Posted on: February 28, 2011 3:32 pm
 

College Basketball Rankings - Week 16

Been a long time since I posted.  Life has gotten in the way.  Here are my rankings, as submitted to The People's Poll


  1. Ohio State - As much as I'd like to put my Jayhawks here, Ohio State has easily the best resume.  More quality wins, all losses are quality road losses.  The only concern is their lack of depth, but if the starters continue to play well, only foul trouble can stop them.
  2. Kansas - They have 3 beasts in the middle, and decent guard play.  Or maybe nobody cares about the guards when they are getting their brains beat in in the paint.  I contemplated putting BYU here instead, since they have more impressive wins, with arguably similar losses, but if I had to pick one in a head-to-head, KU would get the nod there, so they get it here too.
  3. BYU - The Jimmer strikes again!  Runaway POY here at BYU is actually complemented very well by the talent of his teammates.  We actually got to see them shine on Saturday, at least in comparison to what they have usually been doing.
  4. Pitt - A little concerned about the loss of their PG, but they have still played at a high level without him, and he will be back soon.
  5. Purdue - Amazing turnaround from the expectations going into the season.  I haven't gotten many chances to watch, but when I do, I'm very impressed.
  6. Notre Dame - They continue play well in the tough Big East.  Another surprise team that will be dancing long into March.
  7. SDSU - Only losses have come against the Jimmer, even if they were both by 13 points.  Their record on the road for the year is impressive, and they have the physicality to match up with most teams in the country.
  8. Texas - For all the talk about how good their D is, something is wrong when in back to back weeks, you stop playing good D for the first 15 minutes of the second half and then have to try to stage a furious comeback.  And going from 22 up to 11 down shows a lack of focus.  I'll still give them the benefit of the doubt, but if this continues, they could be ending their season early.
  9. Duke - Had them at 5 last week, so this isn't as huge a drop as you might think.  While I applaud the win against Temple, that loss to VT just reinforces my thoughts about the ACC and that Duke really isn't on that top line this year without Irving.
  10. Louisville - Coming on really strong at the end of the year, that was an impressive win. I'd hate to run up against them in the tournament.
  11. Wisconsin - Quietly working their way through the Big 10, I can see an argument for them to be about 3 or 4 spots higher.  The Big 10 tourney is going to be very entertaining, especially if they meet Purdue in the semis.
  12. St Johns - The Johnnies continue to storm up the rankings.  While most of their impressive wins have all come at home, the noticeable advantage for home teams this year means that winning on the road against other top teams is probably not very likely anyway. It doesn't diminish their accomplishments in the least.
  13. Syracuse - Not so sure about this ranking, but they are the only decently ranked team that didn't lose to move up into this spot.  Too many long streaks, both game results and inside the games, for me to feel too comfortable about this team.  They will either go to the Final Four or lose in the first weekend.
  14. Florida - Solid team overall, and while they lost this week, almost everyone below them lost as well.  Hard to drop them down too much.
  15. UConn - The loss to Marquette is not horrible, especially since it is better than most of the other losses that happened around them.  Kemba Walker is still producing, but isn't doing anything spectacular these days.  His POY candidacy is slipping, in both the nation and the Big East.
  16. North Carolina - Coming on strong after falling flat on their face early in the year.  Thought about putting them above Florida, but their wins last week weren't really all that impressive considering how down the ACC is this year.
  17. Vanderbilt - This team is a bit streaky themselves, so I wasn't surprised when they lost to an equally streaky Tennessee team.
