Inside the Polls: Thank You, George Geise

I've been anxiously awaiting the release of the individual AP Polls for this week.  After the Portland State debacle, there was no doubt that Gonzaga would drop a great deal in the rankings but only dropping to #16 was pretty surprising to me.  There is some sad news to report in these rankings but there is also quite a few voters that still believe this is a top team that just stumbled a bit.  Here is how the AP Rankings sort out.

Ap_medium

  • Gonzaga was ranked #16 overall this week with 608 points, just ahead of Arizona State, Louisville, and Baylor (who defeated Portland State last night).
  • The Zags received two votes in the single digits.  George Geise of Montana ranked the Zags fifth (huh?) and Joshua Parrott, a voter from Louisiana, put the Bulldogs at ninth.
  • 21 out of the 72 voters were so displeased with Gonzaga that they had them as the 20th or worse team in the nation this week.
  • Four voters left Gonzaga out of the rankings completely.
  • Our favorite Nebraska voter was so kind as to leave us in the rankings this week at #21.  He was very impressed with unbeaten Illinois State, who is coming off a three-point thrilling overtime victory over 7-5 Missouri State.

continue reading after the jump for more of the rankings breakdown...

Below is Mr. George Geise's week 8 poll...

Rank Team Agree Higher Lower
1 North Carolina 71 0 0
2 Connecticut 62 0 9
3 Pittsburgh 44 7 20
4 Duke 4 0 67
5 Gonzaga 0 0 71
6 Wake Forest 41 3 27
7 Oklahoma 0 71 0
8 Notre Dame 12 29 30
9 Texas 8 34 29
10 Michigan State 17 20 34
11 Purdue 7 53 11
12 Xavier 0 0 71
13 UCLA 10 41 20
14 Georgetown 7 49 15
15 Tennessee 8 42 21
16 Villanova 5 35 31
17 Louisville 5 32 34
18 Ohio State 3 5 63
19 Arizona State 7 44 20
20 West Virginia 4 2 65
21 Baylor 5 56 10
22 Clemson 12 51 8
23 Syracuse 0 71 0
24 Minnesota 6 51 14
25 Davidson 2 11 58

There's something goofy going on with this poll.  Mr. Geise failed to turn in a poll a week ago and I am beginning to believe that this poll was meant to be for that week.  Three teams on his poll are ranked at extremes.  Gonzaga, obviously should not be ranked fifth.  Xaiver should also have dropped from 12th after their recent demolition at the hands of Butler.  Syracuse should also be ranked much higher after their defeat of Memphis.  There are also a number of other head scratching choices made.  Oklahoma should be ranked higher, Baylor is way too low, and Minnesota and Clemson have been impressive as well.  I'm not complaining about where Mr. Geise has the Zags ranked but something just doesn't look right about this one.  I don't think it will mean a whole lot in the long run but it is always interesting to look at.

I just wanted to post one more poll today that has Gonzaga unranked and see if we can make some arguments against the pollster.  Here is how a voter from Virginia sees the Top 25...

Rank Team Agree Higher Lower
1 North Carolina 71 0 0
2 Connecticut 62 0 9
3 Pittsburgh 44 7 20
4 Oklahoma 47 20 4
5 Duke 61 5 5
6 Wake Forest 41 3 27
7 Georgetown 6 2 63
8 Notre Dame 12 29 30
9 Purdue 21 22 28
10 Texas 5 43 23
11 Villanova 5 1 65
12 Michigan State 4 48 19
13 Minnesota 0 4 67
14 Ohio State 1 3 67
15 Tennessee 8 42 21
16 Louisville 6 25 40
17 Baylor 9 20 42
18 Syracuse 6 59 6
19 Michigan 3 8 60
20 UCLA 1 68 2
21 Clemson 9 41 21
22 Davidson 1 3 67
23 Arizona State 3 62 6
24 Illinois 8 8 55
25 West Virginia 6 24 41

This may be my least favorite poll of the year.  The East coast bias is still alive it seems, with the highest ranked team from the left coast being UCLA at #20.  68 of 72 voters agree that the Bruins should be ranked higher than that.  This voter also has six teams from the Big 10 in the Top 25.  Ugh.  I'll admit that I don't have a coastal bias but I do have a major bias towards the Big 10.  He ranks Illinois ahead of Gonzaga which may be a wee bit premature.  The one-loss Fighting Illini have quality wins over...Vanderbilt, Georgia, and an overtime squeaker against 5-6 Kent State.  The numbers on his poll speak for themselves.  Michigan is good but way too high, Ohio State just lost to West Virginia and is WAY too high.  Love Tubby Smith, but the Golden Gophers will not be the 13th best team at any point in the season.

Hopefully Gonzaga can find their winning ways again and get back on track against Utah.  They only have a few more chances to impress the voters this season.  Utah is a small step but the games against Tennessee and Memphis will go a long way to proving their worth.  Memphis is down but it will be a national game so everyone will see it.  Other than that, the only conference games anyone will be watching for Gonzaga is the one's against St. Mary's.  Those two games could become huge if St. Mary's continues to play as well as they are right now.

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