Category:NCAAB
Posted on: March 16, 2009 3:04 pm
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College Basketball BlogPoll breakdown, Week "6"

For some reason, our total number of votes in the BlogPoll dipped a bit this week. I'm not sure why, since it's not like there's anything happening in the world of college basketball that would distract our loyal cadre of bloggers from ...

Oh, right. That Tournament thing. That thing with the brackets, and the 32 games in two days, and the Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery calls, and the North Dakota St.'s, and the Big 12 vs. the Ivy League, and the North Carolina fast breaks and Eric Maynor floaters and Blake Girffin monsterjams and John Calipari's hair and the net-cutting and the "One Shining Moment" ... right, that thing, the best annual sporting event in America. I guess that's as good an excuse as any.

Those of us who did pull ourselves away from our brackets long enough to fill out a ballot combined to come up with this:

BlogPoll Week 6

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta
1 Louisville (16) 24.0 1.4 4
2 North Carolina (6) 23.4 1.3 --
3 Pittsburgh (4) 23.2 1.1 2
4 Memphis (3) 22.3 1.8 --
5 Connecticut 21.5 0.8 2
6 Duke 19.4 1.7 2
7 Michigan St. 18.4 1.3 1
8 Oklahoma 17.6 2.6 1
9 Missouri 16.1 2.3 5
10 Villanova 14.2 3.7 1
11 Kansas 13.6 3.0 1
12 Wake Forest 13.6 3.1 3
13 Gonzaga 13.4 4.1 1
14 Syracuse 11.4 4.3 6
15 Washington 11.2 2.7 2
16 Purdue 8.8 3.9 7
17 Florida St. 7.7 3.7 7
18 UCLA 7.2 3.9 3
19 Arizona St. 6.6 4.2 2
20 Xavier 4.6 3.5 2
21 Clemson 4.3 3.9 5
22 Butler 3.7 3.8 3
23 Marquette 3.1 3.6 6
24 West Virginia 2.9 3.9 2
25 Utah 2.5 2.9 1


Also Receiving Votes: Louisiana St.(2.4), Brigham Young(2.2), Illinois(2.1), Utah St.(0.9), Ohio St.(0.4), Siena(0.4), St. Mary's(0.3), Dayton(0.3), Oklahoma St.(0.2), Tennessee(0.2), Wisconsin(0.1), Temple(0.1), Baylor(0.1), Robert Morris(0.1), Mississippi St.(0.1), North Dakota St.(0.1), California(0.1), Texas A&M(0.1), Southern California(0.0),

Total Ballots: 29

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

As expected, weekend conference tournament warriors Louisville, Syracuse, Florida St., Missouri, and Purdue all saw big bumps. Tourney flameouts UCLA, Marquette, and Wake Forest all experienced punishing drops. Joining this league of losers was ... well, I'll let the East Coast Bias explain: Clemson losing to Georgia Tech is the turd of all turd performances.

I think Depaul victims Cincinnati might have something to say about that, but nonetheless that seems reason enough for a five-place drop for the Tigers.

Following their loss to eventual bid thieves Mississippi St., LSU was among the handful of teams dropping out of the poll this week. This leaves the BlogPoll once again without a single team from the SEC, the conference a certain Mr. Simpson --and, apparently, the NCAA Selection Committee--would refer to as The Suckiest Bunch of Sucks That Ever Sucked.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

As has been the case for the last couple of weeks, there's some pretty serious dissension amongst BlogPoll voters about what team ought to go at the top of the poll. After their twin Big East regular season and conference tournament championships, Louisville has unsurprisingly surged to No 1 in the poll as well as on the Committee's S-Curve. But they're far from a unanimous choice, thanks in part to the fact that two of the teams also receiving No. 1 votes can still, somehow, fall under the label of "question mark."

One is Memphis, who ground C-USA under their heel for the third straight year but still has its doubters because it's, well, the C-USA. For North Carolina, it's true that the January losses to Wake Forest and Boston College are becoming increasingly distant memories ... but the sight of Ty Lawson on the bench during the ACC tournament while the Tar Heels flailed against Va. Tech and Florida St. is not. Whither the Heels? BC Interruption votes UNC No. 1 and provides the positive spin: We think North Carolina is the best team in the country, despite their semifinals loss to Florida State. With Lawson back for the NCAAs, they should represent the ACC in the tournament well.

But Texas blog Barking Carnival drops the Heels to No. 5 and sees things more than a little differently: Sorry, but Lawson ain’t healthy. Hansbrough dedicates "All Out of Love" by Air Supply to Ty Lawson. The Heels are likely the first number 1 seed bounced if Lawson is dinged.

The Heels had better hope the former view is the accurate one: both potential second-round opponents Butler and LSU are dangerous enough when on their game to make UNC pay if Lawson really isn't his usual self.

This week's poll has also continued the long, slow eviction of its non-power conference representation, as Xavier and Butler both dropped a few slots after tournament losses to Temple and Cleveland St., respectively. From Old Virginia is not in a forgiving mood: The A-10 champion is Temple. Xavier earns a bat to the face for losing to them in the tournament. Xavier's got nice wins and all over Memphis and Missouri, which is why I repented and let them stay in the top 25 in the first place. I almost dropped them entirely for flubbing a mid-major league they have no business losing.

Me, I think that's a bit harsh considering that Temple's a good team that beat Tennessee and had a lot more to play for than the lockey-lock Musketeers. (Ditto Butler and Cleveland St., a team that would knock you on your rear end just for thinking about scoring.) Then again, Xavier's been taking on water in the A-10 for weeks now. Taken as just a loss to Temple, the X shouldn't be dinged too harshly. Taken as confirmation the Musketeers aren't the same team they were before New Year's, the dinging makes a lot more sense.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest stdev

# Team StdDev
1 Syracuse 4.3
2 Arizona St. 4.2
3 Gonzaga 4.1
4 West Virginia 3.9
5 Clemson 3.9

So, how much stock do you put in conference tournament performance? If you put a whole lot of stock in it, you've probably got the marathon men from Syracuse pretty high up the ballot after last week's theatrics. If not, maybe you still see the same bunch of Orangemen that lost 7 of 10 from mid-January to mid-February. And so Syracuse stands atop this week's standard deviation chart.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 House of Sparky Arizona St. 3.67
2 Falcon Nation Bowling Green 3.03
3 Oread Boom Kings Kansas 2.93
4 Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 2.86
5 Making the Dance Illinois 2.86

After a few weeks away from the poll, Arizona St. blog House of Sparky returns to vote LSU No. 11, Duke No. 14, Clemson No. 15, and Dayton No. 18 to earn this week's Mr. Bold award. While we're (sort of) on the topic of LSU and where they should be ranked, here's a Fun Fact: Northwestern finished with as many RPI top-50 wins as the the SEC's three NCAA entrants combined. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Southeastern Conference!

