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The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 15, 2008 8:16 pm
 

West Virginia's loss to Davidson sure impressed one voter.

And though I love the MVC, I can't deal with Illinois State getting votes.

So that's why I do the Poll Attacks.

AP poll: I've been waiting all day for the site that displays AP ballots to update, but it hasn't happened, and I'm mad. Because what I want to know is the name of the guy who did not rank West Virginia last week when it was coming off wins over Ole Miss and Cleveland State, but did rank West Virginia this week when it was coming off a loss to Davidson and win over Duquesne in which the Mountaineers trailed by double-digits.

How does that happen?

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with ranking West Virginia; if you think Bob Huggins has one of the best 25 teams in the country, that's fine by me. But it makes no sense to not rank West Virginia coming off wins over Ole Miss and Cleveland State before ranking them after a loss to Davidson and close win over Duquesne. Can anybody explain that logic, how a voter could go from not voting for WVU after wins to voting for WVU after a loss?

If so, feel free to share your wisdom.

And when I get my eyes on the ballots, I'll share the name of the described voter.

Coaches poll: Illinois State is getting three points in the coaches poll, which isn't a huge deal but it's something that must be addressed before it gets out of hand. Yes the Redbirds are 9-0; that's great. But ISU has played absolutely nobody, and when I say nobody I mean N-O-B-O-D-Y.

ISU's best win is probably against SMU, which should tell you all you need to know. The combined record of the Redbirds' opponents is 25-49, and that's why ISU's schedule is rated 321st at CollegeRPI.com. Even worse, Illinois State doesn't have anything noteworthy on the rest of its schedule because the non-league portion is a joke and the Missouri Valley Conference is down, which means the Redbirds will likely play the entire season without facing a Top 25 team, and they might not even face a team worthy of an NCAA tournament at-large bid depending on what they get in the BracketBuster event.

That's why Illinois State can't get votes.

Because it's not Pittsburgh.

You see, Pitt can stockpile votes right now despite playing a so-so schedule because it's Pitt, and you know any team with DeJuan Blair, Levance Fields and Sam Young is going to be good, particularly because last season's team with those three players won the Big East tournament. Plus, Pitt will have plenty of opportunities to prove itself in the Big East. So I've got no issues with Pitt being third in the coaches poll. ISU, on the other hand, hasn't done anything to deserve the benefit of the doubt. The Redbirds were an NIT team last season, so they enter with no momentum. And that's why this 9-0 start means nothing, and why I'd have a problem ranking Illinois State even if it started 15-0 or 20-0.

Again, the Redbirds weren't great last season, they haven't beaten anybody so far this season, and they probably won't play anybody the rest of this season. That's a bad combination for a team wanting to be taken seriously, because even if they are good there's no way to know considering the schedule put together presents zero opportunities to impress anybody ... save the handful of dumb voters in the coaches poll.

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: December 18, 2008 6:57 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Founck,

My point was, even using the RPI at this time, along with the SOS, both Illinois State and LSU are about the same when looking at those measurables posted at this point.  I do not disagree about the RPI at this point, but LSU and ISU are incredibly close on those measurables at this point.  Even look at LSU's shedule up through Dec 17th, wins against nobody and even a common opponent to ISU.  Parrish wants to call a couple of voters "dumb" who ISU is fooling in the coaches poll but there are 21 votes for LSU in the AP Poll where ISU has none.  Why is Parrish not attacking his peers for this? 

It is the same garbage every year we hear from people like Parrish who do not understand that today there is much more parody than yesteryear.




Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:42 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Illinois State deserves to be in the position it is now.  Given that they were given an easy non-conference schedule, they had no other option but to win until conference play began, which they have done.  They have UIC next, which isn't gonna be a push over game, but i'm sure ISU will get the win.  We won't really know ISU strength until conference play begins, but i'm sure they will finish above third place, their expected finish.

As far as them no being great last season, you should really do a little more research before you make a comment like that.  Finishing 25-10 with a first year head coach is no easy feat.  They made it to the MVC finals before a poor performance which probaly cost them an NCAA birth.  None the less, they made it to the NIT and were a number 2 seed.  I know it's the NIT, but weak teams don't get a number 2 seed.  They also had the MVC's best player, Osiris, who got snubbed at the end of the season for the Larry Bird Award.

I agree with you now, ISU isn't a national power house, but they are a good team, and deserve some recognition.  They are proving the depth of the MVC, and hopefully will build upon their sucess.




Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:24 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

RedbirdMBA,

I am also a big MVC conference fan and I can totally sympathize with the other midmajor fans out there when they believe their team isn't getting the respect it deserves.  But, your arguments using the RPI are completely worthless in November and December (and for most of January). 

