I'm sorry, coach, but voters aren't noticing.
Look at the NCAA womens basketball polls. Tell me what you see.
A typically dominant UCONN team, a few one- and two-loss squads from the usual suspects--you know, Tennessee, Ohio State, Georgetown, several three-loss teams and a handful of four and five loss teams. Oh, and even Texas and Vanderbilt, each with six losses.
Great. Now, who didn't you see.
Nope, you didn't. I don't like this one bit, and I'll tell you why.
When taking an initial glance at which teams have earned the votes necessary to be nationally ranked and comparing those teams with Renee Ladner's Lady Rebels squad, I get a feeling that we Rebels are being denied something we are damn-near entitled to. Consider their resume:
- 14-5 overall
- 5-1 against SEC foes, a tie for first with nationally-ranked Tennessee
- Wins over two teams currently in the top-25 (LSU and UGA)
- Losses to three teams currently in the top-25 (Texas, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt)
The first point is a bit damning in that very few teams with more than four losses are currently in the top-25. However, three of the Lady Rebels' five losses could certainly be considered "good" losses as mentioned in the fourth point. The two "bad" losses, losses on the road to a currently 9-8 Arizona team and a currently 8-9 Old Dominion team, do sting, but nearly as much as they could. The team's best wins, over a top-15 LSU team and over a top-10 UGA team occurred in the same week, with the latter being in Athens, a place in which the Lady Rebels have never won up until this season.
How do Vanderbilt and Texas, teams which have admittedly defeated the Lady Rebels, deserve higher rankings despite having six losses? When looking at other five-loss basketball squads which are ranked (i.e., Georgia Tech, UVA) their resumes are hardly more impressive than that of the Rebels. And when considering just how low the Lady Rebels are--stuck nearly towards the bottom of the "others receiving votes" section amongst Marquette (13-7), USC (12-6), and Miami (14-6 and 2-4 in conference)--it's a bit bothersome.
Voters, pay attention to this Lady Rebels squad. They play South Carolina tonight and, if I haven't jinxed them, they'll hopefully earn some more of your consideration by remaining atop the Southeastern Conference.
If I have jinxed them, however, my apologies go out to Coach Ladner and her players.