6 comments

  1. I hate to get worked up about the polls, but I’m seeing a serious lack of respect here. You lose to a ranked opponent on the road after a gritty comeback effort, then beat your rival on the road, but still drop? I fail to see the logic here.

  2. Yeah I was thinking the same thing H.B. Not just a win against a rival, but a 17 point conference road win against a team 11-3 at Mackey. Oh well, maybe this is just a regression to the mean after being too highly ranked earlier in the season.

  3. It’s relative. How does IU’s record stack up against the 22 teams ahead of them? I believe the losses to MN (at home) and NE really hurt IU’s ranking (as it should have). They should never have lost either of those games.

    If they win the next four games, they will return to the top 20, probably about 18. But inconsistency does not enhance a team’s rankings, and IU has been very inconsistent over the last five weeks. Let’s hope the win at Purdue is a sign that they have turned the corner regarding their play on the road.

  4. The rankings are a joke: 14/13 San Diego St, W against UNLV at home, L to Baylor, Creighton and Colorado St, only 1 game left against UNLV; UNLV 16/14, L to Wichita St, WI, SD St, and Wyoming, W over NC, only 1 game left against SD St; St Mary’s 13/16, 0 W over teams ranked in top 25 now, L to Denver and Baylor, 1 game vs Murray St left; Creighton 15/17, W against SD St, L to St Joe, MO St, and Northern Iowa; U VA 20/19, W over MI, L TCU, Duke, VA Tech, FL St, 2 games vs NC and 1 vs FSU left; Harvard 21/25, W against FSU, L U-Conn and Fordam, no games left. Indiana 23/23, WI 22/21 and MI 25/22 are all better!

  5. BP,
    Not going to say whether I agree or disagree, because at the end of the day, the great part of rankings debates in college basketball is that they are irrelevant and have nothing to do with the selection committee, so no one’s really going to get hurt by this in the end.
    But you’ve obviously hit on the phenomenon of the rising respect level for mid-majors, which was something I dealt with a lot in five years covering James Madison. You can argue that they get a pass to a degree for not having as difficult of a schedule as the big leagues, but it’s also been argued by said mid-majors that there isn’t much they can do about it. Teams in those leagues are good enough to be dangerous but not good enough to be considered an acceptable team to lose to, and therefore, bigger schools usually don’t want to play them and they certainly don’t want to play them at their place. Big league schools, you may have noticed, tend to schedule a certain number of marquee games. There has been some degree of shift in this as mid-majors have garnered more respect nationally, but the chips are still stacked against them.
    In the case of the West Coast schools you mentioned (San Diego State, St. Mary’s) the falling stature of the Pac-12 hurts their cause. San Diego State, for instance, scheduled three Pac-12 teams this year (USC, Arizona, and California) and beat them all. It stands to reason that if you’re San Diego State, those are the teams you would schedule to prove a point because you’re not flying all the way out to the midwest or East coast to play Duke or Michigan State. It just so happens that those wins don’t mean what they used to mean.
    And these polls are all about rising and falling with wins and losses. You can argue that Indiana shouldn’t fall for losing on the road at Michigan and beating Purdue on the road, but St. Mary’s has only lost once since November and that was to a top 10 team. San Diego State had a clunker against Colorado State, but before that, they won 11 in a row.
    Does that mean either of those teams would beat Indiana? Who knows? That’s what they have a tournament for. I don’t have a poll, and I’m not sure who I would put where, but just pointing out that there’s a devil’s advocate argument and it’s hard to say that a team that’s 22-2 should never pass a team that’s 18-6 because that team won some really big games in December. You have to penalize a team for its conference to a degree, but how much?

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