What Do Preseason Rankings Tell Us?
Maryland was picked to finish seventh in the ACC this season. The conference's preseason rankings were voted on by members of the media that cover ACC basketball and that attended the ACC's preseason men's basketball media day a few weeks ago in Atlanta.
Due to an assortment of reasons -- some of which are too depressing to discuss in this forum -- there was a dramatic decrease in the number of media that attended this year's ACC media day. And some of those that did attend elected not to participate in the rankings poll. The Washington Post, for instance, has a policy against its reporters voting for any player awards or team rankings.
Add all that up, and Gary Williams has a theory about why his team was ranked so low in this season's preseason picks.
"How many of you voted?" Williams asked a half-dozen local reporters yesterday, to which none raised their hand. "See? That's the problem."
Williams believes that the voting is skewed by the geographic origin of those media members who participated. His theory is that if no one who covers Maryland on a consistent basis either A)attended the media day where the vote took place, or B) elected to participate in the selection process, then the Terps positioning in the final tally understandably will suffer.
"It's like an election where some states can't vote," Williams said. "I proposed a few years ago that there should be a media poll and a coaches poll. I think that would be interesting to see. Just to see what it would look like. Obviously, it didn't go over real well."
An informal poll taken after Williams had left the room indicated the Terps' position in the preseason ACC rankings likely would not have been aided by the participation of those media members at the Comcast Center yesterday.
When asked where he would have placed Maryland in the ACC preseason rankings if he had a vote, Williams said either fifth, sixth or seventh.
So, now I ask you: What do preseason rankings tell us? Were the Terps undersold at the No. 7 spot? Were they overvalued at the No. 7 spot? And what do you all think about Gary's theory on regional bias affecting the selections?
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