Baylor won the Battle 4 Atlantis and currently has the nation's best résumé. But these facts matter little to one AP voter. So now he gets a turn in the Poll Attacks column.
AP poll: I've been tweeting about Baylor and writing about Baylor and discussing Baylor on the Eye on College Basketball podcast nonstop. Others who cover the sport have done the same. So I just assumed everybody who follows hoops even a little understands that Baylor is 6-0 with wins over Oregon, Louisville and Michigan State, and that Scott Drew's Bears should be ranked accordingly.
But Sheldon Mickles is here to prove me wrong.
Mickles covers LSU for the The Advocate in Louisiana. I'm sure he does that well. But his latest AP ballot is just ... something else. Mickles has undefeated Baylor ranked 19th -- four spots behind the Oregon team the Bears beat 66-49, and five spots behind the Louisville team the Bears beat 66-63. In other words, Mickles has undefeated Baylor ranked behind two teams undefeated Baylor has already beaten.
How could anybody justify such a ballot?
Was the LSU football coaching search that distracting?
Also worth noting: Mickles has undefeated South Carolina ranked four spots behind the Syracuse team undefeated South Carolina just beat 64-50 in New York. I'll let you decide whether that's better or worse than having undefeated Baylor behind two teams undefeated Baylor has already beaten.
Coaches poll: I'm a believer in Shaka Smart and the way he runs his program. It's among the reasons I had Texas ranked in the preseason -- because I liked UT's coach and the talent on UT's roster, inexperienced as I knew it was. But, at some point, the results are the results. And the numbers are the numbers. And there's nothing about the results or numbers that suggests Texas belongs on a Top 25 ballot.
Like, literally nothing.
The Longhorns are 3-2 with a 77-58 loss to unranked Northwestern and a 68-54 loss to unranked Colorado. Their best win is over Eastern Washington. Incarnate Word played them tight through the final minute. They're 66th at KenPom and 66th in the Sagarin ratings. And yet Texas still got 10 points in the coaches poll.
How could anybody rank a team with that résumé?
And, again, I ask this as somebody who thinks the world of Smart and had Texas ranked in the preseason. But I'm also somebody who has eyeballs and access to the internet. And anybody with eyeballs or access to the internet -- in fairness, access to the internet probably isn't too beneficial without eyeballs; so you likely need both to rank teams properly -- should know Texas shouldn't have Top 25 votes now.
I wouldn't rule it out.
But Texas getting Top 25 votes today is illogical and lazy.