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Thursday Power Poll

December 11, 2003 Columns No Comments

TMPG Thursday Power Poll

by Dean Austin

Good Morning. I hope the loss of Illinois to Providence has brought an understanding to the value of the Power Poll. As much as I would like to imply this was some kind of wondrous and more accurate Top 25, it isn’t. The Power Poll is a tool; one that can be used to give you insight into the various strengths and weaknesses of teams.

It is most illuminating when a highly ranked team in the traditional Top 25 isn’t anywhere to be found in the Power Poll. This is a pretty solid indicator of potential trouble. I read with amusement the various wire reports about the “upset” of Illinois. This was based solely on their AP rank of No. 14 in the country. Certainly Illinois has some great players and I would not be surprised to see them make noise in March. But I can find little to justify their high ranking, especially as their quality loss is against another suspect squad, North Carolina

In fact I’m most curious to see what happens to the Tar Heels. The Power Poll says that they are completely over ranked in the Top 25 yet I’m fighting the urge to say that they are the next obvious upset candidate. I’m not sure why, I rather like their personnel. There’s always the chance that North Carolina will be “upset” by Wake Forest on December 20th, but then as Wake Forest isn’t in the Power Poll either Roy Williams’ squad will not get tested until an early January at Kentucky.

The upsets waiting to happen:

Missouri. Plain and simple.

Games to watch this week:

Game of the week from the Power Poll perspective is No. 3 Arizona against No. 4 Marquette. The loss of both Dwyane Wade and Robert Jackson from the Golden Eagles explains their lower rank in the traditional Top 25. And indeed, I think even more important then their combined 37 points was the near 14 boards a game they pulled down. However they have yet to lose on the back of a Final Four appearance.

Also of interest is the Purdue vs. Oklahoma match up. Gene Keady’s squad has this one significant hurdle in the path of what could be a marvelous season.

Joining the Power Poll this week:

Obviously there are major changes this week with six new additions. Stanford enters the poll at No. 2 after their defeat of former Hoopville Top 25 No. 1 Kansas. Vanderbilt ambushed Michigan, Central Michigan picked off Notre Dame, Gonzaga took out Maryland but did it before the Terrapins beat Florida, as did West Virginia – timing is everything. Lastly the under pressure Mike Davis brought his Indiana Hoosiers into the Poll for the first time this year by clipping the wings of the Fighting Irish.

Dropping out are Nebraska, Connecticut, Butler, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Ball State.

Again to summarize:

1. If you beat a higher ranked team you take their spot. The higher ranked team moves down half the distance between its old ranking and the victor’s old ranking.

2. If you lose to a higher ranked team you move down 1 position.

Thursday Morning Power Poll
December 11th, 2003

1. Alabama
2. Stanford
3. Arizona
4. Marquette
5. Oklahoma
6. Maryland
7. Kentucky
8. Duke
9. Auburn
10. Purdue
11. Texas
12. Georgia Tech
13. Pittsburgh
14. Michigan State
15. Kansas
16. Florida
17. Vanderbilt
18. Charlotte
19. Syracuse
20. Central Michigan
21. Gonzaga
22. Michigan
23. Indiana
24. West Virginia
25. Notre Dame

See you all next Tuesday with the latest edition of Tuesday Morning Point Guard.


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