Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 14, 2009 6:42 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2009 6:52 pm

Roger Clarkson is trying to be stubborn.

Fine with me.

I'll Poll Attack him again.

Let's do this!

AP poll: First, let's revisit what I wrote about Roger last week.

(And I quote ...)

"He has Pittsburgh ranked 18th even though Pitt has no relevant players from last season's team, no good wins and a 16-point loss to Texas. There is absolutely nothing -- not preseason expectations, not current body of work, not anything -- to suggest Pitt is one of the best 25 teams in America, much less No. 18. But that's where Roger has the Panthers ranked. And would you believe that's not even the dumbest thing on his ballot?"

From there, I went on to destroy Roger's ballot -- you can read last week's Poll Attacks here -- and I thought he'd take the hint, learn a lesson, and we'd all be better for it. Instead, this dude ranked Pitt again despite Pitt losing by double-digits to an Indiana team that might finish last in the Big Ten.


Is public humiliation not enough?

Is he just testing me?

And though you might think I'd hold myself to a higher standard and not pick on the same person's ballot every week, you'd be wrong to think that. I will do this every Monday until Pitt is removed from Roger's ballot. So stay tuned. And Roger's crazy if he assumed I'd be too focused on him having Pitt at No. 24 to notice that he also inexplicably has Washington at No. 16, because I noticed that, too. But I'll use the Coaches poll portion of the Poll Attacks to explain my issue with Washington.

Coaches poll:
Washington is 6-2 with both losses coming to ranked teams -- the first to No. 20 Texas Tech, the second to No. 11 Georgetown. But none of the Huskies' six wins are notable, meaning they are 6-2 with zero good wins. Meantime, Dayton is 7-2 with both losses also coming to ranked teams -- the first to No. 9 Villanova, the second to No. 22 Kansas State. But to help offset those losses, the Flyers have a win over No. 15 Georgia Tech in addition to wins over Creighton, George Mason and Old Dominion.

So to summarize, Dayton's losses are certainly no worse than Washington's, and Dayton absolutely has better wins than Washington. This cannot be debated. And yet Washington is ranked 21st with 146 points. And Dayton is ranked 41st with nine points.

Seriously, could anybody reasonably suggest Washington's body of work is better than Dayton's body of work?

If so, I can't see how.

(Worth noting: Roger has Washington at No. 16 and Dayton unranked. Also worth noting: Roger has Georgia Tech at No. 19. You know, the same Georgia Tech that Dayton beat on a neutral court.)

The dumb coaches (and Roger) also have Washington (6-2 record with no good wins) ahead of Kansas State (9-1 record, only loss to No. 25 Ole Miss with wins over Dayton, Washington State, Xavier and No. 23 UNLV), and that's twice as dumb as having Washington over Dayton. So I don't know why I even worry with this stuff, except for that it gives me something to do on Monday afternoons.

Since: Dec 15, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 2:47 pm

The Poll Attacks

what i love is how syracuse is the only team w 3 wins against the (then) top 15, all by 15 ppg. then you have kansas as the consensus #1 with 1 win against a top 40 team beating memphis by 2 points! i havent heard a single person on tv, or this website actually own up to being completely wrong about syracuse pre season. they are a title contender and analysts are still afraid to admit it despite clearly the best resume in the country right now. you gary parrish along with everyone else picked them 6th in the big east and still won't own up to it. i guess you will all act like you knew it when they are in the final four. but kansas really looks like a number 1 team with all those impressive cupcake beatings this year. their best win isn't as impressive as our 3rd best win yet they are #1. it would be nice to hear one analyst actually own up to completely botching syracuse but nobody has any accountability. 

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2009 2:08 pm

The Poll Attacks

I had no issue with Dayton dropping out of the top 25 when they lost to Villanova and K-State in Puerto Rico, but with the win over Georgia Tech in the same tourney (and one over Creighton at home), I found it discouraging that the Flyers fell roughly 20 "spots" in both polls.  No offense to GT, but they have zero quality wins and lost to Dayton - not sure why they would still be in the top 25 (and climbing)? 

