Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: March 1, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2010 9:47 pm

First things first: I knew Syracuse would be No. 1 in the AP and Coaches polls.

And guess what?

It's not stupid to have Syracuse No. 1.

It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I don't agree. But it's not irrational even though Kansas has just as many wins over fellow Top 25 teams and a better RPI, even though KU's two losses came on the road while Syracuse's came at home, even though Jerry Palm still has KU as the No. 1 overall seed. I could use most of that information -- and perhaps all of that information -- to try to convince you that it's stupid to rank Syracuse No. 1. But I'm not going to do that because that's never been the point. I don't think you're stupid if you think Syracuse should be No. 1; I think you're stupid if you think a good case can't also be made for Kansas.

But I'm over it.

I'm more worried about the coach voting Duke No. 1.

That guy is an idiot.

He's about to get Poll Attacked!

AP poll: If Syracuse fans think I'm stupid for having the Orange at No. 2, then I bet they think Tom Keegan is brain-dead. Keegan has the Orange third on his ballot behind Kansas and Kentucky. And did I mention Tom works for the newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas? Yep, the sports editor in Kansas ranked KU No. 1 and Syracuse No. 3. So please click this link and direct your hatred toward him, and forget about me. Thanks.

Coaches poll: It's OK to have Duke in the top four, projected as a No. 1 seed, whatever. All reasonable. But there is no way to reasonably put Duke ahead of both Kansas and Syracuse on a ballot like one coach did this week. Duke has a 25-4 record featuring a loss to North Carolina State. Meantime, Syracuse has a 27-2 record featuring no losses to non-NCAA tournament teams, and Kansas has a 27-2 record featuring no losses to non-NCAA tournament teams. So Syracuse and Kansas both have more wins than Duke, fewer losses than Duke, better wins than Duke, fewer questionable losses than Duke, and I could go on for days.

So who's the guilty coach?

No way of knowing.

Coaches ballots are private.

I can't see them.

But my guess is that the guy who voted Duke No. 1 is the same guy who voted Murray State No. 25 after a loss to Morehead State. Murray State is a great OVC team, but that doesn't translate to a Top 25 team, not when the Racers have four losses to unranked teams and just one win over a team ranked in the top 100 of the RPI.

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2010 1:07 pm

The Poll Attacks

Fine.  I'll see your "DePaul" and raise you a "Colorado".  Kansas escaped a horrible Colorado team in overtime, right?  BTW, didn't DePaul beat Kansas in DePaul a couple years ago?

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:53 pm

The Poll Attacks

Any Cuse fans who really want to disect that by saying they beat Cal on the road can't take the numbers well.

SU beat a Cal team on a NEUTRAL court in NOVEMBER.  One of the 1st games of the season.

Some SU fans bring up that KU barely beat Memphis and SU "blew them out".  That game was also the 2nd game of the season.

Most games in November and December don't really don't really tell how good a team is.

It's the games in January and February that seperate the best of the best.

Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:25 pm

The Poll Attacks

You Cuse fans are completely dillusional.

1) Rankings are and should be put together each week listing the top 25 teams with the best resumes.  Some media morons have no clue and just teams up after a higher ranked team loses.

2) KU lost a conference game on the ROAD to a team who is expected to be in the NCAA tournament.

3) True ROAD wins in January and February against the top RPI teams are the ultimate indicator of how to determine between KU and SU as the better number 1

KU has exactly 4 true ROAD wins against teams in the RPI Top 25.

SU only has 2 true ROAD wins against reams in the RPI Top 25.

It seems that Syracuse was blessed with an easier conference schedule this season.

4) Finally, a team's seasonal resume is what determines their NCAA tourney seeding.  Why would this not be the case for the weekly rankings?  Resumes are progressive analysis.

SU claims wins over UNC back in November/December.  That UNC win shouldn't really be on your resume because of their season.  Just because they were ranked high when SU beat them doesn't mean a lot toward the end of the season.

That's like being the top sales rep at Enron before they bombed.  It's not something you want on your resume.

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:11 pm

The Poll Attacks

Back to my point.

Yes the tournament is played at "neutral" sites so "road" wins matter. Home wins mean less.

But Cuse fans then like to use the "margin of victory" argument too. MOV does not matter in March, so on one hand you're using an argument that is valid for March and on the other hand you're using one that holds no water.

Cuse fans seem to want to bend information to fit their position.

Since: Feb 7, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2010 11:22 am

The Poll Attacks

Road wins mean the most as the NCAA tournement is totally on the road.

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2010 10:39 am

The Poll Attacks

It is understandable for Keegan to vote for Kansas, although as a member of the media he is responsible for journalistic integrity, he is from Kansas hometown, so bias is expected.
However, Parrish and Goodman are supposed to be national sports journalists. For a national journalist to show blatant bias is not acceptable. But even Goodman did not make his pronouncement before the game was played!
No Gary, we do not think you are stupid, unethical yes, but hardly stupid.

Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2010 9:22 am

The Poll Attacks

Su is also 6-0 vs teams in the top 10 and 7-0 vs teams in the top 25 and have not lost to a non-tournament team, assuming louisville is in and i think they will be.

Since: Dec 8, 2008
Posted on: March 2, 2010 9:19 am

The Poll Attacks

Sorry Gary but your arguments are not valid.  In the rankings you vote for who is best today not 3 weeks ago.  Tourney seeding is different, as it should be, and involves who you think is best today as well as body of work.  I do appreciate your opinion and your rankings but not your argument.

Since: Mar 2, 2010
Posted on: March 2, 2010 1:50 am

The Poll Attacks

Was this article written by a 3rd grader???  How many times can a professional writer use the words 'stupid' and 'idiot' in one article?? Besides, who puts any validity to the polls anymore???  Is there nothing else better to write about???  Yikes!!! if CBS is looking for some insight and professional writing on college basketball, let me know and I'll send my resume.....Otherwise, you can keep posting the rubbish being written by this 'idiot'.

Since: Nov 10, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:35 am

Duke is the best team in the country

As a Duke hater, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth stating that Duke is the best team in the country and should be ranked #1 despite Gary's thorough analysis, but it is a reasonable decision to come to.

Sometimes our feeble human brains cannot compute how a team with four losses can be better than a team with two losses, but if Kansas or Syracuse played Duke's schedule, perhaps they would have 4 or 5 losses.  We might think that Duke, Kansas and Syracuse have similar SOS, but in reality, Duke's SOS is significantly better (depending on the ranking system).  In Sagarin, Duke's SOS is #5, Syracuse is #29 and Kansas is #38.

I looked at 42 computer polls and you might be surprised to learn that only three different teams were ranked #1 in those 42 polls. 

Syracuse was #1 in 15 polls
Kansas was #1 in 14 polls
Duke was #1 in 13 polls

However, there are two computer polls that I personally put the most stock in and agree with the methodology the most.  And both have Duke #1.  The Pomeroy ratings and the Sagarin Predictor ratings all have Duke as #1, Kansas as #2 and Syracuse as #3.

Bottom line, you could make an argument for any of these three teams to be #1 as evidenced by the closeness in all the computer polls.  Duke is #2 in the RPI and is #1 in roughly a third of the computer polls.  I don't think stating that Duke is #1 is worthy of a Poll Attacks is a very reasonable conclusion to come to...just as reasonable as saying Kansas should be #1.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or