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 The Fifth Corner North Carolina 1.49
2 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 1.53
3 Hammer & Rails Purdue 1.59
4 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 1.61
5 The Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga 1.75

As is only fitting for a blog that takes its name from a strategically-sound if monotonous offense notorious for lulling its opponents to sleep and winning games, UNC-affiliated The Fifth Corner takes home this week's Mr. Numb Existence award for their wholesome, satisfying, and supremely run-of-the-mill ballot.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 4.83
2 The Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga 2.62
3 Hammer & Rails Purdue 2.24
4 Making the Dance Illinois 1.93
5 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 0.59

Back for another week on top of the Coulter/Kos chart is Wildcat blog I Bleed Blue and White . For the past two weeks IBBW has tempted fate by running away with the CK Award, only to be curiously rewarded with a string of impressive and/or dramatic 'Nova wins and now a cushy 3-seed for the 'Cats at home in Philadelphia. So we'll see if (or when) IBBW gets the usual brand of CK Award-based comeuppance, but you should know this: the last time 'Nova received a 3 seed in the East Region was 1995, when the Kerry Kittles-led 'Cats went down to 14th-seeded Old Dominion in three overtimes. Just sayin'.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. -1.72
2 House of Sparky Arizona St. -0.62
3 The Critical Fanatic Michigan St. -0.41
4 Gate 21 Tennessee -0.24
5 Colonials Corner Robert Morris -0.10

Most voters were pretty impressed by the Seminoles' run to the ACC final. But not so much FSU blog Tomahwak Nation --perhaps remembering the heart-stopping lows of squeezing past Georgia Tech as well as the blissful highs of dethroning Carolina, TN only ranked their 'Noles 20th and earn this week's Straight Bangin' Award.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team   Swing
1 The Critical Fanatic Michigan St. 118
2 Tar Heel Fan North Carolina 114
3 March To Madness San Diego St. 108
4 From Old Virginia Virginia 104
5 The Fifth Corner North Carolina 100

I'm at a loss to explain what Gonzaga did to drop 9 spots on the ballot of Michigan St. blog The Critical Fanatic , or how Wisconsin deserved a four-spot bump, but everything else here seems to be normal reaction to last week's tournament madness. Still, those two changes are weird enough to power TCF to this week's Mr. Manic Depressive Award.

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Inside Creighton Hoops Creighton 40
2 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 42
3 A Sea of Blue Kentucky 46
4 Black and Green ND Basketball Notre Dame 50
5 The East Coast Bias St. John's 52

Remember what I said about some voters not putting much stock in conference tournaments? Safe to say that's how Max at Inside Creighton Hoops feels after leaving his top nine teams unchanged from last week. I might say something here about how maybe we shouldn't put that little stock in Championship Week results, but this is a guy for whom seeing Arizona pop up on the Selection Show "was like getting punched in the stomach by 1985 Dolph Lundgren." I think we can cut him some slack.


That's not all folks, but it's pretty close. The BlogPoll will be dormant during the NCAA Tournament and back for one final round of balloting after things get settled in Detroit. See you then.

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
Posted on: March 9, 2009 2:49 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2009 2:51 pm
 

College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown, Week "5"

Everybody, all together now ! It's the moooooost wonderful time ... of ... the year! With mid-majors winning, Bill Raftery grinning from ear-to-eaaaaaaar ... it's the most wonderful time of the year!


Ain't it, though? Naturally, we here at the BlogPoll are celebrating the onset of Championship Week and March Madness by issuing our final poll of the regular season, which goes like so:

BlogPoll Week 5

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta
1 Pittsburgh (18) 24.2 1.0 2
2 North Carolina (14) 24.1 0.8 --
3 Connecticut (1) 22.4 1.0 2
4 Memphis (3) 21.7 2.1 --
5 Louisville (2) 21.2 1.8 1
6 Michigan St. 19.3 1.2 2
7 Oklahoma 19.2 2.5 2
8 Duke 17.9 1.6 1
9 Wake Forest 16.4 2.2 1
10 Kansas 15.5 3.4 1
11 Villanova 14.2 2.5 --
12 Gonzaga 13.3 3.5 1
13 Washington 12.5 3.0 3
14 Missouri 12.1 3.1 2
15 UCLA 10.3 3.7 3
16 Clemson 7.8 4.5 1
17 Marquette 6.1 3.9 3
18 Xavier 6.0 3.6 3
19 Butler 5.6 4.4 3
20 Syracuse 5.2 2.7 6
21 Arizona St. 5.1 4.2 1
22 Louisiana St. 4.9 4.6 7
23 Purdue 4.6 3.4 4
24 Florida St. 4.4 3.6 --
25 Brigham Young 3.6 3.4 --


Also Receiving Votes: Illinois(2.8), West Virginia(1.6), St. Mary's(0.7), Utah(0.5), Texas A&M(0.4), Texas(0.2), Siena(0.2), New Mexico(0.2), Utah St.(0.2), Creighton(0.1), Auburn(0.1), Oklahoma St.(0.1), Georgetown(0.1), California(0.1), Dayton(0.1), Northern Iowa(0.1), Ohio St.(0.0),

Total Ballots: 38

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

Developments this week include Pitt taking the top spot by the absolute slimmest of margins over newly-crowned ACC champ North Carolina; LSU repaying the BlogPoll's relative skepticism regarding the Tigers (No. 15 vs. 12/11 AP/Coaches) by dropping two ugly decisions to Vanderbilt and white-hot Auburn (now appearing in the "also receiving votes" category, something this Auburn fan thought he'd see the day pigs not only flew but ran for Congress on an "all-natural porcine airlines" subsidies platform ... or something); and Syracuse leapt into the poll at the expense of the Illinois "33 points" Fighting Illini, the two passing ships somehow leaving Florida St. and BYU precisely where they were last week.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

There was a kind of unified theme to the thoughts of BlogPoll voters this week, and to borrow a phrase from the esteemed John Gasaway , it was this: Filling out the bottom half of this week's ballot was an exercise in Edvard Munch-level horror. Rush the Court put their frustration simply: I feel like it’s easy to classify them into groups, but hard to differentiate within those groups outside of the top 10. Seconded. Ballin' is a Habit went into more detail : Outside of the top 10-12 teams, I have absolutely no faith in anyone. A team like Missouri or Florida State should not be ranked in the top 15, but who am I going to slide up in front of them? Clemson? They were swept by the 'Noles this year. Xavier? They looked underwhelming this year is a mediocre Atlantic 10. Gonzaga? Please.

That has been the hardest part about doing this poll week in and week out. It isn't working through the top of the poll, because there really isn't all that much discussion to be had at the top. Pitt has to be ranked #1 right now. Louisville and UNC have to be #2 and #3 as they won the two toughest conferences in the game ...

Going through those teams is much easier than trying to decide who, out of a group of about 30 or so teams that are all so similar, deserves to be ranked in the top 15 and who doesn't deserve to be ranked at all.

Not surprisingly, there was some sentiment for just junking the bottom half of the ballot and replacing the usual suspects hanging out in those parts entirely, as at Robert Morris blog Colonials Corner : The strongest urge that was resisted in putting together this week's poll was to dump all of the likely at-large bid major conference teams for all of the mid-major conference champions. Seriously, does anyone want to go to the NCAA Tournament? Does anyone want to win a basketball game in March? I'd rather drop in Northern Iowa, American, Robert Morris, Binghamton, you name it. At least they're proving that they want to dance. The problem is that a lot of mid-majors have made it difficult to justify slotting them into the poll, with Creighton the latest example after their no-show against Illinois St. ruined what would have been an excellent shot at jumping into the poll had they won the Valley. Which is why, even after expressing his discontent with the high-major picture, CC ended up voting for just the same four non-BCS teams that are in the final poll above.

