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

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?


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.

Since: Jan 26, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:30 pm

The Poll Attacks

Every NCAA champion in the last 20 years has had at least 3 NBA players I believe except Syracuse who had Carmelo and Warrick.

Since: Dec 13, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:23 pm

The Poll Attacks


I agree with what you said about Duke being too high and Ohio State having the much stronger resume, but you didn't mention BYU in any of this. They have two top 10 wins and another win in the top 25. I'm not saying they're deserving of a #1 spot but if we're comparing resumes they should be in the argument.

Thank you for bringing reality to Duke nation. They still have some things to prove before they can claim the "best team in the nation" title.

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:22 pm

The Poll Attacks

Doesn't Pitt have two home losses? Oh wait, WVU @ Pitt hasn't happened yet!

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:21 pm

The Poll Attacks

NBA prospects don't automatically a TEAM better than than a team that doesn't, when you are talking about this level of schools. 

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:19 pm

The Poll Attacks

FYI, Pitt only lost 1 game at home. The Tenn loss was a netural site game.

Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:16 pm

The Poll Attacks

DUKE IS #1     ap  coaches and espn  wow GARY stop HATING SO MUCH


AS far as having  ARIZONA 18th in your POLL(funny)
I REMEMBER the year DAVIDSON was HOT you never had them ranked higher than
what 18th and I KEPT TELLING  YOU....but..biased...they beat the big10 champs
beat the bigeast CHAMPS....and lost to the eventual winner the big12 champs kansas
by 3 points....and again you based it on their BODY OF WORK joke  forget sos forget who


YOU SAY THEIR BODY OF WORK....what that the bigeast is the MONOPOLY in
college;'s rigged  they get 16 votes in the coaches poll and 10 in
the ncaa gives them a 1in 6 chance....WOW  body of work  what i"VE seen of
the bigeast is a bunch of good teams but no TOP 10 team is what I SEE
LOOK AT PITTS BODY OF WORK  10 rigged games to start out good funny

AS far as your big10 teams funny...funny....funny....let any1 of them play BYU
SO gary in closing:  DUKE IS #1 (DONT CRY NOW)...the ACC HAS WON 2 in a row
(STOP YOUR WEEPING)  bigeast has 1 ncaa crown in what last 12 years or so yep
great conference for being OVERRATED EVERY YEAR

and BYU should be #3


Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:13 pm

The Poll Attacks

The one thing that the last 6 or so weeks have tought me is that "they don't mean a damn thing, except for seeding purposes." You have two polls to decide which you like best and run with it. First- (AP), this poll is done by a bunch of guys who watch the pick hit games each week and if you think about it, that's what the rest of us do and decide based on the games they see and the highlight real. Most have there biases based on what team or conference they lean towards, Just like us. Here's an example from Dick Vitale (one of the premier guru's of our time, or any other, so I'm told). This article was written Jan 31, 2011

Before the season started, I ranked Kansas lower in the Big 12. I thought Kansas State was the team to beat coming off of last year's solid performance. Yet it has become frustration city for Martin, whose team missed multiple layups inside on Saturday. Martin told our Erin Andrews that his team didn't make a layup for four weeks!


Well, my friends, I have learned my lesson -- the Big 12 championship goes through Lawrence. I know some folks in Austin may have something to say about that, especially since the Longhorns snapped Kansas' 69-game home win streak, but the Jayhawks are a legitimate national championship contender.

This implies that the Longhorns don't stand a chance in hell or pretty much doing anything at the dance!

Second - (coaches poll) - How anyone could really could validate this poll makes ABSULUTLEY NO SENSE!! My reason is show me a coach that has time to pay attention to anything other than his teams next opponent, I'll show a coach that should be looking for another job!!!

The bottom line is every single team in the top 20 are going dancing this March. Come March 15 when the first game is played, every team will be undefeated and the team that can and will win 6 (maybe 7) in a row will be crowned NUMBER ONE!!! On April 4, we'll all no who that is and not one day before!!

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:11 pm

The Poll Attacks

Gary, from what I've seen, you're the only one that still doesn't think Duke will get a 1 seed. "everyone that knows how to project such things" must be...uhm...the select few that you like because they have YOUR 1 seeds projected? Hm. Maybe, just maybe, YOU are wrong and everyone else is right? 
Also, by the numbers and numbers alone, doesn't a loss at number 6 make SDSU's loss column the best? I'd think so.  Again, your points are simply to show that the team YOU want to be number 1 is number 1. Ohio State blew a 15 point lead to lose one game and lost by double digits in the other. 
You can't FAULT teams for who they play. They don't schedule these games during the season. So 'quality' wins is a fickle number. It changes week by week.  Duke beat preseason number  2, 3, 7, and Butler was in the early teens, but I can't remember where.  Early on, those are huge wins.  Those are quality wins in December.  However, only the win against Carolina is seen as a quality win now. If Purdue gets blown out and loses by double digits the rest of the year, what then? OSU's loss at Purdue would look terrible, right?  No. Because rankings are about where your team is RIGHT NOW. Not this "Body of work" junk you are talking about. Preseason rankings is you media folks creating buzz. Fine.  But the Body of Work only comes into play in SEEDING and tournament selection. Not your rankings.
"The selection committee is smarter than the men who vote in the coaches poll, I assure you."  If that were true, roles would be reversed and coaches would be doing something like writing dumb articles instead of making millions, or at least upwards of 250,000, a year coaching. Hm.
By the way-you have Duke at 6, and the majority of people that get to vote(and count) have them at 1. By the majority rule, who is probably more correct...the 1, or the 54? I'm done writing to you until the end of the tournament though. And boy, if you right another junk article this season about the champion that you did last season, I hope your editors realize you're a problem.  This year, honor the champion for winning the games, don't start a conspiracy theory. 

Since: Jan 18, 2009
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:07 pm

The Poll Attacks

Haha Gary gets owned once again by stronger, better basketball minds!  You were an idot for ranking Duke 6th and now you're trying to place the blame on 31 other people.  Wow, your ego is ridiculously large, and for no reason whatsoever!  Your anti-Duke bias has made you look like a fool over and over again, yet you continue to bash them...then look foolish...then bash them anyway...then look even more foolish.  CLOWN! 

Since: Aug 23, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:03 pm

The Poll Attacks

The Big East = Overated !!! Duke is your 2010 National Champs and until someone beats them stop hating !!!

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