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: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:36 am

The Poll Attacks

Honestly I think the reason that Illinois State, and Texas A&M in 04-05, schedule such weak nonconference opponents is to build some interest in their program.  If they scheduled decent opponents they would most likely start out with a record like 8-4 or something similar and the fans would be ready for another season of decent basketball, but when you start out at 16-0 that looks impressive to the casual fan and generates some interest in your least until you get exposed in conference play.

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2008 12:20 am

The Poll Attacks

Wait, Gary.....I thought Psycho Rob (poll attacks, I believe on 12/9) said you hated Pittsburgh and you were undermining the big East? What is this "you have no issues with Pitt being third"?

This talk about Iliinois State is all well and good, but I think you are trying to say something good about Pitt because you really hate them and dont want anyone to know it.

Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2008 11:16 pm

The Poll Attacks

Leave Jimmy B alone, he's a coach defending his players. Gotta respect a man willing to stand up. Too bad about tonights loss though ...

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2008 10:47 pm

The Poll Attacks

not sure i would call what boeheim did a big fuss. yeah he made it known that he didnt like the ruling and the punishment didnt justify the act but big fuss no. anytime boeheim says something all haters come out and call him a whinner. he is usuially right. i.e when they were left out of the tourneament two years back. hen last year kentucky gets in with way worse and more non-conference losses. all syracuse did that year was lose to wichita state who was ranked at the time but eventually lost to everyone. and they had two or three big big east wins. meanwhile kentucly lost to several cupcakes in non-conference got blwon out by forty to someone in february, i think tennesee maybe and they get in. sound bitter? 

Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2008 10:39 pm

The Poll Attacks

So somebody ranked West Virginia because it played Davidson tough, ?

Then why not rank Chattanooga?

The Mocs played Davidson tough, too.

Since: Nov 20, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2008 9:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

Don't sweat Illinois State. They will be gone soon. I love my Birds, but I swear to God this is the most BORING schedule I've seen in 20 years. I think the MVC is even peeved at them.

Otherwise, Syracuse lost a game in the week that Jim Boeheim makes a bug fuss over losing a player to a disciplinary issue. It reminds me of Bruce Weber and Illinois last year doing poorly while making a big deal all year about their recruit lost to Indiana.

Do you think that if coaches would take more of a "just shut up and play the game" attitude with themselves, that attitude might rub off on their teams?

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2008 9:25 pm

Disagree about West Virginia

Gary, I usually 100% agree with your points, but I gotta disagree with your point on West Virginia. My guess is, 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. I can particularly sympathize because it was the first time I had seen West Virginia play myself, and I also believe they look like a top 25 team. Davidson is also a top 25 team, just a slightly better one. When ranking, I think its perfectly legitimate for voters to rank not only based on just wins and losses, but how the teams got those wins and losses. Now, if the voter ranked Davidson ABOVE West Virginia, I'd have a problem with that, but as it stands, I think his vote was legit.

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2008 9:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2008 9:16 pm

Illinois State

I don't understand WHY they scheduled like they did. It's pathetic. This isn't 2006 where the MVC is strong enough to where they can ride a strong MVC showing to an at-large bid should they not win the autobid. I can honestly see them being treated like Utah State did a few years back, when the Aggies went 24-2 and still got left out of the NCAA tournament because of their schedule weakness. And sadly, I think Utah State had a better schedule that year. At least Utah State played 2 NCAA tournament teams in non-conference that year in BYU and Utah.

If Illinois State gets left out again this year, they have no one to blame but their Athletic Director.

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