The guess here is that the lack of available options has a lot to do with some of the, ahem, curious voting patterns in the back half of the poll. For instance, Marquette is now two weeks removed from losing their starting senior point guard for the season and have since lost four straight games, the latest coming at home to a similarly-profiled Syracuse team. As a result of all those losses and the now-obviously devastating loss of Dominic James, they've slipped ... all of six spots in two weeks. We are a forgiving lot, as it turns out.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest stdev

# Team StdDev
1 Louisiana St. 4.6
2 Clemson 4.5
3 Butler 4.4
4 Arizona St. 4.2
5 Marquette 3.9

Gonzaga's slow upward slide into the consensus 10-15 range has removed them from the standard deviation table entirely and left the field to--Butler excepted--power-conference teams whose wild mood swings over the past few weeks have left voters a little befuddled on where to leave them. Leading the way this week is LSU, whose swift rise to a 13-1 conference record and an outright SEC title was followed this week by the aforementioned swift fall back to 13-3.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Making the Dance Illinois 3.56
2 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 3.23
3 The Daily Gopher Minnesota 3.15
4 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 3.04
5 Oread Boom Kings Kansas 2.78

In a relatively quiet week on the boldness front, the ballot of Making the Dance doesn't have much that jumps out as you as all that off-the-wall: Oklahoma No. 2 (8 spots in front of Kansas?) and LSU No. 11 seem a little on the high side, Big East champion Louisville No. 9 and Gonzaga No. 22 a little on the low side. Nothing egregious, but it's enough to claim Week 5's Mr. Bold just in front of the weekly contenders at 3SiB .

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Rocky Top Talk Tennessee 1.28
2 Barking Carnival Texas 1.47
3 Rush the Court Youngstown St. 1.49
4 Friarblog Providence 1.53
5 Hammer & Rails Purdue 1.54

The Tennessee fans at Rocky Top Talk take home this week's Mr. Numb Existence for submitting the ballot most closely aligned with the final poll at-large. RTT is flying in the face of the example set by their team, who by losing on a 30-foot buzzer beater at home to SEC West also-ran Alabama continued a roller-coaster season that has been the polar opposite of "numb existence."

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 4.79
2 Making the Dance Illinois 4.24
3 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 1.61
4 Oread Boom Kings Kansas 1.53
5 Flyers Fieldhouse Dayton 0.95

Ist it possible to jinx a jinx? Last week in this space I touted the dire power of the CK Award and boldy warned of a bad week on the court for I Bleed Blue and White -affiliated Villanova, only for the Wildcats to curb-stomp Notre Dame in South Bend and coast to a double-digit victory over Providence. Maybe by presuming to be so confident in the CKA's cursing abilities, the curse cursed me by cursing the "runner-up" team in last week's poll, Inside Creighton Hoops 's Bluejays, instead? This week, I'd say both 'Nova and second-place Illinois will need to watch their backs.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 Hammer & Rails Purdue -3.58
2 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas -0.47
3 Ballin' is a Habit Connecticut -0.37
4 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. -0.34
5 Barking Carnival Texas -0.24

Everybody welcome BlogPoll newcomer Hammer & Rails ! Now, everyone take a moment to chuckle at H&R's worry that including their Boilermakers at the very tail end of their ballot opens them up to charges of homerism, when in fact it's just won them the week's award for the most prominent piece of anti -homerism. And so irony continues to rule the world with an iron(ic) fist.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team   Swing
1 March To Madness San Diego St. 106
2 The Daily Gopher Minnesota 100
3 Around the Harbor Maryland 98
4 Tar Heel Fan North Carolina 86
5 Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 84

This is the second straight win for March to Madness in the Mr. Manic-Depressive category, but this week our resident Aztec fan isn't so much manic-depressive as merely willing to react to on-court events in a week where many voters held their ground. The biggest drop on their ballot belongs to LSU, who went from No. 12 to out--harsh, but fair in my opinion, given that we're talking about two blowout losses to teams outside current NCAA projections. Arizona St. up 11 is a little extreme in a week in which ASU lost to Stanford at home, but this is still the lowest total to win Mr. Manic-Depressive in our four weeks of "competition."

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Flyers Fieldhouse Dayton 36
2 A Sea of Blue Kentucky 54
3 The East Coast Bias St. John's 54
4 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 54
5 Black and Green ND Basketball Notre Dame 54

In posting his ballot for Week 4, Flyers Fieldhouse said he expected to walk away with the Manic-Depressive Award. Here's that irony thing again: FF did manage to win one of the swing awards this week, but it's Mr. Stubborn instead after no team on his ballot shifted either up or down more than two spots. However, every team on FF's ballot but three moved at least a little, so it's not like we're talking about a Week 4 rerun here or anything.

And that, folks, is Week 5. Check in next week right here for our final poll before the Big Dance.

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
Posted on: March 2, 2009 2:29 pm
 

College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown, Week "4"

It speaks to the delightful insanity of the late college hoops season that this past week was a relatively sane one as far as these things go--heavyweights like UConn, Memphis, Duke, Louisville, and Michigan St. all faced strenuous road tests and all came out clean on the other side.

Of course, this is the late college hoops season, so of course we also got No. 1 Pitt going down at Providence, Arizona St. losing to Wazzu at the buzzer, LSU walking out of Rupp with a win after a last-gasp Tasmin Mitchell three ... so we are talking "sane" for  given level of "sane" here.

When the dust settled, your BlogPoll voters voted and came away with this:

BlogPoll Week 4

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta
1 Connecticut (32) 24.6 0.7 1
2 North Carolina (4) 23.0 1.4 2
3 Pittsburgh (2) 22.7 1.3 2
4 Memphis (3) 21.8 2.2 1
5 Oklahoma (1) 21.1 2.0 2
6 Louisville 20.4 1.6 --
7 Duke 18.3 3.1 --
8 Michigan St. 17.9 1.6 1
9 Kansas 16.7 2.8 6
10 Wake Forest 14.1 3.2 4
11 Villanova 12.6 3.7 1
12 Missouri 12.1 3.5 4
13 Gonzaga 11.4 4.2 3
14 Marquette 10.9 3.8 3
15 Louisiana St. 9.5 4.2 6
16 Washington 9.1 4.1 3
17 Clemson 8.6 4.4 5
18 UCLA 8.2 4.4 2
19 Purdue 8.0 3.6 2
20 Arizona St. 7.1 4.1 7
21 Xavier 7.0 3.8 1
22 Butler 5.0 4.9 2
23 Illinois 4.1 3.6 5
24 Florida St. 3.8 4.0 2
25 Brigham Young 1.8 3.4 1


Also Receiving Votes: West Virginia(1.7), Syracuse(0.8), Creighton(0.5), Utah(0.4), Dayton(0.4), Utah St.(0.3), Texas(0.2), Davidson(0.1), Niagara(0.1), St. Mary's(0.1), Siena(0.1), Miami FL(0.1), California(0.1), Boston College(0.0), Minnesota(0.0), Providence(0.0), Oklahoma St.(0.0), Wisconsin(0.0), South Carolina(0.0), Tennessee(0.0), Arizona(0.0), New Mexico(0.0), Rhode Island(0.0),

Total Ballots: 42

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

UConn retakes the top spot with a plurality of voters, Kansas and LSU are your big movers after their huge wins over Missouri and Kentucky, respectively, and Clemson and Arizona St. take it in the shorts after their collective 0-4 week. At the bottom of the poll, Cincinnati victims and computer darlings West Virginia make way for Clemson-dispatchers Florida St. and new Mountain West hotness BYU.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

First order of business: Who's No. 1? Pitt's loss at Providence opened the question up yet again, with five different teams cited by our pollsters as the answer. Even with 32 voters siding with UConn, there didn't seem to be a lot of vocal support for the Huskies. Many voters (yours truly included) may have agreed with Robert Morris blog Colonials Corner that UConn isn't so much a dominant No. 1 as the team that made us "least queasy" to see at the top of our ballots.

