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Local Top 11 Hoops Poll Results, Short Version

To any newcomers, this poll is the work of amateur voters and professional journalists, who are pooling their collective wisdom to pass judgment on the 27 Division I men's college basketball teams in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. Some factual updates:

1) We had 66 voters this week, seven more than last week.

2) We've got a new employee, Intern Boris, who designed an automated voting system. This ensures that I won't spend every Monday tabulating results by hand. This also means I can accomodate more voters. So nominate yourself if you like. Much praise to Boris.

3) The changes: Maryland and Virginia swap spots at the top, Georgetown climbs from fifth to third, GW falls to fourth, Va. Tech moves up one spot to fifth, ODU falls to sixth and Towson leaps over American into 10th, on the strength of its win at William & Mary.

4) To any American fans reading this, I still don't exactly understand why you're behind Navy, but I don't have a vote. Feel free to post your objections.

First-place votes in parentheses.

1. Virginia (38) (5-1) 625
--Saturday vs. Hampton
--"I won't punish Virginia just because they didn't play last week. Who do you think I am, a Harris Poll voter?" (Eric Swensen)
2. Maryland (26) (9-2) 608
--Wednesday vs. Mo.-Kansas City, Saturday vs. American.
--"Contrary to popular belief among Maryland players, points are not awarded for hitting a ball against the hand of Sean Williams." (Jeff Goldstein)
3. Georgetown (2) (6-3) 488
--Saturday vs. Winston-Salem State.
----"Beat Oral Roberts who beat Kansas who beat USC who beat GW, which is the alma mater of Alec Baldwin, who was in "Having a Baby" with Kevin Bacon. Yes!" (Bill Fitzgerald)
4. George Washington (6-2) 413
--Tuesday vs. UMBC.
"Tim Floyd's coaching dominance over Karl Hobbs in the second half on Saturday was the biggest mismatch since Gordon Bombay ran Wolf Stansson's iceland team ragged in the third period of "D2: The Mighty Ducks. (Please note that the Honda Center in Anaheim was where the movie was actually filmed. Coincidence that the Wooden Classic took place there? I think not.)" (Frank Dale)
5. Virginia Tech (6-3) 360
--Sunday vs. Wake Forest.
--"Very nice win against Old Dominion. I'd like to say limiting Appalachian St. to nine first-half points is impressive, but it isn't." (Glenn Arnold)
6. Old Dominion (6-3) 307
--Saturday vs. South Carolina State.
--"The real Old Dominion is going to turn out to be the team that lost to Virginia Tech, not the one that beat Georgetown." (Bailey Heaps)
7. VCU (7-2) 271
--Saturday vs. UAB
--"B.A. Walker is the leading scorer for the Rams. I hope he stays for his degree, so he can become "B.A. Walker, B.A." (Adam Lewis)
8. George Mason (4-4) 127
--No games this week.
--"Shouldn't they have been playing at Duke last year?" (Ajay Vellore)
9. Navy (7-3) 117
--Sunday vs. Delaware Valley.
--"After loss to mediocre Penn team, will likely have to beat American to silence critics. (That would be hilarious outside the context of this poll.)" (Jamie Paquette)
10. Towson (5-3) 98
--Saturday vs. Temple.
"Gary Neal is a stud ... the rest of the team ... well, Gary Neal is a stud." (Doug McKinney)
11. American (7-3) 96
--No games this week.
--"A win over Maryland on the 23rd would mean that Gary Williams would have no one in the area to play." (Robert Lintott)
Also receiving votes: Liberty 73, Richmond 13, Howard 7, Loyola 6, Radford 5, James Madison 4, UMBC 3, Coppin State 2, Longwood 2, Hampton 1, VMI 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 11, 2006; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: Vegas Ranks Local Hoops Teams


A. There is no way that a 4-4 team should be ranked 8 on this poll.
B. 4 people vote for JMU, thats horrrible.

Posted by: Marc | December 11, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

how on earth is JMU getting any votes? they lost to winless Dartmouth for god sakes - at home! and Coppin State is 2-8 and lost this week to the only team in the area that didn't have a win (Morgan State). i defy anyone to make a case for either of those teams.

