Monday, February 14, 2011


Who should be ranked No. 1? Good question


A discussion similar to many breaking out across the country took place on ESPN between Mike Patrick and Len Elmore during their call of a Big East game Sunday.

Patrick asked Elmore for his opinion on which school should be ranked No. 1, now that Ohio State, the last of the unbeaten, lost Saturday on the road to Wisconsin.

“Well, I mean, obviously Kansas is the probable No. 1 when you take a look at their record, 24-1,” Elmore said. “But how fair is that to Texas, who went to Kansas and wound up beating Kansas?”

Countered Patrick: “How fair is it to Pittsburgh, with a 23-2 record after knocking off Villanova, in the Big East, not to have them No. 1?”

Elmore: “Yeah, I would say that, but if you’re looking at records, 24-1 versus 23-2, OK, you give the benefit of the doubt to the team that’s lost only one game. But when you’ve got the team that’s right behind them, has already beaten them at their own place, now there’s an argument to be made.”

Based on that logic, UConn should be ranked ahead of Texas, having won an overtime game in Austin. Or, Pittsburgh should get the nod over Texas because the Panthers defeated the Longhorns at Madison Square Garden.

And why give Texas a pass on losing by 17 points at USC?

Head-to-head matchups can’t determine rankings because of conflicting results. So what do I do when filling out my ballot? Look at the entire season and put more emphasis on recent results than early season ones.

As did the conversation between Patrick and Elmore, most discussions of No. 1 exclude Ohio State. Somehow, there seems to be an unwritten rule that if No. 1 loses a game, it’s almost always treated as if the heavyweight champion has been knocked out to lose his crown. Strange.

In fairness, the who’s-No. 1-conversation at this point in the season — a meaningless point in the season in terms of rankings, except that it spurs enjoyable arguments — centers on two schools and two alone: Kansas and Ohio State.

San Diego State, which lost by 13 at Brigham Young, joins the Jayhawks and Buckeyes as the only one-loss teams in Division I. The Aztecs don’t face as tough a schedule playing in the Mountain West, so eliminate them from contention for the top spot.

Losing to Wisconsin on the road pretty much equates to losing to Texas at home, so both Kansas and Ohio State have strong arguments for the top spot. Nobody from either fan base has a legitimate gripe if the other school is voted No. 1.

The top five on my ballot: 1. Kansas, 2. Ohio State, 3. Texas, 4. Pittsburgh, 5. Duke.

Why KU? It has won six in a row, the last five by margins of 17 points or greater.

Kansas likely will be voted No. 1, which will add fuel to the always entertaining Kansas State student body tonight. That’s a good thing for Kansas. The tougher the road to the postseason, the better prepared the team.

Should Kansas and Texas win out and face each other in the Big 12 title game, it’s possible both schools could earn a No. 1 bid. At the moment, the battle shapes up as five heavyweights from four conferences battling for four top seeds.


Kenny Nall 7 years, 4 months ago

Let Texas be No. 1. Rankings don't determine how our Jayhawks play.

Saad Saifeddine 7 years, 4 months ago

I hope they give it to texas as well. That will give us that much more motivation to beat them in the tournament.

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 4 months ago

The texas players even say they don't want to be no. 1 =)

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 4 months ago

It did not work out too well for them last time they were ranked #1... Personally, I hope they are ranked #1 this week and start their usual dive.

Kevin Studer 7 years, 4 months ago

I think his point was that Texas is a tougher team, so losing to Texas at home isn't such a great travesty in comparison to losing to Wisconsin on the road.

Ron Franklin 7 years, 4 months ago

beating wisconsin at home is near impossible.

slowplay 7 years, 4 months ago

They are still a 5 loss team. It would be like Kansas losing to Baylor Or TA&M at their place.

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 4 months ago

Badgers are 153–16 in the Kohl Center 94% winning percentage.

Jayhawks are 663-107 or 86% in Allen Fieldhouse. Under Self, the Jayhawks are: 126-7 (.946) in Allen.

It's very comparable. The Badgers are good at home.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 4 months ago

Your first stat is somewhat skewed as it only counts the games (169) at Kohl Center, while you count all games at, much, much older AFH (770). If you want to compare similar stats, look at the same time frame.

