Poll Attacks: An AP voter moved Oklahoma up 2 spots after 2 losses to unranked teams

I used last week's Poll Attacks column to write about the Poll Attacks column. If you missed it, here you go. But this week I'm back to doing what I do each Monday afternoon. I'm back to identifying nonsensical things on Associated Press ballots and explaining why those very specific things are nonsensical.

And, boy, do I have doozy for you this week!

The ballot comes courtesy of Elton Alexander, my friend from The Cleveland Plain Dealer. He had Oklahoma ranked No. 8 on his ballot last week, which was four spots lower than where Lon Kruger's team landed in the AP poll. Then Oklahoma lost 87-69 at unranked Kansas State and 83-81 at unranked Oklahoma State. So I was curious to see how far Alexander would drop the Sooners.

But guess what?

He didn't drop them at all.

Much to my surprise, and dismay, Alexander actually moved Oklahoma UP TWO SPOTS on his ballot to No. 6, which might represent the first time in history that a school has improved its place on an AP ballot by losing two games to unranked opponents in the same week. And let me say this: Some of you have suggested I should make an effort to contact each AP voter whose ballot becomes the focus of a Poll Attacks column and give them an opportunity to explain themselves. And, I'll be honest, I considered it ... for about five seconds. But the truth is that it would almost always be a massive waste of time because there's almost never an explanation for the things I highlight in this column other than that the AP voter in question simply messed up because he or she didn't spend much time taking their responsibility seriously. Or they weren't focused. Or they're just, you know, bad at ranking teams.

This is a perfect example.

I suppose I could send Alexander an email right now asking for an explanation. But what could he possibly say? Because there's literally no logical explanation for having Oklahoma ranked No. 8 one week and then moving the Sooners up two spots to No. 6 the following week after they lose two games to unranked opponents by an average of 10.0 points. There's no way to rationalize that.

It's just careless. Or ridiculous. Or whatever.

I'll let you pick the adjective.

But surely we can all agree that moving Oklahoma up two spots on an AP ballot after two losses to unranked opponents isn't something that should be done. It's as goofy as laying points on the road in an NFC Championship Game with Case Keenum at quarterback. Makes no sense. And things like this are precisely why I started writing this column more than five years ago. And things like this are also why I'll probably write this column till I die. Because there's no indication whatsoever that we'll ever have a Monday during the college basketball season when there isn't a similarly ridiculous AP ballot submitted by somebody.

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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