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The Ermitage Index

December 9, 2003 Columns No Comments

The Ermitage Index

by Michael Ermitage

“It’s good to be the King!” says one of Mel Brooks’ many characters in History of the World Part I. That’s kind of how I feel right now sitting on my throne here at Hoopville.com. But instead of a crown and a scepter, I have a computer and a license to say just about whatever I damn well please. And this year, I’ve done just that, pretty much focusing my Internet column wrath on preseason college basketball polls and the laughable BCS. The only resistance to my haphazard ramblings is a few email responses, which, I’ll have you know are carefully read and censored to keep my delicate ears from too much negativity. But I’ve noticed that my credibility as a college hoops guru is starting to decline. Apparently, there’s been too much finger pointing on my part (so far this year, I’ve said preseason polls suck, the BCS sucks, and the NCAA, as a whole, sucks), and not enough “analysis.” So, before I’m paraded around downtown Hoopville in my brand new invisible clothes, I’ve decided to give this “analysis” thing a shot.

The trendy thing to do seems to be to make up some sort of ranking/index/power poll. Dick Vitale has his Bald Dome Index; ESPN has the “Power 16”; CNNSI’s Grant Wahl has the “Magic Eight”; Hoopville’s own Jed Tai has the super-statistic study and another resident of Hoopville, Dean Austin, has his TMPG Power Poll. My contribution to this growing genre will be the Ermitage Index, otherwise known as the E.I., not to be confused with A.I., perhaps the worst movie of all time (seriously, what were those wispy alien-like all-knowing creatures?). The E.I. will list the top 16 teams in college hoops as of right now, stealing from both ESPN’s Power 16 and Austin’s immediately gratifying TPMG. Journalists like to steal, and if given the opportunity, I’ll take the $20 sitting on your countertop.

It’s just our nature.

Ermitage Index:

1. Georgia Tech – How can you argue with the Yellow Jackets on top? They’ve pretty much decimated everyone they’ve played – home, away or neutral court.

2. Florida – The Gators own an impressive win over Arizona and dominated everyone else, including a sweet defensive victory, 59-39, against UCF.

3. UNC – Good win at home against a solid Illinois team to go with wins over decent competition in Davidson and George Mason.

4. UConn – Only loss is to a great GT team on a neutral floor and without Villanueva.

5. Purdue – Call me the dreaded “homer,” but the Boilermakers are playing well.

6. Stanford – The Cardinal, playing without its best player, knocks off top-ranked Kansas.

7. Cincinnati – Bob Huggins’ Bearcats trounce solid Valpo in Valparaiso, Ind., to earn this spot.

8. Arizona – Tight loss to Florida and gutty come-from-behind win at St. Louis drops them from Top 5 consideration.

9. Wake Forest – Simply annihilating good competition. Need to take this show on the road.

10. Kentucky – Virtual road game win against UCLA is impressive.

11. Texas – Somehow, these guys are better without T.J. Ford.

12. Illinois – Only loss is against UNC, and they’ve dominated everyone else.

13. Kansas – Bill Self is right, they’re not the top team in the country.

14. Duke – A road win at MSU is noteworthy, even if the Spartans are struggling.

15. Oklahoma – Again, beating MSU anywhere in the state of Michigan (in this case, Detroit) is impressive.

16. Dayton – Haven’t played the best of competition, but beaten everyone they’ve played, and nabbed the Maui Championship.


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