Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: January 5, 2009 5:51 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2009 6:05 pm

John Wilner must hate the color orange.

You'll see why if you keep reading the Poll Attacks.

AP poll: Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News took a beating from Syracuse fans a few weeks ago after I pointed out how he didn't have the Orange ranked even though they were, at the time, 11-1 with wins over Florida, Kansas and Memphis. Ultimately, John declared it a typo, called himself "idiotic" and promised to buy ribs when he was back in town, and I think everybody was OK with it because it was admirable to acknowledge the mistake.

But now John has another problem: Clemson.

He is the only AP voter who doesn't have the Tigers on his ballot, and there's really no explanation for that unless it involves another typo. Clemson is 14-0 with a win over the Illinois team that beat Purdue (which is ranked 11th on John's ballot), a win over the Temple team that beat Tennessee (which is ranked 13th on John's ballot), and wins at Miami and South Carolina.

So by any measuring stick, Clemson has a nice resume.

That's why the Tigers are 10th in the Top 25 (and one), 11th in the Coaches poll and 12th in the AP poll.

So, Clemson fans, I advise you to email John and see why he's not ranking your team.

Perhaps you'll get some ribs out of the deal.

And now it's time for our weekly George Geise update: I must admit, I look forward to George's ballot as much as I look forward to anything, and I'll have you know that he didn't let me down, because the guy's curious pattern of bouncing Xavier all over the place continued. To recap: George did not rank the Musketeers when they started 5-0 with wins over Missouri and Memphis. So I called him on it, and he shot Xavier all the way up to 16th after a victory over Miami (Ohio). From there, the Musketeers went on to lose two of their next six, but George didn't care because he moved them up from 16th to 12th in that time span, which led to me Poll Attacking him last week. So then Xavier won two games over the past seven days, and do you want to guess how George ranked Sean Mller's team this week?

Answer: Not at all.

He dropped the Musketeers from 12th to completely off his ballot after two wins.


Meantime, Gonzaga lost to Utah, but George still has the four-loss Zags ranked 16th.

Can't wait till next week.

Coaches poll: There are about 40 teams that could reasonably make a case to be ranked in the Top 25, so I'm not going to call people stupid for ranking LSU or Stanford or Utah State, because though I don't agree I recognize it's pretty subjective outside the top 15. The only totally dumb vote I see is where some coach put Washington at No. 25 on his ballot, because Washington has three losses (including one to Portland) and no good wins, and I'm not sure how that translates into a Top 25 ranking.

But whatever.

I don't really care.

Because I want to instead focus on Georgetown and how the Hoyas dropped from eighth to 10th after beating UConn and losing to Pittsburgh. Does that make any sense? In last week's Coaches poll, UConn was ranked second, Pitt was third and Georgetown was eighth. So if the No. 8 team manages to split games with the No. 2 team and No. 3 team, how does that make them worse than No. 8? Seems to me that suggests the Hoyas are better than we thought a week ago, which is why I moved John Thompson III's team up from ninth to fifth in the Top 25 (and one).

Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 10:58 am

The Poll Attacks:another perspective

I'll preface with the fact that I have never had an official vote in any Division 1 college basketball poll. But, I have had the opportunity to vote for several years in the high school sports polls in my state.

With that in mind, perahps some of these voters are taking the same stance in voting that I take. I don't necessarily move someone up or down, based upon the results of the past week/month. Instead, I rate based on where I feel the team belongs in the pecking order at that point in the season. Example...if I am ranking three teams, then I will compare how I feel the three teams will do against each other in a H2H basis on a neutral court. That is the basis for my ranking order. So there will be shifts in rankings, that do not always take into account the most recent results.

What I mean simply is this...does anyone outside of Pennsylvania rally believe that Pitt would beat Carolina on a neutral court right now? If your answer is no, then how can you justify ranking Pitt over UNC. You can do the same thing all the way down the poll, which many writers use as justification for one of the four remaining undefeated teams (Illinois State) continuing to wander in the honorable mention area of the poll.

There are no guidelines to voting in the poll, no set rules for A beat B, so you must rank A higher than B, etc. With that, each voter is left to establish his/her own criteria for voting. As long as the person uses thesecriteria consistently, and without bias, then I have no problem with their ballot. I've tried to explain my criteria, and would be happy to explain in further detail if someone desires.

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 10:48 am

The Poll Attacks

Georgetown's drop from 8 to 10 is a bit misleading, since their vote total hardly changed (from 510 to 506). One would expect a Top 10 team to probably split those games, given that one was at home. So I think it's reasonable for Georgetown to remain about the same, which is exactly what happened.

My quibble would be with Syracuse getting a significant increase despite not really doing much to deserve it. What happened was that Notre Dame, Purdue, Villanova and Arizona State all lost, and a lot of their votes were being redistributed among the teams that didn't lose, which includes Syracuse.

Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 10:32 am

The Poll Attacks

Do you realize that whoever voted for N Carolina as #1 this week also voted for the last place team in a conference to be #1 in the country.

I know it's only after one game and they r tied with four others, but the above sentence is technically true.  I don't imagine that has happened very often (last place team in a conference getting vote(s) for the #1 spot in the country) in the past, if ever.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2009 9:32 am

The Poll Attacks

As a Butler fan and a former Lexington resident, all I can say is RIGHT ON!!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2009 8:36 am

The Poll Attacks

Pitt finally #1

Perhapts, from the first Tip off. No one taking shots at Pitt, hmm, finally geting RESPECT.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:55 am

The Poll Attacks

A10 will likely get 3 bids


Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:28 am

The Poll Attacks


Right on!  There aren't enough days in the year to mock Jerry Tipton enough.  Good to see someone outside of Lexington realizing this.

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2009 12:19 am

The Poll Attacks

How about Seth Davis

Oklahoma #2

Louisville #14

Miami #18


Since: Mar 31, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:31 pm

I'm referring to...


linked in Dawgie's comment above.....

Since: Mar 31, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2009 11:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

Wow!  Just wow.  There's all kinds of stuff there.  As a Tennessee fan, of course the most glaring thing for me is he doesn't have us in the top 25, yet UT has wins over his #7 (Georgetown) and #11 (Marquette). 

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