Also, the Big Ten has traditionally been a top heavy conference where 2 or 3 teams dominate every year, where the Big 12 has tradionally been a more balanced conference.

Having said that, Wisconsin is a tough place to play and win but not impossible; no place is. How do you think KU or Texas would fare at Wisonsin? What do you thing OSU record would be in the Big 12?

LAJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

"If you want to compare similar stats, look at the same time frame."

I don't mean to jump in on an argument that's not mine, but I'm fairly certain that's why Jacobpaul81 included the record in Allen under Self. It's basically the same time frame, close to the same amount of games and essentially the exact same percentage. He is correct; it is comparable.

FTC_Jayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Not that it changes your conclusion that the badgers are good at home, but 153/169 = 90.5% and 126/133 = 94.7%. Your calculator must not work for results above 90%.

didjabuti 7 years, 4 months ago

Agreed. Losing at AFH (where we almost never lose) to ANYONE, is in no way equal to Ohio Sate losing in Wisconsin. Everybody loses in Wisconsin.

YuCoJayHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Like Digger said, since 1996, only one team that went into the Tment ranked #1 actually won the Tment (Duke 2001). So, if that holds true, I'm fine with losing one more game before March Madness begins. But, with KU dominating its last 5 opponents and still no. 1 in RPI, KU should get 80% of the NO. 1 votes on Monday.

Rodney Stice 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't care about rankings during the season, unless we are ranked lower then usual. We tend to play better with a chip on our shoulders. I want wins and championships. Winning takes care of the final ranking, that's all that matters.

Bob Forer 7 years, 4 months ago

The ranking system is focused primarily on the here and now, i.e., in light of their overall record, what team is playing the best basketball at the moment. In this regard, Kansas, having strung together six exceptionally well played games, should be hands down number one. And we shouldn't forgot that their only loss happened on the same day the team tragically came together to mourn the loss of Lisa Robinson.

John Strayer 7 years, 4 months ago

Amen to that last may sound like excuses and I know you have to play the games on the schedule...but anyone in their right mind has to think that had the team not spent an emotionally draining night consoling Thomas until the wee hours of the morning, that game had to play out differently. KU may not have won the game, but I don't think they would have been blown out in the 2nd could just see the team run out of gas from the half way point in the 1st half. Heck...I was just "numb" watching the game and wondering how Thomas could even play in the game with that hanging on him.

But that is water under the bridge now...just have to continue playing the games and hope everything works out in the end.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 4 months ago

This team right now is playing with a chip on their shoulder, unlike last year's team with Cole and Sherron. Digger Phelps can say, "Since 1996, only one team----blah, blah, blah-----this KU team is like no other. Even HCBS has said it in many different ways. We will most likely be #1, whether you like it or not. Self says there has to be a #1 team---yea, well---it will be the Jayhawks when they vote today. Keegan, good point----#1 going into Bramledge will make us a tougher team because of the unbelievable atmosphere. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Let's play the game!

Saad Saifeddine 7 years, 4 months ago

My fellow jayhawks. Please don't forget to vote for Tyrel. He's still in first place but the Ohio State dude is getting closer. Please vote evryday

741hawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Everyday you post, I vote! Thanks for making it easy. Hey, 'Hawks, vote. Takes 20 seconds!

Linda Daxon 7 years, 4 months ago

I, too, appreciate the daily reminder, and on different articles and board threads. I've voted everyday since the reminders were first posted and it looks like your efforts are paying off. Go Tyrel.

bad_dog 7 years, 4 months ago

Appreciate your gentle reminders saad (and I vote 3 times per day), but Lighty is not getting closer. As of this morning the lead is 11.1%. It has steadily increased since Tyrel initially passed him several weeks ago.

Doesn't mean we can let our collective guards down...

gchawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the reminder. Like 741 said, your posts remind me to vote.

