UDPATE: 11:30 A.M. (March 6, 2012) -- College Crosse aggregation included.
These pieces are usually more substantial, but as everyone is still kind of idling in the driveway, it's really hard to make internal combustion when you're just holding a can of gasoline and a bucket of screws. So, you get what you get at this point.
The media and coaches polls are out and there's a dominant theme: Everyone cheated off of each other's homework. The top-eight spots in both spots are identical, which can only mean one thing -- Plagiarism is icky! (I think. It's definitely easier than doing the actual work, that's for sure.)
Lacrosse Playground is calling shenanigans on the coaches poll, which I guess isn't crazy talk that gets you strapped to a bed and administered delicious thorazine. There has been major swings in that tally in recent weeks, although the scariest thing is that it appears as if not all the coaches eligible to vote are submitting ballots each cycle. (You can kind of see this in the total first-place votes given week-to-week.) The issue with the coaches tally, though, is that all of these voters aren't following all of the games each week; it's pretty impossible to run a program, travel each weekend, and still get enough information around a Harvard-Holy Cross game played mid-week and understand the entire landscape of the game and where that result fits.
So, you're going to see massive swings in a ranking aggregation, especially swings that don't make a lot of sense to the general observer.
Regardless, Virginia holds down the top spot in both tallies for the fourth consecutive week. The Cavaliers were a unanimous choice in the coaches poll and were just one voter shy of a unanimous selection in the media poll. (Who is still voting Hopkins number one? I'm an idiot and even my idiot logic can't figure that one out.) Below is the aggregation of the top ten in both the coaches and media polls. The full polls can be seen on the left-hand column of this Internet computing page. I'm holding off on computer-type rankings until we get a little deeper into the season. The College Crosse poll -- when aggregated -- will appear after the jump.
- Massachusetts probably isn't the fifth-best team in the country -- at least not now, maybe not even at the end of the year -- but that's how polls poll. The Minutemen are still unbeaten with solid victories against Army, Bucknell, and Ohio State. Massachusetts should be able to hold its position for at least another week with games against Albany and Hartford coming up next. Whatever.
- Once again, the entirety of the ACC sits in the top-ten (although Duke and Carolina are starting to look like they might ruin it for everybody else if they keep dancing naked in the kitchen at the party). I'm not saying this is wrong -- Who else would you jump over them? I thought so. -- it's just that you can really see the deference to preseason assumptions about teams in early-season polling. Which is, actually, not stupid.
- Your biggest downward mover from last week's top-ten was North Carolina which slipped four positions in the aggregation following its "Oops! We were got bamboozled by Lehigh? Drats!" performance against the Mountain Hawks. Your biggest upward mover from last week's top-ten was Notre Dame which rose about two and a half positions after beating Drexel in Philadelphia. That acension is mostly due to Carolina dropping, but also due to people overreacting to everything. The other notable mover was Cornell, which rose two spots in the aggregation. The Big Red, however, should have never dropped poll positions in the the first place as not playing a game is no reason to drop four spots over consecutive weeks. Dummies.
What do you guys think about this? Okay or no-kay? The comments, they are yours.
Here's the aggregation from the College Crosse crew:
Also receiving votes: Dartmouth (1); Harvard (1).