Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Don't Believe The Hype, Just Play

Coaches polls (coaches "KNOW" quality when they see it, right?) are worthless. Most coaches watch their own team and only occasionally study opponents for quality. Coaches don't have time to review the hours of video that would be required to make an informed evaluation of teams. If anything, the voting should include maybe 100 coaches to attempt to get a more accurate predictor, not the paltry few that Soccer Times uses.

It is interesting, too, that 10 of the 16 coaches have their own team on the list. I think that I trust more the votes of those coaches who DON'T have their team in contention to be honest in their evaluation, if they are paying attention at all.

Now my final criticism is based on the actual 2006 winner of the men's NCAA championship: UC- Santa Barbara. In this the final regular season poll, UC-SB came in ranked 29th. I would bet that almost none of the coaches voting had ever seen them play. I call on Soccer Times to add at least 80 coaches to the current list of 16, and include some NCAA division two and three coaches since they play some of those teams. There is wisdom in crowds, if you haven't read.

Or better yet, dispense with coaching polls altogether and pay a few guys to study this and be a LOT more realistic with the polling.

Note to players: Better Soccer players take zero pride in their team being highly ranked, since it is meaningless. Better soccer players enjoy playing soccer, not trying to measure a very difficult thing to measure like future soccer team success.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

(Records include games of Monday, November 6)
(First-place votes in parentheses)
RankSchool RecordPtsLW
1Southern Methodist (9) 17-1-43902
2 Duke (7) 16-3-13856
3Wake Forest 15-3-33711
4Virginia 14-3-1351 4
5Indiana 14-4-2312 6
6West Virginia 15-2-3308 3
7Maryland 15-4-1303 5
8Santa Clara 12-4-4256 9
9California 12-5-1246 10
10Notre Dame 13-5-2229 11
11Clemson12-4-2220 7
12Saint Louis 13-4-2206 12
13New Mexico 13-3-3166 17
14North Carolina 11-5-3160 23
15UCLA10-5-4159 18
16Lehigh 15-1-2129 15
17Creighton 13-4-3127 20
18Kentucky 14-5-2111 14
19St. John's 13-5-2103 nr
20Illinois-Chicago 12-2-5100 16
21Towson 14-1-395 21
22Harvard 13-4-078 23
23Alabama at Birmingham 10-6-356 24t
24Connecticut 10-6-242 24
25 South Carolina 11-5-141 19

Key: Pts - Total points. LW - Last week's ranking. t - tie. nr - no ranking

Dropped out: No. 22 California-Irvine, No. 25t Providence.

Others receiving votes: California-Irvine 39, Old Dominion 35, Hofstra 25, California-Santa Barbara 22, Northern Illinois 22. Providence 19, Rhode Island 16, Monmouth 15, Washington 13, San Francisco 10, Western Illinois 10, Cincinnati 9, Rutgers 8, Brown 7, San Diego State 5, Ohio State 3.

Voting panel: Louis Bennett, Marquette; Mark Berson, South Carolina; Sasho Cirovski, Maryland; Ian Collins, Kentucky; Dan Donigan, Saint Louis; Jeremy Fishbein, New Mexico; Mike Freitag, Indiana; Mike Getman, Alabama at Birmingham; Kevin Grimes, California; Schellas Hyndman, Southern Methodist; Mike Jacobs, Evansville; Paul Krumpe, Loyola Marymount; Ken Lolla, Louisville; Ray Reid, Connecticut; John Rennie, Duke; Bob Warming, Creighton.

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