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Acrosse the College Lacrosse Polls: April 16, 2012

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The new polls are out -- you can find them through this handy Internet computing link to be clicked on through your Internet computing machine -- and Loyola is, kind of, your new number one! The coaches poll and the media poll shared the love again with first place votes -- the Greyhounds and Massachusetts tied, points-wise, in the coaches tally while Loyola took home more first-place votes; the media poll threw first-place votes at four teams (Loyola (14), Massachusetts (3), Cornell (4), and Notre Dame (1)) -- but Loyola is pretty much on top of the mountain at this point following Virginia's and Hopkins' losses this weekend.

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 5 1 2.3 1 2 1.5 0.8 2.0
Loyola 3 1 5 3.0 1 1 1.0 2.0 2.2
Virginia 5 3 7 5.0 4 6 5.0 0.0 5.0
Cornell 6 9 4 6.3 3 3 3.0 3.3 5.0
Maryland 4 4 2 3.3 8 8 8.0 -4.7 5.2
Hopkins 7 2 8 5.7 6 7 6.5 -0.8 6.0
Notre Dame 10 6 9 8.3 5 4 4.5 3.8 6.8
Duke 9 7 11 9.0 7 5 6.0 3.0 7.8
Princeton 2 17 3 73 14 13 13.5 -6.2 9.8
Denver 8 15 6 9.7 10 12 11.0 -1.3 10.2
Lehigh 12 8 10 10.0 12 10 11.0 -1.0 10.4
North Carolina 14 10 24 16.0 9 9 9.0 7.0 13.2

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 16, 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: I had been warning you about Maryland, people. They were trending better in the "Science!" polls than the human polls had them and then -- BAM! -- they upset Johns Hopkins down at Homewood Field. Now, that may have been a bit of a fluke, but it does raise a solid point: The human polls don't react as quickly as the math ones. The Terrapins can play in 2012 -- my brain melon tells me that they're still a little underrated in the human polls right now -- and while Princeton hasn't exactly put together the kind of resume that Maryland has, the Tigers continue have a better production profile than the human polls are giving them credit for. I don't think that Princeton is better than Cornell right now, but this is a Tigers team that could do some damage in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Notre Dame, huh?: I can understand why someone in a polo shirt threw Notre Dame a first-place vote: They only have one loss. That's cool, I guess. The thing, though, is that the Irish aren't quite as complete as the rest of the upper echelon of Division I right now. Notre Dame may have the strongest defense in the country, but that offense is still hobbling around the field a bit. I honestly don't know if the Irish's issues with the bean are going to end up hurting them, but the math-ish tallies remain cautious. Their ranking variance isn't huge, but it is notable, and with regular season dates left with Villanova and Syracuse we'll have the luxury of putting the Irish's human-ish poll ranking to the test.
  • Denver and the Dastardly RPI: There is a ridiculous reliance on the RPI in the NCAA Tournament selection process and I fear that Denver may be walking into a tough spot in a few weeks. The RPI hasn't loved the Pioneers this season and unless Denver can get together some flashy wins -- an ECAC Tournament championship or a win against Duke at the end of the regular season -- the Pioneers could be on the outside looking in come tournament time. The Pioneers have performed a shade btter than their human poll ranking and still have the goods to make a run at this thing through mid- to late-April.