Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: February 7, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 9:39 pm
You have to rank Wisconsin and you shouldn't rank Minnesota.

That's what you'll learn in this week's Big Ten-heavy version of the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of

Associated Press poll: There is nothing I hate worse than realizing one person did something dumb and then discovering the one person who did it is somebody I like. My heart sinks. But, as I've explained before, the Poll Attacks are loyal to nobody. So welcome back, Dave Jones, and I'd love to hear why you left Wisconsin off your ballot.

The Badgers are 17-5 and perfect at home. Their five losses have come by an average of just five points, they've lost by double-digits to nobody, and only one of the losses (at Penn State) is to a school that hasn't been ranked at some point this season. In other words, Bo Ryan's team has a rock-solid resume (that features a win over the Purdue team you ranked 16th) and is playing so well that actually has them projected to beat No. 1 Ohio State this weekend at the Kohl Center, which is why there's no way to justify not having the Badgers in the top 15, which is why they're 13th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches poll. So do me a favor, Dave. Get rid of Utah State or Cincinnati and add the Badgers next week (regardless of how they do against Ohio State). You do that and I can get back to focusing on dumb people I either don't know or don't like. Or both.

Coaches poll: I'll be the first to admit that ranking teams is tough these days when you get outside the top 20. Around there, we're all picking between average teams with average bodies of work. So I'm hesitant to clown the bottom of either poll. But ... Minnesota at No. 25?

Look, I used to love the Gophers, too.

Interesting roster. Great coach. Slashers, shooters, an explosive big. I watched them in November and saw lots of reasons to be excited. But I've also watched them in February, and I'm less excited about this team now because of what it's been doing lately. I ranked West Virginia, Marquette and UCLA, so Minnesota's seven losses aren't the problem for me, obviously. The problem is that they've beaten just one NCAA tournament team (Purdue) since Nov. 21 and lost three straight games (including a game to Indiana). Also: They have no real point guard.

Devoe Joseph transferred.

Al Nolen go hurt.

That means Minnesota is basically operating without two of its top three guards, and it shows.

Again, the Gophers have dropped three straight.

Why they haven't also dropped from the coaches poll is a mystery to me.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:47 pm

The Poll Attacks

Dave Jones is apparently mining for web traffic. Nice guy or not his ballot is patently laughable.  Wisconsin's only quality win this season is Purdue?

Contrary to his response, AP ballots are not done for fun. Brackets in Mid-March are, where one can justifiably take a lower-caliber team over a better one and have a laugh about picking your upset.

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2011 5:23 pm

The Poll Attacks


I gotta defend my Horns here. Granted, if I was sending in a ballot, I would probably put Pitt ahead of UT.  BUT, I think putting Texas ahead of Pitt can definitely be justified.

First off, Pitt beat Texas in November, and Texas has improved dramatically since then.  I haven't seen Pitt play recently, so I can't speak for that.  But I've watched a lot of ball, and Texas has been absolutely lethal for the past month, beating a bunch of tournament-quality teams by 15 and 20 points.  The Horns are earning that ranking by playing like and looking like possibly the best team in the country.  And I'm biased, but I think that's just what they are.

Also, I think Pitt's impressive record is helped a lot by where they've played all their games.  Of Pitt's 24 games, they've only been a visitor 5 times .  Then there were the 2 games in NYC (one of which was the win over the Horns).  And 17 home games .  Pitt has a powerful homecourt advantage.  And they've been using it this season.

I think Texas is playing like a better team right now, and that's why they're being ranked higher, even if numbers and head-to-head make it seem kinda wack.

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:21 pm

The Poll Attacks

Since: Jan 24, 2011
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:06 pm

The Poll Attacks

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:51 am

The Poll Attacks

If your going to say something about the coaches poll ranking Minny at 25, what about Whitelaw Reid ranking the Gophers at 19. He also has Wisconsin at 25 and Illinois at 22.

Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:51 am

The Poll Attacks

Don't know if we've covered this already, but Pitt ranked behind Texas after...
-Pitt has 1 fewer loss than the Longhorns
-Pitt plays in a stronger league
-Pitt has two wins vs. Top 5 teams
-Pitt has a stronger RPI

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2011 9:54 am

The Poll Attacks

Nobody uses polls to figure out who the best team is, they have the tournament for that.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:20 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:10 am
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Since: May 18, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2011 10:03 pm

The Poll Attacks

RPI says Ole Miss is closer to being an NCAA tournament team than Gonzaga. Alabama's RPI needs some help, but they are currently winning the SEC. Marquette has more losses, Kentucky has more "quality" wins (per the RPI). What's hard to figure out? 

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