February 22, 2011 - by David Hess
Welcome to the February 21st, 2011 edition of the TeamRankings.com Top 25 Breakdown. This post compares the the newly released AP and Coaches polls to our own Team Rankings Top 25, and highlights likely inefficiencies in the often biased human polls.
The fact that Texas A&M remains ranked at all, let alone as high as #17 in the coaches poll, continues to amaze. For the last two weeks, we’ve highlighted the Aggies as the most overrated team, arguing they didn’t deserve to be ranked. In our last post, we pointed out that in the prior week they had “barely scraped by two inferior opponents.” At the risk of sounding like a broken record: in the past week, they’ve again barely scraped by two inferior opponents: they beat #118 Iowa State (1-11 in the Big 12) at home by only 5 points, and won at #66 Oklahoma State (4-9 in the Big 12) by a single point. At least this time they didn’t rise in the polls.
Despite Texas A&M’s continued poll presence, the coveted title of “most overrated” actually falls this week to Florida, who are #13 in both polls, but only #29 according to TeamRankings. The voters seem to be placing far more emphasis on their good wins (five wins over teams ranked between #18 and #39) than on their bad losses (four losses to teams ranked #95 or worse). Sorry, but a top 15 team doesn’t lose at home to Jacksonville. And South Carolina.
Xavier is listed as one of the most overrated teams below, but there’s a reasonable excuse for ranking them this week: they are #11 in the last 10 games ratings, so voters who place heavy emphasis on who is playing well right now can perhaps be forgiven.
Kentucky is again the most underrated by the human polls, but they did nothing of particular note this week, so it’s not surprising that they remained at #22 in both polls.
Wisconsin did do something of note: they lost at Purdue. The humans punished the Badgers by dropping them two spots to #12 in the polls, but the computers realized that losing at Purdue by 8 is about what’s expected of a fringe top 10 team, and left them at #9.
Utah State was ranked #25 in the AP poll last week, and their only action since then was a solid 10-point win at #40 St. Mary’s. Their reward? While they moved up one spot in the coaches poll, they dropped out of the AP. Perhaps the attention drawn by the St. Mary’s win prompted some voters to take a closer look at their profile, thinking they might deserve to be higher. Said voters may have discovered they’d been voting for a team that recently lost at #144 Idaho, and reacted by dropping them from the ballot (but kept voting for Florida).
Unranked this week, but deserving of the honor, are Washington, West Virginia, George Mason, Illinois, and Cincinnati. George Mason deserves a special mention after we used them to attack Gary Parrish’s UCLA love. Gary has apparently seen the light, as he now lists George Mason at #25. The Patriots remain one of the nation’s hottest teams. In fact, they are the hottest team according to the last 10 games ratings, and have won 13 straight. It’s a shame the voters aren’t rewarding their consistency.
|Team||AP Poll||Coaches Poll||TeamRankings|
|San Diego St||6||4||8|
The teams listed below are ranked higher in the AP or Coaches polls than in the TeamRankings.com rankings. Click the link below to see all overrated teams.
The teams listed below are ranked lower in the AP or Coaches polls than in the TeamRankings.com rankings. Click the link below to see all underrated teams.
The teams listed below moved up in the AP poll or TeamRankings.com rankings this week. Click the link below to see all rising teams.
The teams listed below moved down in the AP poll or TeamRankings.com rankings this week. Click the link below to see all falling teams.
These teams are ranked in the TeamRankings.com Top 25 this week, but are unranked in both the AP poll and the Coaches poll. In other words, they got shaft
The TeamRankings.com Top 25 reflects the top rated teams in our predictive power ratings. These numerical ratings are computed by a sophisticated mathematical model built by Stanford math nerds and primarily designed to evaluate a team’s likelihood to outscore opponents.
Our mathematical model incorporates thousands of statistical data points — far more information than a human brain can evaluate on its own. As long as teams have played at least five or ten games (including a few non-conference games), our calculations provide a more accurate and objective means of assessing team performance than the AP and Coaches polls, which simply ask a bunch of biased sports writers or coaches what they think.
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