Saad Saifeddine 7 years, 4 months ago

Thanks guys. I just really want Tyrel to win this. He truly deserves this award. He's an exceptional student athlete, and a great person. Rock Chalk ;)

jhox 7 years, 4 months ago

I would honestly prefer that we not be ranked number 1. I believe we play better when we're not the number 1 team in the country. That being said, everyone keeps bringing up the Texas win at Allen Field House, but I don't hear anyone bringing up the extenuating circumstances of that loss. By some accounts many of our guys were coming off only one or two hours of sleep the night before, due to the death of Thomas Robinson's Mom. We dominated the first half, and simply ran out of gas the second half. That suggests to me that the lack of sleep the night before, and the emotions of that day played a big role in that loss.

Texas may be the best team in the country, but it would e nice to hear the talking heads mention that their win in Allen may have been at least a little tainted. I hope we play them again in the Big 12 tournament. I'm anxious to see how our guys match up against them with a full night's sleep.

Our team reminds me a bit of last year's team, when I felt that our "A" game beat anyone else's "A" game. Our problem was that too often we brought our "C" game to the arena. We've shown signs of being more consistent of late. Let's hope we keep it up.

AirCapJay 7 years, 4 months ago

If Texas should be ranked over KU this week, why was it not ranked higher the last 2 weeks? Just because OSU looses does not make Texas a better team. I say keep OSU number one because they were without a lose the longest, lost a close game at a good teams home. OSU, KU, TX, Duke, Pitt.

Kontum1972 7 years, 4 months ago

so true cshjhawk....

its over when the fat cheerleader sings!

its MADNESS...!!!!!!!!!!

Tony Bandle 7 years, 4 months ago


WOW!!! WTF......Notre Dame at #5 with 4 losses??!!.......who are these chuckleheads??

slowplay 7 years, 4 months ago

They beat Wisconsin at home. Wisonsin beat #1 Ohio State. Maybe THEY should be #1.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 4 months ago

Actually they beat Wisconsin in Orlando in the finals of a tourney over Thanksgiving.

slowplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Orlando, Madison....same thing. Good catch though. I just knew that game wasn't in Columbus so I assumed Madison. Originally from Michigan's UP, I'm very fond of the Badgers. I met Dick Bennett in the late 80's when he was at UWGB. Great guy, great coach.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 4 months ago

Been there. Very nice area. Never guessed there'd be Jayhawk fans there too! Isn't that where Izzo is from?

slowplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, I only visit here once a day. Actually I live in Lawrence now and yes that is Izzo's home town as well as Steve Mariucci. I'm a little older than those guys put I played a few pickup b-ball games with them.

Spencer Goff 7 years, 4 months ago

How do all sports writers point out that Texas has beaten Kansas, yet ignore that one of their THREE freaking losses are to Pitt? Three losses, one to the team directly below you, you shouldn't even be in the conversation.

If they weren't UT, nobody would give a damn. They wouldn't have jumped up over a bunch of teams with one win, we wouldn't even be having this debate. I hate Texas, I hate being in a conference with Texas.

My favorite was the discussion between Andy Katz and Doug's On Backwards. "Texas looks the best right now." Of course they look the best, that Big 12 South is a pile of garbage. OU, OSU, Tech, Baylor are all disappointing teams. A&M is possibly the most schizo team in the country, and on some nights cannot buy a basket.

When UT plays an out-of-conference game and don't have good ole Big 12 refs that put them to the line 30+ times a game watch how fast they lose. Do yourself a favor, go look at how many games UT has shot over 30 free throws a game. It is like that every year. They are our Duke without ever having to earn it.

I hate this conference. I really do. Thank the Board of Regents for keeping us here in the Super Texas League.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 4 months ago

KU, OSU, Pitt, Duke, SDSU, UT, BYU...My top 7 in that order. Notice that UT is about 5th, because they have a bad loss. Additionally, UT is the best 3 loss team, but all others in this list either have 1 or 2 losses.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years, 4 months ago


You are spot on. Gary Parrish has a bug up his backside for Kansas and always downplays our success but finds excuses for the Big East and Kentucky. I mean just look at the excuse he gives for Kentucky's losses. But no one ever says anything about our one loss coming on the heels of a players mothers' death and the fact that we played that game on little to no sleep. Its pretty sickening. How he and Jerry Palm are able to keep their jobs as supposed objective journalists is beyond me. That's fine to me though. In 08 everyone thought we were the worst of the four best teams (KU, UNC, UCLA and Memphis) and we were able to prove them wrong w/ our play. Here's to history repeating itself this year w/ these 4 teams: KU, UT, Pitt and OSU!!!!

