Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 1:29 pm
Somebody ranked Florida 16th after a loss to UCF. Same somebody didn't even rank undefeated UCF. And that voter from the Daily Progress isn't progressing well at all. That's too bad for him. But it's great for the Poll Attacks.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of

Associated Press poll: Florida returned five starters from a roster that made the NCAA tournament, and the Gators added a McDonald's All-American to the bunch. So ranking them high in the preseason made some sense. I even did it myself. But now the season has started, and the Gators are 6-2. Their losses are a lopsided loss at home to Ohio State that didn't really bother me and a surprising loss on the road to UCF that bothered me quite a bit.

But you know who wasn't bothered by it?

Scott Mansch from the Great Falls Tribune in Montana.

It didn't bother him at all.

Dude had the Gators 16th last week and 16th again this week.

(Worth noting: Florida didn't make the Top 25 (and one) or actual AP poll.)

Needless to say, this was startling. So I decided to further examine Scott's AP ballots from last week and this week and compare the two. Here's what I found: He dropped Missouri five spots for losing in overtime to No. 9 Georgetown, dropped Michigan State two spots for losing by five points on the road to No. 1 Duke. (More on this below.) But Florida? Scott kept the Gators right where they were last week on his ballot after the loss at UCF. And what makes it even sillier is that Scott didn't rank undefeated UCF at all. So he apparently believes losses to teams he and everybody else has ranked are worse than losses to unranked teams. That's all I can figure.

(Moving on …)

Does anybody know Whitelaw Reid from the Daily Progress in Virginia?

We have to sit this guy down, ASAP.

I busted him up in last week's Poll Attacks, and I thought he might listen and adjust. Alas, he did not. My man still has Villanova ranked No. 8 and Tennessee unranked despite the fact that Tennessee is undefeated with a neutral court win over Villanova. He still has Connecticut behind Michigan State, Kentucky and Washington despite the fact that Connecticut is undefeated with wins over Michigan State and Kentucky, both of which beat Washington. And he still has Missouri ahead of Georgetown despite the fact that Georgetown is undefeated with a win over -- you'll never guess -- Missouri.

That last game, a thriller, happened last Tuesday.

Do you think Whitelaw heard about it?

Do you think Whitelaw even knows the season is underway?

Coaches poll: There are lots of things I hate about how people vote in polls -- that's sort of how I stumbled into doing this every Monday -- but there's nothing I hate more than when teams drop for losing competitive games to higher-ranked teams, especially on the road. By definition, a team ranked No. 1 is supposed to beat a team ranked No. 6, particularly when the game is on the top-ranked team's home court. So it should've surprised nobody when No. 1 Duke beat No. 6 Michigan State 84-79 last week at Cameron Indoor Stadium. What's surprising is that the Spartans dropped from No. 6 to No. 8 in the coaches poll because of the loss.

Seriously, why?

What did anybody see in that loss at Duke to make them think MSU wasn't worthy of its ranking?

How many teams would've or even could've won that game in that building on that night?

So stupid.

If you want to rank Michigan State eighth, that's fine. Or put the Spartans 12th. I don't care. My point is only that there isn't a single thing that happened over the past week that should've diminished anybody's opinion of Michigan State. So wherever a voter had the Spartans last week is, at worst, where that voter should've had them this week.

For instance, I had Michigan State No. 5 last week.

Same thing this week.

Because a five-point loss on the road to the No. 1 team is no reason to drop them.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:45 pm

The Poll Attacks

Your ignorance is showing. The Sprint Center in KC is over 120 miles from Columbia

Read through the thread -- we already established it's a 2-hour drive from Columbia and an 18-hour drive from Washington DC (a trip that will take you right through Columbia on the way to KC).  The game was still played in the state of Missouri and UM is a state school.  The court had the Tigers logo all over it.  They had their band and cheerleaders there.  These are things that don't happen at a neutral game.

If Mizzou had to play Washington University in Spokane, WA, would you guys call it a neutral game?  How about if they played against Florida in Miami?

The difference HoyaParanoia07, is that home/neutral/away is NOT a spectrum.  They are 3 terms with specific definitions.

Leave it to a lawyer to try to remove any gray area! Tongue out

I get what you're saying...but as you can see, there is clearly an argument for both sides as to whether it should be classified as Neutral or Home.

Not that Ken Pomeroy has the final say in this, but here's how an independent third party classified it:

He called it a "Semi-Home" game for Mizzou and a "Semi-Away" game for Gtown.  That compromise works for me.

