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: May 11, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 1:10 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Gary, for the most part you have treated the Aztecs well this season and particularly so in comparison to Seth Davis.  Hope both you and him are coming out west for CBS's best game of the season this week in San Diego.  Be prepared to move them further up.

Keep Rising Aztecs!!!



Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 1:05 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Hey Parrish, sniff the Big East much? As an AZ Cats fan, I actually agree, when looking at the body for work, AZ should not get a vote over Pitt for all the reasons you note. However, the polls take into account current recent performance more so than a full body of work. AZ has one 8 straight, beating the three best teams in their conference. Pitt is 5-2 recently, with losses to the two better teams they've played in that stretch (ND and St. Johns). I'd still vote Pitt myself, but am not completely outraged a few writers took AZ.

Did you watch the Big East last year? Everyone sniffed them, they got their 8 teams in the tournament and only like 3 remained after the first round or something. It was a grossly over-rated conference. You clearly sniff them as in your own rankings you have four Big East teams ranked ahead of AZ that both the AP and Coaches poll have ranked behind them. While I agree Duke (as always) gets favoritism from the media and has no business at #1, you might want to take your nose out of the Big East's behind to avoid being a hypocrite.




Since: Jun 30, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:46 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Of course Duke being #1 is a joke.  The ACC is down and their strreingth of schedule is far behind PIttsburgh's. Any team that is at the top of the Big East is the #1 in the country.

That being said, don't get too jammed up on it.  It will all come out in the wash.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:43 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Um MF, you realize that only 31 coaches comprise the coaches poll, not all 330+ division 1 coaches? So no, the Big East does not get 16 votes in the poll!

All of this is meaningless, as a Pitt fan, I know their flaws, I do think objectively based on the game results 6 is to low. I can even live with Duke and SDS ahead of Pitt because of record, the Texas thing kills me. Texas has more losses, lost to Pitt and their latest loss was to a team that is not a projected tourney team by 3, while Pitt lost by 1 to a projected tourney team. Bottom line is, they are talented enough to make a run, but if they play like they did on Sat, well, falling in the sweet 16 is very possible.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:25 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

mfaoya,

You do understand that NO ONE reads posts that are written in all caps, right? You may make a great argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, but it makes my eyes burn to read more than two lines of your post.



Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:02 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Just curious, when was the last time a team lost a game and it was followed up by giving them a #1 ranking???



Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:48 am
 

The Poll Attacks

Interesting point, but I would tend to think that it's not so much mediocrity as it's more more quality teams top to bottom in the Big East.  All the teams you have mentioned are either at or above 500 in conference play.  You hear all the time that teams need to be over 500 in their conference to be considered for the tournament.  When you have ranked teams continually beating up on each other, their ranking is not going to change much (for better or worse).  As for the bad loses to the bottom dwellers (which would drop rankings of teams), they make up for it by beating one or 2 top ranked teams in their conference. 



Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:36 am
 

The Poll Attacks

Anyone can take numbers and turn a team around GARY how about THIS

The big east has 16 teams  16 coaches vote hmm wonder if they are
prejudiced like you are.

Yep GARY PITT is mighty in your MIND
but with quality wins over

RHODE ISLAND  ILL CHICAGO  NORTH FLORIDA (WHO)  ROBERT MORRIS

PENN  DUQUESNE  DELEWARE ST  MD EASTERN SHORES AND YES  AMERICAN

I CAN see why you think they so good.

They play their conference and you say they play so many ranked teams. GARY
all teams cannot play all GOOD TEAMS ALL THE TIME  GET IT
THE BIG EAST HAS A MONOPOLY ON THIS GAME WITH 16 teams
They get 16 votes in coaches poll and of course we all know all 16 coaches will
not be biased on the voting for there conference RIGHT?
But as I have always said all should be done by RECORD AND RECORD ONLY
BECAUSE NONE OF YOU KNOW WHO IS 1-25  NONE OF YOU ...so by record
1. SDSU
2. TIE  DUKE BYU OHIO STATE UTAH STATE KANSAS
6. PITT
7. TIE TEXAS ARIZONA PRINCETON HARVARD AND ANY OTHER 4 LOSS TEAM

