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Blogpoll Ballot: CBS BlogPoll Week 2

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The times, they are a'changin'.

Over most of the last two years, I have been participating in a basketball blogpoll that was largely a group of basketball blogs shoving spreadsheets at each other and coming up with the magic Top 25.

Well, now things have progressed and gotten all fancy, and we have all moved over to the CBS Sports site, which has created a new basketball BlogPoll which is virtually identical to the football BlogPoll.  In fact, it is run by the same people at MGoBlog on the back end, but Jerry Hinnen of Joe Cribbs Car wash is responsible for the writing and discussion (see here for last week, note there are currently issues with formatting) of the compiled poll.

UPDATE:  The compiled poll and commentary are now up.

Naturally, yours truly, with his well-known tendency to overlook his own ballot and fail to put it up timely, forgot to do so last week.  This is a recurring problem with my blogpoll ballots, but all I can say is that I approach the whole thing with the best of intentions, if not flawless execution.

But this week, I am on top of this whole nasty thing (maybe for one week only, who knows?) and I provide for your edification and amusement my ballot below.

Rank Team Delta
1 Connecticut
2 North Carolina 2
3 Pittsburgh 1
4 Memphis 1
5 Oklahoma 1
6 Michigan St. 2
7 Missouri 5
8 Duke 5
9 Kansas 2
10 Louisville 3
11 Villanova 3
12 Arizona St. 10
13 UCLA 4
14 Clemson 1
15 Gonzaga 1
16 Wake Forest 1
17 Illinois 1
18 Xavier 8
19 Washington 1
20 Purdue 1
21 Butler 4
22 Marquette 3
23 California
24 Brigham Young 1
25 West Virginia 1
Last week's ballot


Dropped Out: Utah (#25).

Naturally, this ballot presumes facts not immediately in evidence, namely my previous ballot, which was cast but not posted.  Fortunately, that is not lost to posterity but may in fact be found here, where you can conveniently review any of my ballots by merely clicking on the appropriate week (this is the week two ballot above).

There were some big changes in this week's poll, and some of them may not seem deserved.  But as I noted before, my ranking system takes a number of factors into account.  I have recently revamped it for the new poll and no longer include the AP or Coach's poll in my calculation, but I do now include the Sagarin ratings along with the RPI, Ken Pomeroy's rankings, and BBState.  These are weighted by magic formula and I have added a final override that I include at the end.  This override is primarily necessary due to teams like West Virginia, who has played an obscenely tough schedule and has managed to somehow wind up weirdly high in all the stats-based systems, while their actual performance on the court would not seem to support such a lofty perch.  It's one of those anomalies that simply can't be corrected for any other way.

It's interesting to note that positions 11-15 and 17-20 are all so close in my rankings that there is just really no practical difference between them -- any team in either of those two ranges could just about occupy any spot within that range.  The top five is largely unchanged with the exception of Duke dropping way down by virtue of losing 4 of their last six.  Memphis has moved up into the top five by virtue of their 15 consecutive wins, including wins over some pretty good teams.  I am not really sold yet on Memphis, and they have to travel to UTEP (a better team than many realize) and UAB in the next couple of weeks.  If they continue their winning ways, I will be more confident in my inclusion of them.

Villanova makes a net move up despite my doubts about them due to an impressive victory over Marquette and other teams above them losing.  They just lost at West Virginia, which does give me pause about their position.  Butler takes a big hit due to their recent loss to Loyola of Chicago, currently ranked #235 by Pomeroy at home.  That is a really, really bad loss at this point in the season.  UCLA gets gigged for two losses in a row, and Missouri makes a big move because they just keep winning.

So there it is.  Comments welcome and encouraged.

P.S.  I forgot to mention where Kentucky is.  How does 39th sound?  Yeah, not that good to me, either.  For the record, Tennessee is the highest SEC team at 33, and LSU is just ahead of UK at 38.  You'd think LSU would be higher than that, wouldn't you?