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Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: January 18, 2010 7:51 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 7:56 pm

A WAC writer ranked Louisiana Tech 20th.

There's a price to pay for that.

And that price is paid in The Poll Attacks .

AP poll: What's more questionable than Northern Iowa being ranked with no good wins and one bad loss?

Louisiana Tech getting votes with no good wins and two bad losses.

I swear, I don't hate non-BCS schools. But I'm not going to try to prove it to you by ranking Louisiana Tech 20th, which is what Nick Jezierny of The Idaho Statesmen did this week. He has the Bulldogs ranked 20th on his AP ballot with a 17-2 record, and their best win is probably at Houston or over Utah State. Point is, there's nothing there.

Louisiana Tech has played exactly one good team -- New Mexico.

Louisiana Tech lost that game 81-52.

The Bulldogs also lost 83-67 to Arizona.

So they have no good wins and two lopsided losses, and that makes them 20th?


Note to AP voters: Just because you cover a WAC school (in this case, Boise State), that doesn't mean you have to rank a WAC school. If it's justified, rank away. But there's no way to justify ranking Louisiana Tech, much less ranking Louisiana Tech 20th. That's ridiculous.

Coaches poll:
I've already told you what I think of Northern Iowa being ranked, so I won't go over that again. Plus, it really doesn't bother me. Northern Iowa is good; I've never denied that. I just don't think the Panthers have the body of work of a Top 25 team, but I'm OK with them being ranked. I didn't rank them. But I'm absolutely OK -- or at least unbothered -- by the AP and Coaches polls ranking them.

We clear on that?


Now let me tell you what I'm not OK with: I'm not OK with Connecticut being ranked 21st with an 11-6 record featuring zero good wins. How does that happen? At least six-loss North Carolina has wins over Michigan State and Ohio State. UConn's best win is a home win over Notre Dame. So the Huskies are 11-6 with no wins over guaranteed NCAA tournament teams, and yet they're ranked ahead of No. 25 Ohio State -- which is 13-5 with wins over Purdue, Wisconsin, and Florida State. Even better: The Buckeyes are 10-2 in games with Evan Turner, 3-3 without him. Now that Turner is back, OSU should be ranked accordingly. And by accordingly, I mean definitely in front of Connecticut.

Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2010 2:05 pm

The Poll Attacks

On one hand I would not rank La Tech for the reasons stated, though they have more talent than you may realize.  On the other hand, I don't understand the indignation over them getting a few measley votes as compared to Northern Iowa.  According to the Pomeroy ratings, both teams have equal numbers of top-100 wins.  Northern Iowa has a much worse loss, namely Depaul.  Depaul has only one other top-200 win on the season.  Losing at Arizona and at New Mexico are hardly as ignominious.

Since: Jan 4, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2010 1:17 am

The Poll Attacks

So the Big Ten's worst team beat Pittsburgh.  You have no issue claiming that one missing player makes a top 15 team worse than the least talented team in the Big Ten?  Okay.  We'll take that, I guess.  By your flawed logic, the Big Ten's worst team is only a player away from being better than one of your best.  I disagree with that statement, but if you're going to offer it up, so be it.

The Panther's loss in this game was due to more than the lack of one player.  Gilbert Brown was still on academic probation, as was mentioned already.  Also, Jermaine Dixon, the only returning starter from last year, only played 13 minutes in this game (0 points) because he was just returning from an injury.  Since this game, Dixon has averaged 9.0 PPG and Brown has averaged 8.5 PPG.  If you look at the box score from the game, it's pretty easy to see that the Panthers lacked production from all but 3 players (Gibbs, Wannamaker, Taylor).  Dixon now starts in place of Woodall, who went 1-6, and Brown comes off the bench for Robinson, who went 0-7.  Considering that the Panthers were only down by 6 when they were forced to foul at the end of the game, it seems clear that the extra offense provided by Dixon and Brown could have change the game.

