(Belated) Final Regular Season Blogpoll

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a family member who used to work for the University of Texas in some capacity. Having said that, Oklahoma is playing as well as, if not better than, anyone in the nation right now, and they have a better out of conference schedule than Texas or Florida. But if a poller believes that a playoff system, fundamentally based on head-to-head matchups, is viable, then that poller must respect Texas’ victory over Oklahoma and hold it against the Sooners when ranking them. That is not to say that the Sooners are not worthy; they are. But 45-35 is still the reason why I placed Texas ahead of Oklahoma in my ballot.

In the ACC, the three teams with nine wins are in the top 25, including both of the ACC Championship participants. Barely.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas 1
2 Oklahoma 1
3 Florida 1
4 Alabama 3
5 Texas Tech
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State
8 Utah 2
9 Boise State
10 Ohio State 1
11 Cincinnati 1
12 Oklahoma State 2
13 Georgia Tech
14 TCU 2
15 Virginia Tech 9
16 Michigan State 2
17 Brigham Young 3
18 Oregon 3
19 Pittsburgh 7
20 Mississippi 2
21 Northwestern
22 Iowa 1
23 Oregon State 3
24 Boston College 5
25 Buffalo 1

Dropped Out: Missouri (#14), Ball State (#17), Rice (#25).

BlogPoll Draft Week 14

No matter how the Big 12 was settled, someone was going to get the shaft. Oklahoma and Texas are both excellent teams, and even with the 45-35 Longhorns victory in the Red River Shootout, the teams are almost completely even and equally deserving of the division title. (Of course, if Texas gets a gimme interception against Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree doesn’t score with 2 seconds to play, and we’re not having this discussion. But that’s another story.) I still have to give Texas the edge based on the head-to-head win.

The rest of the poll…is just plain weird. BC and Georgia Tech make the top 25 by virtue of finishing better than 8-4 in the ACC. As Virginia Tech, well, the Coastal division title has to count for something.

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama
2 Texas
3 Oklahoma
4 Florida
5 Texas Tech 1
6 Utah 1
7 Penn State 1
8 Southern Cal 1
9 Boise State
10 Oklahoma State 1
11 Ohio State 1
12 Cincinnati
13 Georgia Tech 8
14 Missouri 1
15 Oregon 11
16 TCU
17 Ball State 2
18 Michigan State 1
19 Boston College 1
20 Brigham Young 1
21 Northwestern 2
22 Mississippi 2
23 Iowa 2
24 Virginia Tech 2
25 Rice 1
Dropped Out: Georgia (#14), Oregon State (#18), Florida State (#22).

Blogpoll Week 12 Draft

I don’t care how ridiculous this poll looks. Until an ACC team proves they can finish better than 8-4, no one from my beloved conference is going to appear in my top 25. I do this because I care.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas Tech
2 Alabama
3 Texas
4 Florida 1
5 Oklahoma 1
6 Southern Cal
7 Penn State
8 Utah
9 Boise State
10 Oklahoma State
11 Missouri 2
12 Ohio State 2
13 Georgia 2
14 Michigan State 2
15 Oregon State 9
16 Cincinnati 1
17 TCU 3
18 Brigham Young
19 Pittsburgh 2
20 LSU 1
21 Ball State 1
22 Northwestern 4
23 Iowa 3
24 Oregon 2
25 Central Michigan 1

Dropped Out: North Carolina (#12), Florida State (#17), South Carolina (#23), Miami (Florida) (#25).

BlogPoll Draft Week 11

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas Tech 1
2 Alabama 1
3 Texas 1
4 Oklahoma 2
5 Florida
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State 4
8 Utah 1
9 Boise State 2
10 Oklahoma State 3
11 Georgia 2
12 North Carolina
13 Missouri 1
14 Ohio State 3
15 Cincinnati 4
16 Michigan State 2
17 Florida State 9
18 Brigham Young 3
19 LSU 3
20 TCU 10
21 Pittsburgh 5
22 Ball State 2
23 South Carolina 3
24 Oregon State 2
25 Miami (Florida) 1

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#15), Maryland (#20), Northwestern (#22), West Virginia (#23), Air Force (#25).

Also Considered: Air Force, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Tulsa, Rice, Oregon

Texas Tech moves ahead of Alabama in part because of how the Red Raiders destroyed Oklahoma State and in part because of The Crimson Tide’s struggles against a team that they should have beaten more comfortably.

With the exception of Oklahoma State and Georgia, I have to put North Carolina ahead of other 2-loss teams by virtue of not being blown out in either of their two losses, as well as playing a schedule that hasn’t had a guaranteed win since Rutgers.

