Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: February 23, 2009 6:15 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2009 3:29 am

Stupidity, you are about to be exposed.

It's time to Poll Attack !

AP poll: I'm not sure how two voters moved Oklahoma from No. 2 to No. 1 on their ballots after a loss to unranked Texas. But I'll let that slide, I guess, because though it makes almost no sense, it at least makes (slightly) more sense than leaving Connecticut No. 1 after it lost on its home court to the team that should be No. 1 on everybody's ballot, namely Pittsburgh.

We all saw Pitt beat UConn last week, right?

I was there.

I wrote about it and everything.

It really happened.

And it's primarily why UConn can't be ahead of Pitt.

At least the folks placing Oklahoma No. 1 could discount the loss by claiming that Blake Griffin only played 11 minutes, and that it came on the road, and that if he wouldn't have been concussed the Sooners might've recorded the win. To be clear, I disagree, because key players play limited minutes all the time in this sport, and we don't discount losses across the board when it happens (although if you want to do it, fine, but I'll just point out that DeJuan Blair only played 20 minutes in each of Pitt's losses because of foul trouble). Plus, OU was losing at the moment Griffin was injured. So it's not like the Sooners fell apart after the injury (like Saint Mary's fell apart at Gonzaga last month after Patrick Mills went down), meaning there's nothing on this planet suggesting Oklahoma was going to win that game the other night regardless of whether Griffin played or not.

But whatever.

I'm not here to make that point.

I'm more concerned with how somebody could leave UConn ahead of Pitt, because in this case we have two teams with similar bodies of work (though Pitt's is clearly better, and I'll explain that momentarily) and a recent head-to-head match-up to settle the debate. Again, Pitt just beat UConn. At UConn. And when you combine that with the fact that Pitt has the exact same overall record (25-2) against a better schedule, plus a better RPI ranking, better ranking at, more quality wins, better losses and no home losses (UConn has two), then it's pretty clear that Pitt should be ranked No. 1 in the country.

I mean, I took all that time to explain it Saturday night.

The least the AP voters could do was listen.

And do you want to guess who it was that voted UConn No. 1 and Pitt No. 2?

(Seriously, you're going to love this.)

It was our old friend George Geise from Montana, a future first-ballot Poll Attack Hall of Famer who has been featured in this blog many times for his inexplicable voting habits. You can read some of his past transgressions here and here and here and here . And when you go to sleep tonight, pray for him, because at this point it's clear George needs all the help he can get.

Coaches poll: Why is Saint Mary's getting votes?

I was fundamentally against the idea even when Patrick Mills was playing because of a lack of quality wins, though I could tolerate it because I believed the Gaels were Top 25-ish. But now Mills is hurt, and Saint Mary's is 4-4 since the injury, 20-5 overall against Division 1 opponents and saddled with more losses outside the top 50 (three) than it has wins inside the top 50 (two).

Does that sound like a top 25 team?

Of course it doesn't.

But the Gaels still got four points in the Coaches poll.

Only thing dumber than that is Utah State getting 22 points.

I mean, Utah State has a body of work even less impressive than Saint Mary's, and at least Saint Mary's has an excuse. You watch, if Utah State doesn't win the WAC tournament, the Aggies -- who just lost to a Mills-less Saint Mary's team, by the way -- are going to miss the NCAA tournament, and people will go crazy. But then somebody else -- it'll probably be me -- will point out how Utah State has exactly one top 50 victory and a 3-3 record against the top 90 of's RPI, and then all those people will have to be quiet because they'll have nothing tangible to back their argument, and I'll look so smart I won't know what to do with myself.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 3:00 pm

The Poll Attacks

The three teams that Memphis lost to at the time of the lost were top 25 teams. I would put any amount on the table that those same teams wouldn't beat Memphis now. I doubt very seriously that villinova can lay calm to the same bet.  Your lost total would double to 10 easily. You shouldn't be upset Tyreke choose Memphis over villinova.


Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 2:59 pm

The Poll Attacks

The three teams that Memphis lost to at the time of the lost were top 25 teams. I would put any amount on the table that those same teams wouldn't beat Memphis now. I doubt very seriously that villinova can lay calm to the same bet.  Your lost total would double to 10 easily. You shouldn't be upset Tyreke choose Memphis over villinova.

Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 2:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

When teams lose eight and nines games in a season they really aren't a superior team to anyone. That is alot of LOSING and LOSING shouldn't be called superior. It means they will lose again and again.

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:44 pm

The Poll Attacks

I'd bet my life savings that 2 of St. John's, Rutgers, DePaul, Seton Hall, or South Florida would beat Penn State if Penn St. played all 5 on a neutral court.
Not a good bet, at least if you go by Pomeroy's stats (and he's actually more down on Penn State than Sagarin is). None of those five would be favored, and only Seton Hall would be better than a 2-to-1 underdog. Penn State would project to go 4-1 against them.

First of all, you left out Vilanova as one of the Big East's top teams.
I listed the top quarter. That's four out of 16.

Then you forget the reason St. Johns, Rutgers, DePaul, Seton Hall, and South Florida have less than respectable records.
There are multiple reasons. One is that they have to play those good teams; the other is that they're not very good themselves. They're a combined 8-69 against Pomeroy's top 100 (and one of those wins was over Seton Hall).

Seton Hall, South Florida, and St. John's would have more wins if they played in the Big 10 or Pac 10.
I doubt it. Four of Seton Hall's five conference wins have come against the other quartet at the bottom; the only teams anywhere near as bad as those four in either conference are the Oregon schools (and Oregon State is better than any of those four) and Indiana. If they swept Oregon State, they might get to five in the Pac-10, but probably not any more. In the Big Ten, four at most (a sweep of Indiana, one over Iowa, and one random win somewhere else). And the Pirates still have to play South Florida, so they have a good shot at getting to six.

South Florida has the one bizarre win against Marquette; otherwise they've swept DePaul. They still get Seton Hall and Rutgers (though both on the road); four wins is probably where they'll finish. In the Big Ten, they sweep Indiana and maybe steal one more. Pac-10, they might get to four if they swept Oregon, split with Oregon State, and stole one somewhere else.

St. John's still has a game against DePaul, which probably gives them five wins. I don't see them doing much better in either the Big Ten or Pac-10 than South Florida would.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:41 am

The Poll Attacks

footballfan69 - You're right, my post was weak.  I posted a reaction to having actually seen that wretched game instead of something more in-depth.  For anyone who didn't see that game and thinks it was a result of great defense, don't kid yourselves.  That was a result of bad offensive players not being able to hit wide-open shots when presented.  Layups, jump shots, it didn't matter.  But that is a lousy basis to judge a conference.

I've seen a lot of Big 10 basketball this year and the only team that I've found impressive, if inconsistent, has been Michigan State.  Ohio State has had some fairly noteworthy wins in conference (Wow - I'm calling Penn State noteworthy), but they look largely lost on offense as well.  I like Purdue - when they come to play.  I've seen them two or three times now and they can get on a run and look good, or they can look completely awful.  My original post only used the Illinois-Penn State game as an example, but the conference doesn't look like it's getting the recruits it once did, and while the teams do generally play strong fundamental defense, overall the level of play just doesn't appear to be among the elite any more.  For decades the Big 10 was full of college stars.  Maybe it will be again, but it doesn't look like it.  Fortunately for the teams, the RPI gives extra credit for the perceived strength of the conference, and I think the conference still benefits from past glory, not current talent. 

I'm not claiming to know more than anyone else - I never got past JC ball myself. I'm just a fan enjoying the game, and that's what I see.  Just one opinion.

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:07 am

The Poll Attacks

I love how some people believe the strength of a conference is based on how many points they score a game. If that is true than why hasnt the SWAC conference ever won a NCAA tournament game.  They can put up more points than anyone.  Defense is half of the game and the Big Ten plays great defense.  The only way we can compare conferences is by the non conference schedules. The Big Ten was dominant this year in non conference and is rated either first or second behind the ACC.  No argument can be made otherwise until we see them all play in the tournament.

Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 7:31 am

Stupidity, you about to be exposed looks like that one vote for UCONN wasn't that stupid after all...30 hours after the vote they are back where they should be...

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 6:03 am

Still hating the Saint Mary's Gaels...Why Gary?


One question: After watching SMC vs. Gonzaga twice this season, how do you think we'd do against the rest of the Top-25--with or without Mills? I think we'd win 5-7 games. You really don't think we're worthy of a few poll votes to be #37/#38 in the country? I think the coaches poll is always a little off, but I think the AP is always pretty accurate.

Do you really not see us winning a first round game in the NCAA tourney (and, therefore, essentially being in the "Top-32")? We're legit, and sooner or later we'll prove it to you and all the naysayers.

P.S. You know we beat Providence (on a neutral floor) who just knocked off #1 Pitt, right? Thanks bud.

Go Gaels!

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 2:31 am

The Poll Attacks

Memphis' season to this point can be compared to a team 28 years ago. The 1980-1981 Indiana Hoosiers experienced a similar season. In December, Indiana suffered their first 3 losses to top ranked teams (Kentucky, Notre Dame, and North carolina) just like Memphis did this season (Xavier, Georgetown, and syracuse - teams that were playing great). Indiana continued the season, picking up most of their wins against their non-ranked opponents. They picked up their best two victories over two very low ranked teams (#16 Illinois and#19 minnesota), just the same as memphis' best wins (Gonzaga and UT). Indiana entered the tournament as a 3 seed (approximately where memphis will be) and surprised the nation by winning it all. Hopefully memphis can do the same. Thats a giant hopefully.


Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 1:15 am

The Poll Attacks

About time someone speaks out...St. Mary's is getting bashed for losing a few games without their best player, in fact one of best players in the country. Just ask Coach K, Chris Paul, and Kobe as he was scoring all over our US team in the Olympics.  19 pts/game is not an easy adjustment.  UNC/Duke/etc. etc. have 6 or 7 all americans on their team.  if ones goes down they can sustain the hit.  St Mary's is  a small school that unfortunately can't replace that production.  Now is this an excuse, absoultely not.  They still should have never lost to Santa Clara.  But they were up by 10 to gonzaga (@ gonzaga, which most people would agree is one of the tougheest places in the country to play) before patty got hurt.  They lost by 7.  Give St Mary's half the points he scored in 1st half (18) and they win that game.  They also lost by just 2 at home without him.  They then lost to Portland, which may not be a great team, but they did beat Washington earlier this year.  So I would say that is a solid team.  Let's say with Mills they at least split the Gonzaga games.  That gives them just 4 losses and 3 good wins against gonzaga, utah st, and san diego st, which is better than a few of the teams you have listed.

If Patty returns to the lineup and they run to the championship of the WCC tournament they deserve to be in the tourney (providing they beat pepperdine and LMU this week of course)...There is no arguing if Patty doesn't go down against Gonzaga we are probably sitting in the top 15-20 in the country.  

It is so hypocritical...just last week everyone was making excuses for Davidson bc Curry was a little banged up.  Just think if he wasn't playing at all, they wouldn't even be in the top 100 in the nation.  Then make excuse after excuse for UCLA.  Let's be honest the pac-10 is very down.  They are decent at best.  In fact I would go as far as to say you could take the top 4 from WCC and pit against top 4 of Pac-10 and they would at worse split.  Portland's already beaten their best.  Santa Clara loses and my bet either Gonzaga or SMC take their game.  So if you are gonna send 4 from Pac 10, you got to believe at least 2 from WCC get it.  Especially when pac-10 teams(UCLA) play cupcake non league schedules and refuse to play on the road, and the Pac-10 wonders why they get no respect when compared to the east coast powerhouses.

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