Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 3:12 pm
 
Pittsburgh is fourth in the AP poll and sixth in the coaches poll.

And two AP voters ranked the Panthers ninth.

I won't stand for any of it.

I'm about to get my Poll Attack on.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll: For the AP portion of this week's Poll Attacks, let's play blind body of work.

You ready?

Let's go!

----- TEAM A -----

Record: 24-3
Record vs. RPI Top 25: 6-2
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 7-3
Losses outside RPI Top 25: 1
Double-digit losses: 0
Wins over teams currently ranked in the AP poll: 5

----- TEAM B -----

Record: 23-4
Record vs. RPI Top 25: 0-2
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 2-3
Losses outside RPI Top 25: 2
Double-digit losses: 2
Wins over teams currently ranked in the AP poll: 0

Team A is Pittsburgh and Team B is Arizona.

Is there any question which team has the better body of work?

Pittsburgh has more wins, fewer losses, better wins and better losses than Arizona, and the Panthers have beaten five currently ranked teams while Arizona has topped zero. Still, Jerry Tipton and Myron Medcalf both have Arizona ranked No. 8 and Pittsburgh ranked No. 9. This is proof that it's possible to be a great beat writer and still slip on your Top 25 ballot every once in a while. They're wrong, but I forgive them. As for the coaches ...

Coaches poll: The Duke Blue Devils are No. 1 in the AP and coaches polls even though they have just one win over a fellow Top 25 team (North Carolina). Even though they have a loss to an unranked team (Florida State) and another by 15 points to a team (St. John's) that just broke into the rankings this week. Even though they are sixth in the RPI. And even though they are still projected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament by everybody who understands how to project such things.

So the top of both polls are silly.

But what bothers me most is Pittsburgh at No. 6 in the coaches poll.

I don't care if you rank by body of work or quality of play, there's no way to conclude that five teams deserve to be ranked ahead of Jamie Dixon's Panthers. As I told you earlier, Pitt is 24-3 with five wins over teams also ranked in the coaches poll -- specifically No. 5 Texas, No. 11 Georgetown, No. 14 Villanova, No. 15 Connecticut and No. 20 Syracuse. For the purposes of comparison, No. 1 Duke (25-2) has one win over a team also ranked in the coaches poll. No. 2 Kansas (25-2) has two. No. 3 Ohio State (25-2) has two. No. 4 San Diego State (27-1) has zero. No. 5 Texas (23-4) has five.

In the loss column, obviously, Ohio State is best. The Buckeyes' only two losses are at No. 8 Purdue and at No. 12 Wisconsin. They're the lone team with at least six wins over top-50 RPI schools and zero losses to schools unranked in the latest coaches poll, which is why I put Ohio State No. 1 in the Top 25 (and one). For the purposes of comparison, No. 1 Duke has lost to one currently unranked team (again, Florida State), No. 2 Kansas has lost to one currently unranked team (Kansas State), No. 4 San Diego State has lost to zero currently unranked teams and No. 5 Texas has lost to two currently unranked teams (Southern California and Nebraska).

Got all that?

Good.

Here's what it means: Texas might have comparable wins to Pittsburgh, but the Longhorns have worse losses (not to mention a loss to Pittsburgh). And Duke, Kansas and San Diego State might have better (and by better, I mean fewer) losses than Pittsburgh, but the Blue Devils, Jayhawks and Aztecs can't touch Pitt in terms of quality wins. Ohio State? Yes, OSU is rock-solid; that's why I have OSU No. 1. But it's difficult to justify having anybody besides Ohio State ahead of the Panthers, and it's impossible to justify having a total of five schools ahead of Pittsburgh.

That said, know this: Pitt would without question be a No. 1 seed if the NCAA tournament started today

So take solace in that, Pitt fans.

The selection committee is smarter than the men who vote in the coaches poll, I assure you.
Comments

Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 3:55 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

P itt is better than Arizona but no way are they better than Duke, How can you believe that a team with maybe 1 fringe nba player is better than a team with at least 5 players who will play in the nba. Would it really matter if Duke only played against div 2 teams, they would still have the most talent and the best team. Your really going overboard with your body of work thoery, just because a team has more opportunities for good wins doesn't make them a better team. Lunardi has Duke as # 1 seed , so you are wrong on that account. Pitt is good team and possibly a final 4 team but it's easy to see why some might not rank them in the top 5. They lost 2 games at home to an average Tennesee team and a ND team that rarely wins on the road. Don't see any problem with them being ranked 6th as i wouldn't see any problem with them being ranked 2nd. However, Duke is an easy choice to be # 1. 



Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 3:54 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

If you lose, you drop....in football, if 2 loses to 1, 2 drops, even in a 1 point game.  OSU has dropped 2 of 3, granted to great teams in their house, but, they lost.....that's the way it goes.



Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 3:50 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

GARY just say that you hate duke it will make you feel better. we all know you cant stand that duke is number one and will try to say anything to prove otherwise



Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 3:42 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

If you're gonna Poll Attack Tipton just do it. Trust me, he's used to getting attacked. It's possibly your weakest poll attack ever.


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