  18. Georgetown - What happened?  I understand they are in the Big East, but they had no business losing those two games. It's only the fact it was two decent Big East opponents that prevented them from dropping as much as the Wildcats (both 'Zona and 'Nova).
  19. Xavier - Not necessarily playing the best teams, but the A-10 is still decent overall this year.  Decent wins keep piling up, and this team gets more and more respect.
  20. UNLV - Kind of forgotten behind BYU and SDSU, but UNLV has put up a really good resume.  Having the MWC tournament on their home court can't hurt either.
  21. Belmont - This team gets almost no publicity at all, but they are a very athletic team that could really surprise everyone in March. They may not have a strong enough resume to get in as an at large if they somehow stumble in their conference tournament, but they could easily make a run into the second weekend if they get in.
  22. George Mason - Really good this year, but I don't think people will be as surprised this time if they make a deep run in the tournament.
  23. Kansas State - A little surprised to see them jump back into the rankings, but their overall resume is pretty solid, and they are back in position to get a bye in the Big 12 tournament.  They have really been on a tear recently, other than that last second loss in Colorado a few weeks ago.
  24. Missouri - Started to drop off recently, and I'm still concerned that the only conference road win was at lowly Iowa State.  They can still improve their seeding with a win against Kansas and a strong showing in the relatively friendly Sprint Center, but I'll be concerned if they are shipped halfway across the country for their first game in the tournament.
  25. UCLA - I don't care that it was at home.  Anytime you can take the conference leader out behind the woodshed like that, it is a huge win and resume booster.  Add in good non-conference wins, including BYU, and that is enough for UCLA to crack the Top 25 for the first time this season.
  26. Arizona - They took a huge tumble, because not only did they lose to two Pac-10 teams (although UCLA is pretty good), but they got blown out.  Their lack of real quality wins doesn't help to prop them up at all either.
  27. Temple - Even though it was to Duke, that was an ugly loss, enough to drop them a couple spots and out of the top 25.
  28. Utah State - Still an overall solid team, especially with the win against St. Mary's.  Hopefully they can get through their conference tourney and get a respectable seed.
  29. Texas A&M - Even though they can lock up the 3 seed in the Big 12 with either two wins or a loss by both Kansas State and Missouri this week, they have definitely not impressed these last few weeks.  This isn't necessarily their fault, but barely winning in OT against Colorado at home is their best win in February, and being swept by an inconsistent Baylor team doesn't help their case.
  30. Kentucky - Another team that can't consistently play on the road, they don't appear to have really bought into what Calipari is doing this year, which might be a product of the fact that they essentially get a brand new team every single year.
  31. Villanova - The skid keeps getting worse.  While the competition was better than Arizona's, losing 4 out of 6, with wins against lowly Depaul and Seton Hall by the slimmest of margins, means the trend has been going for a lot longer.
  32. Tennessee - Too inconsistent to get a higher ranking this week, but this team definitely has a chance to get hot during the tournament and send someone home really early.
  33. Colorado - That win at Texas just saved their season.  They went from out of the bubble discussion to squarely on the bubble now.  They may need to win out and get a win or two in the Big 12 tournament, but they have the star power to get it done.
  34. Marquette - First of a trio of Big East teams that really haven't impressed overall, but have done enough to get solid consideration for the tournament.
  35. West Virginia - As mentioned above, teams 34, 35, and 36 are really interchangable.
  36. Cincinnati - Really nothing additional to add here.
  37. Alabama - I'm at a loss trying to find an explanation for including the Tide, other than their gaudy conference record.  I feel dirty doing it, but no one else really jumps out to steal this spot instead.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 3:02 am
 

