College Basketball Insider

Poll Attacks: SDSU should be in everybody's top 10

San Diego State has a great body of work. Spencer Dinwiddie is out for the year.

Those are two things some voters don't seem to understand.

The byproduct is an appearance in the Poll Attacks.

Let's get it!

Associated Press poll: I don't know whether San Diego State is really in the same class as Arizona and Syracuse even though I have the Aztecs ranked just behind Arizona and Syracuse in the Top 25 (and one). But what I do know this: SDSU is 18-1 with a road win over Kansas, a neutral-court win over Creighton, and a lone loss to top-ranked Arizona by single digits, and that's an impressive body of work deserving of a top-five ranking.

So I was happy to see voters acknowledge that Monday.

San Diego State is fifth in the AP poll and fifth in the Coaches poll.

That's a little low but still fair, I think.

What's not fair, though, is Chuck McGill's ballot that has the Aztecs ranked 11th behind the four-loss Kansas team they beat at Allen Fieldhouse and the three-loss Creighton team they beat on a neutral court at Cal State Fullerton. To be clear, if the NCAA tournament started today, I might pick KU to win it all. If Doug McDermott is playing on television, I'm watching. I love Kansas and Creighton. But there's no way to reasonably rank Kansas and Creighton ahead of San Diego State unless you've taken the position that the results of games don't matter, and, if that's the case, what actually matters?

It's Jan. 27 for crying out loud.

We don't have to guess about teams anymore.

Half of the regular season is already in the so-called books.

And SDSU is sitting with an 18-1 record featuring two wins over currently ranked teams and zero losses to teams ranked outside the top five. You know how many other schools have two wins over currently ranked teams and no losses outside the top five? Two -- Arizona and Syracuse. Predictably, UA and SU are ranked first and second in both polls and on McGill's ballot. But he somehow concluded that SDSU doesn't even belong in the top 10.

Here's how McGill's ballot looks:

  1. Syracuse
  2. Arizona
  3. Kansas
  4. Wichita State
  5. Florida
  6. Michigan
  7. Michigan State
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Creighton
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. San Diego State

In fairness, I like every team McGill has in the top 10. Seven of those 10 are also in my top 10, nine are in my top 12, and all 10 are in my top 17. So his high opinion of those schools is understandable, I guess. But if you love teams with great resumes and Kansas and Creighton specifically, how can you not also love a San Diego State team with a great resume featuring wins over Kansas and Creighton? How can you have Kansas ranked higher than all but two other AP voters, have Creighton ranked higher than all but one other AP voter, and then have the San Diego State team that beat them both ranked lower than every other AP voter?

Coaches poll: Nobody liked Colorado early more than I liked Colorado early thanks to a 14-2 record featuring wins over Kansas, Harvard and Oregon (and lone losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State). But so much has changed since Jan. 8, and now there's no way to reasonably have the Buffaloes ranked on a Top 25 ballot.

Naturally, some coaches disagree.

Or, more likely, some coaches just aren't paying attention.

Colorado has gone from 14-2 to 15-6 thanks to Spencer Dinwiddie's injury that's caused an unpreventable slide. The four losses have all come by double-digits (and by an average of 15.8 points), and three of them were at the hands of an unranked team. Meantime, Baylor is trending the wrong way, which means Colorado's season-opening loss to the Bears is no longer a "quality" loss. Bottom line, Colorado is a team that's A) missing its best player, B) seventh in the Pac-12 standings, C) coming off a 21-point loss to Arizona State.

Does that sound like a Top 25 team to anybody?

Of course it doesn't.

But, somehow, the Buffaloes got five points in the coaches poll.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
 
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