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: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:23 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

"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."
Uh, because this isn't the NBA.........
St. Johns just beat Duke by 15? (Note: final score not indicative of the ass whooping handed out)
Who are the NBA players on that team?



GuitarWiz83
Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Apr 13, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:13 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Arizona over Pitt. ppfffffffttt



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:12 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Boogie, good post, as a Pitt fan I wouldn't want to face Duke, I dont know who is better, any team can win anyday, matchups etc. I dont agree on the talent portion of your post mainly because of what I just said, I dont discredit duke at all, they are solid and will be in the mix. They have lots of talent for the NBA... Pitts loss to Tennessee at a nuetral site down the road in a brand new building so its not home to them in reality but its in Pittsburghh so that can go either way and Tennessee won when they were ranked in top 10, notredame well what can you do every team has its losses. I think Pitt deserves a rank from 2-5 in my opinion, Ohio state shoudl be ahead of Pitt, this is my ranks for this week, Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, Pitt, Texas, San Diego, BYU



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 5:03 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

STL81,
I am not knocking arizona my beef is wht you said, first the big east is tough is it the hardest I dont know nor do I care, I do know its a tough conference, Pitt lost to a tennesse team that was ranked in the top ten at the time, they lost to a notre dame team that was ranked in the top 12 at the time and st johns, a st johns team who beat #1 duke by 18 I believe, beat Pitt, beat Georgetown, Uconn and others and now are a top 25 team. Also Pitt beat Texas, pitt has less losses than texas and has had a tougher schedule, rpiu etc than texas but yet they are ahead of PItt, I hope we play Texas again personally, they are a good team, not discrediting them. Every team will have its bad games, these rankigns do not matter whta matters is the tourny and seeds



Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:56 pm
 

The Poll Attacks




Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:52 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

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.


Both Polls at top are silly? I thought you did this column to blast people who voted in the polls who were way off of what the majority of you smart writers voted on? Oh wait, that means you would have to attack yourself, and instead of doing that you blast all the other voters now? So now everyone is wrong and you are right?  You talk about Dukes only top 25 win, well they also only have one non top 25 team loss. It is funny how you dont use any kind of standard to your rankings but your own that work for your bias. No Sh*t you still have OSU #1 still, you already claimed them as the 2011 Natinal Champs last week, im sure you dont want to get off that wagon yet. Every team in the top 5 has holes and flawes, and more are getting exposed each week. OSU no depth, Kansas also now getting hurt on depth and also have had a week schedule, Duke no inside post game and down conference year, Pitt no real superstar, TX, well they are texas and you know they will flame out. Im biased so I will take Duke out of the equation, and tell you the one team of all them I wouldnt want to play is Pitt. And im sorry, BYU and SDSU, I wont and cant take you for real, if you make it past the sweet 16 I will say you did a good job. If you make it to the final 4 I will say i was totally wrong and never post again, but it aint gonna happen.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:52 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Please, you jilted fans, if your team is getting screwed in the rankings, there's 2 more weeks of regular season to work it out and then conference tournaments and then the BigDance.  Everything will work out.  Relax...  [GoDook]



Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Gary,

You're going to dock Arizona for being 0-2 against top 25 teams when they lost to Kansas and BYU? Arizona's other 2 losses are Washington at home (then ranked) and Oregon State. Pitt has 3 losses, Notre Dame, St. Johns, and the Tennessee! Now I'm not saying Arizona is better than Pitt, but how can you ctiricize them when they haven't had the opportunity to beat ranked teams?! Pitt plays in the Big East so of course they they will play ranked teams, but in the PAC-10 Arizona doesn't play any ranked teams, so they can't do anything to help themselves in that category. Arizona has done everything they can and that means winning 8 straight.
Oh and I don't know if you've wittnessed or not, but Derrick Williams is playing like a man possessed and add to that good point guard play and an incredibly deep bench and Arizona is poised to make a deep run in the tourney.



Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:48 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

How is that when considering "quality wins" over the course of a basketball season, that if a team improves and is now ranked, an early season victory over them is considered "quality." But when a team that was performing at a high level early in the season does not improve, or gets worse due to injuries, dismissals, etc. that win is no longer "quality"?

It is obvious to anyone who watched games early on that Duke's wins over #4 Kansas State or #6 Michigan State were quality wins. Both of those teams have struggled with personel issues since then, but at the time of those games they were playing at a high level. Even Butler was playing at a higher level when Duke played them. On the flip side, wins by Vanderbilt or Minnesota over North Carolina are considered "quality" now that UNC is ranked again, although the Tar Heels were no where near the team then they are now.

It just seems inconsistent to judge top 25 wins based only on this week's top 25. When comparing, the top 3 teams (Duke, Kansas, Ohio St) are pretty interchangable at this point. Against the CBS RPI top 100, Kansas is 15-2, Duke is 14-2, Ohio St is 12-2.

If Duke beats #24 Temple Wednesday, Temple will likely fall out of the rankings next week. Will this make Temple less "quality"? I think not...




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