Elsewhere, though, there were some compelling arguments against the Huskies. Rocky Top Talk says: I'm highly opposed to dropping Pitt back behind UConn despite their loss to Providence this week, being that they just beat the Huskies on the road by eight points two weeks ago. Well, yeah, there is that one little thing, I guess. East Coast Bias keeps the Huskies out of the top spot for more aesthetic reasons: I watch U Conn and I really think they lack that ability to crush hearts. Perhaps I am trying to envision them as the Khalid El-Amin/ Rip Hamilton/ Jake Voskuhl Huskies or the Caron Butler/ Emeka Okafor (was Ben Gordon on that squad?) Huskies and I see the Josh Boone/ Marcus Williams/ Rudy Gay Huskies. To quote Eminem, “your style is like dying in my sleep/ I don’t feel it.” The problem with keeping UConn our of the top spot is ... who do you replace them with? While a handful of voters resisted Memphis due to their C-USA ties and early-season struggles--I Bleed Blue and White among them--those who did vote for the Tigers brought plenty of ammunition to back their opinions up. Tomahawk Nation : (T)hey have the longest winning streak in the country. They have the best defense in the country. Their only 3 losses in the season were in late November and early December to Xavier, Georgetown and Syracuse.  Since then, they have beaten Cincinnati, UAB, Gonzaga, Tennessee, Tulsa...as well as everyone else they have played. Next up, Maize N' Brew : Yes, I have Memphis ranked #1 because, uh, who else should it be?  They've won 20 in a row, rock a #1 KenPom rank, and everyone else from a power-conference seems hell-bent on losing a head scratcher. Of course, this is where the "Conference USA" thing comes in: full credit to Memphis for obliterating C-USA and leaving nothing but skidmarks and confetti in their wake, but head-scratchers are a lot easier to avoid when your "easy" road trips are to dead zones like Southern Miss and SMU instead of Providence or Maryland. Is there an easy answer to this kind of voting conundrum? No, no there is not.

One big question entering this week's poll was how far Marquette would fall after losing not only senior point guard Dominic James and his 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio but back-to-back contests against UConn and Louisville. Not all that far, as it turns out: just three places, for reasons Rush the Court helps explains: I dropped them quite a bit because of the loss of Dominic James , but I came away impressed after watching their loss at Louisville particularly with Jerel McNeal having an awful day. Judging by the rest of the poll, I suspect RTC was not alone in thinking that maybe the Golden Eagles will make this work after all.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest stdev

# Team StdDev
1 Butler 4.9
2 UCLA 4.4
3 Clemson 4.4
4 Louisiana St. 4.2
5 Gonzaga 4.2

Another week, another mid-major on top of the standard deviation chart. The Bulldogs haven't helped confusion on the voters' part by being a tad on the schizophrenic side: the Butler that lost at home to a bad Loyola-Illinois team probably doesn't deserve to be ranked, while the Butler that outlasted a tremendous effort by Cleveland St. last Saturday and won the rugged Horizon outright maybe deserves to land a little higher than 22nd.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Notes From A Basketball Junkie Buffalo 4.67
2 Black Heart Gold Pants Iowa 3.81
3 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 3.18
4 Hoops Marinara Wisconsin 3.14
5 College Hoops Journal Yale 2.98

After a couple busy weeks away from the poll, our resident MAC blogger and mid-major revolutionary the Hoops Junkie returns with Butler and Gonzaga in the top 10 as well as votes for Niagara (quite defensible, if you've seen them play), St. Mary's (pushing it, unless you assume Mills is back as of today), and Davidson (after the Butler debacle? Sorry, not buying). He edges out newcomers and long-time football standbys Black Heart Gold Pants , one of our few Pittsburgh No. 1 voters.

Mr. Numb Existence

# Blog Team   Avg Error
1 Longhorn Road Trip Texas 1.46
2 Rush the Court Youngstown St. 1.50
3 Barking Carnival Texas 1.52
4 Friarblog Providence 1.52
5 Mountainlair West Virginia 1.57

Again? Apparently, what Longhorn Road Trip --now your Mr. Numb Existence two weeks running, with a third-place finish back in Week 1 --does besides watching Texas basketball on those eponymous road trips is communing with the soul and essence of the BlogPoll and the minds of his fellow voters. Or something. Anyways, turning in the ballot closest to the final poll at-large two weeks in a row is quite a feat. It's almost freaky , man.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 4.36
2 Inside Creighton Hoops Creighton 2.52
3 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas 2.26
4 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 2.21
5 The Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga 1.64

I'm frankly not sure how 'Nova only managed to drop just one spot after squeaking past a truly abymsal DePaul squad and coughing up one at home to Georgetown this week, but aforementioned Wildcat blog I Bleed and Blue and White is one place to start. The 'Cats dropped a single place to ninth on IBBW's ballot, making them one of only four voters to keep 'Nova that high and earning this week's CK Award. Maybe IBBW should have picked a week when his team wasn't about to play a desperate Notre Dame team on the road? Any debate as to whether the award would wax as wroth on the nation's hoops teams as it did football teams ended this past week, as Week 3 "winner" Marquette not only went 0-2 but lost James for the season. Do not mess with the CK Award.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# Blog Team   Bias
1 Mountainlair West Virginia -1.71
2 Cracked Sidewalks Marquette -0.86
3 Bizarro Joe Lunardi Creighton -0.48
4 Longhorn Road Trip Texas -0.24
5 Barking Carnival Texas -0.24

As has happened a few times during the hoops BlogPoll's initial run, our Straight Bangin' Award winner isn't someone who's voting his own team conspicuously low so much as it is a voter voting their own team appropriately, combined with a random small handful of other voters bumping them up a few notches. So rest easy, Mountainlair : not ranking a team that didn't even make the final poll isn't exactly a crime.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# Blog Team   Swing
1 March To Madness San Diego St. 174
2 UM Hoops Michigan 130
3 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 122
4 Rocky Top Talk Tennessee 118
5 BC Interruption Boston College 110

Whoopsie: March to Madness accidentally voted Michigan rather than Michigan St. No. 8 in their Week 3 ballot, and when you drop your No. 8 team out of your ballot entirely the following week you tend to rack up the swing points. We do strive for accuracy here at the BlogPoll, but I think we can also forgive March to Madness this one particular mistake, seeing as it came on the heels of his SDSU Aztecs' 26-point horse-whipping at the hands of New Mexico. I think any of us would be a little unsteady after that.

Mr. Stubborn

# Blog Team   Swing
1 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 46
2 Longhorn Road Trip Texas 48
3 Maize 'n' Brew Michigan 52
4 From Old Virginia Virginia 58
5 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 60

Tomahawk Nation uses "the average score of (his) personal poll, Ken Pomeroy, and the two major polls" as a starting point for his ballot, so perhaps it's all that pulling towards the median that results in the least-altered ballot in the poll? Some reactions seem reasonable--Arizona St. down four, Clemson down five, Florida St. up three--but what's with Marquette and Villanova moving up one? Missouri up two? LSU only up two after clinching the SEC outright? Nothing way out of line, but it's still a fairly funky ballot.

