I got a few emails today about the return of the Poll Attacks.
You want them.
And I want to give them to you.
But the truth is that my carefully typed assault on the AP and Coaches polls each Monday (here's an example from last season, for those unfamiliar) doesn't work so well with the preseason polls because, let's be honest, all voters do for the preseason polls is look at the rankings me and others published months ago, then cut and paste accordingly. How else to explain that the exact same 25 teams that are in the AP poll are also in the Coaches poll?
If you're wondering, 23 of those teams are also in my Top 25 (and one).
The only differences are that the AP and Coaches polls include Wake Forest and Kansas while I have Ohio State and UNLV. I don't mind the Wake Forest ranking, but I still don't understand why Kansas is ranked. Hell, Bill Self doesn't even understand. But either way, we're splitting hairs because, as I've said many times, there usually isn't much difference between the final five teams in any ranking and the first five just outside. On this note, I'm happy to tell you I actually ranked the top 50 teams while doing research for the Top 25 (and one) and that I had Wake Forest 28th and Kansas 29th. So again, there are no wild discrepancies in my rankings and their polls, which is why I'd rather wait to unleash until I have actual games and stats and numbers to make people look stupid because that's what I really do with the Poll Attacks. I use data to expose ignorance, and any preseason Poll Attack would merely consist of my predictions against somebody else's predictions, which isn't nearly as fun or convincing.
In other words, there will be no Poll Attacks until the season starts.
But I will leave you with this: Ron Morris hates the state of Tennessee.
That's what I learned when I perused the ballots of AP voters.
Morris works for The State newspaper in South Carolina, and his ballot includes some interesting selections such as Alabama at No. 19, Clemson at No. 23 (remember, he's from South Carolina, just like Clemson) and -- ready for this? -- Cal State Northridge at No. 25. My thoughts: I can live with Alabama, Clemson is a stretch but Northridge at No. 25 is just plain ridiculous.
So what does this have to do with Tennessee, you ask?
Despite finding room for Northridge, Morris ranked neither Memphis nor Tennessee even though both programs are in the top 15 of the AP poll, Coaches poll and the Top 25 (and one). So while Memphis and Tennessee fans rarely agree on anything, I think both fanbases will agree that Ron Morris isn't the best AP voter on the planet.
(Note: I'm afraid that while explaining how I WASN'T going to Poll Attack I ended up Poll Attacking. I apologize for the confusion. This was not my plan at all. It's late and I started typing and it just sort of happened.)
Also strange, Dave Goren -- a TV guy from North Carolina -- didn't rank Purdue. He must not know that the Boilermakers return all five starters from a 25-win team and are picked to win the Big Ten. That means Purdue is widely regarded to be better than everybody in its league -- including Michigan State and Wisconsin. Still, Goren has Michigan State 11th, Wisconsin 15th and the Boilermakers unranked.
Strange, isn't it?
On the other hand, he has Tennessee fourth.
So you can imagine how wild a debate between Ron Morris and Dave Goren would get.