PDA

View Full Version : A Ranking Explanation



NYC Duke Fan
02-10-2009, 05:43 AM
I understand that ranking in February is not very important but my question is how can Duke be ranked # 6 with a 20-3 record and Clemson ranked #12 with a 19-3 record , when Clemson destroyed Duke last week? It just doesn't make any sense. Objectively, to a non Duke fan, Clemson is better than Duke.

Once again, this is just a question and ranking is of little import now.

brevity
02-10-2009, 06:19 AM
It just doesn't make any sense. Objectively, to a non Duke fan, Clemson is better than Duke.

Well, it makes some sense. Bear in mind that Clemson followed up that signature victory by losing (at home) to FSU. And pollsters, who are lazy and stubborn, are only interested in comparing Clemson this week to Clemson last week.

As for Duke, they didn't fall very far this week, mostly because a lot of other teams in the top 10 also lost (Marquette, Wake Forest, Louisville, Xavier, Clemson). Nobody likes to lose, but the Devils picked a good week to lose.

If pollsters wiped the slate clean and tried to formulate a new top 25 every week, then yeah, you might see Clemson ranked ahead.

CDu
02-10-2009, 07:57 AM
I understand that ranking in February is not very important but my question is how can Duke be ranked # 6 with a 20-3 record and Clemson ranked #12 with a 19-3 record , when Clemson destroyed Duke last week? It just doesn't make any sense. Objectively, to a non Duke fan, Clemson is better than Duke.

Once again, this is just a question and ranking is of little import now.

Two reasons:

1. Inertia. The pollsters are unlikely to drop a team substantially (or bump a team up substantially) based on one game, no matter how big the blowout. They thought Duke's resume was substantially better than Clemson's a week ago, and they still do this week.
2. Clemson lost last week, AFTER the Duke beatdown. The most recent events are freshest in the pollsters' minds. Note that, despite drubbing Duke, Clemson actually dropped in the rankings. Had Clemson won, we might have seen them jump up in the rankings and maybe even pass Duke.

pamtar
02-10-2009, 08:14 AM
A lot of it might have to do with the fact that we are the only top 25 team Clemson has beaten.

Miami may have been in the top 25 when when they played, but I don't think they were.

Klemnop
02-10-2009, 08:28 AM
Even the most devout Clemson fan wouldn't try to make the argument that the Tigers are a Top 10 team. Yet. The Tigers are still learning how to be consistent - at which time they may become a Top 10 team. Consider this (last three Clemson games):

First 23 minutes @ VaTech: -15
Next 88 minutes @VaTech, vs. Duke, vs. FSU: +59
Last 9 minutes vs. FSU: -19

This, as it turns out, is a very similar team to last year in "streakiness". Down 20 to Maryland with 10 minutes to play? No problem. Up 18 on 'Nova after 12 minutes in the NCAAs - Uh Oh!

It just so happens that one of Clemson's best spurts of the season, thus far, encompassed the entire Duke game. At the same time that Duke came out completely flat. A Perfect Storm (or perfectly bad storm, depending on your perspective) for a one game beat down.

Duke is a more skilled team, a more athletic team and a more consistent team than Clemson. I have no problem with the ranking as it stands now.

On a side note - there were some comments at the end of last week regarding Clemson continuing to attack Duke through the end of a clearly-decided game. For my part I thought it was on the bad side of good sportsmanship at the time - although part of the equation is that Clemson has had so very few opportunities to be in that position it's not as if they could "act like they'd been there before." After Saturday night I, for one, will never feel bad about continuing to play hard and attack a team through the end of a game. KC Rivers said after the game, "We took our foot off the pedal. We let them back in." In retrospect I'd rather that the Tigers had continued to keep their foot on the proverbial pedal and run the risk of being thought bad sports than to allow for a collapse. There's a happy medium there, I know, but this team isn't mature enough to know where it is. Perhaps a few more years, continuosuly, of being in those situations will teach us.

One can hope.

Klemnop - pulling for the Devils to knock off the Heels tomorrow night.

Klemnop
02-10-2009, 08:32 AM
Miami was Top 25 at the time - that was a 19 point raod win. Illinois has been consistently in the Top 25 - another road win.

Perhaps more importantly for March, Clemson is 6-3 vs. the RPI Top 50 - with Duke being the only one of the 6 wins that happened at Littlejohn (@Ill, @MIA, @USCe, @VaTech and Temple on a neutral court.)

