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: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 6:12 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

DUKE has only 1 win against a Top 25 team? Hahaha... Of course, that is conveniently overlooking the fact that MSU, KSU and Butler WERE all ranked at the time DUKE beat them. BTW, all 3 of those teams are likely to finish in the Top 25. 
 From your mouth to ... ears. MSU in the top 25? Unfortunately I have painfully watched them all year. MSU was ranked on reputation only. They have not played well all year. Lucas is playing better and Green has a heart the size of Texas. But they are not top 25 caliber.  Look at their wins. Overtime against IND and NU at HOME? Blown out by Iowa, Syracuse Wisconsin and Texas(at home)? Without Allen and Loucious they have no depth at guard and are starting a walk-on. Even thier top recruits are unable to crack the starting line-up. (And if you saw Appling's shooting against Illinois youl'd know why) They are just as likely to finish 7th in the Big Ten as they are to finish 4th. They could lose their next 4 more easily than winning them all. If the lose at Mn tomorrow (A must win for MN and where Sampson, Iverson and Hoffharber could all go deep double figures) then they could easily give up the ship and lose to PU and at little brother (When was the last time Mich swept MSU)



Since: Oct 4, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 6:06 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

It's not meaningless to St John's!

They also beat Pitt, so maybe they are pretty good.  I think there are 5 teams in the big east that are better than Duke anyway.

(Pitt, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Connecticut, at least!) Laughing

ACC is a cake walk this year, maybe Duke should schedule someone tough, like BYU or SD State.



Since: Jan 28, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 6:05 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

2 Seed for Duke?  You are a moron.



Since: Mar 3, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:53 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Het Dukefan3257, Do you think maybe , just maybe that KSt and MSt were overrated early on ??? If you put Duke in the Big East , they would have 5-6 losses . Duke played one the biggest jokes of a non conference schedule w 4 , yes 4 road games and one of them was in the same state as duke !!!!! Oh and the Temple game is at home !! shocker !! Duke's women play a tougher schedule !!!!!! 



Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:50 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Parrish's problem is that he's too obsessed with the numbers and doesn't factor in the "eye" test.

Duke's got Nolan Smith. OSU has Sullinger. Kansas has the Morris brothers. Who does Pitt have that can completely take over a game?

The answer: no one. That's why they're not #1 material. Sure, Ashton Gibbs can put up 20 points against some teams, but his numbers have been too inconsistent this season to put him up there with the likes of Smith and Sullinger. One night he drops 25, the next night he can't even get into double figures. And no one else on the team is capable of stepping in and putting up 20 or more on any given night.

I have no beef with any writer putting OSU, Kansas and Duke in any order they want. But I don't think Pitt passes the same "eye" test that those three teams do.



Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:48 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Duke losing to St Johns was meaningless. When teams schedule ooc games after conference play starts these types of games happen. You see it all the time with the less talented team showing a lot more intensity especially if they are at home. Most teams will never schedule ooc after conference play starts, not sure why Duke scheduled St Johns and Temple. St Johns beat Duke but loses to UCLA. Another example is W. Virginia beats Purdue but loses to Marshall. Anyone who thinks NBA talent doesn't matter when it comes to winning a championship has no clue. If this game is played before confernce play starts or in the NCAA tourny Duke wins easily by double digits. 



Since: Feb 23, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:40 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

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.
Yes, it is difficult or impossible to justify variations from Parrish's own rankings if arbitrarily using a system of evaluation that Parrish himself purportedly pulled out of his own ass. Funny how all this RPI data that he's using to "prove" that Pittsburgh should be higher and Duke lower and all that other crap he just said...actually ranks Pittsburgh #9, Duke #6, and Kansas #1. Another system, Kenpom.com, ranks Pittsburgh #7 and Duke #1.

But the Pulled-From-Gary-Parrish's-Ass-Using-Data-That-Refutes-His-O

wn-Criticisms system says pollsters are stupid because they didn't rank it like Gary Parrish. Oh, okay then.



Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:40 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

DUKE has only 1 win against a Top 25 team? Hahaha... Of course, that is conveniently overlooking the fact that MSU, KSU and Butler WERE all ranked at the time DUKE beat them. BTW, all 3 of those teams are likely to finish in the Top 25. 
Anyone projecting DUKE as a 2 seed is idiotic. The fact that they are the #1 team in the country is the only evidence I need of that. PITT deserves a 1 seed, but all the love over them is a little over the top. They have one more loss than DUKE, and yeah, they have a bunch of wins over ranked teams because the Big East has a bunch of teams that should be ranked somewhere between 12-25. That is hardly a sign of greatness.

Unlike everyone else, my 1 seeds look just as good today as 2 weeks ago. OSU, DUKE, PITT, KANSAS.  There you go. Write it down.





Since: Feb 11, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:39 pm
 

The Poll Attacks




Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:39 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

There was an obscene amount of stupid in the Polls this week...in addition to the two Pitt #9 dipsticks some of my favorites are:

Nova,  Cuse, and Louisville unranked?  (Feinstein...looks like a Big East hater but surprisingly he at least ranked Pitt #5)

Texas #1?  (Martin...from Houston, TX *cough* HOMER)

Xavier #9?  (Dave Jones...shockingly not from Ohio)

Kansas #8 and Georgetown #3? (Wilner)

With all that said though I do have to congratulate the Pollsters for at least not placing one vote for Kansas State....  I must say I am impressed that no one jumped the gun and ranked them after a single big win.


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