Preseason Polls Released TodayPosted by rtmsf on October 29th, 2009
One of the favorite days of the year for us at RTC is when the preseason polls are announced. Maybe it takes us back to our days growing up and anticipating the start of the season, but somehow, it just seems to make everything official. Granted, media has changed a LOT since those days, and we spend more time nitpicking and disagreeing with these polls than we used to, but it’s still a cool harbinger that the season is just around the corner, so enjoy.
Our QnD analysis follows the polls.
- It’s clear the media thinks a little more highly of John Calipari’s Kentucky team and a little less than Roy Williams’ UNC team than the coaches do. UK got 82.5% as many votes as Kansas in the coaches’ poll, while garnering 85.1% in the AP; meanwhile, UNC earned 84.8% in the coaches’ vs. 81.9% in the AP. This is probably a good example that shows how coaches think versus how the media thinks. It’s our view that coaches do not respect John Calipari as much as they probably should, so he gets dinged a little despite having A-list talent while Roy Williams gets a bump despite losing four starters. On the other side, the media sees the players that Calipari has at his disposal this year and they get all googly-eyed thinking about it, so they tend to rate Kentucky higher than UNC, somewhat ignoring the history that Roy Williams has in getting teams to come together. It’s a very subtle point, but we think a clear one.
- The team with the biggest disparity between polls, Minnesota, also illustrates this point beautifully. Coaches rank Tubby Smith’s team #18 (19.5%) in the nation based on Smith’s reputation for overachieving; the media, however, doesn’t see as much talent on the court as some of the other teams around Minnesota, so while recognizing Tubby’s ability to get the most from his players, they rate the Gophers lower at #25 (10.6%).
- Louisville is also a strange case here. The coaches rate the Cardinals quite a bit lower than the media does (#23, 15.9% vs. #19, 20.6%), and you wonder if they sense that all the bad news has taken a toll on the UL program and will manifest itself as a weaker team this year.
- Nice to see Butler getting nearly top-ten love as the best mid, but they’re going to have to earn that ranking very early in their schedule, with games at Northwestern, at Evansville, vs. Ohio St. and Xavier at home, plus neutral site games in the loaded 76 Classic in Anaheim and against Georgetown in MSG.
- In the ORV, Maryland will probably hover around the 20-30 zone all season, but what is going on with the coaches giving 22 votes to USC?!?!? At first, we thought it was an abbreviation for “South Carolina” until we saw the other SC down at the bottom with a ridiculous one vote. They do realize that Tim Floyd and OJ Mayo are no longer there, right?
- No major qualms with the rest of it, although UCLA right now is a reach for the top 30 (too many unknowns) and Vanderbilt is going to be better than several teams in the top 25 this year.
- Conference Breakdown (Coaches, AP): ACC (4, 4), A10 (1, 1), Big East (6, 5), Big 12 (3, 3), Big 10 (5, 6), Horizon (1, 1), Pac-10 (2, 2), SEC (3, 3).
- Final thought – the RTC Preseason Top 25 will release on Opening Night (Monday, Nov. 9), so keep an eye out for that.
What say you, readers?