Eye test vs. advanced stats. It's a constant argument. However, for pretty much every team the two are usually at least somewhat in sync. It's the outliers that is where all the vitriol seems to be. DJ and I got into it a bit this morning because I have been pretty down on Maryland, relatively speaking, as have most of the other advanced metrics. To the human poll, they're top 5. By every computer metric I've found, they're no better than 15. I don't think anyone questions the talent they have, but they just haven't performed like a top 5 team, yet. This brings up another question: Should the human polls be what the teams have done so far, how good they think the teams actually are, how they'll end up at the end of the year, or some combination of all of those?
Anyway, here are the rankings:
- MSU still at 2 after the close call against Oakland last night. I doubt they will be able to stay here without Valentine the next couple of weeks. However, even without Valentine, they're still full of a talent and will be able to beat most teams they face. First up will be a decent Iowa team.
- Purdue finally faced a team with a pulse and lost. Losing to Butler isn't anything to be ashamed about, though. They're a very good team, and came in a bit more tested than Purdue. However, Purdue followed that up with a very nice win over Vanderbilt. With their frontcourt, they're a matchup nightmare for pretty much everyone.
- Maryland is 4th in both the Coaches and AP poll, but KenPom has them 15th, Sagarin has them 16th, and BPI has them 19th, and they are 25th here. They may end up in the final 4, but I just don't see how what they've done so far deserves a top 5 ranking.
- Iowa is kinda on the opposite end of Maryland, where most advanced stats love Iowa. I'm not quite as sold, yet (and neither is my rating system). I would compare them to a spread-offense football team that absolutely blows out a lot of teams, but doesn't quite know how to handle close games. We'll see a bit more if they're able to get by a hampered MSU team in their conference opener next week.
- Northwestern just chugging along devouring cupcake after cupcake. I don't think this is the year. They're RPI is probably going to be pretty bad. However, in a down B1G, I would kinda be surprised if they didn't hit 20 wins, and a nice seed and some home games in the NIT. Collins doing good work there.
- Michigan beats bad teams, loses to good teams, and is boring to watch.
- Indiana really embracing the Chaos Team identity. Not sure that'll be good enough to save Crean's job. But they're still not going to be a picknick to play. They're going to absolutely put a pounding on some good team this season, and then go out and lose to someone like Penn State.
- OSU making a pretty big move up. They're super young and talented, and could make a run in conference play. Not sure that'll be enough to outweigh the disappointing non-con.
- Wisconsin has a hot affair tonight with UW-GB to decide the 3rd best team in the state. I bet they really miss Fuck Bo banging around the office. They're bad, and it's awesome. No way they get a tourney birth this year.
- Every other team is bad. Chambers and Miles are probably safe just because of expectations, but Groce, Little Ricky, and Jordan are all gonna be fired.
- Xavier is far and away the top team, right now. I don't think they stay there, as teams full of young talent start to coalesce and surpass them. I'd compare them a bit to Utah in football from early in the season. At the time they easily had the most impressive resume, they eventually slipped back, but were still a damn good team.
- I'm starting to really like how this is coming into focus. I don't seen any egregious errors. Especially since I have absolutely no preseason weightings. You see any chime in?