College Football Top 25 - Week 7

Got about halfway through, then forgot to finish the comments.  Then I forgot to post it altogether.  It is late this week, but here it is before the bulk of the schedule.


This week's rankings are tainted by quite a few bad calls by the refs.  In several cases, teams lost the game directly due to questionable at best calls by the officials.


1. Alabama (0) - Solid win at South Carolina and they keep the top spot.

2. Boise State (+3) - While they weren't necessarily that impressive against Tulsa, they at least had the excuse they were on the road.

3. Texas (+1) - Good neutral win against Oklahoma, but the offense did not look good at all.

4. Florida (-2) - Thoroughly unimpressive win against Arkansas.  They weren't beaten until the refs interfered at the end of the game, with two inexplicable penalties that completely turned the tide.

5. Cincinnati (+2)

6. Miami

7. Georgia Tech

8. TCU

9. Oklahoma State

10. BYU

11. Iowa

12. Virginia Tech

13. LSU

14. USC

15. Oregon

16. Kansas

17. Oklahoma

18. Penn State

19. Houston

20. Utah

21. West Virginia

22. Pittsburgh

23. Central Michigan

24. Ohio State

25. Nebraska

Next 5 (in no particular order):
Boston College
Navy
Idaho
Texas Tech
South Carolina

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 12, 2009 12:25 am
 

College Football Top 25 - Week 6

With only 4 ranked teams losing (7 if include the next five), there was not a lot of movement in the rankings this week.  New #1, and some surprising top 10 teams, including 3 Big 12 teams, and two non-AQ teams. Also, I continued to add to the rankings, giving change from last weeks ranking as well.

1. Alabama (+2) - That was a very impressive win against a decent Mississippi team.  There is nothing that anyone else has done even remotely close to what Alabama has accomplished.

2. Florida (-1) - Not impressed at all with that win.  Defense was pretty good, but the offense was rather sluggish.

3. Virginia Tech (+1) - Impressive win against BC.  That lone loss is looking better and better.

4. Texas (-1) - Nothing about that win was impressive.  They were pretty much stifled by a lackluster Colorado defense.

5. Boise State (+1) - Idle this week, but no one else around them winning impressively enough to jump up past them.

6. Kansas (+3) - Benefitting from losses by the two active teams above them, Kansas moves up with a harder than expected win based on the brilliant performance by Todd Reesing.  Reesing has thrust himself into the Heisman discussion, but still has some work to do to become a serious contender.

7. Cincinnati (0) - No game, no move.

8. Miami (+3) - Even though it was just Florida A&M, this team still looks very good.

9. TCU (+1) - That was an ugly win against Air Force, but a win is a win, so I can't penalize them in this case.

10. Oklahoma State (+2) - Loss to Houston looks a little better now, and tough win against a fairly good A&M team helps jump them into the top 10 this week.

11. LSU (-6) - I know the defense of Florida is fairly good, but they should have been able to score more than 3 points. 

12. Brigham Young (+2) - Impressive win against an overmatched opponent.

13. Oklahoma (0) - Good win, but they were playing against Baylor, who is without their star QB for the entire season.  We'll see how good they are after this week's game against Texas.  Win, and they jump.

14. Oregon (+2) - Good defensive second half to help them jump up in the polls.  They will need that good defensive play to carry them through the rest of this month.

15. USC (0) - Idle, no change.

16. Georgia Tech (+4) - Once again, I am impressed by this team.  While the D needs some work after giving up 44 to Florida State, the offense showed that they clearly are as explosive as any in the country.

17. Ohio State (+1) - Good win against previously unbeaten Wisconsin, causing them to jump over Penn State this week.

18. Penn State (-1) - Expected easy win against a directional school.  Nothing special to justify moving them up.

19. Iowa (0) - Tough win against Michigan, should not have been that hard though.

20. Houston (0) - Back on the right track after that loss to UTEP.  Nothing too impressive about that win though, so they stay pat.

21. Nebraska (+2) - Good road win in conference.  The rain probably had a lot to do with it, but that was an ugly game, with lots of mistakes, so I can't get too excited about it.

22. South Carolina (NR) - Undefeated at this point in the year pretty much assures a spot in the Top 25.

23. Utah (NR) - 3rd Mountain West team in these rankings, showing that this conference is still just as good as ever.

24. South Florida (+1) - Idle this week, moving up because of other losses

25. West Virginia (NR) - Finally a believer in this team.  They still have a tough road through the Big East though.

Next 5 (in no particular order):
Central Michigan
Missouri
Notre Dame
Pittsburgh
Rutgers

New to the rankings this week:
South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia.

Falling out of the rankings this week:
Mississippi (8) - That loss was ugly. U-G-L-Y. Nothing going at all on offense, and those 4 INT's killed any chance they had at a decent bowl this year.
Missouri (22) - That 4th quarter collapse begs the question:  Would the score have been anywhere near as close if it hadn't been raining the first 3 quarters?  Also, what was Gary Pinkel thinking, leaving an obviously-injured Gabbert in the game.
Auburn (23) - Thoroughly embarrassed by Arkansas.  No possible reason to keep them in the rankings.

 

Posted on: October 5, 2009 2:06 am
 

College Football Top 25 - Week 5

Here's my latest top 25.