TCU dropping ten spots is not so much because of their loss to Utah (it was a good game by both teams) so much as it is tacit acknowledgement that, with few exceptions, I can;t put the Horned Frogs ahead of other two-loss teams from BCS conferences.

All in all, the top ten is pretty straightforward, and 11-25 is just plain weird.

Blogpoll Draft Week 10

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama 1
2 Texas Tech 4
3 Penn State
4 Texas 3
5 Florida
6 Oklahoma 1
7 Oklahoma State 3
8 Southern Cal 3
9 Utah
10 TCU 2
11 Boise State 1
12 North Carolina 6
13 Georgia 5
14 Missouri 1
15 Georgia Tech 11
16 LSU 6
17 Ohio State 2
18 Michigan State 8
19 Cincinnati 7
20 Maryland 1
21 Brigham Young 1
22 Northwestern 4
23 West Virginia
24 Ball State 3
25 Air Force 1

Dropped Out: Minnesota (#14), Tulsa (#16), Florida State (#17), Virginia (#24), Connecticut (#25).

Also considered: California, Florida State, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Miami, Oregon State

Texas Tech, without doubt, deserves to jump ahead of Penn State after beating Texas. They’ve earned it.

The top 11 is solid (though I’m not quite sure how Oklahoma State drops three spots), but after that it gets quite a bit shaky. Of Nos. 12-25, every BCS team listed has two losses. Is North Carolina the best two-loss team in the nation? I don’t really know. Are North Carolina and Georgia Tech the only major two-loss teams who haven’t been blown out at least once? Absolutely. That’s why they are both in my top 15.

Air Force makes in appearance due to their 7-2 record and the general awesomeness of the Mountain West Conference’s top half.

BlogPoll Week 9 Draft

Congratulations to Florida State, UNC, Maryland, and Virginia. You are this week’s block of ACC teams to round out the top 25.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas
2 Alabama
3 Penn State
4 Oklahoma State 1
5 Florida 2
6 Texas Tech
7 Oklahoma 3
8 Georgia
9 Utah
10 Boise State 2
11 Southern Cal 1
12 TCU 2
13 Missouri 2
14 Minnesota 6
15 Ohio State 4
16 Tulsa 7
17 Florida State 9
18 North Carolina 8
19 Maryland 6
20 Brigham Young 2
21 Ball State 3
22 LSU 9
23 West Virginia 3
24 Virginia 2
25 Connecticut 1

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#16), South Florida (#17), Kansas (#18), Georgia Tech (#19), Boston College (#21).

LSU’s resume is looking weaker and weaker. They have no good OOC opponents, Auburn has turned out to be a disappointment, and the Tigers have given up 103 points to the only two good teams they’ve played. I considered dropping them out of the top 25 altogether, but could not defend anyone I put in their stead.

BlogPoll Week 8

Submitted for your approval.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas
2 Alabama
3 Penn State
4 Oklahoma
5 Oklahoma State
6 Texas Tech 4
7 Florida 1
8 Georgia 1
9 Utah 7
10 Southern Cal 3
11 Ohio State 3
12 Boise State 4
13 LSU 1
14 TCU 12
15 Missouri 4
16 Pittsburgh 4
17 South Florida 9
18 Kansas 3
19 Georgia Tech 7
20 Minnesota 4
21 Boston College 5
22 Brigham Young 15
23 Tulsa 3
24 Ball State 3
25 Maryland 1
Dropped Out: Virginia Tech (#17), North Carolina (#18), Wake Forest (#19), California (#22), Michigan State (#23), Vanderbilt (#25).

Unfortunately, UNC is #26 right now after the loss to Virginia. Why put Maryland (who lost to UVa by a far greater margin) ahead of the Heels, then? Because I am slightly more scared of Maryland at their best. That, and they stand a far greater chance of winning their division.

As for the rest of the poll, it looks pretty ordinary, although I’ve made a point to keep teams ahead of oppnents they’ve beaten no matter what. That why you see Pitt-USF-Kansas at 16-17-18. Now that I think about, I may want to put the Jayhawks a bit lower, though they were impressive in defeat.

BlogPoll Draft: Week Five

Much like a trip from LA to Corvallis, general insanity follows.

