Espn RPI has us at #17 and Florida at #2.

Who wants to bet the AP poll has both teams ranked just in time for a made for tv matchup? That is how they do. (It seemed more blatant than ever this football season that facing a ranked team on tv next game automatically boosts your ranking 5-10 places)

But, not sure if SEC network has the same pull in basketball. (I sure hope so though, seeing as how we are only playing 2 true national TV games, if you count the deuce and U) Most people in NCAA bball media strongholds like the west coast, northeast, Midwest etc don’t have the Sec network. The SEC hasn’t really done anything to change our conference basketball reputation this year. Still looks like we are going to have to win 23 or more in regular season to stay in top 25 and away from play-in game bubble territory.

Florida will get in. Don’t think we will

Florida looks like a basketball team and should get in. We on the other hand have a long ways to go. We allow far to many people to run free all over the court with wide open shots and lanes to the basket. Maybe that will change, but it has to change to be a basketball team. We have played two teams so far and they are marginal. We are 1-1. That will not get it done. Beat FL and it will have a whole different look, but have to do it first.

You guys are kidding yourselves if you think ESPN has that much influence on how the coaches and non-ESPN media vote, and that’s what the polls are. The rest of the country thinks the SEC is a one-team basketball league. That far outweighs ESPN’s interest in having ranked teams play. Besides, ESPN shows so darn many games, they can’t possibly have ranked teams in every game.

However, Florida was #26 in both polls this week and doesn’t play again this week, so with the normal flux in the rankings (i.e., somebody ranked 20-25 loses), they may get in next week. Could have happened last night but Cincinnati held on to win in overtime. I’m not sure if any other 20-25 teams have lost this week. Could be they’re still #26 next week if no one loses.

We’re #29 in coaches poll, not even getting votes in AP, so we won’t be ranked.

Edit: I see that the Chickens are the ranked team that lost most recently (to Clemson Wednesday night), so they may replace one SEC team with another.

Sorry. I know you’re well-liked on this board and you seem to be a really nice guy. But on this, you’re just wrong. On many levels.

The defense has been very good the last 2-3 weeks. I’m not sure what games you have been watching or if you have just missed the recent games when the defense has been very good. I would suggest reading some of the posts from posters who use the defensive metrics to show an objective measure of defense (like Jimmy Carter’s).

But, your characterization of the defense is way off base–particularly in terms of how they’ve played the last 2-3 weeks.

And, saying we have played 2 teams thus far is also very uninformed. We have already played 5 teams that Lunardi currently has in the NCAAT and Texas (who you cite as one of only 2 teams we have played) isn’t one of them.

Should we be 4-1 or 5-0 against them? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good teams. The teams you consider nobody have beaten multiple highly-ranked opponents, and Texas and are one of the reasons we have a Top 25 RPI.

I’m not saying we should not be ranked but we should be in the conversation and your characterization of where we are as a team is contrary to what has actually happened on the court this year.

Defense is a funny thing. You don’t guard anybody and somebody blows a layup with 31 seconds left on the clock. Or you guard like a madman and somebody banks in a 29-footer as the shot clock expires. Which one is the better defensive sequence? I’d say the latter, even if they got three points out of the possession. And shooting percentage may not correlate to defensive effort either. We’ve seen nights, for and against us, where one team hits everything it throws up even with a hand in its face, and other nights where you can’t throw a beachball in the ocean, completely unguarded.

So, given that the team that scores the most points wins, points allowed is what we have to go by, with shooting percentage as a correlation. Given the variation in styles of play, defensive efficiency per possession has been identified as a way to remove that variable. And our defensive efficiency has been pretty good lately. As I recall, it was about 1.0 ppp against Texas and has been below 1.0 in the games since then. That’s pretty good, especially if our offensive efficiency is rocking along above 1.1, which is where it is for the season. Defensive efficiency for the season is about 0.97, while the national median is 1.03.

Reply: How much thought went into, I believe The Hawgs will win this next game, therefore your prediction appears shaky

There’s no game between now and Florida. He asked if we would be ranked by the time we played florida. Rankings come out Monday. I think Florida will be ranked and I don’t think we will. All predictions are shakey but if yours is based upon a game that we aren’t going to play then yours is shakier than mine.

I agree we won’t break the top 25 until we beat Florida. If we do, we will stay ranked a long while. If we don’t, it may be our only chance to be ranked all year (barring a miracle in Lexington) Both AP and coaches seem perfectly fine having at most 2 SEC teams ranked. Let’s lock down that 2nd spot in the SEC!

To get a more accurate look at how the teams should stack up, use www.kenpom.com. It actually takes into account how teams play, not just W’s, L’s and SOS. It’s used most frequently among the best analysts.