Tag:Northern Iowa
Posted on: May 15, 2011 2:54 pm

Texas A&M has offered its job to Kennedy

Murray State's Billy Kennedy is expected to soon accept an offer to succeed Mark Turgeon as Texas A&M's basketball coach, a source told CBSSports.com on Sunday.

An introductory press conference could come as early as Monday.

CBSSports.com reported Saturday that Kennedy had emerged as the frontrunner after Marquette's Buzz Williams, Memphis' Josh Pastner, Colorado's Tad Boyle and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy rejected overtures from Texas A&M. Kennedy interviewed with athletic director Bill Byrne on Saturday, received an offer early Sunday and will accept it, a source said, barring an unexpected breakdown in negotiations. The other finalists are Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa head coach) and Scott Spinelli (Texas A&M assistant). Spinelli would join Turgeon's staff at Maryland the moment Kennedy is formally introduced.

Turgeon left for Maryland after four seasons in College Station.

Kennedy has spent five seasons at Murray State and led the Racers to the 2010 NCAA tournament.
Posted on: May 14, 2011 5:59 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 6:39 pm

Texas A&M search nearing end

Murray State's Billy Kennedy remains the perceived favorite to replace Mark Turgeon at Texas A&M, a source told CBSSports.com on Saturday. But athletic director Bill Byrne is still exploring other options -- specifically Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson and Texas A&M assistant Scott Spinelli.

A source told CBSSports.com that after interviewing Kennedy, Byrne flew to North Dakota late Saturday afternoon to meet with Jacobson in person. The source added that Spinelli remains a realistic option, too. Either way, the source said, Byrne is expected to close the search by the end of the weekend.

Turgeon left Texas A&M last week after accepting the job at Maryland.

Texas A&M projects as a preseason Top 25 team.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 12:27 pm

The Poll Attacks

Remember how two voters got Poll Attacked for putting Kansas State No. 1 in the preseason?

Well, they've changed their votes this week and put Duke No. 1.

That means their ballots now look more sensible.

But they're gonna get Poll Attacked again, still.

Let's go!

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

Associated Press poll: The only thing sillier than ranking Kansas State No. 1 in the preseason is dropping KSU after a 75-61 win over James Madison, but that's precisely what Dave Jones and Kevin Dunleavy did this week, presumably because they were worried about being featured in consecutive Poll Attacks. Well now look. Trying to avoid the Poll Attacks has landed them right back in the Poll Attacks, because neither understand how to properly rank and predict. So allow me to offer a lesson, and that lesson is this: Always stick with it until you can't anymore!

When I do something stupid -- like leave Northern Iowa unranked all last season, for example -- I stand strong until there's no way to stand anymore. It took a little dude hitting a wacky shot against top-ranked Kansas for me to admit my mistake about UNI, and rest assured I was never going to admit it otherwise. I might be stubborn, but I don't go out like a little B. So if I would've been off enough to rank Kansas State No. 1 in the preseason, there's no way I would've changed before Kansas State lost and made me change. That's where Dave and Kevin went wrong with this ballot. They gave up too soon. Now they look crazy twice.

Coaches poll: Villanova ahead of Kansas. Kansas ahead of Villanova. Honest to God, it doesn't matter to me because we're way too early in the season to be seriously debating whether a team that lost Scottie Reynolds is better than a team that lost Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich. Me? I have Villanova ranked No. 8 and Kansas ranked No. 11, but if you wanted to put Kansas at No. 8 and Villanova at No. 11, I'm cool with it.

In other words, they appear to be the same class of team.

We could find out differently later.

But for now, they seem to be in the same class. And they both won their openers with ease. Which is why I can't understand why Kansas was ahead of Villanova in the first coaches poll but is now behind Villanova in the second coaches poll. KU was sixth and Villanova was seventh. Now Villanova is sixth and KU is seventh. Why the flipflop? Is it because Josh Selby isn't available (because the reality is that he was never going to be available in the first week anyway)? And does anybody really think Selby is merely the difference between the Jayhawks being sixth and seventh in the country? More likely, he's the difference between them being top five or top 15 (just like Enes Kanter is the difference between Kentucky being top five or top 15).

Those are all rhetorical questions, by the way.