Rank Team Delta
1 Oklahoma 4
2 Alabama 6
3 Missouri 3
4 LSU 2
5 Penn State 6
6 Texas 4
7 Brigham Young 2
8 Texas Tech 8
9 South Florida 5
10 Vanderbilt 2
11 Utah 6
12 Boise State 6
13 Auburn
14 Georgia 10
15 Southern Cal 14
16 Kansas 3
17 Florida 14
18 Ohio State 2
19 Virginia Tech 4
20 Connecticut 6
21 Ball State 5
22 Fresno State 2
23 Northwestern 3
24 Maryland 2
25 Mississippi 1
Dropped Out: Wisconsin (#7), Wake Forest (#15), TCU (#21), Clemson (#22), Georgia Tech (#25).

Also Considered: North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Oregon, Catlab.

Ole Miss at #25 is absolutely bananas, and in all likelihood will only last one week. The rest, I can explain.

In my poll, if you lose to an unranked team, you drop out of the top 10. Simple. Alabama reaches #2 after destroying Georgia, who also make a big drop in this week’s poll. It may be difficult to justify putting them behind Auburn, though. The Tigers’ offense has been nonexistent, and they’ve kept close to two teams that, quite frankly, they shouldn’t.

LSU gets a slight drop for giving up more points to Mississippi State than Louisiana Tech, Auburn and Georgia Tech combined (24-23). Penn State goes up as they continue to run on all cylinders, and their demolishing of Oregon State looks that much better. Texas Tech goes up 8 spots for absolutely no reason, and looking at it now it’s kind of ridiculous.

Meanwhile, we get some new school madness. The Vanderbilt Football happy fun time ride makes it into the top 10, and BYU and Utah are 7th and 11th, respectively. This year’s Holy War matchup would be, in all likelihood, a BCS play-in game in one or both of these teams can stay undefeated.

At the bottom of the poll, pretty much everyone from 20 and below is a newcomer (UConn, Ball State, NW, Maryland, Ole Miss). I probably could have figured out a way to squeeze the Tar Heels into this poll, but I’m holding out until after the UConn game. If they beat the Huskies, Carolina will be in my Top 25. Promise.

The final, final poll will be published Wednesday morning. Until then, tell me what’s wrong with this one.

BlogPoll, Week Four

I was really looking forward to putting UNC in the top 25 this week. Alas, I cannot.

Rank Team Delta
1 Southern Cal
2 LSU 8
3 Florida 2
4 Georgia 1
5 Oklahoma 3
6 Missouri 2
7 Wisconsin 1
8 Alabama 1
9 Brigham Young 5
10 Texas 1
11 Penn State 5
12 Vanderbilt 8
13 Auburn 4
14 South Florida 2
15 Wake Forest 4
16 Texas Tech 3
17 Utah 4
18 Boise State 8
19 Kansas 1
20 Ohio State 5
21 TCU 1
22 Clemson 3
23 Virginia Tech 3
24 Fresno State
25 Georgia Tech 1

Dropped Out: East Carolina (#6), Oregon (#17), Illinois (#23).

Also Considered: Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Ball State, Northwestern (seriously!)

Brief Explanations: LSU jumps up to #2 based on their road win against Auburn, which might be the most quality victory for any team thus far. Vanderbilt makes a similar jump for being 4-0 for the first time since Cornelius himself was captain of the team. Boise State makes the leap based on their big road victory over Oregon, albeit hampered by the fact that the Ducks are now on their fifth string quarterback. Paul Johnson seems to be doing a good job for a fairly impressive Georgia Tech team, and Virginia Tech is here because dammit, Frank Beamer knows the science of winning ugly 8-9 times a year that we mortals can barely comprehend.

East Carolina and Oregon drop out with their losses, and Illinois drops for no apparent reason.

The rest is pretty ho-hum. Discuss.

UNC vs. UCSB Live Blog

Today the Tar Heels hope to rebound against UC-Santa Barbara after a somewhat disappointing performance against Nicholls State. Today’s game against the Gauchos won’t be any easier. UCSB is 10-1 this year including 3-1 on the road, with their biggest win over UNLV and their only loss at Stanford. Marcus Ginyard and Danny Green will be kept very busy today defending 6’6″ guard Alex Harris, who has averaged 23.4 points per game this season.

alex-harris.jpeg

1:07 pm: 2-0, UNC. Within 18 seconds, Marcus Ginyard gets an easy layup and UCSB turns the ball over. Turnovers, along with a lack of size, are likely to be the Gauchos’ biggest weakness.

1:08 pm: 4-0 UNC. Lawson gets the steal, and easily outruns everyone to the basket.

1:10 pm: UCSB is trying to drive inside, but UNC simply has too much size in the paint.

