Poll Attacks: An AP voter dropped Texas Tech nine spots to No. 25 for daring to lose a competitive game to No. 1 Duke
Once again, AP voters are punishing teams for losing competitive games they're expected to lose
Only one AP voter, this time last week, had Texas Tech ranked outside of the top 20. And if you read this #PollAttacks column regularly, you know it was Graham Couch -- who invented a rule that prohibits him from ranking schools that haven't played a road game by some arbitrary date in December.
It's a nonsensical approach.
So there's no need to go over that again even though Couch submitted another nonsensical ballot this week that doesn't include No. 1 Duke or No. 11 Texas Tech strictly because they haven't done something they're not required to do. (Insert eye roll.) Instead, I'll focus on Damien Sordelett's ballot -- which is similarly nonsensical even though, far as I know, the writer for The News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, Virginia doesn't subscribe to any nonsensical and unnecessary rules.
Sordelett has Texas Tech ranked 25th on his ballot.
This is impossible to defend regardless of your approach to ranking teams. If you're a computer guy, Texas Tech is No. 9 in the NET, No. 10 in KenPom and No. 10 in Sagarin. If you're a results guy, Texas Tech is 10-1 with 10 double-digit wins -- among them an 18-point neutral-court victory over a Nebraska team that's 14th in KenPom -- and the lone loss came to No. 1 Duke. If you're an eye-test guy, Texas Tech has mostly demolished everybody it's played except Duke -- and the Red Raiders actually led Duke at the half, and for most of Thursday night's game, before ultimately falling 69-58 at Madison Square Garden.
How anybody could think there are 24 teams, at this point, better than Texas Tech, or more deserving of being ranked than Texas Tech, is beyond me. And yet Sordelett ranking the Red Raiders 25th isn't even the craziest thing about his ballot. Because the craziest thing about his ballot is what led him to ranking the Red Raiders 25th.
It was, specifically, the loss to Duke.
Sordelett, you see, had Texas Tech ranked 16th last week -- which means he dropped the Red Raiders NINE SPOTS for losing a competitive game to THE TEAM NOW RANKED NO. 1 IN THE AP POLL! Believe it or not, some AP voters do stuff like this ALL THE TIME, and it never doesn't drive me crazy because it's such an illogical way of thinking. Honest question: What about playing a competitive game on a neutral court with a school now ranked No. 1 means you shouldn't be ranked 16th? Can you imagine watching Texas Tech lead No. 1 Duke for 21 minutes, be in a tie game with No. 1 Duke with 6:30 left, and then concluding, "You know, last week I thought the Red Raiders should be 16th, but after watching them play a competitive game with No. 1 Duke, and those three projected lottery picks, I now think Texas Tech should be no higher than 25th?"
I mean, what?
For the millionth time -- STOP PUNISHING TEAMS FOR LOSING COMPETITIVE GAMES THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO LOSE. You shouldn't have to beat No. 1 to prove you're worthy of being No. 16. If you wanted to move Texas Tech after the Duke game, truth is, it would've made more sense to move the Red Raiders up instead of down. And it makes no sense to move them down nine spots.
This is not a hard concept to grasp.
Put some respect on Chris Beard's name.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Play the Official Bracket Game of the NCAA® Now!
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated the Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Prairie View A&M...
Kenny White is on a hot streak on his college basketball picks.
The NCAA Tournament starts Tuesday with the First Four and we've got your guide here
Ranking the stumbling blocks for Duke to reach the Final Four
Vital statistical information that will guide you as you make picks from the first to the final...
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated NC State vs. Hofstra 10,000 times.