And that's all for this week. We'll be back next Monday, knee-deep in the bliss of Championship Week and countin' down the hours 'til Selection Sunday. See you then.

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

 

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
Posted on: February 23, 2009 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2009 2:17 pm
 

College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown, Week "3"

"Nobody said it was easy / No one ever said it would be this hard."   --Coldplay


Contrary to public opinion, what Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow was actually singing about in the above lyric wasn't love or relationships or any of that silly piffle. No, he was talking about the very serious business of trying to fill out a college basketball BlogPoll ballot after a week in which a full third of last week's poll dropped at least one contest ... only for several of the would-be new entrants to suffer their own pratfalls.


But because we take our jobs seriously here at the BlogPoll, we muddled through somehow, and this is what we collectively came up with in Week 3:

BlogPoll Week 3

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta

1 Pittsburgh (36) 25.0 0.2 3

2 Connecticut 23.5 1.0 1

3 Oklahoma (1) 22.2 1.5 --

4 North Carolina 21.6 1.6 2

5 Memphis 21.3 1.8 --

6 Louisville 18.9 2.5 1

7 Duke 17.0 3.0 2

8 Missouri 16.9 2.6 2

9 Michigan St. 16.1 3.5 3

10 Villanova 15.3 3.3 1

11 Marquette 14.8 3.6 2

12 Clemson 14.4 3.5 --

13 Arizona St. 13.3 3.1 1

14 Wake Forest 12.8 3.0 6

15 Kansas 12.1 3.7 --

16 Gonzaga 9.5 4.1 3

17 Purdue 8.9 3.4 3

18 Illinois 5.9 3.3 2

19 Washington 5.6 3.4 2

20 UCLA 5.4 3.1 2

21 Louisiana St. 4.9 3.1 2

22 Xavier 4.0 3.2 5

23 West Virginia 3.2 3.9 3

24 Butler 2.9 3.4 2

25 Texas 2.1 2.7 1


Also Receiving Votes: Florida St.(2.1), Utah(1.4), Dayton(0.6), Arizona(0.5), Michigan(0.5), Syracuse(0.5), Brigham Young(0.5), California(0.4), Utah St.(0.3), Siena(0.2), St. Mary's(0.1), South Carolina(0.1), Creighton(0.1), Wisconsin(0.1), Davidson(0.0), Ohio St.(0.0),

Total Ballots: 37

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

Not surprisingly, there's a new No. 1 at the top of the poll after Pitt took down previous top dog Connecticut on the Huskies' home court. Your sole dissenter is the College Hoops Journal , who looked at Blake Griffin's second-half absence and the inhospitable conditions in Austin and waved off the Sooners loss with the vigor and relish of Ed Hightower telling us the foul came before the shot. Also worth noting: LSU is now not only the only SEC team in the poll, they're one of only two SEC teams to even receive a vote , and the Big East now hogs five slots in the top 11.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

It's a shame, really. BracketBusters weekend is supposed to be a celebration of all things mid-major, an opportunity for mid-majordom's leading lights to impress the college basketball populace with big, impressive victories on their all-too-brief national stage. As you can see, it didn't work out that way in 2009, as coming off of their road disemboweling of Davidson the Butler Bulldogs saw their poll position ... drop two spots, thanks to their ill-advised two-game losing streak entering BracketBusters. Elsewhere, Dayton's toast after losing at Saint Louis, Utah St.'s an afterthought in the wake of a road defeat at Patty Mills-less St. Mary's, and don't even bother asking about Davidson, thanks. From Old Virginia explains: I really really really wanted to include teams like Dayton, Butler, and Siena. Mid-majors definitely got the shaft this week. But it's impossible to ignore the absurdly low formula rankings of teams like Dayton and Siena, and more importantly it's also tough to ignore that Butler and Dayton suffered some bad losses this week. Elsewhere, Friarblog says what I think just about everyone was thinking: Hey other BlogPoll voters….raise your hand if you considered dropping out Illinois completely out of your poll for the sole fact that they only scored 33 points in their loss to Penn State.
There's your call, and I Bleed Blue and White has your response: Illinois , you are gone. Probably forever. 33 points in the entire game ? Good Lord.
As you can see, the Illini did enough in the win yesterday at Ohio St. to keep too many people from applying what we might call the Rule of 33, but I don't think they'd want to take their chances again.

One other development worth noting: Memphis, your new Pomeroy No. 1 , is coming close to breaking up the three-week hegemony of Pitt, UConn, UNC, and Oklahoma in the poll's top four spots. As a Tennessee fan, The BruceBall Blog doesn't want to give the Tigers their props (and his No. 3 slot), but feels he has no choice: I hate how much Memphis has had to climb my ballot, but quite simply nobody has been playing better basketball lately. Only their lack of challenges in-conference is holding them back, and if the teams around them keep stumbling there’s no doubt the Tigers will be a #1 seed again.
The weakness of C-USA means the current top four certainly have first dibs, but BruceBall's correct that Memphis is probably first in line should one of those four stumble out of a top seed.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest StdDev

# / Team / StdDev

1 Gonzaga 4.1

2 West Virginia 3.9

3 Kansas 3.7

4 Marquette 3.6

5 Clemson 3.5

If you'd asked before we started this whole BlogPollin' exercise which teams would be most likely to spur disagreement, I'd have told you mid-majors who dominate their conference and teams whose computer rankings far outweigh the strength of their resume. As Gonzaga fits both those categories to a T, it's not surprising they've been our standard deviation champs for two weeks running now.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

# / Blog / Team / Avg Error

1 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 3.23

2 Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 3.11

3 March To Madness San Diego St. 2.98

4 Inside Creighton Hoops Creighton 2.98

5 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas 2.90

3SiB , as the kids call it, is a one-stop Alabama-Tennessee blog who you wouldn't think would put much trust in those yankeefied Big East teams. You would, however, be so totally wrong. 3SiB not only gives Pitt and UConn the top two slots, but Villanova, Marquette, and Louisville the 4, 5, and 6 spots, making Memphis (what is it with Tennessee bloggers and Calipari's bunch?) the only non-Big East team in their top six. Voila: this week's Mr. Bold award.

Mr. Numb Existence

# / Blog / Team / Avg Error

1 Longhorn Road Trip Texas 0.96

2 Flyers Fieldhouse Dayton 1.21

3 Friarblog Providence 1.42

4 Card Chronicle Louisville 1.44

5 From the Barn Minnesota 1.53

Fair to say no team had a more schizophrenic week than the Texas Longhorns, who lost by 15 to Mark Turgeon's wheezing Texas A&M side before handing Oklahoma their first Big 12 loss in front of the ESPN Gameday circus. Maybe if you those two extremes cancel each other out, you come to some sort of perfectly balanced zen center? This would explain the ballot of Longhorn Road Trip , who this week came closer than anyone to the actual final poll results and wins Week 3's Mr. Numb Existence honor.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

# / Blog / Team / Bias

1 Cracked Sidewalks Marquette 3.19

2 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 2.86

3 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 2.70

4 Tar Heel Fan North Carolina 1.41

5 Card Chronicle Louisville 1.11

You can't fault Marquette blog Cracked Sidewalks too much for voting their beloved Golden Eagles eighth , not when several other bloggers had them just as high or higher and MU is--after all--23-4 overall, 12-2 in the Big East, and coming off of an impressive road win over a truly desperate Georgetown squad. Nonetheless, eighth is enough to hand Cracked Sidewalks this week's CK Award, and fair or not it probably wasn't the best week to tempt karma: Marquette has a home date with UConn and a trip to Louisville on tap between now and next week's poll.

