Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gophers Rise In Rankings

Win or lose, Tubby Smith will always be linked to Kentucky basketball. And whether Billy Gillispie wins or loses at Kentucky, Tubby Smith will always receive a sizeable dose of the blame, deserving or not.

With that in mind, I just want to make one small point. The new Sagarin Ratings came out Saturday, and in them the Gophers climbed up to 38th nationally.

Meanwhile, after losing to Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday (former Indiana coach Mike Davis is coaching there), the Wildcats dropped to 4-4. Two of Kentucky's losses have been excusable--North Carolina and Indiana. But losing to an average Alabama-Birmingham team and to Gardner-Webb earlier this season (G-W has now lost 6 of 9 games), is turning the Kentucky faithful blue. The result: A Sagarin Rating of 147, in between Indiana State and Oral Roberts.


The full Sagarin Rankings are here.

Don't think this fact will be lost on Kentucky faithful. In Saturday's Louisville Courier-Journal, columnist Rick Bozich noted that at the time the Gophers and Wildcats were one spot apart in the Sagarin Rankings.

It's a long season, and the only real win the Gophers have is at Iowa State (really not all that impressive.) Things could change by year's end, but at this point, Tubby Smith seems to have gotten the best of the coaching circus in the offseason.


FromTheStateThatRanOffTubby said...

I assure you that Tubby is receiving plenty of ire from Wildcat fans who blame him for the poor showing on the part of UK this season. The standard argument goes: Tubby inherited a great team at Kentucky (in 98) which handed him a championship ring on a platter, and due to his laziness and ineptitude in recruiting left a talent-less team this year. Personally, while I very much miss having such a classy person coaching at the University of Kentucky, I am very glad Tubby is in Minnesota where he is appreciated for his talent and class.

WWWWWW said...

Vaden was absolutely unconscious in the UAB/Kentucky game, and it wasn't a true home game since they played in Louisville.

Not really a good excuse for UK, but I have rarely seen someone take over a game the way Vaden did. Hard to overcome. said...

If the Gophers played Kentucky's schedule, we would probably be 4-4 or 3-5, which continues to show how the mighty have fallen and how Gopher fans have reason to be hopeful.

Its probably been pointed out several dozen times by now, but Lawrence McKenzie's quote about the Gophers and their weak schedule sums up the Minnesota Tubby Smith era better than anything else. It's the same schedule as last year, only this year the Gophers are winning.

I wonder how much of the Gophers success is due to Tubby coming in and how much is due to departures, including Monson and several players.

fromthestatethatranofftubby said...

"Vaden was absolutely unconscious in the UAB/Kentucky game."

True, but at some point you would have thought UK would have at least tried rotating some different players on him (Bradley? Ramon Harris? AJ Stewart?).

Looking at Kentucky's schedule, I honestly believe that Minnesota would be 5-3, with losses to UNC, IU, and UAB. Not to diminish the other teams, but you expect competitive BCS conference teams not to loose to Gardner-Webb or Stoney Brook.

PJS said...

I was just going to say everything FTSTROT said.

Vaden was great, but Gillespie didn't seem to try and change things up to slow him down in the second half. And Vaden wasn't the only reason UK lost. UK gave that game away, up almost 20 at the break. Turnovers mounted in the second half. And a typically turnover-prone UAB team wasn't being pressured enough to give up the ball.

Again, agreeing with FTSTROT, I'd say the Gophers would be 5-3 with UK's schedule, with an extra victory coming against G-W.

UK should also watch out as it heads to play Houston in its next game. That isn't a gimme.