And they might still.
But they also create relationships, which means I'm bringing people together (while ripping apart AP ballots). For instance, Dave Mackall (previous Poll Attack victim) now emails me his Top 25 every Sunday, and David Jones (previous Poll Attack victim) sent a note over the weekend to tell me I was right to clown him for ranking KSU No. 1 in the preseason. (He added that I'm an idiot for continuing to rank Michigan State, but let's not get into that.) And then there's Lindsey Wilhite, last week's Poll Attack victim. Upon reading my assault on his ballot, Lindsey came at me via Twitter. Then I went back at him. Then we went back and forth for a minute, and now I think we might be friends.
In other words, the good guys don't take the Poll Attacks personally.
Because they're never personal.
I don't make fun of people's hairstyles or tans.
(How could I, right?)
I just make fun of their AP ballots, and I'm about to do it again.
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)
Associated Press poll: Readers often ask my philosophy on ranking teams. Here it is: I believe what I believe until on-the-court results force me to change. If I start from the position that the San Diego State Aztecs will be good (which I did) then I operate under that assumption until they prove me wrong (which they haven't). Similarly, if I start from the position that the Cincinnati Bearcats will be a team that finishes in the bottom half of the Big East (which I did) then I operate under that assumption until they prove me wrong (which they haven't). I believe whatever I believe until reality forces me to change my beliefs, and then I change. And I never try to predict the future. I rank in the moment with the information available at the time. Then I watch a week's worth of games and adjust, and it really is that simple.
Clearly, ranking teams is a subjective process. I know that. But what I've found is that my way is the smartest way (if you don't mind me saying), and it's precisely what moved me off Memphis weeks ago. I can't begin to imagine what's preventing 16 AP voters from doing the same.
Yes, 16 AP voters somehow put Memphis on their ballots this week despite the following:
- The Tigers have been routed by every good team they've played -- specifically Kansas (neutral), Georgetown (home) and Tennessee (away).
- The Tigers' best win is a four-point win over a Miami team that has also lost to Rutgers and Clemson
- The Tigers have gone to OT with Austin Peay and Arkansas State, and been pushed to the final minutes by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Tennessee State and East Carolina.
So shame on the 16 voters who did it.
(You want all 16 names? Click this link to read them. Too many to name here.)
The rankings range from 19th for Roger Clarkson to 25th for Marcus Hunter, Dan Wiederer and Whitelaw Reid. I have no idea what Roger is thinking. Marcus lives in Memphis and really should know better. Dan lives in North Carolina but still should know better. And Whitelaw is just being Whitelaw. He has Memphis 25th and Texas A&M unranked even though the Aggies are 14-1 with wins over No. 17 Washington and No. 19 Temple, and their lone loss came on Nov. 25 by two points to Boston College. But that's not a body of work that deserves a ranking, according to Whitelaw, who has Texas A&M unranked, Memphis 25th and Washington -- the same Washington team that Texas A&M beat last month -- all the way up at No. 13.
Did you get that?
- No. 13 Washington
- No. 25 Memphis
- Uranked Texas A&M
Make sense of it, my loyal readers, if you can.
(Editor's note: You can't.)
Coaches poll: Penn State is 9-6 with double-digit losses to Ole Miss, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Maine. Seriously, Maine. The Nittany Lions got worked by the Black Bears last month. So while I acknowledge Saturday's win over Michigan State was a nice moment for Ed DeChellis' program, it wasn't nice enough to offset a resume featuring six losses, five of which are to unranked teams. You can't just rank a team because it got a nice win. (If that was the case, where's Houston's votes?) The body of work must be considered, mustn't it? All along I thought that was common sense. But apparently not. Because Penn State got two points in this week's coaches poll, and Maine must feel like it got totally screwed. (If you're gonna rank Penn State, at least rank the Black Bears, too!)