One AP voter is punishing Xavier for great wins.
Another AP voter is rewarding Indiana for a loss to an average team.
This week’s Poll Attacks column highlights two of the dumbest ballots ever.
Let’s get it!
Associated Press poll: Cormac Gordon, the award-winning writer for the Staten Island Advance, has Xavier 10th on this week’s AP ballot, which makes no sense.
Because Xavier has a top-five resume.
The Musketeers are 19-2 with seven top-50 KenPom wins, which means nobody in college basketball has more top-50 KenPom wins than Chris Mack’s team. For comparative purposes, know that Oklahoma has six. And that North Carolina has four.
Again, Xavier has seven.
Only Iowa and Virginia have as many.
Meantime, Xavier is 3-1 against the top 25 of the RPI, 5-1 against the top 50. And it’s not like Xavier has horrible losses that offset the quality wins, because the Musketeers have only lost twice — first at Villanova, then to Georgetown — which means the Musketeers have only a single loss outside of the top 10. And yet Cormac Gordon took all of this into account and decided nine schools should be ranked higher than Xavier.
Makes no sense.
But do you know what makes even less sense?
What makes even less sense is that Gordon had the Musketeers ranked seventh last week, meaning he dropped them three spots after wins at Providence and at DePaul.
What in the world?
Xavier beat the school that’s ranked 11th in the AP poll on the road, then dominated another Big East team on the road, and dude from Staten Island dropped the Musketeers three spots on his ballot. Tough crowd, huh? Guess Xavier needed to win at Providence by 40 to hold its spot on Gordon’s ballot. And moving up was clearly never an option.
Either way, here’s the wildest thing: That’s not even the wildest thing on a ballot this week!
You seriously will not believe what Doug Doughty did.
Because what Doug Doughty did is submit maybe the dumbest ballot I’ve ever seen.
Doughty works for The Roanoke Times and doesn’t seem to take his job seriously at all. As proof, I offer the fact that he had Indiana ranked 16th on his ballot last week. Then the Hoosiers lost to Wisconsin and beat Minnesota, and Doughty moved Indiana all the way — ready for this? — up to No. 4 on his ballot.
Up to No. 4!
He for real moved Indiana up 12 spots and into the top five after Indiana lost to a Wisconsin team that’s lost nine times. You have got to be kidding me, Doug Doughty. That’s some next-level ridiculousness. And poor Iowa State. The Cyclones beat No. 7 Kansas at home, then lost to No. 8 Texas A&M on the road, and Doughty dropped Iowa State from 18th to completely off of his ballot, because when you beat No. 7 and lose to No. 8 you no longer deserve to be ranked, according to the logic Doug Doughty brings to his AP ballot.
Bottom line, embarrassing.
Cormac Gordon and Doug Doughty, you two should be embarrassed.
Just care a little.
That’s all anybody asks.
Just care and try a little tiny bit.
Coaches poll: I recognize ranking teams is subjective, and that there are always about 10 schools that could fill the final five spots of anybody’s ballot. But my rule is pretty simple, and my rule is this: If you’re going to put somebody on your ballot, even at No. 25, you have to be able to at least rationalize it in some intelligent way.
Could anybody rationalize including Washington in an intelligent way?
The Huskies are 14-7 with losses to Oakland and UC Santa Barbara, and without a single win over a school currently ranked in the AP or Coaches poll. They’re 3-4 against the top 50 of the RPI, 3-3 overall in their past six games, and coming off of a double-digit loss to USC. They’re ranked 76th at KenPom and 49th in the RPI. So the Huskies don’t have a Top 25 resume, and they aren’t playing like a Top 25 team now. Which means there’s nothing — absolutely nothing — that suggests Washington’s name belongs on a Top 25 ballot.
Is Lorenzo Romar doing a good job with this team? Yeah, I think so, considering the Huskies are the least-experienced Power 5 team in the country, according to KenPom. But “doing a good job with this team” doesn’t equal “coaching a Top 25 team.” And I’m not sure why some voters have such a hard time distinguishing between those two things.
But, honestly, this is minor.
Because an AP voter launched Indiana 12 spots to No. 4 after a loss to Wisconsin!
That’s an all-timer, man.
That’s an all-timer.