Acrosse the College Lacrosse Polls: April 30, 2012

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The new polls are out -- Coaches // Media-- and Massachusetts is the newest oligarch (although just barely). The Minutemen pulled in 20 out of 24 first-place votes in the media run while taking four of six top spots in the coaches tally. (Notre Dame collected all of the non-Massachusetts first-place votes in both polls.) This raises an interesting point: Why did only six coaches vote in this week's coaches poll? How the hell is that even possible? There are seriously press releases being written on what six anonymous coaches think about the 61 teams in college lacrosse? Get off my legs, crazy pants.

Here's this week's poll aggregation featuring teams situated in any set of rankings' top ten. Some brief thoughts follow after the jump.

ACROSSE THE LACROSSE POLLS: APRIL 30, 2012
TEAM LAXPOWER RPI EFFICIENCY AVG. COACHES MEDIA AVG. DIFF. AVG.
Massachusetts 1 2 1 1.3 1 1 1.0 0. 1.2
Loyola 3 3 5 3.7 3 3 3.0 0.7 3.4
Notre Dame 8 1 8 5.7 2 2 2.0 3.7 4.2
Lehigh 5 6 4 5.0 7 7 7.0 -2.0 5.8
Duke 11 4 9 8.0 4 4 4.0 4.0 6.4
Maryland 6 10 3 6.3 6 9 7.5 -1.2 6.8
Princeton 2 12 2 5.3 9 10 9.5 -4.2 7.0
Virginia 7 7 11 8.3 8 6 7.0 1.3 7.8
Denver 4 13 6 7.7 12 11 11.5 -3.8 9.2
Johns Hopkins 12 5 12 9.7 10 8 9.0 0.7 9.4
Colgate 10 9 7 8.7 11 12 11.5 -2.8 9.8
North Carolina 13 8 26 15.7 5 5 5.0 10.7 11.4
Cornell 9 14 10 11.0 13 13 13.0 -2.0 11.8

LAXPOWER: These are the LaxPower ratings. These ratings are based on solid math, similar to Jeff Sagarin's rankings. Importantly, they consider margin of victory.

RPI: This is stupid person math. I include these rankings only because the NCAA is full of stupid people and they still use this stupid person math as a major piece of their stupid tournament selection criteria. I've included these rankings this week because I am, apparently, as stupid as everyone and everything else.

EFFICIENCY: This is just a ranking of a team's efficiency margin, as adjusted for strength of schedule. These are similar to Ken Pomeroy's rankings, but slightly different. (Pomeroy uses win expectation as the basis of his ratings. We each, however, use the same foundation (efficiency).)

AVG.: Average of the "math" rankings.

COACHES/MEDIA: These are the human polls, as voted on by humans. These humans have different jobs, though: One set judges humans while clad in university-issued apparel; the other set of humans judges others simply to sell ink and paper. These polls are from April 30, 2012.

AVG.: This is the average the Earth-human polls.

DIFF.: The difference between the "math" polls and the human polls. A negative value means that "math" is rating a team higher than the things that are carbon-based; the inverse means that the things made out of 75% water are rating a team higher than the things not made out of any water.

AVG.: Average of the math and human polls. This is how the table is ordered.

More after the jump.

  • Obligatory Princeton Pump-Up: Maryland has started to normalize between its math-ish position and its human poll position -- maybe the machines won't eventually take over after all -- and that's a victory for America; if they're so inclined, Canada can give a high five as well. Princeton, however, still isn't getting much burn in your petty carbon-based life form tallies and its just kind of ridiculous at this point. The Tigers still hold the largest variance between the "needs a fan to operate" rankings and the "needs a fan because breathing is physically demanding" polls. I don't get it. What does Princeton need to do to move up? Defeat Massachusetts while engaged in a bank robbery, holding a squirt gun filled with red dye, and instructing the teller that she "better not call the cops or she's going to have a dry cleaning bill that she never anticipated"?
  • Everyone is Everyone: Take a quick glance at the overall average rankings. There's all kinds of bunching, which is exactly why this May is going to be bonkers. Five teams -- Lehigh, Duke, Maryland, Princeton, and Virginia -- are currently squished between two ranking positions. Three teams -- Denver, Hopkins, and Colgate -- are bunched between less than one ranking position. There is strong balance between the relative tiers of power this season, which is going to create two circumstances: (1) Potential balance in the NCAA Tournament; (2) Potential chaos in actually picking, seeding, and bracketing the NCAA Tournament field. Yee-haw!
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