Poll Attacks: An AP voter moved Saint Mary's onto his ballot after the Gaels lost to Santa Clara


Saint Mary's opened the season with a win over Wisconsin and loss to Winthrop. So the Gaels have been weird from the jump. They've been ranked. They've been unranked. But they were left off of all but one of the 65 Associated Press Top 25 poll ballots last Monday after a weekend loss at Pacific. And I was certain they would appear on zero ballots this Monday because of Saturday's loss at home to Santa Clara.

But nope!

Edgar Thompson ranked Saint Mary's 25th.

Thompson is the Florida beat writer for the Orlando Sentinel. So it's understandable if he's consumed with all things Florida because the Gators are 10-5 with losses to unranked Missouri, unranked Utah State and unranked UConn even though they were a preseason top-10 team featuring two five-star freshmen. That kind of disappointing start to a season can take a toll on a beat writer. I know. I've been there. So perhaps Tre Mann, indirectly, is to blame for Thompson's ballot this week.

Again, he has Saint Mary's 25th.

Makes no sense.

And the wildest thing is that Thompson did NOT have Saint Mary's ranked last week -- which means Thompson didn't have Saint Mary's ranked when the Gaels were 14-3, but he does have Saint Mary's ranked now that the Gaels are 15-4 and coming off of a loss at home to a Santa Clara team that's 75th in the NET, 106th at Torvik, 120th in Sagarin and 129th at KenPom. So this might be the first time in history a loss at home to a sub-125 KenPom team has launched a school with zero wins over currently ranked teams onto a Top 25 ballot. I could maybe understand if Bob Sutton, from The Times News in North Carolina, were the one AP voter ranking Saint Mary's this week because he's the one AP voter who was ranking Saint Mary's last week. But not ranking Saint Mary's last week, and then ranking Saint Mary's this week, which is what Thompson has done, makes no sense considering Saint Mary's spent Saturday losing at home to a sub-125 KenPom team.

To be clear, the Gaels might be good.

Time will tell.

But they're outside of the top 30 in the NET, Torvik, Sagarin and KenPom because they just lost at home to a team that's outside of the top 70 in the NET, Torvik, Sagarin an KenPom. Saint Mary's' body of work on this Monday is worse than it was last Monday. So if you didn't have the Gaels ranked last Monday, there's literally no reason in the world to have the Gaels ranked this Monday.

Sixty-four AP voters understand this.

Only one does not.

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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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