Posted by: jamie | December 11, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

An intern? The SportsBog now has a staff? Things are looking up. Local celebrities, and now a staff.....pretty soon you'll even have a name for the poll.

Posted by: Kim | December 11, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Memo to GMU supporters who vote in this poll - It's not last year. Wins against FIU and Cleveland St. are not impressive. I look forward to justifications for how this team will still ranked in this poll when they lose 2 out of their next 3 games.

Posted by: Nathan | December 11, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Jamie....all the JMU and votes came courtesy of one person. Someone who theoretically knows something about college basketball. He had JMU 7th, UMBC 8th and Coppin 9th. Not sure if I should put him on notice or just kick him out immediately. Thoughts?

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | December 11, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Who the heck voted for GMU? And why isn't Liberty ranked? Their boring wins are just as good as anybody else's boring wins.

Posted by: FS | December 11, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I was about to ask "who in the heck voted for my poor Dukes?", but apparently I was beat to the punch a few times. Wow. Dan, put that voter on notice and perhaps find a way for JMU and Coppin State and UMBC to play in a round robin to see who really is best out of that terrible trio.

Posted by: John Taylor | December 11, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Seconded on notice for that voter. I think we can arrange a play in game for the terrible trio.

Posted by: Marc | December 11, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what's more ridiculous, voting for UMBC, JMU, and Coppin State, or voting all three ahead of another team. Put that voter on double-secret probation.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | December 11, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

one person gained Coppin 22 points? that statement (dan 3:45pm) is incorrect or there is a math error.

Posted by: pete | December 11, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse


Mason is playing a brutal schedule, and I think they're being rewarded for it. UVA, for example, has played exactly one road game (at Purdue) and they lost. Mason has played one game at the Patriot Center (lucky them, it was against Witchita State). What local team, based on who they've played so far, deserves to be ranked higher? That's not a combative question, just wondering who you think is getting snubbed. By the way, Mason's next three games: at Holy Cross (#36 RPI), at Drexel (#22 RPI), home against Mississippi State (#83 RPI). Maryland's next three games: home against Missouri-KC (#233 RPI), home against American (#165), home against Mount St. Mary's (#312). I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

I agree that the JMU votes are ridiculous. Their RPI is 323, and there are only 336 teams. Even more perplexing is the vote for VMI, who has only one win against a Division I team- powerhouse South Dakota State, currently 329 in the RPI.

But my favorite part is that JMU actually beat VMI earlier this year, by two points, at home. Maybe that's why they're getting the love.

Get rid of the people that are mailing this in. Some of us are actually doing the research to make this poll legit.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 11, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

My bad, just all the JMU and UMBC votes. The rogue voter did have Coppin ninth, but obviously that did not provide all the Coppin votes. I got confused for a second.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | December 11, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm a voter and recent AU alum, and I put Navy ahead of AU. I don't necessarily believe that Navy is actually better than AU (undecided on it actually), but they have proven themselves better so far in the games that have been played, if you know what I mean. I believe I should vote based on the games that have been played more than my gut feeling on which team is best.

Navy's loss vs. Penn was ugly, but Penn is really good (undefeated in the Ivy is a possibility) so I don't hold it against them. AU's loss at Yale was Yale's first D-1 win this year, and a game the Eagles absolutely should have won. Both of their stocks dropped this week, but Navy has more of a resume so far to fall back on.

Posted by: ES | December 11, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

RPI ratings (through Sunday):

Virginia 26
Maryland 16
Georgetown 63
GW 123
VA Tech 90
ODU 80
VCU 122
GMU 111
Navy 114
Towson 58
American 165


Liberty 196
Coppin State 240
Richmond 157
Howard 247
Loyola 244
Radford 237
James Madison 323
UMBC 198
Longwood 291
Hampton 297
VMI 327 (out of 336)

Posted by: pete | December 11, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

that still doesn't explain where the other 20 points for Coppin St. come from, though. as far as punishment, i'm not sure this should be so serious as to immediately quash any questionable judgment. obviously, the "wisdom" of the masses seems to be keeping everything more or less in order, but it's up to you, Dan, how much leeway to give.

