2011-12 College Basketball Rankings: Poll Analysis for 12/26/2011

Examining the AP and Coaches poll. (via hlkljgk)

Yesterday's AP and Coaches polls had few surprises, but that's to be expected at this time of year when teams are cleaning up the last of their out-of-conference schedule. By now, most teams have played their marquee games for their non-con and are preparing for the grind of league play.

Two notable, but by no means exclusive, exceptions are the Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats. Louisville has two very challenging games this week, one Big East contest at home in the Chicken Ranch and then, of course, the annual clash with Kentucky in Rupp Arena. No wonder Traitor Rick is so snappish these days.

After the jump, I have consolidated the AP and Coaches poll, and prepared an analysis for your edification.

Poll Data

AP Poll Coaches Poll




Schedule Strength
Rnk Prev Change Rnk Prev Change Team Wins Losses Votes 1st SOS Rnk Proj Rnk Conference
1 1 0 1 1 0 Syracuse 13 0 1611 54 0.6014 12 0.6521 2 Big East
2 2 0 2 2 0 Ohio State 12 1 1507 5 0.5135 132 0.6290 14 Big Ten
3 3 0 3 3 0 Kentucky 11 1 1480 4 0.5051 148 0.5710 76 SEC
4 4 0 4 4 0 Louisville 12 0 1386 2 0.5365 82 0.6319 12 Big East
5 5 0 6 6 0 North Carolina 11 2 1366 0 0.5482 66 0.5985 38 ACC
6 6 0 7 7 0 Baylor 12 0 1299 0 0.5130 134 0.6158 25 Big 12
7 7 0 5 5 0 Duke 10 1 1281 0 0.5850 25 0.6157 26 ACC
8 9 1 8 8 0 Missouri 12 0 1149 0 0.4410 296 0.5772 62 Big 12
9 8 -1 9 9 0 Connecticut 10 1 1143 0 0.5816 30 0.6453 3 Big East
10 11 1 10 12 2 Florida 10 2 1050 0 0.5161 122 0.5750 70 SEC
11 13 2 11 14 3 Wisconsin 11 2 898 0 0.5448 69 0.6350 8 Big Ten
12 16 4 12 16 4 Georgetown 10 1 851 0 0.4856 202 0.6110 29 Big East
13 17 4 15 18 3 Indiana 12 0 820 0 0.4398 299 0.5914 45 Big Ten
14 10 -4 13 10 -3 Marquette 11 1 775 0 0.5335 90 0.6205 21 Big East
15 18 3 14 17 3 Mississippi St. 12 1 718 0 0.4817 212 0.5794 59 SEC
16 19 3 17 20 3 Michigan State 11 2 613 0 0.5620 47 0.6584 1 Big Ten
17 12 -5 18 11 -7 Kansas 8 3 548 0 0.5886 21 0.6281 16 Big 12
18 20 2 16 19 3 Michigan 10 2 504 0 0.5138 130 0.6396 5 Big Ten
19 21 2 20 23 3 UNLV 13 2 473 0 0.5612 49 0.5903 46 Mountain West
20 22 2 21 22 1 Murray State 13 0 342 0 0.5040 151 0.4263 280 Ohio Valley
21 23 2 19 21 2 Creighton 10 1 254 0 0.5265 103 0.5562 90 Missouri Valley
22 15 -7 22 13 -9 Pittsburgh 11 2 238 0 0.4997 168 0.6054 34 Big East
23 24 1 24 New New Virginia 10 1 214 0 0.4968 176 0.5644 85 ACC
24 New New 23 25 2 Harvard 10 1 121 0 0.4918 194 0.4723 185 Ivy League
25 New New Unr Unr - San Diego State 11 2 119 0 0.5032 153 0.5649 83 Mountain West
Unr Unr - 25 New New Kansas St 10 1 45 0 0.5297 96 0.6093 30 Big 12

Here are my comments about the teams highlighted above:

  • Syracuse will not be tested again until January 7th vs. Marquette.
  • Ohio St. faces Indiana in Bloomington on Saturday. Big test for both teams.
  • Louisville faces the Georgetown Hoyas on Wednesday and Kentucky on Saturday. If they are as overranked as I think, it will surely show up this week. Otherwise, you have to hand it to them.
  • Two words for having Duke ranked ahead of the North Carolina Tar Heels: In. Sane. Okay, that's one word, but you get the idea.
  • The Baylor Bears are still unconvincing at this level, but they have a chance to change my mind versus Mississippi St. on Wednesday.
  • Jim Calhoun's fib to the NCAA finally comes home to roost, and he will be forced to sit out arguably the easiest three-game stretch in UConn's remaining season.
  • Cupcake schedule for Indiana so far turns into a murderer's row starting on Wednesday.
  • Will Marquette be responsible for lifting up two SEC teams? They play Vanderbilt on Thursday.
  • The Kansas Jayhawks were overranked at 11. This is about right for them.
  • Michigan gets one more cupcake, and then it gets difficult.
  • Pittsburgh loss to Wagner looks like a bad omen for Big East play to me.

Poll analysis by conference:

Conference
Data ACC Big 12 Big East Big Ten Ivy League Missouri Valley Mountain West Ohio Valley SEC
Count - Conference 3 4 6 5 1 1 2 1 3
Average - SOS 0.54 0.52 0.54 0.51 0.49 0.53 0.53 0.50 0.50
Average - Proj 0.59 0.61 0.63 0.63 0.47 0.56 0.58 0.43 0.58
Average - Wins 10.33 10.50 11.17 11.20 10.00 10.00 12.00 13.00 11.00
Average - Losses 1.33 1.00 0.83 1.40 1.00 1.00 2.00 0.00 1.33

  • The Big East continues to lead the way with six ranked teams between the two polls.The Big Ten is a close second with five, and the Big 12 has four to lead the top three.
  • The Pac-12 is the only BCS conference not represented in the poll at all. How far have they fallen, collectively?
  • The SEC has the weakest average strength of schedule of all the BCS conferences in the poll.
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