Since: Apr 3, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:06 am

The Poll Attacks

The difference HoyaParanoia07, is that home/neutral/away is NOT a spectrum.  They are 3 terms with specific definitions.  Neutral simply means the game is not played on either team's home court.  It has nothing to do with exactly how neutral the site is.  You need to throw your definition of the word neutral out the window when talking about "neutral sites" because a neutral site is a term of art.  It doesn't actually mean neutral in the sense that neither team has any location advantage.  Clearly Mizzou had an advantage because of the location.  However it wasn't a true "home court" advantage and therefore was a neutral site officially.  I understand your point, it is just simply incorrect when talking about how the game is officially viewed.  And as was pointed out, the whole point in saying it was a neutral site was simply to point out how the author of the article failed to disclose relevant information.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:10 am

The Poll Attacks

The only question america cares about is what rank the Jayhawks will be in the Parrish top 25 + 1 once josh selby joins the team... 
What are your thoughts of Sparty now?  still a Contender?  

Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 11:00 pm

The Poll Attacks

Your ignorance is showing. The Sprint Center in KC is over 120 miles from Columbia and over 30 miles from Lawrence, KS.  That's not across town; that's a road trip.  And if it's a road trip, it's at least a neutral court.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2010 8:29 pm

The Poll Attacks

No one said there is no difference between the Sprint Center and Mizzou Arena/Allen Fieldhouse.  Maybe games at the Sprint Center aren't the "home-iest" possible home games, but I don't see how you can call that a neutral site no matter how you slice it. 

It wasn't a "true" home game because it wasn't played at Mizzou Arena, but it wasn't a "true" neutral game because it wasn't even close to being neutral in any respect.  If we drew a spectrum that included Home, Neutral, and Away...this game would fall closest to the Home portion.

Like I said, by your logic the Hoyas do not have one home game on their schedule (their RPI will be through the roof!), since they play all the way across town in the Verizon Center instead of their on-campus gym (McDonough Gym) where the fans are right on top of the court.

Since: Jan 24, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2010 8:20 pm

The Poll Attacks

FREE ENES and we'll be having a much more interesting conversation....

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2010 8:19 pm

The Poll Attacks

sgostate is starting to understand the weakness of the RPI. If a team plays and loses to five top 20 teams and plays and wins against 25 #50-70 teams they end up 25-5 with a SOS around 30, giving them a probable RPI of 7-12, without having beaten a good team.
Midmajors have been inflating their RPIs this way for years. Where as another team may go 8-8 in a power conference, winning 3 or 4 against ranked teams, but have an RPI of 30 because in the early nonconference games they played 7-8 games against local teams that have RPIs of 300.
The RPI should be reworked to not count wins against any team that is not in the top 100.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2010 5:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

I acknowledged the fact that the game was at the Sprint Center.  My point isn't how neutral the court point was that Parrish didn't disclose that fact when he should have.  You may say it doesn't matter, but before you do, consider this...
Mike Anderson is UNDEFEATED in non-conference games at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.  Thats 4+ years.  Sure there are alot of cupcake games, but 
To say that there is no difference between Sprint Center and Mizzou Arena is just stupid.  Its like saying there is no difference between Sprint Center and Allen Fieldhouse.  They are NOT home games.  They are neutral site games that may heavily favor a team, but they aren't home games.  I don't care if its in the team's season ticket package.  Your home gym means ALOT in college bball especially in the Midwest.

Since: Mar 16, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2010 3:56 pm

The Poll Attacks

'Cuse gets this all the time when they play at the Garden.  Last i checked the trip to NYC from Syracuse is around 4.5 hrs away.  While 'Nova is only 2hrs away.  It makes no sense.  Although, 'Cuse does have a ton of Fans/Alumni in NYC.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2010 3:07 pm

The Poll Attacks

So....if this game was played in Hawaii and there are many more Mizzou fans than Georgetown fans.  Does that make it a home game for Missouri?

Chowster, it's a home game for Missouri because it was played in MISSOURI.

As my midwest compadre already pointed out, this game was TWO HOURS from Mizzou's campus.  It was an EIGHTEEN-HOUR drive from Washington, DC...and to get to Kansas City from DC, you'd drive straight through...(wait for it)...Columbia, MO!

If people are honestly going to try to spin this as a neutral game for Mizzou, then I say all Georgetown games at the Verizon Center are neutral games, because they're not played at the on-campus McDonough Gym and the Verizon Center is an hour drive from campus (more if DC traffic is bad).

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