Dave Mackall of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is a nice reporter, a great dude and, most importantly, a longtime friend. But his latest AP ballot is bogus, and I can't play favorites with the Poll Attacks, so here we go!
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)
Associated Press poll: Dave has North Carolina 12th and Minnesota 25th this week despite the fact that UNC is 2-2 with zero notable wins while Minnesota is 5-0 with wins over West Virginia and ... wait for it ... UNC. Ranking North Carolina at all is mostly indefensible (more on this below in this UNC-heavy version of the Poll Attacks), but ranking the Tar Heels 13 spots ahead of Minnesota is insanity. Dave also has Illinois at No. 19 but Texas unranked even though UT just beat Illinois and played No. 5 Pittsburgh to the final minute, and he has San Diego State 10 spots below Gonzaga even though the Aztecs are 4-0 with a win ... wait for it ... at Gonzaga.
In other words, this was not a good week for my man Dave.
But, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, he at least put Minnesota on his ballot somewhere.
Jason Franchuk from the Provo Daily Herald in Utah didn't even do that much.
He's the one AP voter who omitted Minnesota from his ballot, and I can't begin to imagine how or why. We can argue about whether the Gophers belong in the top 10 (which is where I have them) or closer to 15th (which is where the AP poll has them), but there is no denying they should be ranked. For whatever reason, Jason thinks otherwise. But he has North Carolina -- that 2-2 UNC team with no notable wins and a loss to Minnesota -- ranked 15th.
Coaches poll: You want to call me an idiot for trusting North Carolina and all that talent for the second straight season and ranking the Tar Heels sixth in the preseason Top 25 (and one), fine. I'll still be surprised if Roy Williams doesn't get this turned around and if Harrison Barnes doesn't prove to be great. But as it stands, I'm in no position to argue. So call me names if you desire.
But at least I'm not still ranking the Tar Heels!
I'm not stubborn to the point of being ridiculous.
Can't say the same for the men voting in the coaches poll.
Inexplicably, the coaches -- and the AP voters, as pointed out above -- kept UNC in their poll this week. The Tar Heels are 25th with 99 points. That's 79 more points than the Vanderbilt team that just beat them, 49 points more than the West Virginia team that beat the Vanderbilt team that just beat them, which is beyond stupid but perhaps not even the dumbest thing these coaches did this week.
Here's something dumber: New Mexico getting four points.
I've got no issues with somebody ranking New Mexico in the preseason. But what you can't do is rank New Mexico when the Lobos are coming off a 25-point loss to a Cal team picked to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-10. Similarly, you can't have Murray State on your ballot when the Racers have no quality wins to offset a 16-point loss to an Ole Miss team picked in the bottom half of the SEC, but some genius coach did that, too.