Northern Iowa got a vote.
That's more questionable than Utah State over Dayton.
Let's do the Poll Attacks .
AP poll: I was going to use this space to explain why I think Utah State should not be ranked 25th, but I've decided against that now because it'll just come off like I'm beating up on a WAC school, and I'm not interested in coming off that way. Plus, my entire argument would be based around the idea that the Aggies haven't really beaten anybody (unless you count Utah as somebody). And though it would be a fair argument, that's the same argument that had me doubting Davidson last season , and we all know how that worked out.
So I'll let Utah State slide for now.
Instead, I'll focus on Northern Iowa.
Seventy-one of the 72 AP voters omitted Northern Iowa from their ballots, which means 71 of the 72 AP voters did at least that one thing correctly. Then there's Steve Pivovar of the Omaha World-Herald (which is in a Misouri Valley Conferece city, it's worth noting), who ranked the Panthers even though they've beaten fewer good teams than Utah State.
Guess how many Top 50 wins Northern Iowa possesses?
(Hint: It rhymes with nero .)
Which means Steve ranked a team with no Top 50 wins and six losses -- including a 30-point loss to Marquette, a 19-point loss to Iowa, a nine-point loss to Wyoming, and three other losses (Iowa State, Illinois-Chicago and Indiana) to teams ranked outside the Top 125 at CollegeRPI.com.
Does that sound like the body of work of a Top 25 team? Of course it doesn't, and the reason is because Northern Iowa isn't a Top 25 team as much as it's a nice team that's stringing wins in a one-bid league, which makes Northern Iowa a lot like Utah State, I guess.
Coaches poll: Again, I'm not complaining about the Utah State Aggies being ranked.
If you want to rank them, rank them.
I'm OK with it.
But what I don't understand is how somebody could rank Utah State (21-1) but not Dayton (20-2).
Dayton has a better win (over Marquette) than any Utah State win, plus four Top 70 wins as opposed to Utah State's one (over Utah). Furthermore, the Flyers have 13 Top 200 wins as opposed to Utah State's eight, and that's because 13 of Utah State's wins have come against schools ranked outside the Top 200 and/or non-Division I teams. That's why the Aggies' strength of schedule rates 205th nationally, why their RPI is 40th (Dayton's strength of schedule rates 155th nationally, its RPI is 32nd). It's also why I'm skeptical of the WAC favorite, and why I don't understand how the coaches could rank them 22nd while leaving Dayton out of the Top 25, because though Utah State and Dayton both have suspect bodies of work, I can't see how anybody could look at the two bodies of work and conclude that Utah State's is more impressive.