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Acrosse the College Lacrosse Polls: March 26, 2012


The new polls are out -- media // coaches -- and after Johns Hopkins' earth-shaking, rim-shaking, rump-shaking, shake-and-baking (okay, I'm done) overtime defeat of Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville, the Blue Jays have assumed the top spot in each human tally. Hopkins' position, though, isn't without flaw: Someone in the coaches poll tossed their first place vote to Loyola rather than the Jays. Troll hard, friend. Troll hard.

This isn't necessarily a new thing in the human polls this season: For many weeks a voter or two were casting ballots with Hopkins atop their poll rather than Virginia. This doesn't rankle me as much as coaches and media members not voting every week -- that's an impressive level of lazy, and this is coming from a guy that should get a handicapped parking pass due to my crippling laziness -- but it does prove a point: Haters gonna hate.

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

Massachusetts 1 1 1.0 2 3 2.5 -1.5 1.4
Johns Hopkins 4 6 5.0 1 1 1.0 4.0 2.4
Virginia 5 4 4.5 3 2 2.5 2.0 2.8
Cornell 7 2 4.5 5 4 4.5 0.0 3.6
Loyola 2 8 5.0 4 5 4.5 0.5 3.8
Maryland 3 5 4.0 9 9 9.0 -5.0 5.2
Denver 8 3 5.5 10 10 10.0 -4.5 6.2
Duke 9 9 9.0 8 8 8.0 1.0 6.8
Princeton 6 7 6.5 13 11 12.0 -5.5 7.4
Notre Dame 13 14 13.5 6 6 6.0 7.5 7.8
Lehigh 15 11 13.0 7 7 7.0 6.0 8.0
Bucknell 10 10 10.0 16 16 16.0 -6.0 10.4

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. I don't include these rankings this week because they have crazy eyes.

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 26, 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.

  • If my memory is correct -- and that's a dicey proposition akin to building a time machine and assuming that it'll work without frying your brain -- Paul Carcaterra tweeted, after Denver's loss to Ohio State at the sunrise of the season, that the Pioneers' dramatic drop in the polls was a bit of an overreaction. In other words, Denver was still a good team and, despite what our head melons want to tell us, good teams sometimes lose. The Pioneers are still overcoming that in the human polls, but the math-ish polls are coming around on Denver. Tierney's club is performing better than their poll position -- pretty drastically, I might add -- and it wouldn't be shocking if Denver is a handful for Loyola on April 14th.
  • I'm not going to rehash the Princeton issue that I floated last week, but the Tigers may be better than a lot of people think right now. Princeton is, currently, the team with the biggest disparity between their math-ish ranking and their human ranking. THE MACHINES WILL RULE US ALL SOMEDAY! Or not.
  • On the flip side is Notre Dame, a team that the math-ish rankings are skeptical toward but the humans like. Given the Irish's hellish defense, I think the math-ish polls may be understating how tough it is to play Notre Dame. This is probably a top-ten team at this point, but a somewhat difficult go against Rutgers may be a sign that the Irish may have some harsh flaws to address. The issue with the Irish, as has been the case recently, is the offense (which only ranks 48th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency). If that comes around and the Irish start smacking fools, the math-ish rankings may start to come around.
  • On Bucknell and Lehigh: The Bison are a victim of losing its first three games and having to walk through a minefield of hoping teams ahead of them in the human polls lose so that they can ascend; the Mountain Hawks are operating in the inverse, taking their loss early and recovering quickly. The math-ish rankings don't really care about that all that much, which is why they have essentially flip-flopped each team's poll position. What's awesome about this is that it'll all be settled on April 14th when the two meet at Lehigh to figure this all out.