Monday, May 23, 2011

High school baseball polls meaningless

For the 11 years I have been at the NH, I have always thought the Top of the Crop - and the subsequent reactions it always generates, no matter the sport - was mostly ridiculous. It is amazing the anger of some players, coaches and fans because of where the name of their school is on a top 10 list. You would think we were the BCS and that the Crop rankings meant the difference between making the postseason or staying home.

We've been down that road before, but I bring it up now because someone recently asked me why we don't run in the paper of pay more attention to the OHSBCA coaches poll for baseball. Let's put it this way - any poll where not all schools are represented is not going to be highly publicized by me. Members vote for other members and non-members simply get excluded regardless of talent? Doesn't sound like a poll we want any part of.

This latest release of the poll also shows that the coaches association doesn't always get it right - neither does the media, so let's make that clear. Of the three baseball teams from the area heading to the sweet 16 this week, only Lake Catholic was ranked in the coaches poll and the Cougars were No. 8 in Division II despite a 20-5 record at the time.

South not ranked in D-I and Fairport not ranked in D-IV. Were there 10 better teams than the Rebels and Skippers in their respective divisions, more if you include the teams that also received votes?

I am the first one to tell coaches and parents and players not to put much stock into polls of any kind in any sport. What is important is what happens on the field, not in the newspaper.

The latest high school baseball polls should prove that strongly.

- Bill Tilton


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