UCLA is still in the Top 25?
Days like today are why I invented the Poll Attacks.
Associated Press Poll: Seventeen writers had UCLA on their ballots even after Sunday's loss to California Polytechnic State University. Their names are Elton Alexander, Michael Hunt, Andrew Carter, Paul Zeise, Randy Rosetta, Scott Mansch, Scott Reid, Terry Hutchens, Jason Franchuk, Kevin Brockway, Tim Pearrell, Chris Dachille, Kelly Hines, John Werner, Fletcher Mackel, Mitch Vingle and Roger Clarkson. Shame on every one of them ... and on the men who actually voted UCLA 24th in the Coaches Poll. I'll have more on that below. But I'm not gonna spend another word in this portion of the Poll Attacks on UCLA because I'd rather highlight other silly things on the ballot that belongs to Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Get a load of this!
Hunt has Duke ranked four spots below Louisville despite the fact that Duke is undefeated with a neutral-court win over Louisville. He has Oklahoma State ranked six spots below North Carolina State despite the fact that Oklahoma State is undefeated with a neutral-court win over North Carolina State. And he has Memphis ranked 18th despite the fact that Memphis spent the Thanksgiving holiday getting exposed in the Bahamas while losing to VCU and Minnesota.
(Yes, Memphis was exposed by VCU and Minnesota. Here's how it played locally.)
So you're probably wondering where Hunt has VCU and Minnesota ranked. Must be in the top 15 or something, right? Actually, he doesn't have VCU or Minnesota ranked at all even though, again, he has the team that VCU and Minnesota just exposed ranked 18th. I guess Hunt thinks Memphis was impressive in its losses to VCU and Minnesota but that VCU and Minnesota weren't impressive in their wins over Memphis. Or something like that. Honestly, I have no idea. I don't try to make sense of these silly AP ballots. I just write about them.
Coaches Poll: I don't expect folks to always (or even usually) agree with our Top 25 (and one) because ranking basketball teams is a subjective exercise. But know this: Jeff Goodman and I spend a decent amount of time each Sunday going through it, and we can always defend or explain why we did what we did. There's a reason behind everything. Dumb as it sounds, we take our rankings seriously.
But not everybody takes their rankings seriously.
And there might be no better example of this in modern history than the fact that UCLA is ranked 24th in this week's Coaches Poll. Not last week's Coaches Poll. The Bruins are 24th in this week's Coaches Poll -- even after Sunday's loss at home to California Polytechnic State University. Clearly, nobody could reasonably rank UCLA after Sunday's loss to California Polytechnic State University, which means the coaches (or sports information directors) who voted for UCLA must've submitted their ballots before Sunday night's game went final, or they didn't bother to wake up Monday morning and check the box score. Either way, it's lazy. And if you're a coach (or SID) who doesn't have the time (or energy) to keep UCLA out of a poll after a loss to California Polytechnic State University, take my advice: Next season, politely decline the opportunity to participate because, as it is, you're embarrassing yourself.