Posted by: jamie | December 11, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, this automated system didn't work perfectly. I'm working on a slow laptop in the Verizon Center basement, so I didn't notice earlier that two pollsters somehow cast duplicate first-place votes, one for Virginia and one for Coppin State. So Coppin had two first-place votes, and two 10th-place votes. Working as fast as I can to figure this out, will post corrected numbers asap.

Thanks for being all over this Jamie, many apologies for the problems.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | December 11, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Obviously people are free to post whatever they like, but I really think that the RPI is incredibly flawed and almost useless for any type of evaluation. As I said last week, as long you're at, take a look at the ratings that at least have a little sense behind them. That said, it's early enough in the season that any computer ranking is going to have some goofy-looking results.

Posted by: sw | December 11, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Voting for Georgetown at #1 seems pretty silly. I'd love to hear the argument of those two voters.

I had the same teams in 3-7, but in a different order. I think they are all pretty close right now.

George Mason should get credit for their schedule but the other teams should get credit for winning games. I would say they are about #12 right now. American's loss to Yale looks really bad.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | December 11, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse


Talk to the Vegas poll then.

Posted by: Chris | December 11, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

what is liberty? is that a school? Seriously.

Posted by: afronation | December 11, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm a voter and recent AU alum, and I put Navy ahead of AU. I don't necessarily believe that Navy is actually better than AU (undecided on it actually), but they have proven themselves better so far in the games that have been played, if you know what I mean.


Navy vs. Longwood - 2 pt win by Navy in OT
American vs. Longwood - 11 pt win by AU in regulation

Navy vs. Howard - 4 pt win by Navy in 2 OT
American vs. Howard - 10 pt win in regulation

AU can't even get its own alumni to vote them over Navy.

Did you know they are trying to start a pep band?"

AU already has a pep band. They're awful.

Posted by: 36flavors | December 11, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Navy also stomped Brown, killed W&M and stayed with Villanova til the final minutes on the road. AU did worse against RIchmond and Xavier than Navy did against Villanova. AU's loss to Yale is a huge deal and the main reason why they fell off my top 10.

Posted by: S | December 11, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok, the totals should be fixed. Let's hope nothing else was screwy. Jamie, thanks again for the vigilance.

The voter who included James Madison and UMBC says a friend filled out the lower half of his poll (really). He's been officially put on notice. I feel like a first-grade teacher or something. Jeez.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | December 11, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Liberty University is in scenic Lynchburg, VA. It is the school founded by the one and only Jerry Fallwell, who attends all of the home basketball games. They also have a really good Ice Hockey team, and a surprisingly nice hockey stadium for a school in Virginia.

Posted by: FS | December 12, 2006 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm a little surprised to see Mason that high, even as a Mason student. They are just too young right now, although next year I think they'll be at the top of the CAA. I think they'll be an average team in the league this year, but I couldn't really justify putting them above teams that have winning records. Granted, their schedule has been pretty brutal for a CAA team, but I don't think you can rank them based on what they might do against a softer schedule. You have to wait for results.

And bryc3, they've played two games at the Patriot Center (Wichita State, which was a great game, and FIU), and one at the Verizon Center. The Bucknell game at Verizon was essentially a home game, even though from what I hear it was completely deserted as they changed the location at the last minute because of the Tenacious D concert.

Posted by: tanforanalbino | December 12, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, Liberty also has a half-decent women's basketball team though why anyone would vote for the school in a men's poll is beyond me.

Posted by: Everett W. | December 12, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Liberty. They got crushed in their opener at Oklahoma, but they have won six straight since then. I haven't heard of half the teams they, and none of them are any good, but several other teams in the poll don't have quality wins either. GMU has played a tougher schedule, but you have to win some games. BTW, Liberty plays BYU, Seton Hall, Oral Roberts and Florida in the next month, so we should find out if they are any good then.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | December 12, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI, Alec (then Alex)Baldwin didn't actually graduate from GW ... he went there three years, lost the election for student president, then transferred and graduated from NYU.

Posted by: Ted Gotsch | December 12, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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