Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 21, 2009 7:08 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2009 7:17 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY -- That voter from Georgia did it again.

So I busted him up again.

It's an extra special Christmas edition of the Poll Attacks .

AP poll: Did you read the past two Poll Attacks? If not, click here and here . If so, you already know how frustrated I am with Roger Clarkson of the Athens Banner-Herald. He is equal parts ridiculousness and stubbornness, proof being how he keeps ranking Pittsburgh even though I've spent two weeks explaining why it's stupid to rank Pittsburgh.

But that's not all.

Roger's ballot is dumb on lots of levels.

I'll break it down for you.

Hopefully, he'll print this out and keep it so we can avoid this next week.

1. Roger has Pitt ranked 25th despite Pitt having no good wins and a loss to Indiana, and, as I've pointed out before, it's not like Pitt was supposed to be good. Jamie Dixon lost nearly everything from last season. So this team wasn't supposed to be good, and it hasn't done anything to make anybody think it's good. Except Roger. He still believes. But it's possible he has no idea that DeJuan Blair is a Spur.

2. Roger has Ohio State ranked 10th even though Evan Turner has a broken back. Meantime, Roger has North Carolina (which pounded Ohio State) ranked 12th, i.e., two spots behind the Buckeyes. And he doesn't have Butler ranked at all even though Butler also beat the Buckeyes.

3. Roger has Tennessee ranked 13th. I'll explain why that's stupid a little later.

4. Roger has Georgia Tech ranked 19th, which is exactly where he had Georgia Tech last week. That means he didn't care that Georgia Tech lost Sunday at home to Florida State, because he didn't drop the Yellow Jackets. Meantime, he left Florida State unranked even though FSU is 10-2 with no bad losses and a win over Georgia Tech. He also left Dayton unranked even though Dayton is 8-2 with no bad losses and a win over Georgia Tech. So to recap, Roger ranked Georgia Tech 19th even though Georgia Tech has no good wins and losses to Florida State and Dayton, but he did not rank Florida State or Dayton even though Florida State and Dayton have both beaten Georgia Tech, which, again, Roger ranked 19th.

5. Roger has Texas A&M ranked 15th and New Mexico ranked 22nd even though New Mexico is 12-0 with a win over Texas A&M in Texas. Seriously, somebody please help this man. It's Christmas, for crying out loud. This isn't fun for anybody.

Coaches poll: I dropped Tennessee completely out of the Top 25 (and one).

Some of you have asked why.

My response: Why not?

Tennessee is 8-2 with zero good wins. The Vols barely beat DePaul, and DePaul stinks. USC ran UT off the court, and though the Trojans are probably better, thanks to the addition of Michael Gerrity, than most realize, you can't let a team picked next-to-last in the terrible Pac-10 run you off the court. The best thing UT has done this season is play Purdue close. Beyond that, nothing. So I have no idea how the coaches can justify putting Bruce Pearl's team at No. 14.

It can't be because Vols deserve the benefit of the doubt because, you know, they don't. Lest we forget this is basically the same roster that underachieved last season, basically the same roster that finished 21-13. Tennessee struggled pretty much all last season, and the Vols didn't add an impact player. So is it really a surprise that they're struggling again this season?

To be clear, I still believe this UT team has potential.

I still think the Vols could finish second in the SEC East.

I might even pick them to hand Kansas its first loss on Jan. 10.

But at some point, you are what you are, and what Tennessee is and has been dating back to last season is a talented bunch that can't meet the expectations many of us have placed upon them. Until they do, they should be ranked accordingly. And by ranked accordingly, I mean not ranked at all.

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2009 12:09 am

The Poll Attacks

I don't understand how you could penalize a team in the rankings for having an injured player. I'm talking about Ohio State, of course, for which you bash a pollster for ranking them too high. I agree that the pollster has them ranked too high. However, having your star player hurt, though severly weakening the team, is in no way meritable of a drop in the polls.  The A.P. poll isn't some sort of weak sports website power rankings. Ahem... You don't penalize teams until they lose. Ohio State lost too Butler, and dropped in the polls; fair enough. However, if they had beat Butler, by Prisco's arguement you would still drop them in the polls because Evan Turner is hurt.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2009 11:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

salukis733 - UNC's played some real bottom feeders outside of their 5 tough games, which is hurting their SOS. As well, Michigan State and Ohio State haven't played great this season, which hurts the SOS rank for UNC. The SOS is also hurt by the games against Syracuse and Texas being counted as neutral site games as opposed to away games, which may have been more accurate given the location of the games.

And yes, RPI at this time of year doesn't mean much. Teams in small-time (i.e. non-BCS essentially) load up on as many good games as they can find to help offset the lower quality games they'll play during their conference schedule, and teams in power conferences try to find a mix of good and easy games to help them gel before they get into the hard grind of their conference schedules. It takes a while for these things to balance out, but they will eventually.

Since: Feb 20, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2009 11:11 pm

The Poll Attacks

Pre-season RPI means nothing.  Please note that I hate UNC, but can anyone explain why they have an SOS of 80?  They've played 3 of the top 5 and 5 of the top 25....does this mean that 79 schools have played a tougher schedule than UNC?  If so, please identify yourselves.  Cal is #1?  They've played 2 similar teams (OSU and SYR) along with NM.  Is that really tougher than playing 3 of the top 5?  Anyway, it has nothing to do with GPs column, but any RPI at this point in the season is worthless.

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2009 10:42 pm

The Poll Attacks

Roger Clarkson must be living under rock to place teams in the Top 25.  Heck, I wish he could do that for my University of Illinois team but they suffered a bad loss to Georgia on a neutral court.  I hope this guy is not allowed to vote in the BCS, who only knows what teams would show up in his BCS National Championship game.

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2009 10:37 pm

The Poll Attacks

Ohio State is a good team not Ohio

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2009 10:35 pm

The Poll Attacks

New Mexico should be up to like 13. Tennesee should be unranked because they have no good wins. They probably have the easiest schedule. New Mexico also as a easy schedule too but they are undefeated. Tennesee is 8-2. New Mexico is 11-0. North Carolina should be 6th. They beat Ohio State. Ohio is a good team. North Carolina is a better team than Ohio State. So North Carolina should be a higher rank than Ohio State. Dayton and Florida State beat Georgia Tech that is rank 19. So Dayton and Florida State should be rank

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: December 21, 2009 10:33 pm

The Poll Attacks

A mass onslaught of letters and e-mail might be just what Roger needs this Christmas

Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2009 10:30 pm

The Poll Attacks

The INCREDIBLE stupidity is in the RPI.  Why don't you criticize your site for even running this monstrosity at this time of year???  I mean, let's see Kansas St #1, Southern Miss #4, St John's #5, California #11, William & Mary #14, Western Carolina #16, VCU #19, Rhode Island #24.  You could get a more reasonable ranking by having a monkey throw darts at the list of NCAA D-1 teams.  Sheesh!!!

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2009 9:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

Roger votes like BCS pollsters in Football.  He votes for the name and not the game.

Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2009 8:30 pm

The Poll Attacks

Pittsburgh and Tennessee are jokes.  They don't even deserve to be in the top 50.  Tennessee is just one of those teams that you put in the tournament to create a good upset.  Bruce Pearl hasn't done anything with that program.  Tennessee is going to get destroyed in the SEC this year.

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