1. Florida - Being idle this week, and no one below them impressing enough, they get to keep the top spot for now.

2. Texas - Same as above.

3. Alabama - Wasn't impressed enough with their victory to move them ahead of the two idle teams ahead of them, but a good enough win to stay right here.

4. Virginia Tech - Good tough win against Duke. Tyrod Taylor played at the top of his game.

5. LSU -  Good win on the road against Georgia.  Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in such an impressive fashion is enough to move them up one spot in today's poll.

6. Boise State - This is the first example of what I was talking about last week.  While both LSU and Boise State won this week, LSu played a much tougher opponent, and their overall body of work is now better than Boise.

7. Cincinnati - Undefeated record and good win last week makes Cincinnati storm into the top 10 after losses by Oklahoma and Houston this week.

8. Mississippi - Good win, even if it was against Vandy.  Big chance against Alabama this week to move up in the polls with a win.

9. Kansas - Idle this week, moving up because of losses of others. With games next against Iowa State and Colorado, two wins could possibly make this a top 5 team when Oklahoma comes to town, depending of course on losses by teams above them.

10. TCU - Slow start, but they jumped out to a lead and never looked back.

11. Miami - While Jacory Harris had an impressive game and probably got back into the Heisman race, I'm not so sure they would have wond if Bradford had been in for that last drive.

12. Oklahoma State - Another idle team this week, moving up due to Houston and Oklahoma losses.

13. Oklahoma - A hard fought game, but Oklahoma needs to be careful.  This team could easily have 3 losses in conference this year if they continue to play like this.
 
14. Brigham Young - Solid win against Utah State helps them to move up in this weeks rankings.

15. USC - Win against Cal was pretty impressive, but the QB play has to improve for USC to win the Pac 10 this year.

16. Oregon - I have to admit that I ranked Oregon a little low last week.  This week I'm moving them up to about where they belong, and they might actually pass USC even if they both win out before their game on Halloween.

17. Penn State - Nice to get back on the winning track, but nothing to convince me that they deserve any higher of a ranking this week. 

18. Ohio State - Solid win against a clearly overmatched Indiana team.

19. Iowa - Mediocre performance against mediocre at best competition.  I was prepared to move them up with a convincing win this week, but that was far from it.

20. Georgia Tech - Undefeated, and slowly been gaining my respect.  Wish I could see more of this team, I'm sure I'd like it.

21. Houston - That was a bad loss.  Still have one of the better wins, but won't stay in for long without blowing everyone out.

22. Missouri - Idle this week, moved up because Georgia dropped out.

23. Auburn - Undefeated and in the SEC, it's impossible to find a reason to keep this team unranked any longer.

24. Nebraska - Big game against Missouri which will probably decide who stays in the rankings.

25. South Florida - Impressive win at Floridat State helped last week, and them a strong win at Syracuse helped push them into the Top 25 this week.

Next 5 (in no particular order):  Georgia, South Carolina, Stanford, Utah, Wisconsin

Dropped out this week:
California (14) - After two blowout losses, it's hard to see why they were ranked in the first place.
Georgia (22) - Tough loss at home, and good teams don't get boneheaded penalties that cost them the game.
Michigan (24) - was finally starting to get on the bandwagon, and then the wheel came off against Michigan State.

New to the rankings:
Georgia Tech, South Florida, Auburn

Posted on: October 1, 2009 6:35 pm
 

Counterpoint

It's funny how I logged in here to post that last blog entry and then started to look at the other articles posted on the site.  I just read Gregg Doyel's most recent article, and it says pretty much exactly the opposite of my third point.  Not that I expected much different from a sportswriter.
Category: General
Posted on: October 1, 2009 6:31 pm
 

Instability in the Polls

What does all the instability in the College Top 25 so far this year really mean?

