RTC Top 25: Week 3

Posted by rtmsf on November 29th, 2010

It was a very active Thanksgiving week with a lot of teams in the Top 25 playing good opponents.  Here’s Week 3 of the RTC Top 25.  The usual quick n’ dirty analysis follows the jump.

QnD Analysis.

  • Duke and Ohio State are a near-consensus #1/#2 pairing this week, with only one detractor liking Pittsburgh in the second spot.  It’s a bit of a shame that the ACC/Big Ten Challenge folks slotted us with Michigan State instead of the Buckeyes as their featured game this week, but we’ll have to settle for a #1/#6 showdown instead.  Somehow methinks we’ll make do.  Speaking of the Devils, Coach K’s team remains the sole ACC representative, as UNC, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Clemson and some others haven’t quite proven to be worthy just yet.
  • One of the biggest jumps in the RTC Top 25′s history occurred this week with Connecticut’s debut at #8 after being unranked during the first two polls of the season.  Two of our pollsters had the Huskies coming in at #5 after its impressive trio of wins in Maui last week.  Another high riser was Tennessee debuting at #15 after its wins over VCU and Villanova last week at the Preseason NIT.  We all know that Bruce Pearl’s teams play best when their backs are against the wall.  Perhaps both of these coaches are using the spectre of the NCAA as a motivating tool. 
  • The biggest drop of the week belongs to Purdue, a team who fell ten spots in the poll after losing to Richmond in the Chicago Invitational.  Losing to the Spiders will happen to a lot of teams this year, so this precipitous drop probably reflects general unease with the Boilermakers in the wake of the Robbie Hummel injury last month.  One pollster even went so far as to have Matt Painter’s team completely unranked!
  • The Big East teams seem to be causing the most angst among our experts in terms of where to rank its teams.  As mentioned before, #8 UConn comes in between #5 and #14 in its first week in our poll.  #10 Georgetown has believers as high as #6 and non-believers as low as #16, while #16 Syracuse is all over the map — as high as #8 and as low as #23.  The Orange actually dropped four spots this week despite winning all of its games — nobody seems quite clear on how good SU is going to be this year.
  • Conference CallBig Ten (5), Big 12 (5), Big East (5), SEC (3), MWC (3), ACC (1), Atlantic 10 (1), C-USA (1), WCC (1).
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6 Responses to “RTC Top 25: Week 3”

  1. Dan says:

    Kansas at 4 is pretty absurd considering they handled a talented Arizona team pretty well and have slammed every other opponent. Easily #2, if not #1. Speaking of Arizona, them not being in a Top 25 is just as big of a travesty. These rankings are not forward looking at all; I’d love to see a spread for Arizona/Richmond on a neutral court; Gonzaga is even more laughable. Isn’t the point of rankings to determine who is the better team and would win if they played any team below them on a neutral court?

  2. Dan says:

    I totally forgot to mention the absent Washington in the rankings. Obscene! Narrowly lost to very good Kentucky and Mich St. teams. When they lose only 3 more games the rest of the season we’ll see how foolish this all looks.

    These aren’t rankings, this is a list of: “who’s been running hot/cold lately”.

  3. BOtskey says:

    I wouldn’t complain about a #4 ranking but I do agree Kansas looks very good. They’re #3 in my mind. I’m with you on Arizona, I’ve got them in the top 25.

    On Gonzaga, I still think they have enough to make noise but they do need to find a ball handler quickly. I’d still rank them.

    Polls are fun to do and talk about but they aren’t the be-all end-all. People have lots of different opinions on teams and that’s what makes the discussion great. Chances are when everyone’s opinions are averaged out like they are here, you have a pretty good idea of where teams stand.

  4. rtmsf says:

    Yeah, when you start aggregating multiple pollsters as we do, you lose a little bit of the ability to go out on a limb. I’m not sure why you think rankings should be “forward-looking,” though. The rankings are a reflection of current status as seen by our pollsters, not based on how good they think each team will be a week or a month from now. Some teams will go hot and cold, and their ranking will reflect those trends throughout the season.

  5. Dan says:

    When the Preseason poll comes out – it is ONLY forward looking. Every poll that is released from then on is an adjustment to that original preseason poll based on recent events (the forward looking portion of the poll is now ingrained).

    Let’s take a look at a small sample size like Wazzou where you started them at 19 in the preseason, moved up to 15, and then dropped them right OUT of the poll after tough losses to Kentucky and MSU (quality teams). You mean to tell me that Washington should be looked upon as a WORSE team now, after playing Kentucky and MSU tough, than they were before the season started? If anything, their team is better than 19 otherwise they wouldn’t have hung so close. I’d take Washington right now against any team listed outside the Top 10 (specifically Minnesota!). It should never be the Top 25 What Have You Done for Me Lately Poll – it should be the Top 25 Schools in the Nation poll.

  6. rtmsf says:

    Dan – how can you claim to know so much about Washington, when you’re calling them “Wazzou” which is the nickname (actually, “Wazzu”) of their biggest rival, Washington State? For your information, Washington goes by “U-Dub” (UW) in the Northwest. You might want to know that before you spout off.

    Secondly, five different people, all of whom know that little factoid above, thought that UW didn’t perform well enough to deserve a top 25 ranking after the performance in Maui. I was THERE courtside in Maui watching all of their games. Where were you? I’ve personally covered at least ten games of Washington’s in the past two seasons — they are a known commodity to me. What I saw in Maui confirmed for me AGAIN personally that they are a good but not great team. They could have beaten Kentucky had they been more disciplined. They didn’t. They could have beaten MSU had they been more disciplined. They didn’t. This is why Washington is not a top ten (or even top twenty-five) team for me RIGHT NOW, at THIS EXACT MOMENT IN TIME. I do not believe either their play nor their resume supports it.

    If they start beating teams commensurate with their talent, I’ll move them up in the polls as I’m sure my colleagues will do likewise. Right now they are not worthy of that ranking.

    That said, I welcome you to send me your poll every week and we’ll keep tabs on it throughout the season.

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