News & ToursDecember 4, 2009

A closer look at the top 25

The final Golf World/Nike Golf men's and Golf World/NGCA women's Division I coaches' polls were released this week, and the results breakdown in some interesting ways.

Number of teams that started the fall unranked

Men: 5

Augusta State, 11; Oregon State, 16; UNLV, 21; Virginia, 23; San Diego State, 25

Women: 4

Florida, 16; Texas A&M, 21; UC Davis, 22; South Carolina, 24

Number of teams that started the fall ranked but ended unranked

Men: 1

Arkansas, 8

*Women: *0

Meanwhile, when you consider how the top-25 teams ranked in various categories, there are some observations that can be made. Below are how the teams rank based on:

  1. the actual men's and women's polls

  2. overall head-to-head winning percentage

  3. winning percentage versus other top-25 teams

  4. winning percentage versus non top-25 teams

MEN

Men's poll chart.jpg

*Notable:

  • No. 20 Georgia has likely hung on to its spot in the top 25 based a bit on reputation. To cut coach Chris Haack some slack, his team has been hamstrung by injuries. Still it has not only the worst overall winning percentage of any team in the top 25 (.549) but the second to worst against non top-25 teams. Now, of course you can look at that two ways: 1) The Bulldogs are overrated. 2) The Bulldogs have room for improvement

  • The same two points can be made for No. 17 Georgia Tech, but I'm going to argue the Yellow Jackets are more the second line of reasoning than the first. While having the worst winning percentage versus non-top 25 teams, they have the seventh best winning percentage against top-25 opponents. In other words, Tech does play well against quality competition, but has actually "played down" to the level of their opponents in other instances. That suggests to me that there is easy room for improvement for Bruce Heppler's bunch.

*WOMEN

*[#image: /photos/55ad71dbb01eefe207f68709]|||Women's poll chart.jpg|||

Notable:

  • While ranked inside the top 10 at No. 8, Tennessee much actually be underrated. The Lady Vols overall winning percentage was fourth best and their record against top-25 teams was fifth best.

  • Duke's victory at the NCAA Preview helped boost its national ranking (5) as well as improved its overall winning percentage and winning percentage versus top-25 teams. That the Blue Devils ranked only 14th in record versus non top-25 teams is cause for pause. In their previous tournaments they were inconsistent, allowing lesser teams to get the better of them. The question arises: did Duke just have three good days in Wilmington or are they really among the country's elite? Regardless, that the NCAA Championship is being played only a few hours from campus is a real positive for Duke.

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