The Straight Bangin' Award

# / Blog / Team / Bias

1 Longhorn Road Trip Texas -1.14

2 Ballin' is a Habit Connecticut -0.51

3 Maize 'n' Brew Michigan -0.49

4 UM Hoops Michigan -0.49

5 Inside Creighton Hoops Creighton -0.05

As with this week's CK Award winner, the aforementioned Longhorn Road Trip 's vote of Texas No. 25 isn't so much irrational voting pattern as statistical quirk--1.14 is a pretty small anti-bias total as these things go--but in the wake of the massive victory over the Sooners, a little more exuberance certainly would have been excused. Maybe even welcome.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

# / Blog / Team / Swing

1 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 114

2 Maize 'n' Brew Michigan 102

3 UM Hoops Michigan 96

4 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 94

5 From the Barn Minnesota 90

In addition to the huge bumps for Big East teams described above, 3SiB also goes in for huge drops for Oklahoma and North Carolina and joins those punishing the Big 10 for its low-scoring ways. Hello, Mr. Manic-Depressive. Also, given that Michigan's season has run the gamut from surprising Duke and UCLA to yesterday's crushing overtime defeat at undermanned Iowa, it's not surprising to see a couple of Wolverine bloggers pop up in this category.

Mr. Stubborn

# / Blog / Team / Swing

1 CougCenter Washington St. 32

2 The Hoosier Report Indiana 52

3 College Hoops Journal Yale 54

4 GMU Hoops George Mason 56

5 A Sea of Blue Kentucky 56

The Washington St. fans at CougCenter must have still been basking in the benevolent, forgiving glow of the Cougs' upset of UCLA when they filled out their ballot . No one suffered more than a four-slot drop, including Wazzu's fellow conferencemates at Pauley Pavilion, just one spot down despite, well, losing to Washington St. at home. If there's some acts of charity going on in CougCenter's ballot, there's a little stinginess as well--no move forward for Villanova after their win in the Carrier Dome? Nothing too egregious here, but nonetheless this is your Week 3 Mr. Stubborn.

Remember to click the "Votes by blog here " link for a list of all our wonderful participating blogs or any of the green check marks above for the ballot in question. See you next week.

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
Posted on: February 16, 2009 2:27 pm
 

College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown, Week "2"

So far, so good.


In Week 1 of the CBSsports.com college basketball BlogPoll, voters advised buying low on Missouri , who went on to hand Kansas their first Big 12 loss; Villanova , who dispatched of higher-ranked Marquette with the proverbial authoritah ; and Arizona St. (21 BlogPoll, 24/23 AP/Coaches), who swept UCLA and USC to thrust themselves firmly into the Pac-10 title race. Of course, BlogPoll voters were also slightly higher on UCLA than the mainstream polls ... but you can't win 'em all.


This week's results look like so:

BlogPoll Week 2

Rank Team PPB StdDev Delta

1 Connecticut (32) 24.9 0.4 --

2 North Carolina (2) 23.5 0.6 1

3 Oklahoma (2) 23.3 1.1 1

4 Pittsburgh 22.3 0.6 --

5 Memphis 19.8 1.7 3

6 Michigan St. 19.6 1.7 5

7 Louisville 17.0 3.1 1

8 Wake Forest 1

9 Duke 15.5 4.0 4

10 Missouri 14.5 2.9 7

11 Villanova 13.8 3.7 3

12 Clemson 13.6 4.0 3

13 Marquette 3

14 Arizona St. 11.9 4.1 7

15 Kansas 10.2 4.6 1

16 Illinois 9.0 4.1 3

17 Xavier 8.9 3.5 4

18 UCLA 7.8 4.6 6

19 Gonzaga 7.5 5.1 1

20 Purdue 6.1 4.3 --

21 Butler 5.3 4.4 6

22 Washington 5.1 3.4 1

23 Louisiana St. 2.4 3.4 3

24 Dayton 2.3 3.7 2

25 West Virginia 1.8 4.0 1

Also Receiving Votes: Utah St.(1.7), Syracuse(1.6), California(1.1), Brigham Young(0.8), Ohio St.(0.8), Texas(0.8), Utah(0.7), Arizona(0.5), Florida St.(0.5), South Carolina(0.3), Davidson(0.3), Minnesota(0.2), Arkansas(0.1), Boston College(0.1), Miami FL(0.1), Notre Dame(0.0), Siena(0.0), Kentucky(0.0), Wisconsin(0.0),

Total Ballots: 36

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

Widespread losses in the 5-to-15 range led to some big jumps for the teams who escaped the week unscathed. Michigan St. rises five spots, Memphis three, Missouri seven, and Arizona St. seven. The week was much less kind to the reeling ACC triumvirate of Duke, Wake Forest, and Clemson, all of which drop at least one slot, and to mid-majors in general; Dayton used their big home win over Xavier to springboard into the poll, but the Musketeers slipped four spots while Butler's embarrrassing home defeat to Loyala-Chicago costs them six spots and Utah St. leaves the poll after falling at Boise St.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

The sudden descent of the SEC into glorified Atlantic-10dom has, without question, been one of the stories of the college basketball season. (Actually, "glorified Atlantic-10dom" may be overly generous, if Xavier's 10-point win in Baton Rouge is any indication). But after being shut out of the inaugural edition of the BlogPoll, the SEC sneaks into the nether regions of this week's poll on the strength of LSU's overtime win at Mississippi St. and a home victory over Ole Miss.

Tennessee blog Rocky Top Talk thinks this is only fair: LSU is for real, kids. The Tigers won a double overtime war against Mississippi State in a week where they moved to 9-1 in conference and continued to put a stranglehold on the rest of the SEC. Don't forget that some of these kids were on the team that played in the 2006 Final Four.

But a lot of bloggers from the rest of the country aren't so sure. Spartans Weblog notes that "there aren’t as many opportunities to pick up quality wins" in the SEC as in other conferences, so they remain skeptical. Villanova blog I Bleed Blue and White is more blunt: As for LSU, they’re out because their conference is awful. Just be happy you have football SEC guys.

Sadly, most of the Interwebs' SEC guys probably missed this taunt while they were busy looking up their team's 2010 football recruits' status on Facebook. Frankly, at this point the conference--and its collective one team in the Pomeory ratings' top-30 , wobbly Kentucky--should be approached much as we would approach a mid-major league; LSU's dominance deserves some kind of recognition, but exactly how much is going to have to be left in the eye of the beholder until the league can right itself.

While there's some consensus that UConn, Pitt, Louisville, and now Villanova have formed the upper crust in the Big East, there's some pretty serious debate going on as to what to do with Marquette and West Virginia. The former has a gaudy 10-2 Big East record but has yet to even play (much less defeat) the Huskies, Panthers, or Cards, leading Boston College blog BC Interruption to write: I watched the Golden Eagles fall apart on the road against South Florida on TV last Friday, and then Marquette got blown out on the road vs. Villanova. Marquette has an extremely backloaded Big East schedule and they may tumble down the stretch.

