One guy left Villanova and Michigan State off his ballot but put Purdue and Virginia Tech in the top 20. Another guy ranked Villanova in the top 10 (that's reasonable) but left the undefeated team that just beat Villanova unranked (that's unreasonable). Silly AP voters, I tell you. They're the gift that keeps on giving during this holiday season.
Let's do the Poll Attacks!
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)
Associated Press poll: Michigan State and Villanova are both talented, and both only have one loss to a team ranked in the top 15 of the latest AP poll. The Spartans are 5-1 with a loss to No. 7 Connecticut by one possession, and they have a win over No. 23 Washington. The Wildcats are 5-1 with a loss to No. 13 Tennessee, and they've got a double-digit win over UCLA. So we can argue about whether Michigan State and Villanova belong in the top five or the top 10 or even the top 20, I guess. But there is no sensible way to leave either school off a Top 25 ballot.
And yet John Shinn from the Norman Transcript in Oklahoma left both off his AP ballot.
No Michigan State.
But John has Purdue (no good wins and a double-digit loss to unranked Richmond) ranked 14th and two-loss Virginia Tech ranked 19th, which is three spots higher than the undefeated UNLV team that just beat Virginia Tech on a neutral court by 12. So to recap: Michigan State is 5-1 with a loss to the team ranked No. 8 (UConn) and a win over the team ranked No. 23 (Washington), and John decided that resume isn't worthy of being ranked. And Villanova is 5-1 with a lone loss to the team ranked No. 13 and a win over UCLA, and John decided that resume isn't worthy of being ranked, either. Meantime, Virginia Tech is 4-2 with double-digit losses to the teams ranked No. 5 and No. 24, but John somehow decided that resume is worthy of being ranked all the way up at No. 19, which, again, is three spots higher than the undefeated UNLV team that just beat Virginia Tech on a neutral court by 12. And he has Purdue at No. 14 with a 5-1 record featuring a double-digit loss to unranked Richmond.
Also ranked on John's ballot: North Carolina at No. 25.
So two-loss Virginia Tech and two-loss UNC are both on John's ballot.
But one-loss Michigan State and one-loss Villanova are both off John's ballot.
Perhaps he's just an ACC fan trapped in Big 12 country.
Another weird ballot involving Villanova belongs to Whitelaw Reid of the Daily Progress in Virginia. He has Villanova at No. 8 and Tennessee unranked despite the fact that UT is undefeated with a win over -- wait for it -- Villanova. Not sure how anybody could make sense of that. But this is the same guy who has Washington at No. 12 and Connecticut at No. 23 despite the fact that Washington has two losses and UConn is undefeated with wins over both of the schools (Kentucky and Michigan State) that beat -- wait for it -- Washington. So maybe making sense isn't a priority with good ol' Whitelaw.
Coaches poll: Nobody likes Temple more than I like Temple.
I had the Owls ranked in the top 15 in the preseason, and as high as No. 13 last week. But then they lost to California late Thursday and to Texas A&M on Sunday, and you just can't have a 3-2 team coming off losses to Cal and Texas A&M on your Top 25 ballot. But that's exactly what at least one coach -- and possibly multiple coaches -- did this week. Temple got five points in the coaches poll. That's five more than Texas A&M (5-1) or Cal (3-2) received, case you were wondering.