Poll Dancing: a Look at the Awesomeness of the Rankings

The polls came out this afternoon.

Some polls are
uglier than others.

-Unsurprisingly, IU is ranked.  In my opinion, they should have been a bit higher (low teens).  I know they haven't had a rugged schedule thus far, but neither have a lot of teams...and IU has beaten the bad teams badly, won a road game in the B1G/ACC challenge and now beat the #1 team.  I'm not happy with this as the central Indiana media coverage has made me think I actually missed IU winning their 6th national title...but I went back and re-checked and found it was still just the 10th game of the season.

That said, IU deserves to be ranked in my opinion.

-Vanderbilt has three losses, yet is still in the top 25.  Their one loss coming at the hands of an unranked Cleveland State team...whose one loss was at the hands of Hofstra.

-Creighton lost to an OK St. Joe's team and stays ranked.  Creighton has yet to have beaten a ranked team.

-Undefeated Louisville didn't jump over aOSU after the Buckeyes loss on Saturday...But Louisville only has one win over ranked opponents (Vandy).  The number one team, Syracuse's lone win versus a ranked opponent was versus the over-rated Florida Gators at home...and their only other good win was also at home versus Stanford...but I guess their history of underwhelming in the mid & late season helps boost their ranking.

-Alabama now has two losses versus unranked opponents and remains ranked. Most recently, they lost to unranked Dayton and they fell 7 spots.

-Illinois, Missouri, Marquette, IU and Murray State all have a perfect record that includes one win over a ranked opponent and none are in the single-digits.

-Memphis finally was knocked out of the polls after their third loss; they started the season in the top-10, for some reason I can't explain.

-Purdue and San Diego State have had similar seasons- both with two losses to ranked opponents...SDSU did beat the barely-ranked Cal Bears, and Purdue has yet to have beaten a ranked opponent.  Both teams are receiving votes in the Coaches Poll (Purdue 14, SDSU 26) while SDSU is just out of the rankings (27) receiving 59 votes in the media poll and Purdue is receiving ZERO.

After six days off, Purdue will play Butler, who is clearly not the Butler from the past few seasons.  When other teams beat Butler (i.e. IU & Louisville), the game was viewed as a quality win and helped both receive more votes.  I'm pretty confident that even if Purdue beats Butler on a neutral court in Indianapolis, the win be looked at by the media as just a win over a bad team...if Purdue were to lose, I'd wager that Purdue won't be ranked until mid-January, if at all this season.

As we always say, there's no science to the polls...and in fact, there isn't a ton of worth to the polls either, but a high ranking helps a team's perception in March which in turn should help its seeding...that's why the polls do matter.  Thank God there is a tournament at the end of the year...time and time again, polls show themselves to be wrought with inconsistencies.

Purdue's current CCR is 35 as they keep falling in the RPI (they're now 67th in that poll). KenPom has had them consistently in the 10-15 range; they're 14 currently...and the Sagarin has them at 24.

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