Big Lead Sports Bar

1/11/2010

PITT #16 IN NEW POLL

Big news from the world of college basketball: 13-2 Pitt is now the 16th-ranked team in the country in the AP Poll, and 20th as per the ESPN/USA Today Poll. I honestly don't think they're the 16th-best team in the country, but something's bound to give on Wednesday against UConn. The Huskies are ranked #15, so if Pitt's truly as legit as their ranking implies, a win will only hasten their boost up the rankings.
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In other Pitt roundball news, the Panthers will be a four-seed in the NCAA tournament's south bracket, with a first-round game against Northern Colorado on the slate, according to ESPN "Bracketologist" Joe Lunardi. Now please bear with me as I take my place atop the soapbox for a moment.

I don't know about you, but I've never been a fan of projections so far away from the actual event that they are completely meaningless. I mean, I can understand a bracketology article a week before the tournament or so, but now? What's the point? And I really don't know why ESPN.com makes such a big deal about such articles. A January article on brackets is the most important story in college basketball tonight? Really? Congratulations, Texas, you're a #1 seed with two months to play. I'm thinking Wednesday would be a good time to hold your parade.

I'm sure the answer to my question would be that people are interested in this, but I would answer that with another question: "WHY?" They're as useless as the mock drafts years ago that had Chris Taft as the #2 pick overall. Luckily, some of those pages from 2005 are still around, for some historical perspective on how dumb projections can be. For instance, look at Taft's page on Draft Express. And I quote: "But once Taft starts sliding down past the 6th or 7th pick one draft night, it will be pretty hard to resist his supposed "potential".

For the record, Taft went 12th. In the second round. I guess his potential was resistible to NBA GMs after all.

I've never been a huge fan of predictions or projections, and that's why I rarely post anything of the sort on the site. They're useless, and they usually blow up in your face. Look at Bill Simmons. He writes thousands of words about NFL Wild Card weekend, with seven "Revelations", and he picks one game right, with zero right against the spread. Thanks, but I'll pass on your expertise the next time, Sports Guy.

Obviously, most people disagree with me, because "guess" columns like mock drafts, bracketology, and gambling picks are wildly popular on the net. That being said, I'll respectfully pass on any further mentions of Pitt's bracket movement until a time when it actually might mean something. In the meantime, here's something we can all enjoy: a link to the 2011 NFL Mock Draft.

2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings (Jan. 11)
[ESPN.com]

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3 comments:

jmarinara said...

I think it's fun to try to look ahead and ask "if the season ended today. . . "

Why? Because it's another way of measuring your team/player/sport/etc. against others and gives you a glimpse of what may be, or could be, or should be.

I've been looking over mock drafts in the NFL because, well, the Steelers aren't playing any more and it's going to be an interesting draft. I, for one, would like to know what's out there and who some people think they may or may not take. Even if it's wrong, I can learn a lot about what a certain person thinks the teams needs, and at least I can learn about a few players I may be unaware of.

This article though, is particularly interesting because the same people who picked Pitt to be 9th in the Big East and miss the tournament, are now projecting them a fourth seed. My my, how things change. See, it's fun. You believed in your team and cheered for them, they played well, and now they're getting some respect. So what if they end up a 6 seed playing Miami? At least now, they're in the conversation.

It's not for everyone, I know, but I like predictions.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Pitt has done a great job, but has a long tough road ahead.

Bill Simmons is a typical blowhard Chowdahead. Bottom line. For some reason, people take his words as gospel. I also seem to remember him saying there was no way the 2004 Red Sox were juiced up, especially Manny........

Matt H said...

ESPN writes those articles because people like to read them.