about 3,000 times, just to make sure nobody could possibly miss that point.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2008 1:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

Here, I have a proposition. Let my team (the Butler Bulldogs) go under the radar as we do every year as the best team in Indiana and beat Ohio State this saturday @ ohio state so we wont have to deal with ohio state in the polls anymore. Oh yeah, wheres the love for Butler? number 4 rpi? strenth of schedule 14? 7-0? wins at drake, at preseason horizon league champ cleveland state, northwestern (6-1) (who also smashed florida st)....yet we are still outside the top 25...haha it is all fine though here in indy, ill keep watching and upsetting, and finding ourselves in the tournament in march "pulling W's from our asses" ..HATERS

Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2008 12:24 am

The Poll Attacks

The Attacks are always super informative.  I usually don't take any action other than laughing at the stupid voters, but I noticed Jerry Tipton on your list this week.  I'm going to take some time to write him an email, or at least go blast the boards over on the Herald-Leader's website.  He's real good at annoying a lot of Wildcat fans.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: December 9, 2008 10:33 pm

The Poll Attacks

While OSU did beat Miami at home, you are gonna have to take a closer look at that game. Had Jack McClinton not made the boneheaded move of slapping an Ohio State defender, the Canes probly win that game by virtute of McClinton's 3-point shooting (he was 4-4 from behind the arc at that point). His ejection turned the tide in the game and UM just didnt have enough offense to stave off Diebler and the rest of the Buckeyes. Either way, the Bucks still won in a hostile environment, and also gained a quality win against Notre Dame. I think they are right about where they should be in the polls.

Since: Apr 27, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2008 8:48 pm

The Poll Attacks

Hey Parrish, did you ever think maybe Duke and UCLA are just overrated by some of the same POLLSTERS!

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2008 7:55 pm

The Poll Attacks

Great story GP!!

Don't know which team is more of a surprise to me this year Ohio State or Michigan, but I do agree both should be ranked

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