Tag:Cleveland State
Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:02 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 4:11 pm

The Poll Attacks

You want to punish Tom Izzo for scheduling aggressively?


But now look. You're in the Poll Attacks.

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

Associated Press poll: I have Michigan State ranked 15th in the Top 25 (and one).

The Spartans are 20th in the AP poll.

Both rankings are reasonable. But what's unreasonable is leaving the Spartans completely off a Top 25 ballot, which is what 13 AP voters did, and I don't understand why. Is it because they've suffered four losses against a ridiculous schedule? Because if that's the reason, that's a stupid reason. And, yes, I can explain. But let's first look at the losses.

They are to:
  • No. 1 Duke on the road
  • No. 4 Connecticut on a neutral court
  • No. 5 Syracuse on a neutral court
  • No. 13 Texas at home
I admit, that's not ideal. It's not what I expected (or what Izzo expected, either). But those are games most teams, if not all teams, ranked between 15th and 25th would also lose, point being that to punish Michigan State for losing those games is to punish Izzo for scheduling aggressively, and that's not right. Given the way some writers vote, Izzo could've scheduled a bunch of buy games, cruised and remained ranked in everybody's top five. But he instead decided to challenge his team and create some interesting matchups in November and December, and I'm not going to penalize him for doing it.

But who has Michigan State beaten, you ask?

Washington, for starters.

The Spartans have a neutral-court win over Washington.

So that means Michigan State has a win over the Pac-10 favorite and losses to four top 13 teams, and 13 writers somehow determined that the Spartans' body of work is unworthy of a Top 25 vote. It's dumb on the surface but even dumber when you dig deeper. This being the Poll Attacks, I dug deeper. And Gary Laney from The Advocate in Louisiana is going to wish I wouldn't have because his ballot is bogus.

He has Cincinnati ranked 22nd.

Now I could spend the next few sentences explaining how the Bearcats would likely have more than four losses if they played Michigan State's schedule and how the Spartans would probably be undefeated if they played Cincinnati's schedule, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'm going to tell you that Gary has Washington ranked 24th. That's fine with me in general because Washington's body of work is similar to Michigan State's. Washington is 8-3 instead of 9-4. But all three losses are to good teams -- specifically No. 11 Kentucky, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 20 Michigan State. Yes, Michigan State. Michigan State beat Washington in the Maui Invitational, which is why Gary's ballot makes no sense.

How can you rank Washington but not rank Michigan State?

They have comparable losses, sure. But Washington has no good wins, and one of Washington's losses is to Michigan State. I mean, that's pretty basic stuff, right? I imagine it is to most, but it's not to Gary Laney. Or to Steven Bradley from The Journal in South Carolina. He has Washington 19th and Michigan State unranked. (Perhaps he's never heard of Maui. Who knows?) And then there's J.P. Butler from the Olean Times in New York. He didn't rank Michigan State but he has Baylor 21st even though Baylor has no good wins and three losses to unranked teams.

Question: If Baylor is 8-3 with no good wins and losses to unranked Gonzaga, unranked Washington State and unranked Florida State, what do you think the Bears would be if they had played a 13-game schedule featuring matchups with No. 1 Duke, No. 4 UConn, No. 5 Syracuse and No. 13 Texas?

Answer: A four-loss team, at least.

Steve DeShazo of the Free Lance-Star in Virginia?

He has Michigan State unranked, too. But he's got Oklahoma State at No. 23 and Cleveland State at No. 25 even though Oklahoma State is 11-1 with no good wins and a loss to unranked Virginia Tech while Cleveland State is 13-1 with no good wins and a double-digit loss to unranked West Virginia. So I guess the lesson is this: If you want Steve to notice you, schedule weak, win a lot of games against bums and lose to an unranked team. But don't you dare schedule aggressively a lose games to ranked opponents, because that'll get you dropped real fast.


Let's move on.

