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: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2009 10:25 pm

The Poll Attacks

Before you go attacking Parrish, you should answer some questions yourself. How is the Big Ten overrated when they have only three teams in the top 25? That doesn't seem very overrated. I think most people would agree that the Big Ten is underrated. They had the second best non-conference record and they have second best conference rpi, yet they get no respect. How come teams in the ACC keep beating each other (Duke and North Carolina both lost to BC) but people still think they are awesome, but when the teams in the Big Ten beat each other, it is because they all suck? And Penn State is a very good team that deserves to be in the tourney but won't because no one thinks the Big Ten is good. So how about before you rag on Gary Parrish, who by the way does this as a career, you answer these questions please.

Since: Feb 9, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2009 9:46 pm

The Poll Attacks

tigerof1979, it's really simple, Memphis's body of work is clearly inferior to that of Oklahoma, UConn and UNC. Who was their best win, Tennessee? UAB? Gonzaga? Sure, those are 3 respectable wins but they still have more losses than UConn and Oklahoma, and the same amount of losses as the team that currently sits atop what is arguably the toughest conference in the nation.

I think Memphis's true level of talent is yet to be determined, but be happy that they essentially have a cake walk into the tournament. They can sit back while UConn and Pitt have to play again (and maybe again after that), Oklahoma endures the toughest part of their Big 12 schedule before their conference tourny, and UNC still has Duke again before the ACC tourny. 

Right now they're in place to be the most unaccomplished 1 seed in who knows how long, but you can't blame them for winning, and they've certainly done that.

Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2009 8:46 pm

The Poll Attacks

If Maryland lost to Morgan St they could definitely lose to UTEP.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2009 8:38 pm

The Poll Attacks

why? IT is a simple question with a simple answer; UCONN, Texas, and even maryland are so superior to UTEP that it is hard to imagine any of those teams losing to them.

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2009 8:30 pm

The Poll Attacks

How is it that Oklahoma loses to unranked Texas and moves down one, North Carolina loses to unranked Maryland and moves down one. Ok can I can accept U conn going down 1 to Pitt. But why is it  Memphis wins to a unranked UTEP and don't move a bit in AP and 2 in the coaches. Bet if they were in a BCS conference they would have moved to at least third. This is why I don't care for the polls if your not a BCS your nothing.

Since: Jan 13, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2009 7:56 pm

No excuse for UCLA

Why do you continue to make excuses for UCLA? In your explanation of your rankings, you point out that Jrue Holliday got benched and didn't play very much in their loss to Washington St, as though that's an excuse for losing. He got benched because he was playing terribly--if he'd stayed in they would have been beaten even harder.

You consistently make UCLA an exception to the criteria that you use for ranking teams. They haven't beaten anybody good. They haven't even played anybody good. (Apologies to Washington fans.) And they just lost to a team that's outside the RPI top 100.

And something that everyone seems to ignore: UCLA's non-conference schedule was not only weak (#114 SOS), but only one (1) of their thirteen (13) non-conference games was on the road (which game, predictably, they lost).

Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2009 7:08 pm

The Poll Attacks

Not sure what the big deal is that someone voted for St Marys or Utah St. How you could still rank Syracuse is the question? It's amazing how many free passes you give them. How do you not drop Illinois after their preformance against Penn St? Their win over Ohio St doesn't excuse that loss. The fact that Penn St has 8 league wins shows how over rated the big 10 is. I would enjoy the poll attacks more if you were more consistant with your reasoning of ranking or not ranking teams. Can you explain to me how LSU has a better body of work than Gonzaga or Florida St to be ranked ahead of them. I understand why LSU is ranked ahead of them in the AP and Coaches Poll as record means more in those polls, but I thought you were above that.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2009 6:45 pm

The Poll Attacks

How is UCLA ranked and WVU is not?  I don't get it.  Perhaps I'm taking crazy pills. 

I'd love for someone to explain this situation to me, unless the answer is "the AP voters and coaches love UCLA and its men's basketball program." 

p.s., I'm a Howland fan, so I'm not trying to flame on UCLA.

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2009 6:45 pm

The Poll Attacks

Well, as you say, there's no explaining anyone putting UConn number one after a week when a team with the same record beat them at their place.

Oklahoma actually impressed me in their game. Admittedly it was only the second time I had seen them play. I had been under the impression they were a one man team, but even without Griffin they still looked the better team, and this on Texas' court. Without Abrams going off for 16 straight over the final minutes it appeared Oklahoma would have won that game anyway. But they didn't and as a result obviously Pitt should be number one.

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on why Florida State, tied with Duke and Clemson for the number two spot in the ACC can barely scratch the Top 25. I've seen them in person and they are very athletic. They are also a game up on Wake Forest who is ten spots ahead of them in the poll.

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