It almost seems that the pollsters thought that wins over Boston and George Mason and a loss to Dayton massively outweighed Dayton's head-to-head win over GT and losses (by 6) to Nova and (by 8) to K-State (I know, I know 2 wins are better than 1 - but when does one quality win outweigh two average wins - not to mention Dayton later beat GMU in a true road game??). 

It also appears that the voters were looking for any reason to knock Dayton out of the top 25 and keep the Big 6 teams, regardless of the "body of work", in. Is UD a top 25 team now?  Possibly.  I think you could make as good of an argument for them as teams like GT and others between 20-30.  In the end, it is unfortunate to see the low major/mid-major teams that aren't named Butler, Gonzaga, or Xavier get hit so hard even though their overall performance shouldn't lead to that.

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 2:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

A loss is a loss. To go back to what Parrish wrote about. Bias and bias in rankings will always continue especially since the $$ are so big for high profile time slots on CBS.

My .02 cents.

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

(Also worth noting: Roger has Georgia Tech at No. 19. You know, the same Georgia Tech that Dayton beat on a neutral court.)
I think you meant, 'the same Georgia Tech that lost to Dayton'.  I have no idea why GT is so high, they haven't beaten anyone of consequence, nor have they even played anyone at their house.   FFS they jumped 6 spots in the coaches poll and didn't even play last week. 

Since: Mar 19, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:39 pm

The Poll Attacks

what does 'body of work' have to do with rankings?  If everyone thinks Washington is a better team than Dayton, then who cares about their resumes.  If we went by 'body of work' then Syracuse would be ahead of Kansas.  There should never be a case of "I think #15 is a better team than #12, but #12 has better wins so far."  NO! If you think #15 is better, then you rank them higher!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:16 pm

The Poll Attacks

actually beat somebody, perhaps?

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2009 12:49 pm

The Poll Attacks

I don't understand why UK has not been ranked number one yet. We beat UNC, UCONN, and IU in 7 days. Kansas has not proved themselves as a number one team and yet they are still receiving number one votes. The first big game Kansas has is against Tennessee (sorry Michigan fans) in Jan. So while UK has better wins and a better record, Kansas is sitting at the top with nothing to back up their number one rank besides the idea that they are that good. Without quality wins to back up what rank they are, they should be lowered to around 2 or 3 and let proven teams like Kentucky take over that number one spot. Don't even get me started on Texas.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 12:00 pm

The Poll Attacks

LSU only has two loses and they are both to highly ranked teams, whil thy have two quality wins.  Not sure which post your statement was in response to.  A double digit loss to unranked Arizona State is nothing to brag about.  And I'm not sure where you are coming up with 2 quality wins.  LSU beat Western Kentucky and who else???  To my point, if you really consider WK a quality win for LSU, then I consider St. Louis (beat Nebraska and Southern Illinois) a quality win for Georgia.  LSU is probably better than Georgia, but neither is a good team.  It's true Georgia has 4 losses, but only one of them is really bad (Wofford). 

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 11:34 am

The Poll Attacks

I might agree with you except for the fact that everything you say is false.  UCONN didn't just beat LSU, but beat them badly.  LSU only has two loses and they are both to highly ranked teams, whil thy have two quality wins.  However, Washington hasn't baten anyone.  Not a single one of their victories was over a team anywhere close to LSU. 

So by any quantifiable, or even common-sense standard, Dayton should be ranked higher than Washington, who shouldn't be ranked at all.  By your analysis LSU should be ranked as they are better than Washington and have beaten better teams.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 11:15 am

The Poll Attacks

I just wanted to point out that short of head to head match ups, it's probably still way too early to look at body of work. 

St Johns is a great example of why.  I think it is terrific for NY that they are off to a good start for a change, however, most people would agree that SJU, despite being 8-1, is not one of the top 25 teams in America.  But Gary - I'm going to throw your UConn defense back at you.  Compare UConn to unranked SJU based purely on body of work.  Both teams lost to Duke by 9 (though SJU played a true road game).  UConn has a second loss (grated it was vs. UK) which SJU doesn't have.   Both teams have a victory over a bad SEC team (neither LSU or Georgia are very good), and otherwise - UConn beat William & Mary and Harvard while SJU beat Temple and Siena.    So which "resume" is better right now? 

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