CDu
02-10-2009, 08:43 AM
Miami was Top 25 at the time - that was a 19 point raod win. Illinois has been consistently in the Top 25 - another road win.

Perhaps more importantly for March, Clemson is 6-3 vs. the RPI Top 50 - with Duke being the only one of the 6 wins that happened at Littlejohn (@Ill, @MIA, @USCe, @VaTech and Temple on a neutral court.)

And note as well that while Clemson has only two wins against the RPI Top 25, they also have zero losses outside of the RPI top-20. They've beaten the teams they're supposed to beat (except for the collapse against FSU), and lost to the teams they're supposed to lose to (except for the hammering of Duke). 2-3 against the RPI Top-20 is still pretty good when you consider that four of those games were against the RPI top 15. The RPI has them at #8. Ken Pomeroy has them at #15. So I think it's fair to say that they're a borderline top-10 team.

Jumbo
02-10-2009, 08:46 AM
Well, it makes some sense. Bear in mind that Clemson followed up that signature victory by losing (at home) to FSU. And pollsters, who are lazy and stubborn, are only interested in comparing Clemson this week to Clemson last week.

As for Duke, they didn't fall very far this week, mostly because a lot of other teams in the top 10 also lost (Marquette, Wake Forest, Louisville, Xavier, Clemson). Nobody likes to lose, but the Devils picked a good week to lose.

If pollsters wiped the slate clean and tried to formulate a new top 25 every week, then yeah, you might see Clemson ranked ahead.

Exactly. If you want to play the "we beat X game, we should be ranked higher," than FSU has to be ahead of Clemson for winning at Clemson, right? Except we won at FSU. So we have to be ahead of FSU. That makes things a little tougher. Then you get into Carolina losing to B.C. (at home) and then B.C. losing to Harvard (at home) and, well, you get the idea ...

pamtar
02-10-2009, 08:56 AM
Miami was Top 25 at the time - that was a 19 point raod win. Illinois has been consistently in the Top 25 - another road win.

Perhaps more importantly for March, Clemson is 6-3 vs. the RPI Top 50 - with Duke being the only one of the 6 wins that happened at Littlejohn (@Ill, @MIA, @USCe, @VaTech and Temple on a neutral court.)

OK, you've convinced me. Especially after I compared our loses. No 1, No 5, and No 25 vs No ~23, No 3, No 10.

I'd say there is a good argument that they deserve to be ranked ahead of us. But, I think our wins at Fla St, at Purdue, Xavier, G-town, and our pseudo-loss to Wake may put us over the top. Clemson should definitely be above L-ville, Memphis, Michigan St, and UCLA though.

InSpades
02-10-2009, 09:34 AM
OK, you've convinced me. Especially after I compared our loses. No 1, No 5, and No 25 vs No ~23, No 3, No 10.

I'd say there is a good argument that they deserve to be ranked ahead of us. But, I think our wins at Fla St, at Purdue, Xavier, G-town, and our pseudo-loss to Wake may put us over the top. Clemson should definitely be above L-ville, Memphis, Michigan St, and UCLA though.

UCLA is definitely overrated. Their next win against a top 25 team will be their 1st. The best non-conference win they have is... beating a Notre Dame team on a 6-game losing streak? Miami (OH) at home? For a team with 4 losses that is pretty unimpressive.

shotrocksplitter
02-10-2009, 10:08 AM
UCLA has been overrated for years. Even their Final Four runs were unimpressive, as their path through the first two weekends was easier than the others. They are just one more team that benefits ridiculously from a pathetically weak conference.

Vincetaylor
02-10-2009, 10:17 AM
The rankings just don't matter at all. Duke has been highly ranked for the last few seasons and where has that gotten them? Duke is ranked high every year because they get up for every game. Rarely does Duke lose to teams who are big underdogs. That means less losses and a higher ranking. They have yet to prove this year that they can beat a top tier team. Xavier and FSU are their best wins and I would be surprised if either one of them make the Elite 8. A win Wednesday would change that of course.

shotrocksplitter
02-10-2009, 10:21 AM
The rankings just don't matter at all. Duke has been highly ranked for the last few seasons and where has that gotten them? Duke is ranked high every year because they get up for every game. Rarely does Duke lose to teams who are big underdogs. That means less losses and a higher ranking. They have yet to prove this year that they can beat a top tier team. Xavier and FSU are their best wins and I would be surprised if either one of them make the Elite 8. A win Wednesday would change that of course.

