Monday, March 8, 2010

This Week in Dumb Pollsters

Last week, I broke down all the reasons Temple should not be ranked 7-11 spots worse than Villanova.

Last week, Temple was ranked 20th in the AP poll and 16th in the ESPN/USA Today poll, while Villanova was ranked 9th in both polls. One week later, Temple won both its game and clinched the A-10 regular season title. Villanova split its two games, beating Cincinnati and then losing to West Virginia at home. Temple has won 7 in a row and 9 of its last 10 games. Villanova has lost two of its last three and four of its last six games.

As a reward, this happened in the most recent polls, released today. Temple earned a little more respect from the AP, moving up three spots to 17th. In the ESPN/USA Today poll, Temple actually slipped a spot from No. 16 to No. 17. After winning both its games. And clinching its conference regular season championship. Villanova is ranked 10th in both polls, slipping just one spot. So if my math is correct, Temple dropped the same amount of spots as Nova in the ESPN/USA Today poll, despite the fact that Temple actually won both its games and in the process won its conference. Like I said, a loss in the Big East is apparently better, or in this case just as good, as a victory in the A-10. What a crock of shit.

Check out the RPI rankings. Temple is just five spots behind Villanova, meaning that despite the perception of Nova facing a much tougher schedule than Temple, these two teams have actually faced similar competition, at least as far as RPI is concerned. Now, Nova has certainly faced much tougher opponents down the stretch than the Owls have. No question about it. But take a look at this: Nova is 4-5 against teams in RPI top 50. Temple is 6-3. Advantage Temple.

Temple is 26-5 overall. Nova is 24-6. Temple won its conference. Nova finished 4th in its conference. And here's the kicker, no matter what anyone wants to say or how badly they want to discount it: TEMPLE BEAT VILLANOVA. The two teams actually met, actually competed on the floor, and Temple came out victorious. Again, please, explain to me how they are still ranked 7 spots worse than Nova here as conference tournaments get underway. I'd really like to know. I'd really love to hear the reasoning.

Listen, I can even understand Nova being ranked higher than Temple. I really can. I wouldn't vote that way, but that's because I think when two teams have similar records and they actually played, the one that came out as victor deserves the higher ranking — especially when that team has a slightly better record too … and wins its conference. Call me crazy. But fine, I can understand Nova being ranked higher than Temple. The Wildcats were a preseason top 5 team, they play in the lethal Big East and they are clearly talented. Plus, they've been losing of late to really good teams. You can reward them for a great season in a tough conference, even if they are slipping of late.

But there's just no possible way these two teams should be 7 spots apart in the polls. None. If you think Temple is the 17th best team, at best, Nova should be ranked 12th. Five spots should be the limit, given the RPI rankings, and I'd argue these two teams should only be one to three spots apart. I mean, for the love of god, TEMPLE BEAT VILLANOVA. I don't know how to make this any clearer. Who the hell votes in these polls? Do they even watch basketball? At all?

It just makes me so god damn mad. And how the fuck can Temple slip a spot in the ESPN/USA Today poll after winning all its games in the previous week, winning its conference and winning seven fucking games in a row? What the fuck? Whoever votes in that thing should be forced to sit in a room with their eyelids taped opened during a 24-hour American Idol marathon. Wait, scratch that. That's probably what these assholes do anyway. Because they sure as shit aren't watching any basketball games. Fucking morons.

BallHype: hype it up!

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