I believe it shows us three main things.  First, assuming that we believe that the pollsters got it right this most recent poll, it means that we pretty much have no clue who the good teams are before the season or even in the first few weeks.  Houston and Iowa are good examples of teams that no one thought were even worthy of mention in the preseason, and most people didn't even give Iowa any votes at all until the last 2 weeks.  But all of a sudden, by virtue of a win over the #5 team at the time (Houston over then #5 Oklahoma State, and Iowa over then #5 Penn State), they jump way up on everyone's list.  Houston went from receiving only 1 25th place vote to being the number 21 school in the nation, and is now all the way up to number 12.  Iowa goes from 31 all the way up to 13.   With differences that large, it sure looks like the sportswriters don't know what they are talking about that early in the season.  This season is the perfect example why ranking should wait to start until at least the 4th week.

Second, regardless of whether the current polls are the 'correct' ones, pollsters are allowing their ideas of teams to be influenced way too much by the outcome of a single game. Florida State's swings in and out of the polls, Oregon's huge drop after losing to Boise State on the road, and subsequent huge jump back up after the win at home against Cal, are great examples of how people are easily swayed by the most recent outcome. The fact is, just because Oregon or Iowa or South Carolina had a good game last week and upset a highly ranked opponent, doesn't mean that they are now Top 15 or even Top 20 teams.  While all have good enough resumes to include them jumping up into the Top 25, especially since they were being mentioned prior to this week, in no way is anyone justified in having Iowa ranked 13th or higher, unless (which I highly doubt) they had them ranked at at least 20th last week. 

The last thing is that the coaches clearly understand how these things work much better than the media. All the numbers above were from the AP poll.  The coaches poll had the same faults, but nowhere near the level of the AP poll.  It started to mention Houston, but they didn't jump into the top 25 after they knocked off Oklahoma State, They ended up number 27.  People realized that while it was a good win, at least 8 times out of 10, Oklahoma State would have won the game.  Again, at this point, not to say that I don't think they should be ranked, since they do have one of the most impressive victories so far, but that victory was not so overwhelming that people had to think about putting Houston above Oklahoma State.  Similarly, Penn State, Cal, and Mississippi all stayed above the teams that they were beaten by, but not by much.  This accounts for the fact that most if not all of those teams had a bad game (which USC seems to have every year but gets a free pass for.) and not that they are all of a sudden horrible teams.  If they lose another game, then they will drop like a rock right out of the Top 25.  Until then, there is nothing to indicate that any of those teams don't deserve the ranking they have received, especially when you compare it to preseason expectations.

Posted on: September 29, 2009 2:09 am
 

USC and OSU, how do we get them to go away?

I'm so tired of Ohio State and Southern Cal always being ranked well above what they actually deserve. 

Ohio State - Played a pretty good game in the only loss they had, but couldn't close it out.  Looked horrible in the game against Navy, and played vastly inferior competition the last two weeks.  They continuously have underimpressed, they have a horrible history in big games, but yet everyone seems to think that one of these times, OSU will finally find a way to turn it around and win a big one.  If any other team pulled this stunt year after year, they wouldn't even crack the top 25, but somehow, OSU is ranked 9.

USC - Where to start?  I want to be a voter in the AP poll, because there is no doubt USC pays them well to keep them in the top 10.  I mean come on, USC wins an ugly game against OSU that didn't make either team look good, and then lays an egg against a Washington team that didn't win a game last year?  And it's not like Washington is a much better team this year than they were last year.  Not only did USC not feel the effects of that loss in there ranking, their influence is so good that Washington went from no mention at all in the rankings (not a single vote the week before) to being number 24 in the poll.  Then USC follows that up with such an impressive win against a Washington State team whose only wins in the last season plus are against a FCS team, last year's winless Washington, and a somewhat decent Southern Methodist team.  I can't imagine why, but I'm not very impresed.  Somehow the AP boters see enough there to decide that USC is the 7th best team in the nation though.

What a bunch of crock.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Ohio State, USC
 
Posted on: September 28, 2009 1:00 am
Edited on: October 1, 2009 6:28 pm
 

College Football Top 25

Welcome to my first entry in my brand new blog.  I've been ranking teams for several years now on my own, always willing to share my ideas with my friends, but I finally decided it's time to put my own Top 25 up for all to see.  Check back each week to see how my take on the current best teams in college football.  Please feel free to comment on my picks, but please leave real comments, not just insults because I didn't rank your team where you want it.