Don't go forgetting Georgetown and Purdue!

CDu
02-10-2009, 10:29 AM
Don't go forgetting Georgetown and Purdue!

Well, Georgetown is looking less and less like a top-tier team. They are, in fact, looking as though they might not make the tournament. They could wind up with 11 losses in conference, including two to Cincy, one to Notre Dame, and one to Seton Hall. @Purdue is a solid win, but their RPI is near 40 and they haven't really beaten anyone. The RPI suggests that Xavier and @FSU are Duke's best wins by a good margin.

shotrocksplitter
02-10-2009, 10:42 AM
Well, Georgetown is looking less and less like a top-tier team. They are, in fact, looking as though they might not make the tournament. They could wind up with 11 losses in conference, including two to Cincy, one to Notre Dame, and one to Seton Hall. @Purdue is a solid win, but their RPI is near 40 and they haven't really beaten anyone. The RPI suggests that Xavier and @FSU are Duke's best wins by a good margin.

I think that a single loss can really hurt a team's season. There are a number of examples recently of teams that have come into a matchup with Duke EXTREMELY highly regarded, lost, and left a different team. I'd reference Texas 3 years ago (game @ MSG, J.J. went for 41), Wisconsin 2 years ago (highly ranked, went on to lose a ton of games after us), and both Purdue and Georgetown this year.

It may be because we show other teams how to beat a good team, or that Duke crushes the other team's spirit.

Whatever the case, I think it's more important to consider the teams as they come INTO the Duke game, not the ones that leave it.

CDu
02-10-2009, 10:52 AM
I think that a single loss can really hurt a team's season. There are a number of examples recently of teams that have come into a matchup with Duke EXTREMELY highly regarded, lost, and left a different team. I'd reference Texas 3 years ago (game @ MSG, J.J. went for 41), Wisconsin 2 years ago (highly ranked, went on to lose a ton of games after us), and both Purdue and Georgetown this year.

It may be because we show other teams how to beat a good team, or that Duke crushes the other team's spirit.

Whatever the case, I think it's more important to consider the teams as they come INTO the Duke game, not the ones that leave it.

That is certainly possible. However, it's also just as possible that those teams simply weren't as good as people thought. You're entering a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Is Georgetown's fade a result of Duke illustrating how to beat them, or was their loss to Duke simply emblematic of the fact that maybe they weren't as good as their ranking suggested?

That's the problem with looking where a team was going into an early-season matchup. It's sometimes hard to tell which is the real cause. And with REALLY early-season losses, I think it's inappropriate to base it on where the team was going into that game, because the reality is that the "experts" don't really know where a team is in November/December.

shotrocksplitter
02-10-2009, 10:58 AM
However, it's also just as possible that those teams simply weren't as good as people thought. You're entering a chicken-or-the-egg situation.

Makes these discussions possible! Or at least worth having.

pfrduke
02-10-2009, 11:30 AM
Well, Georgetown is looking less and less like a top-tier team. They are, in fact, looking as though they might not make the tournament. They could wind up with 11 losses in conference, including two to Cincy, one to Notre Dame, and one to Seton Hall. @Purdue is a solid win, but their RPI is near 40 and they haven't really beaten anyone. The RPI suggests that Xavier and @FSU are Duke's best wins by a good margin.

Purdue has been really hurt by Robbie Hummel's absence. I think every one (or all but one) of their conference losses has been without Hummel. Them losing Hummel is like taking Singler away from us. The team we beat (and the team that Purdue's pre-season accolades were based on) is different than the team that lost at Illinois by 18 because they've been without their best player.

CDu
02-10-2009, 11:34 AM
Purdue has been really hurt by Robbie Hummel's absence. I think every one (or all but one) of their conference losses has been without Hummel. Them losing Hummel is like taking Singler away from us. The team we beat (and the team that Purdue's pre-season accolades were based on) is different than the team that lost at Illinois by 18 because they've been without their best player.

Yes, the Purdue situation is one of the few clear examples where the team WAS better when we played them. My point resided more with Georgetown than with Purdue, but I completely agree with you on Purdue.