Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: March 8, 2010 8:06 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2010 8:15 pm

Texas A&M isn't getting enough credit.

Neither is Texas, for that matter.

It's time to Poll Attack!

AP poll: I, like most of you, thought Texas A&M might slip when Derrick Roland shattered his leg just before Christmas. But it didn't happen, and now the Aggies enter the Big 12 tournament with a 21-8 record featuring wins over Baylor, Texas, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Missouri (and zero losses outside of the top 50).

So we can argue where to rank Texas A&M if you want.

I have them 18th.

A little higher or lower is fine.

But there's no way to reasonably conclude that the Aggies don't belong in the Top 25 based on their body of work, and yet eight AP voters left Mark Turgeon's team off their ballots, among them Scott Johnson of the Daily Herald in Washington. Scott omitted Texas A&M but included California despite the fact that Cal has A) an inferior RPI, B) one fewer win, C) one more loss, D) four fewer top 50 wins, and E) four more losses outside of the top 50.

So I ask: How could anybody rank Cal but not Texas A&M?

It's insane.

But it's fine because without insanity there would be no Poll Attacks.

Coaches poll: I'm not going to spend too much energy defending Texas because the Longhorns have been disappointing, and they seem headed toward nowhere significant. But do you really believe there are 25 better teams in the country? With five wins over schools projected to make the NCAA tournament -- including Pittsburgh, Michigan State and Texas A&M -- and just two losses outside of the top 50, Texas clearly has one of the best 25 bodies of work, and it's not like Rick Barnes' team been losing one bad game after another.

The Longhorns have lost four times in the past month.

They lost to Kansas.

They lost at Missouri.

They lost at Texas A&M.

They lost at Baylor.

Obviously, that shows they aren't the nationally prominent team everybody once believed them to be, but it doesn't mean they aren't a legitimate Top 25 team. There's a middle ground, you know? And Texas belongs in that middle ground.

Are the Longhorns great?

Clearly not.

But there aren't 25 better teams.

Which is why I can't understand how UT only got seven points in the Coaches poll.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: March 10, 2010 12:14 am

The Poll Attacks

Thanks, phoggydog. I suppose that is more important than the media's opinion. But it is always nice to see a high number next to your name.

Since: Mar 4, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 6:59 pm

The Poll Attacks

pyshie, I hope you were kidding.  Having the ability to come from WAY behind is not the mark of a #1 quality team.  I don't know how to break this to you, but being a top team usually means you are playing with a lead and don't let games get out of hand to the point where you need to come from WAY behind to win.  Getting a team down and keeping them there is much better than getting behind and playing catchup.  P.S., you can feel free to share my thoughts on coaching strategy with Huggiebear.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2010 5:15 pm

The Poll Attacks

Haven't seen UNI play, so I'm not saying you're wrong, but they did lose to an Evansville team that was pretty horrible this year. That might have something to do with it. And I doubt a whole lot of major conference teams want to play UNI in the first round.

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 4:00 pm

The Poll Attacks

Have a stellar 28-4 record?  Check.

Knock off auto bids Siena and Old Dominion along the way?  Check.

Get a lofty #18 RPI?  Check.

Win a top ten conference by three games?  Check.

Win all three games in your conference tournament by 15+ points?  Check.

Have a nifty 9-3 record in true road games?  Check.

Go 12-2 vs. the RPI top 100?  Check.

Get a well deserved ranking in the AP Top 25?    Um.... wait a minute...

How Northern Iowa's unable to be in the AP Top 25 this week is simply absurd.  I don't know what's worse - the anti-MVC bias that's been going on for three years now or the future #8 seed that UNI's undeservedly going to get this Sunday.

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 1:18 pm

The Poll Attacks

Last year, I attacked all the polls and most of the Media-Types in general for their seeming disinterest in knowing what was happening in NCAA Basketball.  When I saw Parrish attacking the pollsters (the pot calling the kettle black?), I thought I would invest some time to see for myself what Gary was "on" about.  I spent a few minutes once before looking for information about the AP pollsters and how they voted, but, must have not written a good Google Search because I came up empty.  But, this time I succeeded in finding it and I took the time to (tediously) read through ALL the votes.

When I started, I EXPECTED to see BLATANT homerism, and a great amount of uninformed opinion.  What I found was interesting, to say the least.  Here's what I found, but keep in mind, this is just MY opinion.

The records and the RPI are inexact, but do tell us a little about each of the teams. 

There is, generally, a consensus for the the first 3 Number 1 Seeds. (Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse) And, you could put them in a box, shake it up and pour them out in any order; it wouldn't matter too much.

After that, the order the next 30 is just too subjective to get too concerned about. 

There wasn't as much Homerism as I expected.  Maybe a few who moved their local faves up a spot or two.

I came away believing that MOST of the sports writers had something in mind when they filled out their tickets.  Although I couldn't tell exactly what it was that some of them had in mind.

My belief that MOST of the writers are doing their best to be objective has been restored.

And, I am completely free to disagree with any and all.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 11:13 am

The Poll Attacks

But, rajko, your Big XII opponents give you lots of credit!

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2010 10:11 am

The Poll Attacks

If Cal was undefeated they would have wins over Kansas, Syracuse, New Mexico and Ohio State. Yes, they'd have beat the Big east champs, Big 12 champs, Big 10 co-champs and Mtn West champs.

I'm sure in some weird universe they'd not be top 15, but I seriously doubt it. Doh.

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2010 8:17 am

The Poll Attacks

Thank you Gary for giving A&M some credit! Week after week, the voters never seem to give us any respect.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2010 7:23 am

The Poll Attacks

West Virginia should be number one in all the polls.  Nobody....and I mean nobody....has the ability to come from WAY behind on the scoreboard, on the road, and win like the Mountaineers.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2010 7:23 am

The Poll Attacks

Here's my problem with Cal. The Pac-10 is terrible. That, in and of itself does not mean Cal isnt a good team (see: Memphis 06-08). However, they beat nobody of note out of conference. Murray State is probably their best OOC win. Theyve basically hung their profile hat on sweeping Arizona St and winning 1 of 2 against Washington. And thats IT. 21 wins, but 16 of those 21 are against sub 100 RPI teams. Theyve also lost 3 games to sub 100 RPI teams. Cal is decent, theyre in the tourney even if they dont win the Pac-10 tourney (at least I think they would be). But Im not so sure theyre one of the 25 best teams in the nation. 

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