PITTSBURGH -- First things first: I'm sick as hell. Been coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose for three days straight, and it's awful. A normal person would've been to the doctor twice by now. But I'm an idiot. So I keep popping over-the-counter pills and assuming I'll be better in a few hours. But it's just not happening. I'm miserable, and I tell you all that not to invite sympathy. (Seriously, why would you feel sorry for me? I've got good insurance. I could go to the doctor if I wanted, but, like I said, I'm an idiot.) I'm just trying to explain that after waking up early Monday and doing some work, I popped two more pills and grabbed a quick nap. (Can you overdose on Theraflu?) When I woke, at least 10 people had emailed or Tweeted Jon Wilner's ballot my direction, which means his ballot is more ridiculous than five star dishes and different exotic fishes.
Anyway, how do I feel after my nap?
But the flu won't come between me and my Poll Attacks.
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)
Associated Press poll: I'm in Pittsburgh. So let's start with Pittsburgh.
The Panthers are clearly good but ranked no higher than third on 64 of 65 AP ballots because they're 17-1 with a blowout loss to a six-loss Tennessee team, and because Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse and SDSU all entered Monday undefeated.
To me (and to 64 of the 65 AP voters), this is easy: Pitt can't be No. 1 this week.
Not when perfect teams with quality bodies of work remain.
I ranked Ohio State No. 1 because the Buckeyes are perfect and they pass the eye test. Simply put, I think they're the nation's best team, and there's nothing on their resume (like, for instance, a loss to Tennessee) to suggest otherwise. But if you're really into the "quailty wins" gauge -- and you don't watch basketball at all, and you hate Jared Sullinger -- I can understand why you might not like OSU because the Buckeyes only have one win over a team also ranked in this week's poll (though I could point out that OSU has a dominating win over the Florida team that beat the Tennessee team that owns a dominating win over the Pittsburgh team that Jon Wilner has No. 1, but I don't like those kind of funny things so let's not worry with it).
So Jon doesn't like OSU because the Buckeyes lack quality wins.
I get it.
But then how could he possibly explain Syracuse?
Jon has the Orange all the way down at No. 6 despite the fact that the Orange are 18-0 with three wins over teams also ranked in this week's poll, meaning they pretty much match Pitt in terms of quality of wins but do so without the drag of a loss to Tennessee. So if nothing else, Syracuse has to be ahead of Pittsburgh, and, no, it doesn't matter what happens Monday night at the Petersen Events Center. What happens on a Monday night should have no bearing on rankings released Monday afternoon. That's common sense. So I don't have the slightest idea how Jon could come to the conclusion that Pittsburgh should be ranked No. 1 and Syracuse should be ranked No. 6, but what's even more baffling is Duke at No. 2.
Did Jon miss last week's loss at Florida State?
That counts, right?
I mean, you can't just ignore it and keep Duke ahead of every undefeated team, can you?
Anyway, that's the top of Jon's ballot.
The bottom is similarly silly.
But I'll let you decide if I'm right or wrong in that assessment.
Let's play Team A vs. Team B.
(You know you LOVE Team A vs. Team B!)
Team A is 14-4 with two losses to unranked teams and three wins over ranked teams. Team B is 14-4 with four losses to unranked teams and one win over a ranked team. Also: Team A and Team B have both played Georgia. Team A beat Georgia by six. Team B lost to Georgia by nine.
So, I ask, which team deserves the higher ranking?
Team A, right?
It's not even close, is it?
Team A has three times as many wins over ranked teams and two fewer losses to unranked teams.
Team A is Notre Dame, by the way.
Team B is Colorado.
Jon has Colorado 16th.
He has Notre Dame unranked.
And with that, I'm done with Jon (for this week, at least).
It's time to move on to my man Whitelaw Reid, a recurring character in the Poll Attacks. The good news is that he finally ranked Texas A&M (all it took was a 16-1 record with wins over Missouri and Washington). The bad news is that he only has Texas A&M at No. 22 -- otherwise known as 11 spots lower than he has Missouri (15-3 with a loss to A&M) and seven spots lower than he has Washington (13-4 wtih a loss to A&M).
Also ahead of Texas A&M on Whitelaw's ballot: Baylor.
Baylor is 13-4 with four losses to unranked teams and zero wins over ranked teams.
But Whitelaw has the Bears 19th.
He must like green.
Coaches poll: I spent a good portion of last week's Poll Attacks explaining why Memphis cannot appear on anybody's ballot. Since then the Tigers have lost to SMU and had their second-leading scorer suspended, and yet there's still one coach voting Memphis 25th on his ballot.
Who's the coach?
I couldn't begin to guess.
But if said coach is reading, let me make this simple: The Tigers are 13-4. They've been routed by both ranked teams they've played (Kansas and Georgetown), blownout by the one bipolar team they've played (Tennessee) and beaten by one of the many bad teams they've played (SMU). Their best win is over a Miami team that's mediocre at best. Meantime, two of the three relevant veterans that were supposed to be on this roster heading into the season aren't current members of the team, and one of the McDonald's All-Americans fought a teammate, threatened another and is now at Ole Miss.
Got all that?
Now vote accordingly.
(It should be noted that Memphis did actually look better in Saturday's win over Marshall, which might suggest Memphis is better off without its second-leading scorer who was suspended last week. But that's another blog for another day. Rght now I've got another nap to take.)