Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 1:29 pm
Somebody ranked Florida 16th after a loss to UCF. Same somebody didn't even rank undefeated UCF. And that voter from the Daily Progress isn't progressing well at all. That's too bad for him. But it's great for the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of

Associated Press poll: Florida returned five starters from a roster that made the NCAA tournament, and the Gators added a McDonald's All-American to the bunch. So ranking them high in the preseason made some sense. I even did it myself. But now the season has started, and the Gators are 6-2. Their losses are a lopsided loss at home to Ohio State that didn't really bother me and a surprising loss on the road to UCF that bothered me quite a bit.

But you know who wasn't bothered by it?

Scott Mansch from the Great Falls Tribune in Montana.

It didn't bother him at all.

Dude had the Gators 16th last week and 16th again this week.

(Worth noting: Florida didn't make the Top 25 (and one) or actual AP poll.)

Needless to say, this was startling. So I decided to further examine Scott's AP ballots from last week and this week and compare the two. Here's what I found: He dropped Missouri five spots for losing in overtime to No. 9 Georgetown, dropped Michigan State two spots for losing by five points on the road to No. 1 Duke. (More on this below.) But Florida? Scott kept the Gators right where they were last week on his ballot after the loss at UCF. And what makes it even sillier is that Scott didn't rank undefeated UCF at all. So he apparently believes losses to teams he and everybody else has ranked are worse than losses to unranked teams. That's all I can figure.

(Moving on …)

Does anybody know Whitelaw Reid from the Daily Progress in Virginia?

We have to sit this guy down, ASAP.

I busted him up in last week's Poll Attacks, and I thought he might listen and adjust. Alas, he did not. My man still has Villanova ranked No. 8 and Tennessee unranked despite the fact that Tennessee is undefeated with a neutral court win over Villanova. He still has Connecticut behind Michigan State, Kentucky and Washington despite the fact that Connecticut is undefeated with wins over Michigan State and Kentucky, both of which beat Washington. And he still has Missouri ahead of Georgetown despite the fact that Georgetown is undefeated with a win over -- you'll never guess -- Missouri.

That last game, a thriller, happened last Tuesday.

Do you think Whitelaw heard about it?

Do you think Whitelaw even knows the season is underway?

Coaches poll: There are lots of things I hate about how people vote in polls -- that's sort of how I stumbled into doing this every Monday -- but there's nothing I hate more than when teams drop for losing competitive games to higher-ranked teams, especially on the road. By definition, a team ranked No. 1 is supposed to beat a team ranked No. 6, particularly when the game is on the top-ranked team's home court. So it should've surprised nobody when No. 1 Duke beat No. 6 Michigan State 84-79 last week at Cameron Indoor Stadium. What's surprising is that the Spartans dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 in the coaches poll because of the loss.

Seriously, why?

What did anybody see in that loss at Duke to make them think MSU wasn't worthy of its ranking?

How many teams would've or even could've won that game in that building on that night?

So stupid.

If you want to rank Michigan State eighth, that's fine. Or put the Spartans 12th. I don't care. My point is only that there isn't a single thing that happened over the past week that should've diminished anybody's opinion of Michigan State. So wherever a voter had the Spartans last week is, at worst, where that voter should've had them this week.

For instance, I had Michigan State No. 5 last week.

Same thing this week.

Because a five-point loss on the road to the No. 1 team is no reason to drop them.

Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 2:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

So what youa re saying is that a one posession loss to UConn in Maui and a 5 point loss at Duke will be reviewed by the committee as "good losses" come next March. I agree. Now lets work on those darned turnovers.

But on the CBS RPI MSU's SOS is 59 despite playing UConn, Duke and Washington. Tonights foe Syracuse has a SOS of 49 without having played a "ranked team" and Kentucky has a SOS of 13 by playing both UConn and Washington like MSU but swapping Duke (MSU) for NC?

Is that b/c MSU has some 300+ games while Kty has only 200+ Isn't that a little too much wieght on the lower ranking? once the opponent is below 100-150 why put any different weight on the game at all once you have hit a bottom feeder does it really matter whether they are "ranked" 250 or 305?

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2010 2:12 pm

The Poll Attacks

Gary, I see your point about not dropping Michigan State due to a close loss to Duke, but there is another question that should be asked before you leave them where they are.  The question:  Did anyone below them do something special to be moved up?  In this case, I doubt it, but I think you have to look at that side of the equation.

Since: Mar 22, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:19 am

The Poll Attacks

At this point in the season beating UNC is not a big accomplishment. Losing to them on the other hand will get you dropped in the rankings immediately. I could care less how Terrance Jones played. The fact is he played in the game and didn't play well, UK lost, UK drops.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:13 am

The Poll Attacks

So if Duke won agaist all these supposed good-to-great teams on all courts...
shouldn'd they be ranked higher? Like maybe #0.5

Oh, my bad

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 7:46 am

The Poll Attacks

The better question is why Parrish sends UK, who lost AT UNC, "supposedly" one of the tougher places to go in and win, by 2, when their leading scorer and rebounder played MAYBE half the game, and finished in single digits in scoring and rebounding when he averages a double-double, all the way to 21?  When you defend a blow-out, ON YOUR OWN FLOOR, how do you then turn around a drop a team for going into the Dean Dome and losing by 2?  Idiot.

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 7:40 am

The Poll Attacks

Wow, UofMtigers, get over the jilting already.  Who cares where Davis, Parrish or any of these tools rank anyone?  UK is building a young inexperienced team for March; right now we are about right at 16/17.

Since: Feb 3, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:49 am

The Poll Attacks

Of all the people you focused on, how did you miss Seth Davis? Guy is moving Kentucky up week after week even though they are losing.

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2010 10:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

How would there be more Mizzou fans in Hawaii when they don't even travel to games on the mainland?

It wasn't just the logos on the court that made it a home game for the Tigers.

- the pro-Tiger announcer

- the non-descript introduction of the Hoya starting lineup followed by a light show for Mizzou that would make the Chicago Bulls proud

- the Tiger band in attendance behind the basket

- the lack of a single Hoya replay on the jumbotron until the game-tying three at the end of regulation

- the t-shirt table that had yellow and black but not any blue and gray for sale

- the in-state, 2 hours from campus location, which lent to 98% of the attendance wearing yellow

It was an incredibly entertaining and hard fought game.  Tiger fans, please don't try to spin that there was something neutral about the setting in which it was played.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:57 pm

Poll Attacks/Whitelaw Reid

Whitelaw Reid should be pleased to know that he ranks #1 in something. The Doofus of the Year Poll!

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:55 pm

The Poll Attacks

So....if this game was played in Hawaii and there are many more Mizzou fans than Georgetown fans.  Does that make it a home game for Missouri?

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