They rank MU 22nd. As for West Virginia, the Mountaineers have the fervent blessing of the computers and are ranked as high as 10th by one BlogPoll voter, but From Old Virginia says they're not sold on the Huggy Bunch just yet: (A)ll three rankings systems have West Virginia jacked up pretty high - Pomeroy has them 6th - but their resume consists mainly of beating Villanova at home, two other ranked teams (OSU and Georgetown) that got bumped from [the ballot] for the same reason (shaky records) and a lot of losses to good teams. That's way more bubblicious than their computer rankings say.

It's worth noting that WVU's Big East schedule -to-date has been murderous: four games total against UConn, Pitt, and Louisville to go with roadies at Syracuse, Georgetown, and Marquette. My personal guess? As these two teams' schedules even out a bit, they'll start to look a lot more similar resume-wise.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest stdev #

Team StdDev

1 Gonzaga 5.1

2 UCLA 4.6

3 Kansas 4.6

4 Butler 4.4

5 Marquette 4.3

Thanks to their usual rugged nonconference slate, the Zags' computer rankings are holding up. But their performance in their last three games--a blowout home loss to Memphis and wheezes past a Patty Mills-less St. Mary's and San Francisco--aren't exactly confidence-inspiring. Trying to balance the non-league Gonzaga that took UConn to overtime and beat Tennessee twice with the current edition isn't easy, and thus the widespread disagreement about what to do with them.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

#BlogTeam Avg Error

1 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas 4.28

2 The Aggie Hoops Report Texas A&M 3.54

3 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 3.53

4 Gate 21 Tennessee 3.41

5 Colonials Corner Robert Morris 3.22

Kansas's Rock Chalk Talk takes an aggressively KenPom and Sagarin-centric approach, leading to votes like the aforementioned West Virginia No. 10, Arizona St. No. 8, Brigham Young No. 14, etc. It makes sense by the numbers, mostly, but even I have to wonder a little bit at the level of love for BYU--even the computers don't have the Cougars quite that high, and we are talking about a 19-5 Mountain West team whose best win is either Utah St. or San Diego St.

Mr. Numb Existence

#BlogTeam Avg Error

1 Card Chronicle Louisville 1.40

2 Flyers Fieldhouse Dayton 1.54

3 Friarblog Providence 1.56

4 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 1.59

5 Inside the Hall Indiana 1.64

Last week a Notre Dame blogger took home Mr. Numb Existence. So it's only fitting that after the Irish finally woke themselves up by pounding a Louisville team that looked like it was playing through its own round of Novocaine shots, this week's award passes to go-to Cardinals blog Card Chronicle for their efforts in most-perfectly mimicing the final poll at-large.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

#BlogTeam Bias

1 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas 4.83

2 House of Sparky Arizona St. 4.11

3 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 2.22

4 Card Chronicle Louisville 2.03

5 Making the Dance Illinois 1.97

In its first week of action, the basketball edition of the CK Award proved just as ill an omen as the football version. MAC leaders Buffalo saw its nine-game winning streak come to an end at 11-12 Ball St. , just as we warned last week. But it probably won't become a two-week streak; Rock Chalk Talk 's not exactly tempting fate by ranking the Jayhawks 11th--five different voters have them higher --and even the evils of the CK Award probably can't bring about a home loss to Iowa St. or Nebraska. Probably.

The Straight Bangin' Award

#BlogTeam Bias

1 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. -0.47

2 From the Barn Minnesota -0.17

3 RazorBloggers Arkansas -0.14

4 A Sea of Blue Kentucky -0.03

5 Hoops Marinara Wisconsin -0.03

Despite the struggles of so many high-profile teams last week, there wasn't much irrational self-flagellation in this week's poll. Florida St. blog Tomahawk Nation receives the SBA for leaving the 'Noles out of their ballot, but as the less-than-1 number on the right suggests, it's a decision that makes sense. Nothing to see here, move along.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

Mr. Manic-Depressive

#BlogTeam Swing

1 Maize 'n' Brew Michigan 164

2 3rd Saturday in Blogtober Tennessee 146

3 Gate 21 Tennessee 136

4 College Hoops Journal Yale 128

5 From Old Virginia Virginia 126

In Week 1 , Michigan blog Maize n' Brew ranked Kansas No. 18 and Missouri not at all. This week , the Jayhakws are No. 8 and the Tigers No. 9. Combine with other results like Wake Forest down 10 and Syracuse up 9 (maybe that home win over Georgetown in overtime was more impressive thn I thought) and you have a well-deserving Mr. Manic-Depressive winner.

Mr. Stubborn

#BlogTeam Swing

1 The East Coast Bias St. John's 28

2 A Sea of Blue Kentucky 66

3 Flyers Fieldhouse Dayton 66

4 Joe Cribbs Car Wash Auburn 68

5 Spartans Weblog Michigan St. 68

On the other side of the Spectrum, St. John's blog East Coast Bias left his top eight--including all three of Duke, Wake, and Clemson--unchanged. To his credit, he explains that he doesn't yet feel comfortable with any of the teams who would take the Blue Devils' or Deomon Deacons' places ... but when we're talking about one team that hasn't won in regulation in two weeks and another that hasn't won on the road since Jan. 17 despite shots at two of the ACC's worst three teams, it's time for a shake-up.

See you next week. 

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
Posted on: February 9, 2009 2:25 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2009 3:54 pm
 

College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown, Week "1"

Hello, and welcome to the inaugural edition of the CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll! The BlogPoll is exactly what you'd expect a "BlogPoll" to be: a top 25 as voted on the Internet's best and brightest college basketball bloggers, rather than coaches or media. We're getting off to a late start this season, but the good news is that much of the good stuff is still ahead of us.

Your first poll reads like so:

BlogPoll Week 1

 

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

 

Also Receiving Votes: Texas(1.8), Minnesota(1.4), Florida St.(1.4), West Virginia(1.0), Louisiana St.(1.0), Davidson(0.8), Dayton(0.8), Florida(0.6), Brigham Young(0.5), Utah(0.4), California(0.4), San Diego St.(0.3), Miami FL(0.3), North Dakota St.(0.1), Northern Iowa(0.1), East Tennessee St.(0.1), St. Mary's(0.1), Buffalo(0.1), Kansas St.(0.0), Virginia Military Inst(0.0), Southern California(0.0), Siena(0.0), South Carolina(0.0), Arkansas Little Rock(0.0),

Total Ballots: 47

Votes by blog here , votes by team here .

Over the next several weeks you can expect to see some big differences of opinion betwen our poll and the traditional polls , and not just because (as you can see by the "points-per-ballot" listed above) our irregular number of voters means that teams are ranked according to their average ballot position rather than by total points. For starters, one of the frequent complaints of the traditional polls is that they're sometimes slow to react to on-the-court results; I'd like to think that the much narrower margin between Marquette and Villanova in the BlogPoll is due to our voters having noticed that while the Golden Eagles were busy losing to woeful South Florida this weekend, 'Nova was beating the pants off of Syracuse .