Outside of scoring, Brown and Dixon also contribute in other ways.  They are the only two current Pitt players with significant starting line-up experience.  Brown started in place of Mike Cook in 07-08, and Dixon started all last year.  Dixon is also considered a great defender, and often draws the matchup with the best player on the opposing team.  While I'm not sure, it looks as though Woodall (5'11'') was guarding Jones (6'5''), which is a clear mismatch.  With Dixon (6'3'') guarding Jones, it would have been much less likely that he score 20 points, considering that Dixon held Lance Stephenson to 15.

Obviously, we can't go back to November and replay this match-up.  With their current available roster, I think Pitt would win this game.  While it might just sound like a lot of whining, Dixon and Brown do make Pitt a different team than the one that lost to Indiana.

Lastly, claiming that Indiana, as the worst team in the Big 10, beating Pitt, currently one of the best teams in the Big East, is a huge win for the Big 10 is a mistake.  Indiana did not beat the Pitt team that is currently ranked #9 in the AP Poll and #11 in the ESPN Poll.  Indiana beat the Pitt team that looked like it probably would finish in the middle of the pack in the Big East.  Sure, it was still a Big 10 win over the Big East, but it seems that people are making a bigger deal out of it now that Pitt is playing well...with their whole team.

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 7:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

Well look at that the Big East is #1.  Wheres the Big Ten?  OMG! They're 5th! What about strength of schedule and again the Big East is #1 while the Big Ten is 3rd.  I just don't see how you can think the Big Ten is better than the Big East.
But wait.  Last year at about this same time, the Big Ten was ranked at the top of the RPI conference rankings and strength of schedule (go ahead, I'll wait while you look it up).  At this time, the Big East slappies made it a point to comment on how utterly useless the RPI conference ranking and SOS number was.  So what has changed a year later?  These are numbers to live by now?  Give me a break.  The RPI is merely one of many fairly arbitrary tools to evaluate a team and/or conference's relative strength.  Here's the one I like the best.  On-court performance.  The Big Ten clearly has that edge, and not even with our very best teams.

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 1:50 pm

The Poll Attacks

SOS doesn't mean jack if you don't win a few of the tough ones.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2010 1:15 pm

The Poll Attacks

I believe that the big 10 is 5-1 against the big least this year.  As was previously stated, the big least has some very bad teams in their conference which make some of their teams look a lot better than they are.  The big least has lost to big ten bottom feeders like Indiana and Michigan.  MSU handed losses out to the top 2 teams in the big least in the tourney last year if I remember correctly.  The big least is always the most overrated conference year in and year out.  They schedule the most cup cakes of any conference, if they play good teams out of conference they usually lose, then they beat up on the weak teams at the bottom of the conference and then declare that their teams are the best.  We will see come tourney time, but I highly doubt that this years NC will come from the big least. 

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: January 19, 2010 1:11 pm

Here's One That's Worse

You think ranking Louisiana Tech is bad? The latest Sagarin's have LaTech at #51 with a SOS of 222. The Sags have Marshall ranked #73 with a SOS of 270. Some hack AP sportswriter in West Virginia named Jack Bogacyzk ranked Marshall #25 in the latest AP vote. Who are these bozos? How can the AP poll have any credibility when many of their voters post ridiculous ballots for their own local team?

Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 12:03 pm

The Poll Attacks

Man, I really wish I could drink the same Kool-Aid your drinking! The Big Ten is not better than the Big East! Lets take a look at conference RPI's and SOS.

Rank Conference Avg. RPI Avg. SOS SOS Rank Teams 1    1162    6123    7124    4125    3116    897    5148    2109    1110Up 1 From Last Week10    149

Well look at that the Big East is #1.  Wheres the Big Ten?  OMG! They're 5th! What about strength of schedule and again the Big East is #1 while the Big Ten is 3rd.  I just don't see how you can think the Big Ten is better than the Big East. 

Your arguements for the Big Ten are weak.

