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 8, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

@BuckManster, who opined: "Nevada was not a legitimate opponent. "

That's the kind of comment that contains enough data for perceptive readers to discern your biases.  Nevada finished the season ranked 13th in the AP poll, and 15th in the BCS & Coaches poll, while Boise finished 10th, 11th, 10th in those same polls.

While I take all polls with a grain of salt the size of Mt. Rushmore, I suspect that the combined judgment of the three polls quoted above may be a more accurate measurement of BSU & Nevada's talent than the one you proffer.


I agree completely on the idiocy of dropping a team in the polls that just lost a close game against a team ranked above them , especially when the game is a home game for their opponents.  That said, as a Spartan fan it doesn't upset me at all.  As noted above, I'm not much of a fan of polls anyway, especially in a sport where the rankings are so constantly fluid.  In a single week multiple teams can suffer multiple losses, and the top 10-15 can flucuate wildly.

The only rankings I care about are the ones released April 5th next year, after those last few games in Reliant Stadium.

Go Green!

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:26 pm

The Poll Attacks

But this was probably edited since you posted. Sorry!

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

Read Gary's post again.  It doesn't say double-overtime. 

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:08 pm

Um....sorry, but nope

Nevada was not a legitimate opponent.  Losing to them just proved Boise was way overrated to start with.  Now go back to your mid-major competition.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:30 pm

The Poll Attacks

Georgetown beat Mizzou in single OT and it wasnt a road game, it was a neutral site (albiet close to Mizzou).

The game was played in Kansas City, MISSOURI.  The court had the MISSOURI TIGERS logos all over it.  The crowd was decidedly favoring MISSOURI.

Sorry that it wasn't played on top of Ellis Library, but don't think this was a neutral game by any stretch. 

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:24 pm

The Poll Attacks

Villanova ahead of Tennessee in the Coaches Poll??? Mad at Bruce Pearl coaches??

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:13 pm

The Poll Attacks

Georgetown beat Mizzou in single OT and it wasnt a road game, it was a neutral site (albiet close to Mizzou).
I'm not much into nitpicking on facts except when someone uses them to blast others for their opinions.  Its really easy to make your opinion seem more reasonable than others when you distort the facts.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:09 pm

The Poll Attacks

That is as bad as Boise State dropping 6 spots for losing in overtime to a ranked opponent on the road in football...stupid.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2010 8:07 pm

The Poll Attacks

i agree, well worded

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:54 pm

The Poll Attacks

Very well worded! 

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