Here's the truth: The reason for the flipflop is because many coaches have no idea what their first ballot looked like. They just sat down Sunday and scribbled names with little regard to what they scribbled on their first ballot, causing inexplicable changes to rankings that give me something to Poll Attack even when a ranked team has yet to lose.
Posted on: February 23, 2010 9:06 am

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How can you rank BYU consistently but poo-poo UNI like they're a bunch of scrubs? All UNI has done: 24-3, same record as your precious Cougars. UNI's RPI of (16) is (six) spots better, a SOS of (105) is (24) spots better. ... Fact is: BYU has played LESS than UNI and has won zero big games. At least UNI goes out on a limb and does BracketBusters, in which they shredded Siena AND ODU. Just wondering if you can explain?

-- Barry

This is a typical email from a fan quoting numbers and misrepresenting the truth.

I get these all the time.

Now watch how easy it is to counter.

First, BYU and UNI DO NOT have the same record. There's not a major difference -- BYU is 25-3, UNI is 24-3 -- but if you're going to try to take somebody to task it's crucial to at least be accurate on your first point. Anyway, I should point out that all three of UNI's losses are to teams (DePaul, Bradley, Wichita State) projected to miss the NCAA tournament while all three of BYU's losses are to teams (Utah State, New Mexico, UNLV) projected to make the NCAA tournament.

So BYU has three reasonable losses.

UNI has two terrible losses.

Advantage: BYU

As for the wins, UNI's best wins are over Siena and Old Dominion, both of which are projected No. 11 seeds in Jerry Palm's latest NCAA tournament bracket. Meantime, BYU has wins over UNLV (a projected No. 9 seed), UTEP (a projected No. 11 seed), San Diego State (a projected No. 12 seed), and a victory over Arizona State (a school that's second in the Pac-10 standings).

Advantage: BYU

So to summarize: BYU has fewer bad losses, more good wins, a better record, and is playing in a league projected to get four bids to the NCAA tournament as opposed to the one-bid league Northern Iowa has won. By any intelligent measuring stick, BYU has a superior body of work, which is why the Cougars are seeded two lines higher in Jerry Palm's bracket and pretty much every other relevant bracket, too.

And you know what that means?

It means I actually have BYU and UNI much closer than everybody else.

Palm has them separated by two lines; the AP poll has BYU 12 spots ahead of UNI, the coaches poll 11 spots better than UNI. Me? I have BYU at No. 23 and UNI in my top 30, and if I have a school in my top 30 that suggests I don't think they're a "bunch of scrubs."

Bottom line, UNI is good and I know it.

The victory over Old Dominion was impressive.

And I won't be surprised if the Panthers win a NCAA tournament game.

But trying to argue their body of work over BYU's body of work is silly. Only an idiot could conclude UNI's body of work is better than BYU's, and just because you're a fan doesn't mean you have to be an idiot, Barry. Have some dignity, man.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 8, 2010 9:07 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2010 9:37 pm

The Poll Attacks

AUSTIN, Texas -- We're about to tip here at the Erwin Center.

It's Kansas vs. Texas.

So consider this your pregame Poll Attacks .

AP poll: All I do each Monday is look at the AP poll, find a team getting votes that shouldn't be getting votes, identify the guilty party, write about it, and that's pretty much how the Poll Attacks work.

Simple stuff.

It's not my fault if the guilty party repeats itself week after week after week.

I tell you that because here we are again, back focusing on the Idaho Statesman's Nick Jezierny, a future first-ballot Poll Attacks Hall of Famer. Not only does he have Northern Iowa ranked 12th, which is ridiculous on about 58 different levels, but he also has Wichita State ranked 21st, which is ridiculous on about 158 different levels.

(Let me say this: I don't mind people ranking UNI even though I'm not ranking UNI. No. 12 seems awful high, sure. But whatever. If you're impressed by a team running away with its league and stacking wins even though it lacks quality wins, fine. By now you know I care about quality wins way more than I care about the number of wins, but I recognize not everybody thinks the way I think. So, again, if you want to rank Northern Iowa, rank away. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. But Wichita State?)

You can't rank Wichita State.

And this is coming from a guy who likes Gregg Marshall. But the record is the record, and the record is 20-5 with the best win being a home win over a Texas Tech team that's ninth in the Big 12. Meantime, two of the losses are to Creighton (12-12) and Drake (11-14). So how Nick can look at Wichita State and see a team that should be ranked 21st is beyond me. But I gave up trying to make sense of this stuff long ago. Now I just poke fun at it.

Coaches poll: It's OK to not rank a C-USA school; I don't have one ranked either. But if you're going to put a C-USA school on your ballot, shouldn't it be the school that's leading C-USA? Of course it should! But somehow the coaches gave UAB seven points, Tulsa four and first-place UTEP zero despite the fact that UTEP won at UAB two weekends ago and beat Tulsa by 14 points last weekend.