Without further ado, my first posted top 25.

1. Florida - While I'm still not sure if they are the best team, that Kentucky win was pretty impressive.  Gators just better hope that Tebow is back before LSU on Oct. 10, or they are going to be in serious trouble.

2. Texas - With nothing else to separate these two teams, I'm just going to have to go with whichever had the most impressive win the week before.  In this case Kentucky on the road gives Florida the nod over Texas, but with the impressive play from both sides of the ball, it won't take much for me to put Texas in the top spot.

3. Alabama - Not overly impressed with this team, was planning on moving them down this week if any of the teams immediately behind them won, but with Mississippi, Penn State and Cal all losing, I have no one else I can justify putting here.

4. Virginia Tech - Jumping them up here after that impressive win against Miami, where they limited Heisman Hopeful Jacory Harris to only 150 yards and no TDs.  Add in the fact that they rushed for almost 300 yards, and you have a very good looking team in Blacksburg.

5. Boise State - Seems a little high to be putting them here, but with the impressive win against Oregon, and a big win at Fresno State, there doesn't seem to be a legitimate reason to keep them out of this spot.  Look for them to fall as other teams play tougher schedules in the near future, but without a loss, this will probably be a top 7 or 8 team all season.

6. LSU -  Another team that moves up only because everyone above them is moving down.  No impressive win on their resume yet, but they could really solidify this spot with games against Georgia and Florida coming up.

7.Oklahoma - Moving up slightly without having to do anything.  Even with Bradford back, this team is going to have problems if they can't get better play from the O-line.

8. Houston - Narrow escape that was against Texas Tech, but Houston still has a pretty impressive resume for this early in the season.  With no other team just jumping out at me (and refusing to buy in to the hype for USC until I see an impressive win), this is an easy pick.

9. Mississippi - Close loss, and the rally at the end, lead me to leave them in the top 10 for now, given that South Carolina figures to be at least a middle of the road team in the SEC.

10. Kansas - One of the few remaining solid undefeateds.  Playing some solid competition, KU gets the nod here over Cincinnati based on potential alone, since neither team has played spectacularly, but is still without a loss.

11. Cincinnati - Another undefeated team, playing some decent competition.  Nothing in the win to make me go crazy though.  The fact that they haven't lost gives them the nod over teams like USC and Ohio State.

12. TCU - The best chance the Mountain West has to break into the BCS, the Horned Frogs were pretty impressive in that come-from-behind win, with some good defense down the stretch.

13. Oklahoma State - Good win against Georgia, and close loss to Houston, gives OSU a good enough resume to be in this spot, even with the loss.

14. California - While they did get blown out, it was on the road to a team that was expected to be pretty good this year.  They better be ready for USC this week, or they may drop from the rankings completely.

15. Miami - That loss was ugly, and may have just knocked Jacory Harris out of contention for the Heisman. 

16 Brigham Young - Still have a bad taste in my mouth after that home blowout against Florida State.  It doesn't taste any better after Florida State lost to South Florida this week.

17. Penn State - While that loss was embarrasing, at least it was to a much improved Iowa team that has a decent shot in the Big Ten this year

18. USC - still not impressed by this team, can't justify putting them any higher than this. Name recognition is not a good reason.

19. Ohio State - nice win, but this team is not consistent enough to deserve any higher of a ranking. See USC comment, and include tradition in that note.

20. Oregon - Losing to Boise on the road is their only blemish, that thrashing of Cal was very impressive, even if it was at home.

21. Iowa - That was an impressive win, but I'm not quite sold that they are a true elite team.

22.Georgia - After that tough loss to Oklahoma State, they are playing much better.  Expect a jump if they can pull off a win against LSU this week.

23. Missouri - Solid games, good wins so far.  Probably should have won by more against Nevada, but the game was on the road, so I'll give them a break there.

24. Michigan - Good wins, especially that game against Notre Dame, cause me to bring Michigan in at the 24 spot.

25. Nebraska - That loss to Virginia Tech hurt, but not enough to keep them out of the rankings.

Next 5 (in no particular order):  Auburn, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, South Florida, Utah

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