Blog Entry

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:39 pm

Posted by MATT JONES

The Coaches' Poll is a joke. I know it, you know it and the American people know it. The actual coaches who allegedly participate (you and I both know that in reality it is the Sports Information Director or some assistant to the coach who completes the poll each week) never do as good a job of analyzing the teams as those in the media. Thus you inevitably end up with some odd assortment of teams, usually based upon a pick by number "which team didn't lose this week" system that requires little thought and no analysis.

But even with my usual low expectations for the poll of coaches, this week was still shockingly bad. I will freely admit that picking a No. 1 team in America this week was difficult. With the top four teams all losing last week, figuring out which to place on top of the heap could lead to a varying set of opinions. But one thing is certain. You couldn't really decide which team was the best in America by simply going down the list and finding the highest team that didn't take a loss. No group of minds would be so simplistic as to use that strategy to pick a top team, would they?

Yes they would. For reasons only known to the underlings in the athletic departments who made the list, the coaches picked Duke to be the No. 1 team in America. Ignoring every bit of logic or reason that exists, the coaches went with the one indefensible pick for the top spot.  You can make a reasonable case for the other five contenders:

Ohio State: Two losses, both to teams who are perfect at home on the season. The Buckeyes were in both games and both teams to which they lost will be a top four seed in March. Ohio State is also the most complete all around team in America and probably the best suited to face the variety of attacks they will face in March.

Kansas: The Jayhawks are No. 1 in the RPI (although that is becoming less and less important as our statistical knowledge increases), are 7-2 versus the top 50 overall and one of the two losses is to a fellow Top 5 team. The Kansas State loss was bad, but for a team that has otherwise dominated opponents, they can't be forgotten on the heels of one effort.

Pittsburgh: The forgotten team in the group. Pittsburgh has beaten 7 teams in the Top 25.  No one else is close. The Panthers play in the best conference and have a win over fellow contender Texas. Dropping Pitt to sixth means that you as a voter simply saw they were in 4th last week and thought, "well I must punish them by dropping them two spots," without recognizing that the loss occurred on the home floor of a team with five Top 20 home defeats.

Texas: The team playing the best basketball in America. The Longhorns have the most talent, have only lost once in conference and are crushing teams in every manner possible. Plus, they have the best win of the season, a road victory at Kansas. Yes there are four losses on the resume, but if we are picking the best team, Texas is it.,

San Diego State: I don't like the case for the Aztecs, but one at least exists. They only have one loss, it is to fellow Top 8 team BYU and they have beaten Gonzaga, Wichita State, St. Mary's and UNLV, all of which will be NCAA contenders. If total losses are most important to you, then San Diego State wins. Plus, at least this year, the Mountain West is pretty close to the ACC overall.

The only team I can't understand putting in the top spot is Duke. The Blue Devils were embarrassed at St. John's (contrast that with how Pittsburgh played the Johnnies this week) and have only ONE game (nevermind win) against the Top 25 in college basketball. The ACC is painfully weak and all of Duke's best victories are over likely bubble teams. With the same number of losses as Ohio State and Kansas, a much weaker resume than Pittsburgh and Texas and less overall wins in a similar conference than San Diego State, how can you pick the Blue Devils?

Oh, I know. Because they were the highest team that didn't lose last week. Nice job once again coaches. 


Since: Feb 2, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 8:22 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

haha its pretty funny to listen to all the whiners. Who cares about rankings anyway. Maybe you could throw a fit if this was tourney seeding or college football but it's not. This all reminds me a lot of last year when according to haters Duke was "gift wrapped" an easy bracket and 1 seed. Too bad some of the other "worthy" one seeds didn't get to see if there brackets were really that difficult since they were too busy losing to Northern Iowa (Kansas) and Butler ('Cuse) in the first 3 rounds. Oh and those teams that everyone thought should have been given the 1 seed over Duke- Ohio St. and West Va. If I remember correctly, Ohio St. was bounced by 6th seeded Tennessee, and West Virginia was absolutely smashed by Duke in the final 4. And Big East fans need to just get over themselves. I agree that they are the deepest conference top to bottom by far and have been for the past 4 years or so. But here is a news flash for you- You haven't won a title since 2004. The ACC is down this year, but they have been for the past 3 or 4 years and it hasn't stopped them from producing the past 2 national champions. Just because the rest of the teams in a conference are mediocre doesn't mean a great team can't come out of that conference. And Duke's 2 losses have also came on the road against teams that will likely get a top 6 or 7 seed in St. John's and Florida St. Put those facts in your pipe and smoke it. 

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:09 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why? Here are the l

The board for the 2010-11 season: Mike Adras, Northern Arizona; Tommy Amaker, Harvard; Tevester Anderson, Jackson State; Ronnie Arrow, South Alabama; Randy Bennett, Saint Mary's; Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Rick Byrd, Belmont; Patrick Chambers, Boston University; Charlie Coles, Miami (Ohio); Ed Cooley, Fairfield; Scott Drew, Baylor; Steve Fisher, San Diego State; Don Friday, St. Francis (Pa.); Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa; Rob Jeter, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Billy Kennedy, Murray State; Billy Lange, Navy; Mike McConathy, Northwestern State; Bob McKillop, Davidson; Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph's; Ronald "Fang" Mitchell, Coppin State; Matt Painter, Purdue; John Pelphrey, Arkansas; Herb Sendek, Arizona State; Shaka Smart, Virginia Commonwealth; Scott Sutton, Oral Roberts; Don Verlin, Idaho; Bob Williams, UC-Santa Barbara; Gary Williams, Maryland; Doug Wojcik, Tulsa.

Note all the schools who's coach gets a vote.

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:57 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why? Check this out

Here is the web site to see who voted for whom in the AP Poll. One voter John Feinstein voted BYU and SDSU 1 and 2. Dickie Vitale voted for Duke, like nobody on earth didn't know that.

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:48 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Polls are ok to a point but flawed. The bigger question is why ESPN uses the coaches poll for it's numbers vs the AP. The AP is the better of the polls. The best part of basketball is that we have a great tourney to decide a winner!! Have you ever checked to list of those who vote in either poll?

Since: Mar 18, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:51 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Hey theorb13, what the hell is a "moran" you moron!  A five letter word and you screw it up!!   And every coach in the country has an IQ in the 150's mr. DUke (as you spelled it) grad and supporter????  I could give a damn less that Laettner made a shot 20 years ago!!  He made it, Duke won, ancient history!  Look at the list of coaches who vote in the poll and tell me they are all 'great' coaches'?!?  And Matt should have blasted the AP poll too!!!  

Since: Feb 5, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:13 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?


Since: Feb 19, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2011 1:10 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Hey, Matt, if you think the coaches are idiots for voting Duke #1, what do you have to say for the AP poll sportswriters, who did the same?

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:54 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Hey Spock are living under a rock? Don't you watch anything but, ACC basketball? There are at least 3 or 4 Big East teams that can reach the final 4. When Duke struggles in round 2 remember I told you so.

Since: Mar 25, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:42 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

understand how, ku, and even sdsu can get #1 votes, but what morons (4 + 12 to be exact) pick pitt as #1?  becasue they lost to st.john by 1 while duke got blown out?  then give st.john some votes for #1.

BE is loaded with tons of "mediocre" teams that could make it to sweet-16.  name one that could smell final-4?  big 12 has one, big-10 and acc have final-4 spot reserved as usual.  there could be "butler" somwhere.   actually, i don't see any BE teams in elite-8.


Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:29 pm

Duke No. 1 in Coaches' Poll...Why?

Haha jestep I felt the same way

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