Blog Entry

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 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

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 3:27 pm

The Poll Attacks

It's made up by 40+ regulars from Sportsline's College Basketball board. No WVU, no ISU. I do see, however, that someone has voted for Illinois? Cripes!I send you my spreadsheet if you went to look at it.  It makes perfect sense... especially if you have extra spots to fill when you don't rank slackers like Louisville, Arizona State and Michigan State. 

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 2:48 pm

The Poll Attacks

 the voter you are complaining about had never seen West Virginia play and didn't think they should be ranked prior to this poll. However, after playing Davidson tough, they were clearly convinced they looked like a top 25 team

Now, I am not Gary Parish so I do not know exactly what is running through his head when he writes this but here is my guess.

If the voter hadnt seen any WVU games then what he should have looked at was who they beat, who they lost to, and what the score was (at minimum). If that is the case then it makes no sense for him to wait that extra week and rank them after a mediocre weekend. The only lodical thing that could have been running through this voters mind would have been that alot of teams above WVU lost (which didnt happen).

So your statement doesnt make much sense. This guy HAD to have watched all of WVU's games both this week and last week to have done this. He needed to have watched last weekend and thought to himself that they didnt really look like a top 25 team. Then watched both games this week and though that they looked much better thus voting for them to be in the top 25. That doesnt make much sense but then again if this guy makes a habbit of voting like this, allowing him to vote in the first place doesnt make much sense either.

Since: Feb 13, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 2:02 pm

The Poll Attacks

Perhaps you'd prefer the People's Poll, Gary!

It's made up by 40+ regulars from Sportsline's College Basketball board. No WVU, no ISU. I do see, however, that someone has voted for Illinois? Cripes!

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:52 pm

The Poll Attacks

west virginia lost to davidson closely without ruoff and cop punching joe mazzulla.  granted i think mazzulla is vastly overrated after his performance against duke in last year tourney, and that injury enable truck bryant to show how good he is.  but not having ruoff on the other hand was huge.  he is the second leading scorer and only consistant deep threat.  not to mention he can make a free throw and if you look at the box score of that game, you'll see thats why wvu lost.

i guess basically i'm saying if a voter realized they were playing without those guys and almost won, he figured they are definitely a top 25 team once they return.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:39 pm

The Poll Attacks

I can see why you got cnfused, lets say bewiltered in your 2nd paragraph and trailed off. Suspect you realized YOU are the TYPE to compare PAST years with the PRESANT.

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 10:53 am

The Poll Attacks

As far as Indiana State, I agree completely, absolutely no reason to rank them.  But there is more reason to rank them as Louisville.  At least Indiana State does not have a bad loss. 

My biggest gripe has been about Louisville.  I hear they are going to be good.  I am fine with that - but rank them when they are good, not when they stink.  Right now the only game on their resume I can count is a horrible loss to Western Kentucky, in a game that I watched and saw a team that simply didn't show up to play.  So they are blowing out their cupcakes.  Big deal.  There are 100 other teams who blow out their cupcakes and they aren't ranked for that.  The only other team who was half-decent on their schedule by far, Austin Peay, gave them a big run for their money and they could only pull away at the end.  I haven't seen the game but I presume Austin Peay got tired.  How does a team expect to win against a semi-decent opponent if their only weapon against a weak team is their better conditioning?

Since: Feb 28, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 10:43 am

The Poll Attacks

I agree with the West Virginia comments above.  Seeing  a team play may make someone think that West Virginia is good enough to rank, even if they see them play in a loss.

Also, if you have your own spreadsheet ranking many teams, like I do, and West Virginia is on the brink, they might move up because someone in front of them drops out.

I also don't really care what my rankings last week were - I want to make them right this week.  Wins and losses are my biggest criteria, but I evaluate teams in relation to each other, and not to their previous rankings.  There may be voters in the AP poll who do that, as well.

Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 9:14 am

The Poll Attacks

As much as I like Davidson and wish them the best, West Virginia is the better TEAM.
Stephen Curry is the most exciting player in the country and I love wtaching him play (no homo) but he has almost no supporting cast.
Lovedale puts up some nice numbers but thats about it. A lot of mediocre role players.

That being said, Davidson might get farther in the tournament. But the only reason WVU didn't win theat game is because of the injuries to their guards.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2008 8:25 am

The Poll Attacks

I don't see the issue with WV receiving votes.  They played well against Davidson, and though other people may have as well (the Chattanooga example) those games weren't on TV, and fair or not fair it's easier to judge that which you can see.  I personally don't think WV is top 25, but I'm also not out there canonizing Davidson as a fringe top 10 team.

Also, lay off Illinois St.  LSU's schedule is dead last in D1 and they're receiving votes.  Where's the issue with that?  How about Wake Forest being ranked in the top 10?  Their schedule to this point is rated worse than ILL St as well.  BYU, Marquette, and Minnesota all have schedule ratings in the 300's too.  Plus, some moron voted for Navy.  Why go after ISU when there are bigger and better targets?

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2008 1:26 am

The Poll Attacks

You are seriously going to argue two different years?  Really?  If you want to make the argument that 'Cuse should have gotten in two years ago instead of Ky ok, but to say that KY shouldn't have made it last year because they had a weaker record than SU did the year before is ridiculous.  I'm going to guess the field was a little weaker last year than the year before.  You also forgot to mention the Orange's losses two years ago to Drexel and a very weak Oklahoma state, as well as Wichita State.    By the way, KY only had 4 losses in a conference, yes, one of the by 41 to Vanderbilt, that boasted the previous two national champions.  I'm guessing that's why they got in.  They had the second best record in a very good conference.  Did Syracuse have the second best record in the Big East 2 years ago?  Um, no, they did not.  Like I said, can't compare two years.

But if you want the kind of preferential treatment UK gets, all you (Syracuse) needs to do is win 7 national championships, more conference championships than the rest of the conference combined, and the most games in NCAA history.  In 105 years of existance KY only has 17 non-winning seasons.  SEVENTEEN!!!!  Ok, nevermind, Syracuse only has 17 in 108 years.  Forget that last part.  But still, UK has more wins in less years.  AHHH, who gives a crap.  We aren't that good this year.  Hopefully Syracuse will have a good year and will still get in over them, just to prove that life isn't fair.

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