To whom it may interest:
This is a discussion pulled from the Empire 8 board mid-week and something I felt like moving here to loop in more people beyond one conference, since it's largely a philosophical discussion.
And as we all can agree on in D3, polls are just polls, or an accurate an approximation as possible of who the most accomplished 25 teams are. I am glad they do not have a hand in the playoffs, I agonize over my weekly ballots enough as it is.
did anybody read keith's around the nation piece this week?
gave a little slam to fisher about why "this Year" 's team was rated so high.
well keith---it is only the second game of the season for everybody and all teams are trying to get themselves together.
Will they live up to the ranking---as you said it will determine itself in the coming weeks--- but why not throw a few barbs in other directions.
not trying to complain- but that barb could be said about anybody--------well minus MUC
I guess I didn't read it like that. I've always thought that polls should be put out no earlier than after the 4th week of the season. Obviously, Fisher is talented, but, much like many other teams, I think much of the rankings are based of of last season, which is, of course, irrelevant.
I think the reason he brought up Fisher specifically, is because his ranking for them is much lower than
A) Other rankings
B) Many people's general belief on Fisher
And so he wrote that line specifically as a pre-emptive answer to the question "Why is Fisher not in the Top 25 when they're ranked in the Top 15 in the .com poll and three of their last four losses have been to Mt. Union?"
Early season Top 25 rankings are pointless for two reasons
1) It's too early to get a feel on anyone
2) Rankings don't determine playoff status anyway
SJF will be there when the season ends (Or, more specifically, when Hartwick, Ithaca and Sailsbury have come through) so I wouldn't worry about "barbs" being thrown out
bombers--- i understand what you are saying.
however the same could be said about many other teams- thats all
ddnt mean to look too much into it----i like seeing fisher named in a national conversation-- just want it all roses!
I'm not going to officially speak for Keith on this because I don't have nearly enough knowledge to do so, but I think you can also make a distinction as follows: when he says "this year's St. John Fisher team" it's not only what the players on the field have done in 2008 but it may also encompass what the 2008 players have done in previous years.
In the grand scheme of things, yes, not many teams have accomplished anything in 2008 aside from MUC, UWW, UMHB, etc. But every team has players from 2007 and earlier on it. What did those players accomplish in 2007 and earlier, or, how much did they contribute to the team's earlier success? In the preseason, that's what we have to go on -- who's back and what have they done? If Keith doesn't feel the players on this year's team have shown him much then that may be why he said what he said.
I'll flag him down for you and see if he has time to come by and elaborate.
again--Pat im not trying to make a big deal out of this---but again many teams havent shown much and have had personnell changes----just saw the alma mater there and cringed.
keith isnt out of bounds---nor am i
I think you could probably take it the other way too though. He needed an example of a team who maybe has hit a level he's looking for yet, and used SJFC as an example not to slam them but because people in Texas, Califfornia, Oregon, Iowa, etc would recognize their success in the past few seasons on a national level.
So you guys hit on a couple of things, one being a pre-emptive note to why is SJF not yet on my particular ballot when most everyone else clearly has them pretty high. Also, in context with what I wrote about North Central, Millsaps and St. John's, it's meant to show the range of variation in early season ballots.
Specifically with St. John Fisher, it goes back to my style of preseason voting. I try to make my first ballot more than just a rehash of last season's playoff results and/or top 25, and that involves some projecting. I try to have a reason, any reason, to slot teams where I slot them. In the preseason that involves quite a bit of leaning on the number of returning starters and the significance of said starters.
In the preseason, voters have access to a spreadsheet that breaks down, among many other things, returning starters by position. The numbers on SJF were 4 offense/5 defense/2 specialists at that point, though it later ballooned to 7/7 by the time kickoff was published, which is quite the discrepancy. But the first time we voted between kickoff being released (after the preseason poll) was following the Week 1 games. So by then I'm going less of the returning starter data and more off of a 33-3 loss in Week 1.
Obviously they played Mount Union so you can't read too far into the loss itself, but 33-17 would've been a lot more impressive than 33-3, or 10-3 in the fourth and it got out of hand late to be 33. But it wasn't that, it was 33-0 in the third.
So granted a small sample size, but not anything that would vault SJF into the top 25 if I didn't already have them there based on my preseason vote. I didn't drop them either though. And the Week 2 result was just enough to keep them where they were.
I think with the games they have coming up, that's when we'll get the clarity on SJF and in the meantime it's not wise to push them too far up or down unless I had reason to downgrade a bunch of teams I was less impressed with or vice versa.
So it's sort of a wait-and-see for me until I get a reason to get excited about this year's team.
Perhaps if the original vote of keeping them on the fringe was based off the 4/5 number and not 7/7 I should reconsider it entirely, however what's happened since then hasn't exactly convinced me that mid-20s isn't the right spot for them right now.
So that's my story with that.
As for the logic of leaning heavily on number of returning starters and also key starters lost, I didn't rank Central in the first poll either, as they lost a star QB and RB (kind of like SJF) and a lot of key players. St. John's lost a star QB and I had them in the teeens when a lot of people have them in the single digits.
After today I look really smart for doing that, but that logic is also the same logic that had me placing Wesley and Missisippi College way high (many starters back, star QB in the Choctaws' case, 5 A-As in the wolverines' case, I believe).
So no system is really foolproof because the results are going to mess with your ballot one way or another.
But if you want to discuss the validity of the logic, I am willing to listen.