The RPI means nothing until about 2/3 of the season is played.  Just not enough data at this point.



Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2008 10:17 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Why the railing about Illinois State recieving 3 votes?

Gary, you think your AP buddies get it right too?

Why is LSU recieving 21 votes in the AP poll?

Let us compare:

LSU RPI = 132 SOS = 339

ILST RPI = 98 SOS = 327

Woah, you mean to tell me that LSU is NOT deserving of being railed against by you and your colleagues, you know the same ones that gave 21 votes to LSU while ILST got 0?

Hey Gary, do not take us Redbird fans' word on ILST, but how about someone who actually competed against ILST and N. Carolina this year (BTW, ILST's best opponent thus far WAS NOT SMU, but in fact UCSB)

UCSB forward Jesse Byrd paid ISU the ultimate compliment afterwards.

“Illinois State, in my opinion, had the best performance against us we’ve seen all year. We played the No. 1-ranked team in the country at our house, and they didn’t beat us by as much Illinois State did,” said Byrd, referring to North Carolina’s 84-67 victory over UCSB on Nov. 21.

“More importantly, North Carolina did not execute their game plan as well as Illinois State did against us.”
UCSB forward Jesse Byrd paid ISU the ultimate compliment afterwards.

“Illinois State, in my opinion, had the best performance against us we’ve seen all year. We played the No. 1-ranked team in the country at our house, and they didn’t beat us by as much Illinois State did,” said Byrd, referring to North Carolina’s 84-67 victory over UCSB on Nov. 21.

“More importantly, North Carolina did not execute their game plan as well as Illinois State did against us.”




Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2008 5:34 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Parrish, what is your problem?  I realize you are all of four years out of college, but Illinois State's re-birth in college basketball is trumped only by the Blackhawks rebirth in Hockey.  Did you see this team at all from 1995-2004?  Terrible.  Any of THOSE teams getting votes would have been a disaster.  Porter Moser, who was a terrible head coach but an amazing recruiter, goes out and gets a super-big fish in Osiris Eldridge.   Then Tim Jankovich shows up and coaches a rediculous wealth of talent to within an eyelash of a 10 seed in the big show after which he goes out and finds Champ Oguchi (Pac ten all tourney team) and a BUNCH of tallented freshmen and transfers. 

The momentum is all with the birds. 

Remember, man, if the birds go 20-0 they will have beaten SIU, Bradley (twice), Creighton, MoSt and Evansville (who remember, plays North Carolina so they are suddenly good by your math).

You may not vote them in above a 3-17 ACC school, but 50 other sportswriters will have them at #10, #11. 




Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2008 1:59 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Gary:

I have several issues with your take on my beloved Redbirds.  First off, your "national" perspective is typical of the garbage we were hearing last March when we were clearly snubbed an invite to the big dance. 

To say that we entered this season with "no momentum" is flat out wrong.  Last season we were the only team to have double digit 2nd half leads both times against the steamroller of a team that was known as Drake.  Unfortunately, the committee ignored these close games, and put all their evaluation into the terrible MVC final where we were flat out awful and embarrassed.  They also ignored their on the record statement of body of work and an rpi of 31, rather to use this one game performance as a barometer.  In coach Jank's first year he had almost a 10-game improvement from the past year with virtually the same exact squad.  Furthermore, we were led by a sophomore standout Osiris Eldridge throughout the season as he finished second in the Player of the Year ballotting in the MVC.  Lastly, it was rumored that the best player on last year's team wasn't even eligible, as Champ Oguchi transferred from Oregon and had to sit out the year.  That team did get into the NIT and did beat a quality Utah State team before falling to a well rounded Dayton squad who had Chris Wright back for the game.  All of these facts, along with the school record 25 wins are stated to show how we did indeed have "momentum" going into this season.  To say we weren't great last year is certainly the opinion you're entitled to, but don't let facts get in the way of your bias Gary.

Now, onto this season so far, yes the non-con schedule is laughably bad for the quality of program and league ISU is from.  However, you can only play the teams on it and beat them, which ISU has done, sometimes very impressively, which is a key in understanding this team and their "deservedness" of votes.  ISU came into the season with the pre-season Player of the Year, the aformentioned Eldridge, and have been led by Oguchi and a JUCO All-American PG, Lloyd Phillips.  Your assessment of their toughest game so far, has again been clouded by ignorance.  The toughest team they played this year so far is the UC-Santa Barbara Gouchos who not a week earlier had played No. 1 North Carolina in a rather competittve game, only to lose by 17.  A game that was a one point game halfway through the 2nd half by the way.  The Birds thoroughly dismantled the Gauchos from the start and almost won by 30 (28).  But, the most telling evidence of the evaluation of this year's team should not be relied upon you or I, how about someone who played on the court for both games and has a first hand evaluation of both teams, take forward Jesse Byrd's qoutes from the Bloomington Pantagraph:

UCSB forward Jesse Byrd paid ISU the ultimate compliment afterwards.

