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Acrosse the Lacrosse Polls: April 19, 2011

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If Bill Parcells was right when he said, "You are what your record says you are," then clearly Notre Dame is the number one team in the country.

If Bill Parcells was so full of it that his eyes were brown, then the Irish probably aren't at the top of the mountain, ceding the position to some combination of Cornell, Syracuse, or Johns Hopkins.  As it turns out, the majority of college lacrosse pollsters believe the mantra of "The Tuna"; a few others think that his sentiments smack of diarrhea of the mouth.

The new polls are out -- Coaches // Media -- and the Irish sit alone atop both rankings.  In each poll, the Blue Jays, Big Red, Orange, and Pioneers round out the top-five.  I'm still shocked that Cornell hasn't earned more than two first-place votes in either ranking.*  All they did last week was absolutely annihilate the consensus number-one team in the country.  In their building.

Here's the weekly aggregation.  Some quick thoughts follow after the jump.

Notre Dame 3 2 2 2.33 1 1 1.00 1.33 1.80
Cornell 1 3 1 1.67 3 3 3.00 -1.33 2.20
Hopkins 2 5 5 4.00 2 2 2.00 2.00 3.20
Syracuse 6 1 9 5.33 4 4 4.00 1.33 4.80
Denver 7 7 3 5.67 5 5 5.00 0.67 5.40
Virginia 5 6 4 5.00 10 9 9.50 -4.50 6.80
Duke 8 8 6 7.33 6 7 6.50 0.83 7.00
Maryland 4 15 7 8.67 7 6 6.50 2.17 7.80
Hofstra 11 11 10 10.67 8 8 8.00 2.67 9.60
Villanova 12 4 12 9.33 11 11 11.00 -1.67 1.00
N. Carolina 9 10 15 11.33 9 10 9.50 1.83 10.60
Stony Brook 10 13 11 11.33 14 13 13.50 -2.17 12.20
Pennsylvania 14 9 8 10.33 13 17 15.00 -4.67 12.20

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 and where a game was played.

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.

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 March 21, 2011.

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.


I'm putting a gun to your head right now: If Cornell played Notre Dame or Johns Hopkins on a neutral field, does Cornell win?

If you think that the Big Red would win, why continue to propagate the fiction that the Irish and/or Blue Jays are better than the Big Red? Cornell's strength of schedule is commensurate with Hopkins' and Notre Dame's.  The only difference is that Cornell lost two tough games early against Army and Virginia.  Right now, I have no issues claiming that Cornell is the best team in the country.


The Cavaliers aren't as potent as they are with a healthy Steele Stanwick, but I'm not 100 percent positive that there are ten teams better than Virginia even without Stanwick.  This is another school that got caught in the poll tradition trap: A little bout of losing has ranked them lower than their actual performance ability. 

If Virginia stays at the back end of the top-10, they become one of the most dangerous double-digit ranked teams in the history of history. 


The Terps are still getting boned by the RPI.  The nonsense that is the ACC tournament should fix that up for 'em.

* Man hugs and hearty back slaps to Brian Higgins (@BrianHigginsSU) for ably voting Cornell number one on his media ballot.  To the other mysterious pollster putting the Big Red on top, a cladenstine fist jab to you.