SDSurferFan 7 years, 4 months ago

Ku: 76-55 Colorado st.  78-63 at Cal 83-56 Miami Ohio.    SDSU:  56-54 at Colorado st 77-57 at Cal.  77-56 at Miami Ohio. 

Common opponents. Not saying they should be ranked higher than KU...just saying.  SDSU has played a ton on true road games this year. 

KU played all these teams at AFH, yes I include the sprint center.  

SDSU played Cal much tougher and Colorado St was a much bigger game than the Ku game for them.  (ranked conf opp/fighting for at large/third in conf/at home)

SDSU just finished sweeping UNLV (which beat Wisconsin)

SDSU beat Witchita st by 14/uconn beat them by 2. 

Give them credit....they are also 25-1!!!!

Vroo 7 years, 4 months ago

Fair enough. SDSU may not be getting the credit they deserve because they don't have the reputation that these other schools do.

The same thing is true for SDSU as many on this board say to the Jayhawks: rankings don't matter. The results will stand for themselves. Keep playing well and that eventually silences the critics and skeptics.

I'm unbelievably impressed with how the Jayhawks have performed both on and off the court.

Sally Presson 7 years, 4 months ago

I think KU should be #1 because we've had one loss. I know it was at home, but remember the circumstances. the entire team mourned Thomas' loss as did the entire KU fan base, it put everything into perspective, how precious life is. This team is so special, I've never seen a team like this one and I've seen tons of teams (for the past 45 years). You guys are the absolute best ever!!! You've got your heads on straight and play with a purpose!!!

Go to Manhattan and beat the crap out of K State!!

hawkinportland 7 years, 4 months ago

come on...the Longhorns lost to USC....really? Number 1 and they lost to USC?? I think not...

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 4 months ago

Who was it on an ESPN (online) chat between Doug G. and Andy K. that had this order: Texas, Ohio State, Kansas ... I think it was Katz ... Who actually would DROP KU to third ... Unreal ... To me, it's nearly a three way tie.

I just want T-Rob and Selby to get healed up and return to get some playing time before the conference tourney (and hopefully get that rematch vs. Tejas) and be at "full-strength" for the Dance baby!

WilburNether 7 years, 4 months ago

The polls give an unimaginative sports media something to write about. Period. The NCAA selection committee will not slavishly follow the polls in determining seeding for the tournament, and the results of tournament games most certainly will not go in accordance with the poll rankings, either.

The polls are useless nonsense that give useless journalists something to talk and write about.

Jared Grillot 7 years, 4 months ago

One problem I'm having here with many of these posts, and it has nothing to do with who's ranked where. "Only March matters". While this may be true in reference to the rankings, it is NOT true in the big picture. Nothing, not even rankings, galls me more than the idea that we now have to sit around and hope that UT loses in order for us to share in the BigXII regular season title. I truly, truly hate these stupid Horns for that. I'm not angry about one loss in regards to March, I'm angry about one loss in regards to a six year title winning streak. Let us not be Coach Calimari. Winning conference titles is important.

rob4lb 7 years, 4 months ago

This really is a senseless argument. At the end of the year, no one cares who was ranked #1 in mid February. KU was ranked #1 most of last year- where did that get them? The ranking should be who is the best team today. That UT lost to USC in December or lost to Pitt in November is less and less relevant as the season progresses. They beat KU at AFH and can reasonably make a claim that they are currently a better team. And guys, let's stop with the excuses for the loss to UT. I understand the tragic and emotional situation before the game. but given all of that, KU held a double digit lead at home with 15 minutes left in the game.

By the way, I live in Texas and hate UT as much as anyone. No one down here even paid attention to college basketball until the last couple of weeks and now there is an article about UT basketball everyday in the Houston paper.

REHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm with Dickie V: Ohio State #1. Dickie knows how to pick em.

kureignman 7 years, 4 months ago

Keegan, thank you for being logical. Don't listen to KU "fans" who are scarred of some mythical bullseye (like we don't play with one every night).

