Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: February 22, 2010 4:37 pm

The same guy giving Mississippi State points has Duke ranked 12th.

He's a perfect target for the Poll Attacks .

AP poll: The only school receiving points in the AP poll that isn't also in Jerry Palm's latest Projecting the Field is Mississippi State. The Bulldogs got five points, and I had to know who gave those five points to them. So I did some investigating and discovered it was Ron Morris of The State newspaper in South Carolina. But when I saw his ballot I forgot about Mississippi State pretty quickly, because the Bulldogs' presence wasn't even the dumbest thing there.

The dumbest thing on Ron's ballot was Duke all the way down at No. 12.


Duke at No. 12?

Look, I admit, there are lots of ways to rank teams. You can rank with an emphasis on recent performances, rank using entire bodies of work, rank with your eyes, etc. But there's no way to rank teams that could lead to any reasonable human having Duke 12th.
The Blue Devils are 23-4 and in possession of the nation's second-best RPI. They're leading the ACC, they have NINE wins over projected NCAA tournament teams -- Gonzaga, Charlotte, Clemson (twice), Wake Forest, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Virginia Tech -- and only one loss to a team not projected to make the NCAA tournament (North Carolina State). All four losses came on the road. And yet Ron has Duke two spots behind Michigan State, a team with seven losses and just THREE wins over projected NCAA tournament teams.

I'd love to hear the explanation for that.

Coaches poll: Nobody loves Butler more than I love Butler.

I love the tradition, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Brad Stevens, the type of student-athletes on the roster, Gordon Hayward, the Bulldog mascot, and even Indianapolis ... or at least I favor Indianapolis over Detroit as a Final Four destination. Again, I heart Butler. But the Bulldogs' body of work is ho-hum at best, which is why their No. 10 ranking in the coaches poll is ridiculous.

Butler has topped exactly two teams (Ohio State and Xavier) good enough to earn at-large bids to the NCAA tournament, and the win over OSU came while Evan Turner had a broken back. In fact, Butler is just 2-2 against schools included in Jerry Palm's latest Projecting the Field thanks to wins over Siena and Ohio State (minus Turner, I can't remind you enough) and losses to Clemson and Georgetown. The Bulldogs have additional losses to Minnesota and UAB. So how that translates to a Top 10 ranking is one of the week's great mysteries.

It reminds me of Memphis last season.

The Tigers struggled in the non-league part of their schedule -- lost to Xavier, Georgetown and Syracuse -- and were unranked when league play began. Then they ran through a bad C-USA, stacked wins and moved up the rankings in an undeserving manner before Missouri ran them off the court in the Sweet 16. This is exactly the same. Butler was unranked heading into its first Horizon League game, but the Bulldogs have defeated one bad team after another and similarly moved up the rankings in an undeserving manner.

Simply put, Butler's ranking doesn't match Butler's accomplishments.

I like the team.

And, for what it's worth, I think this Butler team is better than last year's Memphis team.

But 10th in the country with that body of work is way too high.

I have the Bulldogs 22nd.

That's closer to accurate.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2010 1:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

Hey PantherPride, don't you realized one game doesn't make a season? Maybe that explains why Pitt turned around and lost 4 out of 5 games recently. A top tier team needs consistency. One or two great wins doesn't cancel out 3 or 4 bad losses. Pittsburgh has had some BAD losses. Seton Hall ring a bell? A pasting by Notre Dame? Getting pummeled by Indiana? The same Indiana team who, I might add, just jot the snot kicked out of them at home against Wisconsin. Pittsburgh has too many bad losses to be a top 10 team. Louiville beat Syracuse too. They aren't even ranked. Beating Syracuse is not a ticket ot the top ten. You gotta win week in and week out against other quality competition, something Pittsburgh cannot consistently do right now. So take your "wisdom" and go cry in the corner when another low level team embarrasses you. Don't go spewing top ten propaganda when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2010 9:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

Oklahoma has underacheived this year, due in large part to injuries, but they are still a top 100 team. Had one of their players not gone down in the game, they would have beaten Gonzaga on the road. They were controlling the game in the second half when he went down.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2010 8:15 pm

The Poll Attacks

Baylor had an awful night, sure, but tell me you did not just use Oklahoma to try to make a point. The Sooners are terrible this year. There are breathers in the Big 12 for a good team.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2010 2:09 am

The Poll Attacks

"Not if you're in Boulder or Lincoln, it's not."

Tell that to Baylor and Oklahoma.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2010 2:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

You have an off night in the BIG 12 and it's a loss. Not if you're in Boulder or Lincoln, it's not.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2010 10:18 pm

The Poll Attacks

I think the responses on this thread are pretty comical.  There is a lot of noise about the 3rd ranked conference and hardly any discussion about the top ranked conference.  Every single conference ranking comparison I've seen in the last 2 weeks has the BIG 12 ahead of the Big boasters of the East.

Mizzou?  Nothing there to look at, move along.

To the Butler fans who think their schedule is so impressive, Mizzou will have played 21 games against teams currently ranked in the top 100 by the end of the regular season games.  By the end of the BIG 12 tournament it's likely to be 24 or 25.  Butler will have played 10 by the end of the Horizon league tourney.

You boast about your great record (2-2) against top teams, but one of those was over Ohio State.  That game, if memory serves, was Evan Turner's first game back after injury, the team hadn't been playing well, and didn't play well as a team his first game back.  How long ago was that?  How many tournament teams have you played?

Do you people really think that teams are stagnant with regard to the quality of their play as the season progresses?  Missouri is playing it's best ball right now.  This isn't the same group of very young players who gave away a 10 point lead in the last minutes of the game in early December.  Mizzou has lost 1 game by more than 7 points.  Mizzou has 3 road victories against BIG 12 teams, which is more than all other teams in the country outside of the BIG 12.

You can have an off night in the Horizon league and still win.  You have an off night in the BIG 12 and it's a loss.  Don't talk to me about how impressive a schedule your team has played.  Grind out 16 or 18 games in a row against top 100 competition, and then come talk to me about your schedule.

Since: Feb 8, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2010 6:02 pm

The Poll Attacks

Get your facts straight Dufus, NM lost to Oral Roberts @ ORU, not at NM.

Since: Apr 15, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2010 5:59 pm

The Poll Attacks

I agree that the ACC is getting no love but as far as Maryland compared to Clemson, Maryland has played much better since that game.  Also William and Mary has an rpi in the 40s so its not that bad of a loss.  The Terps do not have any signature wins this year but all of their losses are to tourney teams or to a bubble team (cincy).  These polls are a joke anyway so its a good thing this will get settled on the floor tomorrow

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2010 5:57 pm

The Poll Attacks

Hey Syracuse boy, so you don't think Pittsburgh belongs in the top 10?  Do you remember when we pasted your asses up there in the dome earlier this season?

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2010 2:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

That being said, maybe the voters are considering that Pitt's only losses at full strength were @ SHU and home vs. Georgetown (Dixon - best defensive guard on Pitt - was hurt and missed the game when Dominique Jones put up 37 @ USF).Didn't mean to omit Pitt's 19-point loss @ WVU.  Sorry!

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