Look alive, people!
The new polls are out -- Coaches // Media -- and there's been some notable movement around the aggregation board. Before we address this, a quick note: In constructing the aggregation table, I only consider teams that are listed in the top-10 in at least one poll.
With that, some comments:
- Compared to last week, the top-four teams stay the same although there has been some flippy-floppiness. Cornell rises from the second spot on the strength of its improved coaches poll position. Syracuse jumps from fourth to second due to its leap in the human polls and improved efficiency and Laxpower ratings. Notre Dame is the big loser in the bunch, mostly due to the human elements (their computer ratings are pretty consistent with last week). Hopkins fell in every single measure from last week to this week.
- The second grouping of schools -- five through nine -- is comprised of the same schools as last week, although Duke and Denver switched positions. Notably, the computers averaged Virginia at about the seven-spot last week with the human polls having them about 11th. With the Cavaliers' destruction of Pennsylvania on Saturday, the human polls moved Virginia up to around 10th. The computers still like Virginia more than the humans, which is likely an indication that the Cavaliers are probably a little better than everyone thinks right now.
- Goodbye, Carolina! The 'Heels are the only team that disappeared from the aggregation poll from last week. Oddly, North Carolina was idle over the weekend. This is going to be one of the weirdest teams to figure out entering NCAA Tournament play. Their game against Notre Dame this week will answer a lot of questions about the team and their bubble status.
- Cross your fingers that Stony Brook doesn't get tripped up in the America East Tournament. Without the league's automatic qualifier, the Seawolves are perceived to be a question mark relative to an at-large invitation. If Stony Brook gets left out, the playoffs would lose a squad that is decidedly better than their current human poll position.
- Fire up the broken record: Maryland's RPI rank is proof that the RPI is drooled stupid. In case you're wondering, the Terps' low-ish efficiency rank is due, in part, to the team's offensive performance this year. (Basically, the calculation is showing me that Maryland should've scored more against the slate of opponents it has faced. It isn't that the Terrapins' offense is bad (they're really good), but that they actually should've been more destructive. No big deal in the overall. This team is still a title contender.)
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 May 2, 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.