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Local Poll Week Five: Now It Gets Serious. Sort of.

A brief recap of what you might have missed if you decided to completely ignore college basketball for the past two weeks, plus some key points to bear in mind as we enter conference season:

1) Official unpaid local poll intern Boris lets us know that the average voter spends 18 26 minutes filling out his or her ballot. Boris thought this was good, but I figure if Joe Gibbs can spend 24 hours a day working on unsuccessful gameplans, we could at least put 20 30 minutes into our polls.

2) We seem to have misplaced about 25 percent of our voters. Maybe they never made it past New Year's. Once again, I'll open this thing up to new voters. Including The Hoya Fanatic, who believes all our poll voters to be overrated losers. Existing voters, feel free to invite your friends, spouses and baristas.

3) The Las Vegas oddsmakers have Maryland as the clear No. 1 in our area. Georgetown is the only other team on their Top 25 radar. I'll publish Vegas's full Top 25 on Wednesday. The Hoya Fanatic believes Vegas to be cursed by clouded judgment, regional biases, genetic insufficiencies, etc.

4) After about the top two, this poll continues to be very ugly. Like, Sam Cassell ugly. During my vacation, American and Navy both failed to prove they might actually belong on a Top Anything with wretched losses, Virginia Tech lost another heartbreaker (at Marshall), Virginia became unspeakable, George Mason lost yet another game it probably should have lost (at Drexel), the great hope that is VCU lost to Appalachian State, the great hope that is ODU lost at home to Winthrop, and so on. Which is probably why the Maryland women received a first-place vote this week. The Hoya Fanatic believes that vote was cast by Satan.

5) On the bright side, William & Mary won four straight, including three straight against area teams.

6) But the long and short of it is, the composition of the Top 11 didn't change for the third straight week. Man is this boring. At least the NBA now lets you embed player cards in blog items.

First-place votes in parentheses. There were 39 voters, but one left first-place blank and one had the MD women first.

1. Maryland (31) (13-2) 382
--Thursday vs. Iona.
--Terps beat Siena, which was picked fourth in the Crayola Conference behind Periwinkle, Goldenrod and perennial powerhouse Raw Umber. (Bill Fitzgerald)
2. Georgetown (6) (10-3) 351
--Saturday vs. Notre Dame.
--Not sure who looked worse this weekend - Michigan's football or basketball team. It's a good thing that Tommy Amaker is only in his sixth year of "rebuilding" the program. (Nathan Fennessy)
3. Virginia Tech (9-4) 267
--Wednesday vs. Richmond, Saturday at Duke.
--I didn't think the loss to Marshall was that bad until I found out the Thundering Herd lost to UMKC! Thus, by the transitive principle, Mike Jones could beat Tech singlehandedly. (Jon Lauder)
4. George Washington (8-3) 264
--Wednesday vs. Fordham, Saturday vs. Marshall.
--If it weren't for Karl Hobbs having to deal with reporters asking stupid questions, GW would've easily defeated Air Force. (Eric Swensen)
5. Virginia (8-3) 220
--Wednesday vs. Gonzaga, Sunday vs. Stanford.
--They beat Arizona, remember? (Ira Weintraub)
6. Virginia Commonwealth (9-3) 199
--Wednesday at No. 10 Towson, Saturday at James Madison.
--Even with the loss to Appalachian State, I still can't drop them. Is there any local team winning right now? (Jon Lauder)
7. Old Dominion (8-4) 186
--Wednesday at Northeastern, Saturday vs. No. 8 George Mason.
--There's no such thing as a "good loss" to Winthrop, no matter what their record. (Jamie Paquette)
8. George Mason (6-5) 107
--Wednesday vs. William & Mary, Saturday at No. 7 Old Dominion.
--The loss to Drexel will look a lot better a few months down the line when Drexel become the new George Mason. (Adam Lewis)
9. Navy (9-5) 53
--Tuesday night at N.J.I.T., Saturday at Bucknell.
--Navy remains the odds-on favorite to win the Division III national title. (Eric Swensen)
10. Towson (6-5) 51
--Wednesday vs. No. 6 VCU, Saturday at Georgia State.
--No. 1 in the Suburban Baltimore Area Hoops Poll. (Sean McLernon)
11. American (7-6) 27
--Tuesday night vs. St. Francis (Pa.), Saturday at Lehigh.
--You don't give Longwood a rematch! They're like Rocky, if he was a tiny college from a sleepy Southern town instead of a palooka from Philly. (Jamie Paquette)
Also receiving votes: William & Mary 16, Maryland women 10, Howard 3, Richmond 3, Hampton 2, James Madison 2, VMI 2, Longwood 1, Loyola 1, Mount St. Mary's 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 2, 2007; 6:49 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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I try to make a bad joke and it gets posted. I guess I'm so pithy that even my unpithy comments are pithier than the other pithy voters' pithiest comments.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 2, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sorry about that dude. It was a bad week for pithy comments, and I try not to just quote Bill Fitzgerald and Jamie Paquette over and over and over.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | January 2, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate all the pub I can get. It's all about name recognition, baby.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 2, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Too late dude. I already yanked your comment. That's what you get.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | January 2, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Bill and Jamie do dominate the good comments. And according to Hoya Fanatic I am so busy showing him how to live I can't write anything worthwhile.