(Couldn't Tulsa's Doug Wojcik at least put the Miners at No. 25?)

UTEP is 17-5 overall with an 8-1 league record, and yet the coaches have the Miners as C-USA's third-best team. It's crazy. And if I live to be 167 I still won't know how Tulsa is getting votes. Sure, the 18-5 record looks nice. But the best win is against Oklahoma State, and three of the losses are to Missouri State, Nebraska and Nevada.

Thus, Tulsa shouldn't appear on anybody's ballot.

And they sure as heck shouldn't appear on a ballot that doesn't also include UTEP.
Posted on: January 18, 2010 7:51 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 7:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

A WAC writer ranked Louisiana Tech 20th.

There's a price to pay for that.

And that price is paid in The Poll Attacks .

AP poll: What's more questionable than Northern Iowa being ranked with no good wins and one bad loss?

Louisiana Tech getting votes with no good wins and two bad losses.

I swear, I don't hate non-BCS schools. But I'm not going to try to prove it to you by ranking Louisiana Tech 20th, which is what Nick Jezierny of The Idaho Statesmen did this week. He has the Bulldogs ranked 20th on his AP ballot with a 17-2 record, and their best win is probably at Houston or over Utah State. Point is, there's nothing there.

Louisiana Tech has played exactly one good team -- New Mexico.

Louisiana Tech lost that game 81-52.

The Bulldogs also lost 83-67 to Arizona.

So they have no good wins and two lopsided losses, and that makes them 20th?


Note to AP voters: Just because you cover a WAC school (in this case, Boise State), that doesn't mean you have to rank a WAC school. If it's justified, rank away. But there's no way to justify ranking Louisiana Tech, much less ranking Louisiana Tech 20th. That's ridiculous.

Coaches poll:
I've already told you what I think of Northern Iowa being ranked, so I won't go over that again. Plus, it really doesn't bother me. Northern Iowa is good; I've never denied that. I just don't think the Panthers have the body of work of a Top 25 team, but I'm OK with them being ranked. I didn't rank them. But I'm absolutely OK -- or at least unbothered -- by the AP and Coaches polls ranking them.

We clear on that?


Now let me tell you what I'm not OK with: I'm not OK with Connecticut being ranked 21st with an 11-6 record featuring zero good wins. How does that happen? At least six-loss North Carolina has wins over Michigan State and Ohio State. UConn's best win is a home win over Notre Dame. So the Huskies are 11-6 with no wins over guaranteed NCAA tournament teams, and yet they're ranked ahead of No. 25 Ohio State -- which is 13-5 with wins over Purdue, Wisconsin, and Florida State. Even better: The Buckeyes are 10-2 in games with Evan Turner, 3-3 without him. Now that Turner is back, OSU should be ranked accordingly. And by accordingly, I mean definitely in front of Connecticut.
Posted on: January 18, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 12:19 pm

Dear Gary (on UNI's omission from my rankings)

Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: What's Northern Iowa have to do to get in the Top 25 (and one)?

-- Danny

The Panthers were one of the last five or six teams I considered for the final couple of spots, but the truth is that their body of work is mostly unimpressive. Doesn't mean they're not good. Doesn't mean they won't win the Missouri Valley Conference and somehow make the Sweet 16. But to date their resume is awfully thin.

Sure, the 16-1 record looks nice. But the one loss was to the worst team in the Big East (DePaul), and the best win is probably a home win over Siena (or perhaps a win at Iowa State.) Now compare that to Northwestern, i.e., the last team in the Top 25 (and one). The Wildcats are 13-4, but they don't have any losses as bad as UNI's loss to DePaul, and they have three wins (over Notre Dame, at Michigan, over Purdue) better than any of Northern Iowa's wins. So to me, it's simple: Northwestern > Northern Iowa. But the Panthers can gain some respect with a Tuesday night win at Wichita State. Get that, and then we'll talk.
Posted on: November 20, 2009 4:32 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2009 4:33 pm

DePaul beats projected MVC champ

I mentioned in the Friday Look Ahead that the Big East was 35-0, but I thought for sure the league would suffer its first loss Friday. It still might, I guess. But it won't be where I thought it would be, which is to say in the Northern Iowa-DePaul game.

Final score: DePaul 60, Northern Iowa 52.

So the team picked last in the Big East just beat the team picked first in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Very nice, Jerry Wainwright.

You moved the Big East to 36-0.

Now let's see if Villanova can make it 37-0.
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com