Scott Smetana 7 years, 4 months ago

My top 5:

  1. Duke
  2. Texas
  3. Kansas
  4. Pitt
  5. Ohio St.

I see a big drop off after the top 5. One of the above has to be a 2 seed, probably to the loser of the KU/Texas game in the Big 12 tourney. There's nobody I want to avoid in the tourney other than Coach K and the defending champs. I want to be in the top 3 to avoid playing the 4 or 5 listed above. (given that we take care of business in the first 3 games).

Jacobpaul81 7 years, 4 months ago

Right now, Duke hasn't got much to stand on. Their 2 losses are to St. Johns and Florida State, teams with 7 & 9 losses. Meanwhile their resume building wins are K-State, Michigan State, and North Carolina. At this point, only North Carolina is ranked and everyone else they've played is middle of the pack or worse. It's a bottom feeder schedule. If they move above a 2 seed, it will be because of a complete mental collapse of the top 4.

Scott Smetana 7 years, 4 months ago

All true.
However, who would you least like to play in the Elite 8 of the above teams? That to me should be the real ranking. Right now Vegas has Duke #1 and I agree.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

There was an article on here not to long ago about odds, and it was pointed out then that odds are not just about who the experts think is going to win, but more so about who people are going to bet on. Duke is the biggest name in college basketball right now, and thus more people are betting with them. If Vegas gave them the odds they deserve, and Duke ended up winning, they'd lose tons more money than giving them these low odds.

As to your main point, Duke doesn't scare me very much at all. I would love to draw them at some point during the tournament. Much of the "fear" of them is that they are the defending champions. OK, but how legit is that? They were given a joke of a draw and anybody who watched their tournament games (in particular the Baylor game) knows they were helped along every step of the way by the refs. This season, without Kyrie Irving they are pretty easy to defend. The team that I would least want to play would be Pittsburg. I don't think we match-up particularly well with them, but they could still be got.

I respect your list in that you maybe think Duke is the best team, I just don't think you can make a case for them being any higher than #5 right now.

Kye Clark 7 years, 4 months ago

Jacobpaul - I agree with everything right up until the end. It won't take any kind of collapse for Duke to be a #1. If they don't lose another game (which is possible given how weak the ACC is) the committee will gift them a #1 seed, probably with the easiest path to the Final Four. That's their bread & butter for TV ratings. Many people didn't think they deserved a #1 seed last year, and everybody thought their draw was a joke. My guess is that if KU & Texas make it to the Big 12 championship game, the loser of that game will be given a #2 seed and Duke will get the last #1.

JayHawkFanToo 7 years, 4 months ago

KU is now offcially #1 in the ESPN/USA Coaches poll by a very slim margin.

Steve Brown 7 years, 4 months ago

rather be the pursuer than the pursued.

rank us 6-8 I don't give a flip...

Adam Evans 7 years, 4 months ago

This team is hungry. There is a hunger, a determination, more emotion, and a bigger chip on their shoulder than last years team. Marcus said it perfectly to fully encompass that attitude: "I want to be number one. I want to have that chip on our shoulder every time we go out. I want to be the one that gets everybody's best shot because I believe we can take it."

No one from last years team had that kind of drive and hunger. Not even Sherron.

ralphralph 7 years, 4 months ago

Ohio State lost, close, on the road, at a super-tough gym, to a ranked team. KU lost at home to a Southwestern Conference team that wears burnt orange.

Ohio State = #1

Adam Evans 7 years, 4 months ago

Ignorant comment. Texas is a legit contender. They have been tearing everyone apart since their lost to UConn. No one is playing better ball in the last 6 weeks total than Texas. In the last 3 weeks, it is only Kansas and Texas. Show a bit of respect. You saying what you did says "Kansas sucks because they lost to a crappy team". No respect to Texas OR our jayhawks. Be constructive or don't talk.

Adam Evans 7 years, 4 months ago

And also, with that logic, explain to me why ANYONE from the Missouri Valley conference would be considered for #1? Because, according to you, since UT is from the SWC, then KU is from the MVC. Since that is where we came from before the Big 8.

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