The Associated Press voters are again punishing teams for losing games they were suppose to lose. It's an AP poll tradition unlike any other. But it's also super-dumb. I discussed the frustrating pattern in this week's Poll Attacks column ...
AP Poll: I've been writing this stupid column for years and have explained many times why dropping teams for losing games they were supposed to lose makes no sense. And yet it still happens all the time.
All. The. Time.
Including this week.
For instance ...
Notre Dame was 21st in the AP poll last week, and all the Irish did between then and the moment voters had to submit ballots this week was lose a neutral-court game to the team that was 15th last week -- Purdue. The game was a one-possession game in the final minute. In other words, it was competitive from start to finish -- the Irish actually led big at the half -- but, in the end, the higher-ranked team won just like the higher-ranked team was supposed to win. Final score: Purdue 86, Notre Dame 81.
Regardless, the Irish dropped four spots in this week's AP poll.
What about the 21st-ranked team losing to the 15th-ranked team on a neutral court in a competitive game suggests the 21st-ranked team shouldn't be ranked 21st anymore? And, according to some voters, not ranked at all? Because there were multiple AP voters who dropped Notre Dame completely off their ballots for no reason other than that Notre Dame lost a close game to the 15th-ranked team.
One of those voters is Chris Dachille from Baltimore.
He had Notre Dame 20th on his ballot last week. Then the Irish lost a close game on a neutral court to a Purdue team Dachille has ranked 15th, and somehow Dachille decided the Irish no longer deserved to be 20th and apparently concluded Mike Brey's team didn't deserve to even be anywhere on his ballot.
Because Dachille is no longer ranking Notre Dame.
But he is ranking Seton Hall -- even though Seton Hall is 31 spots behind the Irish in the Sagarin ratings and 23 spots behind the Irish at KenPom, and even though Seton Hall has two losses to currently unranked teams, one of which is Florida. Speaking of Florida, the Gators haven't lost to any currently unranked teams, and they're top-15 at KenPom thanks, in part, to a neutral-court win over Seton Hall. But, for some reason, Dachille put Seton Hall 24th on his ballot and omitted, yes, Notre Dame, but also the Florida team with a better resume than Seton Hall and a win over Seton Hall. And if you understand any of this, feel free to explain it in the comments section below. Because I don't understand any of it. Not even some of it.
Coaches poll: Tom Izzo is popular with his colleagues, someone basically everybody likes or at least respects. So that must be the explanation. Because I can't think of any other reason why a coach would be ranking a Michigan State team that's 7-5, 56th at KenPom and coming off a home loss to Northeastern.
Yes, some coach put Michigan State 25th on his ballot this week.
That might've been justifiable before the Northeastern loss.
But it's impossible to justify now.