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CBS Sports Bloggers’ Blogpoll, Week 1

February 9, 2009

This week is the inaugural CBSSports College Basketball inaugural blogpoll. And this blog was invited to participate. Each of us (participating blogs listed here) is also asked to talk about our voting philosophies.

Now, I’m big on stats but Pomeroy’s numbers, which I refer to daily, do not properly account for a team that suddenly plays like something that needs to be flushed. In Pomeroy’s ranking, West Virginia is ranked 7th?! I don’t see it from West Virginia, and I love their team – but they couldn’t hang with Syracuse, weren’t all that close to Pitt at home. Their numbers and ranking look strong because they eviscerate opponents below them, but I’d like to see a top ten team beat… another top ten team.

They do not pass the eye test.

But I do take a look at Pomeroy’s stats to get a sense of how a team is winning, who they’ve beaten, and the like. I started this list from last week’s AP poll, actually, to get a sense of conventional wisdom. I compared that to the Coaches’ poll as well; and then started making the “do I really think team x can beat team x-1 (ranked just below them)?” And I made concessions for teams that could get merked by one or two teams below them, but generally would handle most squads they are ranked higher than.

I put more emphasis on home losses than road losses, and for teams like Marquette, sometimes the bad game happens. Their body of work in the Big East has been very good, though I think they’re about to get a correction from Villanova (I think they’re playing fantastic ball), U Conn, Pitt, and Louisville. But I do not at all care that they lost to South Florida – they were on the road against an opponent that has been staying close to some top teams, and the Bulls, for some reason, are Marquette kryptonite.

All of that said, I will think on who I ranked and have no qualms dropping, say, #13 Memphis straight out of the poll.  I don’t think they’re that good, but I haven’t found a rationale for dumping them.  My rankings:

Rank Team
1 Connecticut
2 Oklahoma
3 North Carolina
4 Pittsburgh
5 Duke
6 Wake Forest
7 Louisville
8 Clemson
9 Marquette
10 Butler
11 Villanova
12 Michigan St.
13 Memphis
14 Xavier
16 Washington
17 Missouri
18 Gonzaga
19 Illinois
20 Kansas
21 Purdue
22 Arizona St.
23 Ohio St.
24 California
25 Utah

The composite rankings and some conversation about different methods (some of which I might borrow for my own use next week):

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta 1 Connecticut (42) 24.9 0.3 25 2 Oklahoma (3) 23.1 1.4 24 3 North Carolina (1) 22.9 1.0 23 4 Pittsburgh 22.0 1.1 22 5 Duke (1) 20.5 2.5 21 6 Louisville 19.4 2.4 20 7 Wake Forest 17.2 2.8 19 8 Memphis 16.3 2.7 18 9 Clemson 15.8 4.0 17 10 Marquette 15.2 3.9 16 11 Michigan St. 15.0 3.9 15 12 UCLA 14.4 3.6 14 13 Xavier 12.7 3.5 13 14 Villanova 12.7 3.4 12 15 Butler 11.4 4.5 11 16 Kansas 9.3 3.3 10 17 Missouri 6.6 4.8 9 18 Gonzaga 6.1 3.9 8 19 Illinois 5.9 3.6 7 20 Purdue 5.6 4.1 6 21 Arizona St. 5.3 3.1 5 22 Utah St. 3.7 4.4 4 23 Washington 3.2 3.3 3 24 Syracuse 2.5 3.2 2 25 Ohio St. 2.1 3.2 1


3 On the Come Up

I really like Utah. I think they are crisp and coming on strong. One home loss to California, who I am also more and more impressed with. The Golden Bears lost both of their games downstate in Los Angeles, but bounced back with a solid win over Washington. That got them in for me. And Missouri, winning at Texas is kinda hot.

3 Getting the Bozack

Texas… losing to K-State at home, then Mizzou at home, then Nebraska? Losing to Nebraska? What top 25 does that?? Ok, Missouri does. Purdue has problems. And Syracuse has lost 5 of 7, including to Providence, who aren’t that bad, but they’re not that good either.

Comments? Leave a note below.

  1. February 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Duke right above Wake when they lost to them? I guess they only lost by 2 so maybe a neutral court would favor them… but I dunno.

  2. picodulce
    February 11, 2009 at 11:12 am

    The issue – Wake lost to Virginia Tech at home, and more egregiously – to Georgia Tech? They are a Wretching Wreck. There’s a flaw when Wake can’t beat the team that can’t shoot straight. Also: Duke lost two away games to very good conference teams. I’d allow Wake one loss to a lesser team, but the GT loss combined with the Virginia Tech… I have to give Duke the nod.

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