Here you go: My Big East picks, and yours
For those of you who missed today's live chat, I rolled out my Big East preseason ballot from the league's annual preseason media poll. Three journalists covering each team get ballots, and the Times has a policy where writers are only allowed to vote in such things if they disclose their ballots publicly. The whole media poll will be unveiled Tuesday morning at 9:30 in Newport, R.I., and we'll be busy blogging from Rhode Island on Monday and Tuesday.
Wasn't easy, but here are my picks for the Big East in 2010:
3. West Virginia
Now I submitted my ballot several weeks ago, and you guys weren't aware of my picks when I asked you guys for your ballots on Tuesday night -- yet there's only two teams different by a single spot in comparing mine with yours. I'm very happy to report that 44 of you offered up your picks, giving a great cross-section of what Bulls fans think about the Big East this fall. Here's how your picks went -- the number by the team is the average position over the 44 ballots.
8. Syracuse (7.66)
7. Louisville (7.18)
6. Rutgers (5.16)
5. Connecticut (4.39)
4. USF (3.70)
3. Cincinnati (3.69)
2. West Virginia (2.69)
1. Pittsburgh (1.52)
As you see, the only difference is we have West Virginia and Cincinnati flipped. And while my coin-flip tossup was between USF and Connecticut for fourth, you guys clearly were torn between USF and Cincinnati for third, with the lone tie out of 44 ballots giving Cincinnati a half-point advantage. And for the record, as close as you are to me collectively, none of you picked an identical ballot to mine.
First-place votes? Pittsburgh dominated with 31 out of 44 ballots, with West Virginia getting six, USF getting three and Cincinnati and Connecticut getting two each. And Louisville and Syracuse are clearly the bottom two teams in the league by your estimation -- only five ballots didn't have them as seventh and eighth in some order. Only two ballots put someone else eighth -- one vote for Rutgers and one for Connecticut.
As for USF, half of you (22 ballots) picked the Bulls to finish fourth or fifth, while another 19 picked a top-three finish for the Bulls. Only three ballots had USF sixth (once) or seventh (twice).
So there you have it -- on Monday, we'll show how the media has picked in recent years vs. how the final standings have shaken out, showing which teams are the most overvalued and underestimated.