Posted by: Marc | January 2, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm still in ... I definitely cast my ballot late this week though ...

Posted by: littles | January 2, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I had my pithiest comments last week. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

As for this week's Atlantic Eleven, I was too hungover to even spell pithy, let alone be pithy...

Posted by: Reader Glenn | January 2, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait, how can we vote for Maryland's women's team? I would've done that if I saw a place to do it.

Posted by: Adam | January 2, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

At this point, GW's women's team (#2 RPI, double-digit win over No. 10 UGA) would easily make the top 11 too.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 2, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It's an absolute fraud that Navy's ahead of Towson. On top of their Division 4 schedule, Navy ducked Air Force in a blowout that would've only helped their crappy RPI. Navy couldn't beat MC-Germantown. C'mon Billy, you can do better. At least you played your old team Nova....

Has anyone been paying attention to who Navy has beaten:
Brown, Stony Brook, Maryland Eastern Shore William & Mary, Longwood, Howard, Delaware Valley, Washington (Md.).

They play New Jersey Tech tonight (not kidding) and Faber University tomorrow (kidding).

Gimme a break. I'd vote for Navy's football team in this HOOPS poll before I'd vote for their basketball team.

Posted by: tj | January 2, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse


Really? "Absolute fraud?" It means that much to you? We're talking about a battle for ninth here. I'm all for supporting Towson (I had them 9th ahead of Navy) and their big wins over powerhouses like Hartford, Samford, and Winston Salem and of course the crushing narrow loss to the juggernaut that is Tennessee St, but I suppose I could see why one might overloook the Tigers.

In a somewhat related story, the Crayola Conference joke killed me. If we were to rank the Top 11 pithy commentators of the Bog Local Sports Poll, I think I'd vote Bill Fitzgerald number one. I also really want to know what Andrew Allberg's since removed comment was. You can't just pull stuff off the Bog, Dan. It's not right.

Posted by: Jon | January 2, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you about the Crayola Conference joke.

As far as my pulled comment, I wish I had a screenshot of it--it'd be limited edition and surely worth something on Ebay.
The commment was: "Forget the NCAA's Final Four, George Mason wouldn't even make the Elite the DC Metropolitan Area!!" It was supposed to be an example of an obvious, too-easy shot at Mason.I added an LOL in the original comment for emphasis but Dan took it out in the Bog.

Wanna know more? There's a good segment about the incident on the recently-released Sports Bog DVD (produced by Washington Post Home Video), complete with interviews from Steinberg and myself.

Posted by: Andrew Alberg | January 2, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I haven't felt this much adoration since I told the nuns I was thinking about going to seminary. To see my pithetic comments on the Top 10, check my blog at

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 2, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the Terp men and women are a combined 5-0 or 6-0 vs. the MAAC this year (including Siena twice burnt), with Iona still to come for the men. What, no Saint Peter's?

Posted by: Vincent | January 2, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I spent more than 30 minutes on it. It just only spent 10 minutes or so with the voting window open. I usually already know how I'm voting when I'm filling out the form.

More time voting on this poll would mean less time voting for Rory Fitzpatrick.

Posted by: FS | January 2, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Ok, FS, fair point. Btw, any ideas for how to blog in an entertaining manner about a struggling hockey team?

As for voting for the Maryland women, that was an unsanctioned move by a senior voter, and I let it slide, but it made the math more complicated. Votes for strictly men's teams would be appreciated. And after AU and Navy's impressive wins this week, you should all have a surfeit of powerful teams to vote for next week.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | January 2, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Votes for strictly men's teams, huh? Then let's bounce the James Madison votes.

Posted by: Everett W. | January 3, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

sorry didnt vote. stupid hangovers.

can we vote for boise state?

Posted by: Ed | January 3, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

A surfeit? As in, what did Keanu do when he saw the big wave? You know, Big Stein, sometimes I forget that you're a professional writer and then you bust large with the thesaurus. Kudos.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 3, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

A surfeit? As in, what did Keanu do when he saw the big wave? You know, Big Stein, sometimes I forget that you're a professional writer and then you bust large with the thesaurus. Kudos.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 3, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Jon, yes, it means that much to me.

Posted by: tj | January 3, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

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