"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
#Michigan is back on top, ranked No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time in 20 years, 1 month and 30 days.
It's good to be back on top (at least in the APs eyes).
|19||North Carolina State||16-4||431|
|22||San Diego State||16-4||302|
#2 in the updated coaches poll, only 3 points behind Kansas. Understandable considering we were #3 in last week's coaches poll. #1 in the AP poll with a solid lead over Kansas.
“BEHAVIOR AT THE POLLS”
Last week, fellow MGoBlogger Mmmm Hmmm posted a diary which discussed the behavior of the polls with relation to teams in the Big Ten, and reading it opened the door to an intriguing possibility. As there are sites now which in fact capture the voting patterns of the polls down to the individual voter, such as Pollspeak.com, it is possible to create a visual representation of how the polls react to a team on a weekly basis. Naturally, the team I chose as a test case for this was Michigan.
The AP poll is the most readily available when it comes to individual voter data, so that’s the one I chose for this exercise. I used Pollspeak.com to generate the team reports for each week from the preseason until the most recent data available and then downloaded the information for each week (it is available in CSV format from the site) into Excel. For our purposes, we shall leave individual names off the ballots and focus on how the rankings themselves behave.
I created two tables – one for the raw voter data, and another which counts by ranking how many voters placed us at a given position on their ballot. It was not until this point that I realized how convenient the COUNTIF function on Excel can be, incidentally. The resulting graphs for each week come out of the second table and allow for week-over-week comparison of the behavior of Michigan’s ranking per the opinion of the AP voters.
For the weekly data, the horizontal axis is the particular ranking, and the vertical axis is how many votes were cast at that ranking for Michigan.
On each graph, as the week’s progress, if you follow the mode (the highest bar) and look in either direction, it is clear that consensus was beginning to build regarding Michigan’s ranking at different points. From Weeks 3 through 6, for example, we attained more third place votes than anything else, and with each week, more voters began to agree with the third place ranking. From weeks 7 through 10, you can see a similar trend for our second place ranking. At Week 11, you see the poll which was submitted the day after our loss to Ohio State, and with that game, the mode fell to fourth place and the general agreement among voters vanished. Week 12 shows the poll as of January 21st, coming off the win against Minnesota, and you will note that many forgave us – in a way – for the Ohio State loss in this poll as the mode is once again building around a second place ranking.
Now that the general format is laid out for tracking these (at least on this strange-looking Excel Workbook that I have created), it will be possible (and convenient) in the future to do comparisons between teams as well in addition to tracking individual teams, at least within the confines of the AP data.
I was just reading an article by Jason King over at the WWL about the strength of the Big Ten this year. Toward the end of the article, King discussed some random things about the season so far, and this was one of them:
4. Random thought here, but the race for National Coach of the Year is going to be an interesting one. Lots of good candidates but no hands-down favorites. At least not yet. Here are some guys who may be considered: Dana Altman (Oregon), Brad Stevens (Butler), Bruce Weber (Kansas State), Tubby Smith (Minnesota), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Larry Shyatt (Wyoming) and Larry Eustachy (Colorado State).
And for the record, I tend to favor coaches who have surpassed expectations set forth during the preseason, which tends to put guys like Mike Krzyzewski and Bill Self at a disadvantage. But I would have no problem if the coach of a top-five-caliber team ended up winning the award. Staying at the top is often as difficult as getting there.
To be honest, I was surprised that he didn't mention Beilein with those other coaches. Granted, I'm sure he wasn't trying to provide an exhaustive list, but I still feel like Beilein has to be on a short list of coaches in the running.
Your thoughts? I'll hang up and listen.
During my five years at Michigan from Sept 1988 to April 1993, as far as the hoops team is concerned, was lucky to see them win the national title as a freshman, and then see two years up close, of the Fab Five, camping outside of Crisler to get good seats for all the games, through seeing 18 rows up, seeing Webber call the timeout in the Superdome.
Now, seeing these new five freshmen to go with the rest of team, it really is a pleasure to see this rebirth of sorts. If this team wins the national title, it will make quite a story, relative to how the Fab Five couldn't win a title yet these five freshmen did. And most importantly, it will be a return to greatness, the right way, with Beilein who plays by the rules. (Aside: I wonder of all those who called for Beilein's ouster a year ago, how their foots taste.)
Ok, I said my piece.. now, as you were.... GO BLUE
E-Fact: The last time Michigan was #1, Herm was only 70 years old.