YOU GET THE IDEA  YOUR WAY IS WRONG YOU PICK BY FEELINGS NOT BY
RECORD ...IT DONT MATTER WHO YOU PLAY LONG AS DIV1 SCHOOL SO THE
SOS IS A JOKE AND RPI ALSO I USED PITT ABOVE JUST TO SHOW YOU HOW YOU THINK DOES
NOT MATTER WHO A WIN IS A WIN A LOSS IS A LOSS
I WANT ALL OF YOU WHO LOVE COLLEGE BALL TO DO 1 THING WHEN THE LAST GAME
IS PLAYED B4 THE SELECTION COMMITTEE PICKS...
ALL OF YOU JUST WRITE DOWN THE 64 TEAMS WITH THE BEST RECORD THIS GETS
RID OF   9 10 11 PLUS LOSS TEAMS ..THEN COMPARE AND SEE WHO GOT SCREWED BY
THE COMMITTEE....THEN AFTER THEY SCREW GOOD RECORD TEAMS TO PUT IN mich st or marquette
THEY HAVE THE GAUL TO TELL WHO IS PLAYING WHO(RIGGED)
ONLY FAIR WAY ....DRAW FROM HAT 1ST 32 GAMES....THEN DRAW FROM HAT NEXT 16 GAMES  DRAW FROM
HAT NEXT 8 GAMES DRAW FROM HAT NEXT 4 GAMES  DRAW FROM HAT NEXT 2 GAMES THEN THE 2 LEFT PLAY FOR
CROWN  ONLY FAIR WAY DOES NOT INVOLVE POLITICS MONEY NOR A MONOPOLIZED CONFERENCE GETTING ALL
THE BREAKS WAY I LOOK AT IT NO1 IN BIG EAST IS REALLY FINAL 4 QUALITY..BUT HEY WHO AM I JUST ANOTHER
PERSON LIKE YOU PARRISH BUT AT LEAST I'VE PICKED EVERY WINNER FOR 7 YEARS EXCEPT FOR KANSAS THAT
YEAR I PICKED DAVIDSON(WHO WAS BARELY A #20 TEAM UNTIL THEY LIKE I KNEW THEY WOULD BEAT THE BIG10
CHAMPS WISCONSIN THEN THE BIG BAD EAST CHAMPS GEORGETOWN THEN THEY BARELY LOSE TO KANSAS THE EVENTUAL
CHAMPION...SO TO KEEP MY STREAK GOING  ..YOU ALL KNOW WHO IS GOING TO WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR DONT you
SAMEO SAMEO AS LAST YEAR ..THE BEST TEAM I'VE SEEN IS   D U K E     SORRY GARY OHIO ST/PITT WONT MAKE IT
IM SURPRISED YOU HAVEN'T PICKED MICH ST OR MARQUETTE TO WIN IT OH GIVE THEM A #1 PICK AS THEIR LOSES
WERE ALL TO RANKED TEAMS ..LORD...LORD....LORD... DONT MATTER WHO YOU LOSE TO GARY A LOSS IS A LOSS A
WIN IS A WIN GET IT  ...RANK BY RECORD  ONLY TRY IT ALL
HUMANS

 




Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:30 am
 

The Poll Attacks

I agree with the attacks on LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER writer Jerry Tipton...I live in central KY and use to subscribe to the paper for many yrs until the last few yrs when the worthless paper went from 50cents to 75cents to a $1.00...it and Tipton'a garbage is not worth a quarter...he is always trying to find negative...this is basketball country and its fan base is very positive ever yr and the paper should have a full sports page of interesting basketball stuff along with a full page of horse racing since this is the horse capital of the world too...but the paper is a joke and the moral majority around here will agree that it and JERRY TIPTON ARE A JOKE



Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 11:24 am
 

The Poll Attacks

Here's what's most absurd to me.

Gary whines about and discredits the results of the coaches poll, then turns around and uses the same poll as a reason to discredit Duke (they only have one win against a coaches poll team).

Talk about cherry-picking your facts.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gary: you can't stomp your feet about Pitt being picked 6th in the coaches poll when you picked Duke in your crazy-person Top 25 (and one) poll. That just defies all logic.


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