Coaches poll: As you can probably tell by the above Poll Attack, I hate voters who highlight teams simply for building records against weak opponents. It rewards a conservative approach, and I'm against that. So shame on the coaches who put Cincinnati (24 points), Oklahoma State (11 points) and Utah State (four points) on their ballots. I've already told you about Cincinnati (no good wins) and Oklahoma State (no good wins and one bad loss). Now let me tell you about Utah State, the WAC school that's 11-2 with no good wins. Granted, the Aggies' losses (to BYU and Georgetown) are better than OSU's losses (or Baylor's losses, for that matter). But there's not even a decent win on their resume. Thus, Utah State shouldn't be getting votes even though Utah State probably deserves votes as much as Cincinnati deserves votes, and more than Oklahoma State deserves votes. The point is that none of them deserve votes. Stacking wins against bad teams is nothing more than stacking wins against bad teams. It's fine for a school that projected to be strong in the preseason because you can still believe in what you thought you knew. But a gaudy record against a weak schedule should never make you start believing in somebody, which is why I won't start believing in Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Utah State or Oklahoma State until at least one of them records one win against a quality opponent. It would be nice if coaches who vote in the coaches poll did the same.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 7:44 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2010 7:52 pm

The Poll Attacks

It was wrong to rank Cleveland State last week.

Now it's inexplicable.

Let's do some Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Cleveland State got 15 points in last week's AP poll and just one this week, which means everybody who was voting for the Vikings despite the fact that they had no notable wins stopped voting for them after Saturday's double-digit loss to West Virginia. Except for Steve Deshazo from the Free Lance-Star in Virginia. He had Cleveland State 25th on his ballot this week despite the fact that they -- stop me if you've heard this before -- have no notable wins ... and a double-digit loss to West Virginia.

Seriously, what has Cleveland State done to be ranked?

The Vikings aren't propped up by preseason expectations (like Memphis and Baylor), and they haven't done anything in the season (like UCF) to warrant votes. All they've done is beat bad teams and lose by 11 points to West Virginia. And yet Steve has the Vikings ranked 25th.

And do you want to know the best part?

He didn't rank West Virginia at all.

You know, West Virginia, the team that just beat Cleveland State by 11.

You know, West Virginia, the only good team Cleveland State has played.

Coaches poll: I used this space last week to compliment the coaches and their very reasonable coaches poll, and it took them exactly one week to revert to idiocy. No UCF? Really? I'll be honest, I didn't think the Knights would be good this season, either. I mean, they've never really been good. But at some point -- and that point is now -- you have to credit teams who have success, and UCF has been successful.

The Knights are 10-0.

They have a win over a Florida team that's ranked 19th thanks to wins over No. 11 Kansas State and Florida State. They also have a win over a Miami team that's beaten West Virginia and Ole Miss, and played No. 17 Memphis to the final minute. In other words, UCF is undefeated with two quality wins, and that should be enough to get ranked.
Posted on: March 11, 2009 12:33 am

Butler just killed some bubble team

You want a list of teams that hate Butler right now?

It would start with Creighton.

And include Penn State.

And Arizona.

And Florida.

And Miami.

And Maryland.

And South Carolina.

And every other school resting on the bubble.


Because Butler's 57-54 loss to Cleveland State in Tuesday night's title game of the Horizon League tournament made the Horizon League a two-bid league, which means one of the 34 at-large bids must now go to Butler, which means one less bubble team will make the NCAA tournament. Put another way, the "last team in" Jerry Palm's Tuesday morning Projecting the Field was Saint Mary's. If you accept that as reality, Saint Mary's would now be out of the bracket, banished to the NIT, all because Butler missed 15 of 19 3-point attempts and lost a home game to a team it had already beaten twice.

That was good news for Cleveland State.

But bad news for Saint Mary's.

And Creighton.

And Arizona.

And Florida.

And Miami.

And Maryland.

And South Carolina.

And every other school resting on the bubble.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 15, 2008 11:16 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2008 11:17 pm

Did he really just make that?

Cleveland State's Cedric Jackson hit a 60-foot shot at the buzzer to beat Syracuse tonight.

If you didn't see it, click this link and take a look.

The final score was 72-69.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com