Blog Entry

The Poll Attacks

Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 8:07 am
How could somebody still have Louisville unranked?

No idea.

But somebody does.

And that somebody just got Poll Attacked.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of

Associated Press poll: I could tell you why the top of the poll is wrong, why the middle of the poll is wrong and why all sorts of other things are wrong, too. But the reality is that college basketball is a mess this season. Only a handful of teams are reliable, and it's reasonable to disagree on much of this stuff. So I decided to do something slightly different this week. I'm not going to debate anybody's order. I'm only going to highlight an insane omission from one ballot that is totally indefensible.

It's Louisville.

The Cards were left off Gary Laney's ballot despite A) a 19-6 record featuring wins over the teams he has ranked 14th (Connecticut) and 20th (Syracuse), B) the fact that Louisville is all alone in fourth in the Big East standings, and C) a 4-4 record against Top 25 RPI teams. Now that might not sound like much, I know. But it's worth noting that there are just 11 teams in the country with a Top 25 RPI and at least a .500 record against Top 25 RPI schools, and Louisville is one of those 11. That's partly why I ranked the Cards 14th in the Top 25 (and one), and it's among the many reasons why no logical voter should have Louisville unranked.

And yet Gary Laney from The Advocate has Louisville unranked.

He went with Alabama and Coastal Carolina instead.

Alabama is 8-8 against the Top 200 of the RPI. But Gary Laney has the Crimson Tide ranked 23rd and thus ahead of Louisville, which is 12-6 against the Top 200. Coastal Carolina? Well, the Chanticleers have only played two Top 100 RPI teams -- Georgetown and College of Charleston. They lost 81-60 to Georgetown and 83-67 to College of Charleston, meaning they're 0-2 against the Top 100 with a pair of losses by an average of 18.5 points. But Gary Laney has Coastal Carolina ranked 24th and thus ahead of Louisville, which is 9-5 against the Top 100.

I dare you to try to make sense of any of that.

Coaches poll: I started the Poll Attacks by explaining how and why I'm not going to debate order. So I'll stay true to my word and just make two points about schools that got votes that shouldn't be getting votes.

Utah State is 24th in the coaches poll.

That's silly for all of the same reasons I told you it was silly two weeks ago. The only thing of note that's happened since then is that the Aggies lost to an Idaho team that has a 14-11 record against a terrible schedule. In other words, Utah State shouldn't have been ranked two weeks ago, and its body of work has only gotten worse. Meantime, the coaches are still giving Minnesota four points in their poll, which is silly for all of the same reasons I told you it was silly last week. The only thing of note that's happened since then is that the Gophers have taken a home loss to a collapsing Illinois team. In other words, Minnesota shouldn't have been getting votes last week, and its body of work has, like Utah State's, only gotten worse.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:41 pm

The Poll Attacks

Good try Tex and welcome to BE next year!

Lets review so the logic being used here is similar toWink corruption in elections we should ignore it and just accept the cheaters?  Really, or perhaps we should just wink and nod and say let ESPN and the sponsors just pick the national championship rather then have a tourney?

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:27 pm

The Poll Attacks

@ lexingtonblue: It is ironic that you think that the Big East teams underperform in the tournament considering that it is a Big East team that ends UK's season about half of the time.


West Virginia 2010
Notre Dame 2009
Marquette 2008
UCONN 2006
Marquette 2003 (C-USA at the time)
Syracuse 2000

Six times in the last 11 seasons.

Here is hoping for a Bluegrass Rematch in the NCAAs this time with all of our players including Rakeem Buckles in Red, White, and Black.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:43 pm

The Poll Attacks

Who is the idiot here? SDSU has only played one school in the RPI top 25 and they lost that game to BYU. How about you play a tougher schedule and that 25-1 mark that you have might have a little more meaning! You are the highest ranked team to have played so few team ranked within the top 50 RPI not alone the top 25. The cupcake schedule that SDSU has played will not benefit the Aztecs come tournament time. They will be the highest seed to lose a 1st round game my prediction. I have them as a 4th seed since they will probably lose out to BYU again, and be faced with a Florida State or St. John's 12th seed.

Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:05 pm

The Poll Attacks

You need to do alittle more fact checking about louisvilles "good wins". Because not long ago we won in Double OT @ then #5 Uconn.
Get back at me when you fix your remarks.

Since: Nov 2, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2011 1:20 pm

The Poll Attacks

It's amazing how easy it is to determine one's team or conference loyalty without looking at the name. I'm even reading articles now that seam to think that since Kansas lost last night, Texas should be dropped to 5th to make room for Duke to be #1 seed again along w/OS, Pitt & KU. Everyone talks about the grueling schedule that apparrently only their team has to indure.  Thers's one thing that keeps jumping out to at least me is the following. My whole life I was told that champions don't blow victories cuz the cream always rises to the top. With that in mind, let's review (1) Texas Longhorns- 2 of their losses game to 2 of the best the Big east has to offer. one by 2 pts and the other by 1 pt in OT. USC, what a butt kicker, but the truth is, Texas was never in that game from start to finish leading one to believe, well let's just say not their night. (2) Pitt - both of their losses were close games throughout! (3) Duke - same as Pitt. Now for the other 2 teams, KU - lose to Texas @ home, Up by 15 and lose by 11, 26 pt turn around (I've been told champions don't do that!!!!!) and OS, up 15 on Wisc and lose by 4, 19 pt swing (once again champion don't do that. Both KU and OS had these games well under control and then BLEW THEM! You can decide who the top 4 teams are, but based upon what champions do and more over DON'T do, neither of those teams should be there!!!

Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:19 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:05 pm

The Poll Attacks

agree Ohio State has looked the best of any team, followed by Pitt even though Pitt seems to win all of their games by 2 points.

I am not sure what gives you that feeling about Pitt. They have only had one win all season by 2 or less points and that was against Texas. Their average margin of victory is 17 points. That includes two 15 point wins against Georgetown and UConn which are two of their three highest rated wins. 

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:04 pm

The Poll Attacks

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 12:02 pm

The Poll Attacks

Hey, I'm not arguing that Utah State should be ranked; they lost to Idaho a couple of days ago, after all.  I'm just saying that leaving Louisville out of the rankings isn't as ridiculous as it seems.  Their "good wins" are all against Big East teams, at home; they beat some T25 teams because they play lots of them--at least, as we define T25.   Parrish ranked Marquette but not St. John's, even though the Red Storm has a better record against the T25--presumably because of two "bad losses" in February.  So why is it crazy to leave out Louisville, who lost to two pretty bad teams more recently?

All I'm saying is that we are pre-disposed to START with Big Six teams in the T25, which means other teams in the Big Six have greater opportunity to be ranked because they can beat a T25 team almost every weekend.  St. Mary's gets what, two shots in November/December?  Gonzaga had to beg for YEARS to get into the big tourneys and on the schedule of some B6 schools.  It's a built-in bias, and we're all blindly buying into it.

Last year, no one believed in Butler.  Eight was too high, people said.  This year, it's SDSU.  No way they're a top five team, people say.  They'll do almost anything, put almost any team up in the top five--Notre Dame, Purdue, North Carolina--ahead of SDSU in order not to have to rank them so high.  It's ridiculous.

Would I take Utah State straight up, on a neutral court against Pitt?  No.  Kansas, maybe.  Texas, maybe.  Ohio State, no.  Notre Dame, probably.  Duke, yes.  Syracuse, sure.  Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville ... yes indeed.  One game, neutral court ... say, first round?  I'll take Utah State. 

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2011 11:53 am

The Poll Attacks

If you were to put any small under the radar school in the top 25 I think it would have to be Old Dominion University or George Mason University. Two small schools with underrated programs. 

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