1:11 pm: 6-2, UNC. James Powell hits an outside shot to put the Gauchos on the board, but Deon Thompson responds immediately.

1:12 pm: 8-2 UNC. Ohhhhhhh! a steal in the open court by Hansbrough, and buries a 360-degree dunk. First TV timeout.

1:16 pm: 13-4, UNC. The Tar heels score four points within 5 seconds, the second basket off of a steal by Lawson. 10 of UNC’s 13 points are in transition.

1:17 pm: 13-6, UNC. Alex Harris finally gets on the board with a layup.

1:18 pm: 15-6, UNC. The Tar Heels are playing full court pressure on defense.

1;19 pm: 17-8, UNC. Every Gaucho on the court focused on Hansbrough, and Deon Thompson made them pay.

1:20 pm: at some point, Tyler has to learn to pass the ball back outside if he’s double or triple teamed.

1:27 pm: 21-14, UNC. The Gauchos hits two threes on two straight possessions.

1;28 pm: 27-14, UNC. UCSB has absolutely no answer for UNC’s speed. First, another easy steal and layup by Lawson, and then Hansbrough grabs the steal before dishing the assist to Danny Green.

1;33 pm: 29-19, UNC. Another three for UCSB brings them back within 10. Considering how well the heels have played, it’s surprising that this game is still close.

1;36 pm: 32-19, UNC. What a shot by Ellington, a mid-range jumper in traffic.

1;38 pm: 34-22, UNC. The good news: the heels defense is all over Alex Harris. The bad news: James Powell is getting open looks as a result.

1:40 pm: 36-26, UNC. An unbelievable shot by Powell, a reverse layup. Powell has 14 of the Gauchos’ 26 points.

1:42 pm: 42-26, UNC. The Heels are getting a significant amount of their points from the free throw line in the first half.

1:48 pm: 44-28, UNC. Marcus Ginyard is having a huge game today on both sides of the court. He has 9 points, and has mostly shut down Alex Harris.

1:50 pm: 52-30, UNC. Deon Thompson, Bobby Frasor, and Ty Lawson each score baskets in transition within a 30-45 second span near the end of tha half. This last run may very well have put this game out of reach before halftime.

1:52 pm: We’re at halftime, and the Tar Heels lead 52-32 after a playing a great first half in almost every way. I may not have seen Carolina run the transition game better this season that they have so far today.

2:07 pm: Top 25 Alert: #2 Memphis gets an impressive win over #4 Georgetown, 85-71.

2:09 pm: 57-32, UNC. Hansbrough hits a relatively easy shot to start the second half, and then Ellington gets three the hard way.

An interesting statistic: The Tar heels have accrued a 25 point lead without making a 3-point field goal.

2:11 pm: 61-32, UNC. Either UCSB has come out of the locker room flat-footed, or UNC is playing even faster in the second half than they did in the first half. Whichever is the case, it’s looking like a very long day for the Gauchos.

2:17 pm: 71-37, UNC. Nineteen points in under four and a half minutes. The Gauchos have absolutely no answer for the transition game. today.

2:23 pm: 71-45, UNC. Harris goes into double figures with two consecutive three pointers, but it seems too little, too late. Give the Gauchos credit; they haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.

2:25 pm: 76-45, UNC. Marcus Ginyard hits the inside shot and the foul. He misses the free throw, but Carolina gets the rebound, and Bobby Frasor hits UNC’s first three of the game. Carolina converts the rare five point play.

2;27 pm: 80-50, UNC. The smell of biscuits is palpable now.

2:32 pm: 83-50, UNC. Deon Thompson shooting free throws is painful to watch. Ty Lawson’s three point shooting is substantially less painful.

2:37 pm: 85-54, UNC. Deon Thompson is a good player…but there is no excuse for shooting 3-16 from the free throw line on the season. Ugh.

2:39 pm: 87-54, UNC. Tyler Hansbrough with another great shot inside. he now has 21.

2:42 pm: 93-56, UNC. Marcus Ginayrd hits Carolina’s last three baskets, and he now has a career high of 17 points.

2;44 pm: 95-63, UNC. Bring on the benchwarmers!

2:48 pm: 97-63, UNC. Qyooooooooooooooo!!! hits a layup.

2:50 pm: 98-65, UNC. WE-WANT BIS-CUITS! (clap-clap-clapclapclap)

2:52 pm: 101-70, UNC. BISCUITS!!! …Courtesy of Greg Little. Yes, that Greg Little.

greglittle.jpg

2:55 pm: The game is over, as The Tar Heels win, 105-70 in their best overall performance of the season.