One day AP voters will listen and learn.
Until then, I’ll keep doing the Poll Attacks and shaming their ballots.
Let’s get it!
Associated Press poll: I wrote 350 words about Utah in last week’s Poll Attacks under a headline that literally read, “Let me explain why you can’t leave Utah off of a Top 25 ballot.”
Like, that was the actual headline.
And the 350 words underneath that headline were me making the case for Utah.
In other words, last Monday, it made no sense for 13 Associated Press voters to submit ballots without Utah on their ballots, and I explained why in great detail. Since then, all the Utes have done is beat Arizona State 81-46 and top Arizona 70-64. So now Utah is 23-7 overall, 12-5 in the Pac-12 and in possession of a resume featuring seven top-50 RPI wins and just one loss outside of the top 50.
That’s strong stuff.
And yet there’s still one AP voter omitting Utah from his ballot.
That one Associated Press voter is The Times-Picayune’s Randy Rosetta.
Randy is a good man working in a great city. But how am I not supposed to be offended when he left Utah off of his ballot after I spent 350 words explaining why that’s dumb?
I did all the work.
I ran all the numbers.
All Randy had to do was listen, and we both could’ve avoided this. But he didn’t. So we didn’t. And now, if you don’t mind, let me again place Utah’s resume into context so you can understand just how ridiculous it is to have a ballot that doesn’t include Utah.
Once again … Utah is 23-7 and in possession of a resume featuring seven top-50 RPI wins and just one loss outside of the top 50. And do you know how many schools have a resume featuring seven top-50 RPI wins and just one loss outside of the top 50?
Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Utah.
That’s the entire list.
Now Randy has Kansas ranked No. 1, Michigan State No. 2 and Oklahoma No. 6. So, clearly, having seven top-50 RPI wins and just one loss outside of the top 50 is something he respects. But, for some reason, he doesn’t respect it when it comes to Utah, and did I mention Utah is on a six-game winning streak? So it’s not just that the Utes have a great resume; they’re also red hot. Which means whether you’re a body-of-work voter or a teams-that-are-best-right-now voter, there’s no sensible way to leave Utah off of your ballot.
Especially when your ballot includes Seton Hall.
To be clear, I don’t have any issue with Seton Hall appearing on ballots. Kevin Willard has a solid team, and he’s doing a nice job. You can reasonably rank the Pirates, if you want. But there is no intelligent way to rank Seton Hall without ranking Utah ahead of Seton Hall.
Utah has seven top-50 RPI wins. Seton Hall has four. Utah has only one loss outside of the top 50. Seton Hall has four. Utah is No. 8 in the RPI. Seton Hall is 31. Utah is 24th at KenPom. Seton Hall is 31st. Utah is on a six-game winning streak. Seton Hall is not.
Bottom line, as subjective as ranking teams can be, there really isn’t a single way to look at Utah and Seton Hall and determine that Seton Hall should be ranked over, and instead of, Utah. Seton Hall doesn’t have better wins. Seton Hall doesn’t have better losses. Seton Hall isn’t hotter. So on and so forth. And yet Randy has Seton Hall ranked 25th and Utah not ranked at all. And if that sounds crazy, that’s because it is crazy. And, I swear, if I have to do this again next week, I’m going to lose my mind for real.
Coaches poll: The coaches have Utah ranked 13th.
That’s still too low.
But it’s better than Randy.
So I can deal with it.
But what I can’t deal with — or, at least, what I don’t understand — is Providence getting 28 points in this poll. If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I think of Ed Cooley and Kris Dunn, and you know I was praising the Friars’ resume throughout November, December and January. But when it comes to ranking teams, you have to be willing to adjust when the data adjusts, and the data has adjusted on Providence.
Once upon a time, Providence had one of the nation’s best bodies of work.
But now Providence is 2-6 against the top 50 of the RPI. And Providence has three losses outside of the top 100 of the RPI — including losses to Marquette (113) and DePaul (187) this month. Byeond that, the Friars have dropped five of their last seven games, and three of those five losses are to currently unranked schools.
Simply put, that’s not good.
And it’s why Providence is now a 9 seed in Jerry Palm’s bracket.
And it’s why the coaches who are still ranking Providence need to pay closer attention.