But the differences are likely to run much deeper than that. Many of our voters, when asked, explained that they're going to be paying close attention to computer rankings like those issued by Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin when filling out their ballots. Kansas Jayhawk blog Rock Chalk Talk arrived at their ballot by ... combining the two statistical rankings I think are the best: KenPom and Sagarin . For the most part, the procedure was simple enough. I combined the totals for each relevant team, and the lower the number, the higher you were ranked. Of course, this didn't work out perfectly, and there were a couple of human changes I made. For instance, both Duke and Connecticut tied with 3 points (both were first in one and second in the other), but given their records and their respective weeks (Duke getting plastered and going to OT at home, while Connecticut destroyed L'Ville and beat Michigan), I gave the nod to the Huskies. Of course, not every voter is relying so heavily on numbers: Minnesota blog From the Barn used the AP Poll as a starting point, Michigan St.'s Critical Fanatic is most interest in who's hot "right now," and Tar Heel Fan claims his method past the No. 4 spot involved mascots, noodles, and a wall.

However we arrived at it, the teams this week's BlogPoll favors over the traditional polls are Pitt, Memphis, and most notably Missouri, which doesn't appear in either the AP or coaches versions but checks in at No. 17 above. Teams BlogPoll voters view more skeptically include Purdue and Texas. The Longhorns are No. 16 to the AP and No. 17 to the coaches, but at 4-4 in the Big 12 Texas was left to head the "also receiving votes" category here. Also of note: no SEC team made the BlogPoll's final top 25, with LSU coming the closest.

Wack Ballot Watchdog

This is the section of the weekly BlogPoll breakdown where we examine various polling issues, debates, points-of-emphasis, etc. And why not start at the top? UConn was the overwhelming choice for No. 1, but Ballin' is a Habit --ironically enough, a Connecticut fan--says you ought to take a second look at Oklahoma : The numbers are pretty similar. Oklahoma is third in the RPI, UConn is fourth. The Sooners are 22-1 while the Huskies are 21-1. UConn’s second in the Kenpom rankings while Oklahoma is twelfth. The Sooners are 1-0 against the top 20, 7-0 against 21-50, and 7-1 against 51-100. UConn is 3-0, 5-1, and 4-0. Pretty even right? So what it comes down to is who do I believe is the better team ... As good as the Huskies looked against Louisville, I still believe this team is really going to struggle when they go up against teams that have a big man that can step out and play the perimeter. 

 

For a lot of voters, that No. 12 ranking from KenPom is something of a deal-breaker, but it's hard to take too much issue with a 15-1 record against the RPI top 100. Another issue confronted by voters was how to deal with the logjam at the top of the ACC. UNC is the consensus lead dog at this point, but sorting out Duke, Clemson, and Wake Forest is trickier, even if (as FriarBlog does ) you simplify the Duke-Clemson issue via the Tigers' emphatic head-to-head win last week. Dayton's Flyers Fieldhouse on the conundrum: Wake Forest has beaten Duke and went on the road and took down Ollie's boys. Points awarded. However, they're trending badly in the last few weeks and have lost three of five. Points deducted. Clemson absolutely pasted Duke this past week, but lost to a pretty meh Florida State team at home. Duke was beaten by both Wake and Clemson, but the way they've won everywhere else is pretty convincing. They're not just winning, but marching through the streets setting fire to everything that can't be brought with them. I suspect Wake is the best of the three, but I have to go with Duke, even if I'm only 51% inclined to do so for the time being.

Hopefully, one of the three will play more consistent basketball this week and we'll get some clarity.

Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.

Highest stdev

 

# Team StdDev 1 Missouri 4.8 2 Butler 4.5 3 Utah St. 4.4 4 Purdue 4.1 5 Clemson 4.0

 

Missouri is a kind of acid test for how much faith you put in the computer rankings. The Tigers haven't played either of the Big 12's top teams yet and both their conference losses are to the league's lesser lights, but thanks to several blowout wins over potential NCAA Tournament teams (Cal, USC, Baylor) they're a statistical favorite. With that kind of disconnect between their resume and their computer numbers, it's not surprising to see the wide difference in opinion here.

Ballot Math

First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.

Mr. Bold

 

#BlogTeam Avg Error 1 Tomahawk Nation Florida St. 5.18 2 Notes From A Basketball Junkie Buffalo 4.27 3 From Old Virginia Virginia 3.58 4 March Madness All Season Connecticut 3.49 5 Rock Chalk Talk Kansas 3.20

 

Florida St. blog Tomahawk Nation grabs the "Mr. Bold" baton with a ballot featuing the poll's lone vote for Duke at No. 1, Oklahoma down at No. 7, West Virginia No. 13, and not one but two Mountain West teams in the ballot's lower regions. It's a strange ballot, but there's nothing indefensible viewed through the prism of a fervent belief in the ACC (which TN cops to) and the Pomeroy ratings, which feel even more strongly about the Sooners (thumbs-down) and Mountaineers (thumbs-up) than this.

Mr. Numb Existence

 

#BlogTeam Avg Error 1 Black and Green ND Basketball Notre Dame 1.41 2 Rush the Court Youngstown St. 1.57 3 Longhorn Road Trip Texas 1.57 4 Friarblog Providence 1.58 5 Mountainlair West Virginia 1.74

 

For their efforts in most skillfully approximating the BlogPoll's nascent hivemind--by which I mean, "having the ballot that most closely resembles the final poll at-large"--Notre Dame blog Black and Green wins the poll's first "Mr. Numb Existence" award. This is only too appropriate, since the Irish's seven-game losing streak and plummet from NCAA contention likely mean B&G could use a somewhat number existence at the moment.

Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award , which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your basketball team.

The Coulter/Kos Award

 

#BlogTeam Bias 1 Notes From A Basketball Junkie Buffalo 2.94 2 House of Sparky Arizona St. 2.70 3 I Bleed Blue and White Villanova 2.34 4 The Critical Fanatic Michigan St. 2.02 5 Cracked Sidewalks Marquette 1.79

 

Longtime Buffalo and Mid-American Conference blog Notes from a Basketball Junkie has always approached the mid-major vs. power-conference divide in a style that might best be described as "militant," so it's not surprising to see him top the bias chart with his beloved Bulls currently running roughshod over the MAC. In the football version of the poll, the CK Award frequently foretold dire results for the team of the affiliated blogger, so it'll worth watching Buffalo this week (particularly at Ball State this Sunday) to see if the hoops edition wields the same dark power.

The Straight Bangin' Award

 

#BlogTeam Bias 1 The Slipper Still Fits Gonzaga -6.09 2 Longhorn Road Trip Texas -1.83 3 The Daily Gopher Minnesota -1.43 4 Mountainlair West Virginia -1.00 5 Ballin' is a Habit Connecticut -0.89

 

The Straight Bangin' Award--given for the most biased vote against one's own team--will almost always be the property of a team that's just suffered some brand of humiliating and/or emotionally devastating defeat. So it goes this week: Gonzaga blog The Slipper Still Fits left Zags off their ballot entirely after an ugly home loss to Memphis, a match-up I'm personally referring to as the Too Big for Our Conference's Britches Classic.

Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.

With no ballots last week, there's no swing this week.

And that's it. Remember that you can check out the ballots of any award winner or runners-up by clicking the green check-marks, and be to sure to check the voters' page to take a peek at the work of all our awesome voters. See you next week.

The CBSSports.com College Basketball BlogPoll Breakdown is written by Jerry Hinnen. For questions or comments regarding the poll, contact Jerry at jerry -at- warblogeagle.com.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: blogpoll
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com