Monday, November 1, 2010

The Running Tally is here! Oh my God! Only 12 days late! How excited are you?

Lay off me! I had to input all the CAA predictions into my super-old, super-slow Macintosh!

No need to riot, folks, and please stop ringing my doorbell. (Oh wait, those were kids Trick or Treating? Sorry ‘bout that). The first installment of the Running Tally of CAA predictions is finally here.

Apologies again for the delay, and a quick refresher for readers both old and new: Every fall we compile the various previews of the CAA and put together the consensus. My point system mimics the cross country point system—one point for first place, two points for second place, all the way to 12 points for last place (which is where I often finished as a cross country runner—last place, not 12th place—but I digress).

We compile everything, even the unfortunately dated preview magazines whose writers—with the exception of Our Man Litos, who forecasts the CAA for the exception to the preview magazine rule, The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook—may or may not think the CAA stands for Creative Artists Agency. There are no magazines included in this Running Tally, because I couldn’t get my hands on all of them this weekend. They’ll be included in the next Running Tally, which will appear at some point between tomorrow and 2025.

And sometime between now and 2025 is when I’ll put together a blog detailing how accurate the consensus was the previous two seasons, but I will say it nailed the champion the last two years (VCU in 2008-09 and ODU last year) but missed Hofstra’s eventual landing spot by two spots both years. The Dutchmen were picked seventh in 2008-09, when they finished fifth, and fifth last year, when they finished seventh. So I guess that means they’ll finish where the predictions say they’ll finish this year. Or not.

We have eight previews compiled by seven different sources here (the CAA Full Court Press guys each filed their own predictions). If I’ve missed any, please send me the link via email or Twitter so I can add it to the group. We’ve gone from 10 polls to 13 the last two years and it’d be great if we could exceed that total this season.

Anyway, no more buildup here you go.

1.) Old Dominion (5) 12
2.) VCU (2) 15.5
3.) George Mason (1) 18.5
4.) James Madison 33
5.) HOFSTRA 42
6.) William & Mary 54.5
7.) Northeastern 56.5
8.) Delaware 62
9.) Drexel 66
10.) Towson 77
11.) UNC Wilmington 90
12.) Georgia State 93

First place votes in parentheses.

—The damn southern bias media continues to pay little heed to our beloved Flying Dutchmen, who weren’t picked higher than fourth by anyone. BLASPHEMY!!! The Dutchmen were a consensus pick to finish fifth, earning five fifth-place votes (CAA, Mull, Selig, the Brain Trust—whomever they are, they’re idiots!!!—and Andy Towne of CAA FCP). The only poll to believe in the Dutchmen, even a little bit, is Rush The Court, which picked Hofstra fourth. Darren Costa of CAA FCP and were particularly mean, picking the Dutchmen sixth and seventh. We won’t forget these slights!!!

—Good news for Old Dominion, which is thus far a decisive pick to repeat as champions. The Monarchs were picked first or second in seven polls, with only Towne picking them as low as third.

—Despite the loss of Larry Sanders—or maybe because of it—VCU was picked second. The Rams were picked second or higher six times, with Mull and Costa pegging them for first. Only the CAA poll and Rivals had the Rams as low as third.

—Like ODU and VCU, our pals at George Mason were a unanimous pick to finish no lower than third (nobody polled me, clearly). Towne gave the Patriots their lone first place vote (note to self: unfollow Towne!) while the CAA, Brain Trust and Rivals picked them to at least share second place. The other four polls had Mason third.

—James Madison was the most consistent pick: Seven of eight dentists, err, pollsters picked the Dukes fourth, with only Rush The Court (fifth) deviating.

—It gets interesting and unpredictable in the middle of the pack, which is led by William & Mary. The Fighting Bill Lawrences were picked between sixth and eighth in every ranking. They were selected to at least grab a share of sixth place four times and selected seventh and eighth twice apiece.

—Our friends at Northeastern ended up one of two teams with a five-spot gap between highest and lowest forecast. The Huskies were picked fifth by Rivals and 10th by Selig. The most popular pick for the Huskies, not surprisingly, was seventh (four votes), but they were also predicted to finish at least tied for sixth twice and eighth once. They were the only team to be picked in five different spots.

—Long-time rival Delaware was the other squad with a five-spot spread—also fifth (Costa) to 10th (Rivals). The Blue Hens received four eighth-place votes and were picked ninth once.

—Drexel was a popular spring pick to contend for the title, but the arrest of starting point guard Jamie Harris sent the Dragons spiraling to ninth in the Running Tally. Of course, Bruiser Flint fares best when nobody believes in him or his team, so it’s not too shocking to see the Dragons picked sixth by the CAA and Rivals. The consensus pick, though, is ninth (three votes). Drexel was also picked 10th twice and seventh once.

—Towson at 10th makes it three straight ECC teams and four straight NAC teams in the bottom half. The Tigers got more ninth-place votes (four) than 10th-place votes (three) but the consistency of the forecast sends them behind Drexel. Towson was also picked 11th by one voter.

—UNC Wilmington and new coach Buzz Peterson were an almost unanimous pick to finish in the bottom two, with only Towne picking the Seahawks as high as 10th. UNCW received four 11th-place votes and three 12th-place votes.

—Georgia State is the inverted James Madison, picked to finish in only two spots—12th and last (five votes) and 11th (three votes).

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