Because Connecticut has lost 3 in row does not mean they are not a good team.  But by your logic, that would mean Purdue is not a good team because they have lost 3 in row.  I know Purdue is an excellent team. 

And to say the Big East is full of bottoms feeders is way off base.  Every Big East team has a winning non-conference record, even Depaul.  We can't say the same about the Big Ten.  Iowa's non-conference record was 6-7, while Indiana's is 5-5. 

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 11:06 am

The Poll Attacks

Van111, you should probably not post if you do not know what you're talking about - i.e., College Basketball.  I feel sad for you.

1. CUSE is a 1 seed, not a 2 or 3.  Your statement&n
bsp; about Cuse being a #2-3 seed makes you an idiot.  Please list the teams ahead of CUSE that will get a #1 and #2 seed.
2.  The original poster has every right to complain about CUSE being behind Duke.  Who did CUSE lose against and who did Duke lose against? Rightt... I guess Pitt must suck.  Oh by the way, did you ever compare wins?? Common sense/college basketball knowledge would tell you that CUSE has way more quality wins than Duke.
3. P.S. Duke os overrated just like Kentucky.  Nothing is more infuriating than school being ranked high just because of their name.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 10:14 am

The Poll Attacks


Are you seriously crying fould because your Orangemen are behind Duke by ONE SLOT!  Like a told this other idiot cuse fan yesterday, you are being ridiculous.

Anyway, Duke's 2 losses are away from home to by a combined 8 points. Meanwhile, your Cuse lost to Pitt on your home floor by 10pts.

But, here's the trick.  Don't lose AT HOME!  And stop whining.

The Cuse have good wins and will be a a top2 or 3 seed. Don't act as if Cuse doesn't ge their respect.

Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 10:12 am

The Poll Attacks

. . . this is the 2nd time ive seen someone on here talking about the big ten being better the the big east.
Probably because . . . the Big Ten IS better than the Big East this year.

The big ten is getting lucky playing the Big East team when they are down.
If the Big East is "down," doesn't that somehow imply, at least at this moment, that they are not as good as the Big Ten?  Seems like pretty sound logic to me.

We all can agree that Uconn is better than this 3 game losig streak they find themselves in.
Actually, we cannot agree to that.  Connecticut lost it's star power after their tournament run last year, found themselves fortunate beneficiaries of a ranking that did not befit their actual team composition this year, and are fading accordingly.  They're not that good of a team in 2009-2010.

Indania beating Pitt w/ out brown and a limited Dixon.
So the Big Ten's worst team beat Pittsburgh.  You have no issue claiming that one missing player makes a top 15 team worse than the least talented team in the Big Ten?  Okay.  We'll take that, I guess.  By your flawed logic, the Big Ten's worst team is only a player away from being better than one of your best.  I disagree with that statement, but if you're going to offer it up, so be it.

The Big ten seems to be getting lucky(right place at the right time).
We sure got lucky last season, hammering the best the Big East had to offer in the Elite Eight and Final Four.  Come to think of it . . . it seems like the Big ten sure gets "lucky" a lot.  At some point, perhaps someone might actually take notice of the fact that, believe it or not, the Big Ten actually fields some really good basketball teams.

Plus the Big Ten has 4 teams in the top 25.  Now the Big East has 5 teams in the top 15.  What is that???? OO yeah because they are better. duh
Uh huh.  If the Big Ten fielded 16 teams and was loaded with bottom feeders that we could feast on to bolster our overall records, we'd probably have a couple more teams ranked that highly as well.  Care to look at how many teams each conference has ranked as an overall percentage of the total in-conference schools?  I doubt it because the Big Ten, ACC, and Big 12 would trounce you in that assessment.  Ridiculous.

I will congratulate the Big East on their showing last year.  They rightfully had a lot of highly-ranked teams and their tournament performance reflected it, filling 1/2 of the Elite Eight and 1/2 of the Final Four.  That is outstanding and they were clearly the best conference last year, despite not having any teams in the championship game.  This year, I think things will play out a little differently.  Only time will tell.

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