“Illinois State, in my opinion, had the best performance against us we’ve seen all year. We played the No. 1-ranked team in the country at our house, and they didn’t beat us by as much Illinois State did,” said Byrd, referring to North Carolina’s 84-67 victory over UCSB on Nov. 21.

“More importantly, North Carolina did not execute their game plan as well as Illinois State did against us.”

Now Gary, I'm not saying ISU would beat UNC, and they may not be all that competitive, but to just dismiss them because of a poor non conference schedule is rather silly if you are a paid college basketball analyst.  BCS wins, and record is not a fair way to judge MVC schools because most will not play the mid-majors at all, and the one's that do are either in a nuetral site tournament, or on the road in a two-for-none, or two-for-one contract that can be bought out like Cinicnnati did to ISU a couple of years ago.

You may get your wish now though, as ISU enters the most difficult part of their schedule going on the road to Central Michigan, hosting UIC, which beat Vandy and Georgia Tech on the road, imagine that, a BCS team hosting a mid-major and losing.  They will then travel to Missouri State in their brand new arena and host Evansville who is 7-1.  If after these next four games ISU stands 13-0, I encourage you to come to Normal, Illinois and see ISU host your's and everyone else's pre-season favorite to win the league, Creighton as they take on the Birds.  They even have an airport in Bloomington you could take a look at for the first time probably, along with a sparkling 10,000 seat arena that the Champaign (Universty of Illinois) Gazette Newspaper calls the Best College Sports Stadium in Illinois.  I mention this simply to inform you about ISU and the Missouri Valley, the BEST MID MAJOR CONFERENCE in the land!

SPREAD THE RED AND GO STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2008 8:32 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Geze, you go girl! I really liked all your post on the poll attacks topic. makes a lot of sense and I like your ranking system. It's rare to have a female on top of sports ( no pun intended )  and what's going on. I always read what you and Ms.dook are commenting on. Happy Holidays.



Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 6:53 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Lets start the polls over and agrue who should be ranked ahead of who. Michigan has two top 5 wins and so far there only losses was a 5 point loss to Maryland on the road. The same Maryland that beat Michigan State by 18 on a neutral court. Then they loss to Duke on neutral court only to beat them a week later. The same Duke team that rolled over the Big Ten favorite in Purdue.

Michigan has the 10th toughest strength of schedule so far and is 15 in the R.P.I.




Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 4:52 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Michigan State is talented, but young. They just put 118 on the board the other night. I understand it was against a weaker opponent, but that's still a crazy-large amount of offense.

You ranked Illinois ahead of MSU?

Yeah.  See my rankings :http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/blog

s/entry/5824635/12304676

They come in at 33.  They have two semi-bad losses (I count UNC as semi-bad because they fell apart in that game), and I don't count cupcake wins even if they are blowouts.  They have three decent wins against  Oklahoma State, Bradly and Whichita State.  I have only seen them against UNC, they played a decent first half but a bad second half, so my impression of them is bad, and they haven't played a game since that was worth watching.  I'll try to catch them against Texas.

I have a ranking system that includes points for wins, losses, extra points for good and decent wins, points off for medium and bad losses, points for pre-season ranking and eye-test.  Illinois, the last one in my rankings, comes in with 26 points.  The top 5 are North Carolina(71), Oklahoma(70),  Xavier(54), Connecticut(53), Duke(52).  As you see, there is a big dropoff after Oklahoma, and I don't rank based on that score, but it gives you insight.  And If I run out of teams to rank, like this week, I do look at the score. The ones that are in the AP poll that I am not ranking is Louisville with -5(sic!, especially because it includes the most credit for preseason ranking), Michigan State with 10, and Arizona State with 24.  So ASU is borderline and if they have a good win, I move them up.  MSU may move up if they beat Texas.  Louisville has no chance of appearing in my poll until late January, based on their schedule.

I don't rank based on how good a team WILL be.  I rank based on how good they have proven themselves.  I do give them some slack - like Pittsburgh - if they don't give me any reason to doubt.  But MSU and Louisville have given me plenty of reason for doubt and no reason to believe.

Again, it is not ONLY numbers but keeping this system makes me look at every win and loss of a team and evaluate it.  I also watch games and read scouting reports.  And it keeps me from my own biases, as much as possible. 




Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 3:32 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Michigan State is talented, but young. They just put 118 on the board the other night. I understand it was against a weaker opponent, but that's still a crazy-large amount of offense.

You ranked Illinois ahead of MSU?



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