Poll Attacks: Why would some AP voters punish Villanova for a 66-65 loss on the road to a higher-ranked team?
Once again, some AP voters are dropping schools on their Top 25 ballots for nonsensical reasons
I assumed Villanova would eventually take its first Big East loss. In fact, at Marquette. So I wasn't shocked when the Wildcats lost 66-65 Saturday and fell to 10-1 in the Big East. But I was a little surprised when they moved up in Monday's AP poll, if only because AP voters tend to move schools up after wins and down after losses with little regard for context.
Which is my way of saying, "Good job, AP voters!"
To be clear, I'm not insisting Villanova had to move up from 14th to 13th in the AP poll after a one-point loss on the road to a Marquette team that's ranked 10th. But what I am insisting is that moving the Wildcats up after a one-point loss on the road to a higher-ranked team makes way more sense than moving the Wildcats down after a one-point loss on the road to a higher-ranked team -- and it's cool to finally see most AP voters agree with this approach that's rooted in nothing more than common sense.
We still have to get Brian Holland on board, though.
He works for WVLA-TV/WGMB-TV in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- where I'm certain he does fine work. But he had Villanova 22nd on last week's ballot. Then Villanova went out and beat Creighton to collect its 13th win over a top-100 KenPom team, and lost on the road by a single point to a Marquette team Holland now has ranked 13th, and Holland responded by dropping Villanova from 22nd on last week's ballot to 25th on this week's ballot. So my question is simple: Why? What about losing a one-point game on the road to a team Holland now thinks is 13th proves Villanova no longer deserves to be 22nd on his ballot?
(That's a rhetorical question, by the way. There is no good answer for it.)
In fairness to Holland, he's not the only AP voter who dropped Villanova for nonsensical reasons -- he's just the AP voter who dropped Villanova lower than anybody else. But Dave Matter also dropped Villanova. So did Jesse Newell. Chris Murray, Kayla Anderson, Theo Lawson and a few others in what is a violation of something I've been screaming for years -- specifically that you should not have to beat a higher-ranked team on the road to justify the ranking you already possess. The good news is that most AP voters have finally come around to this way of thinking; that's why Villanova didn't drop in the AP poll this week after its one-point loss at Marquette. But there are still a few holdouts remaining. My goal is to win them over in time.
Like I write each week: it's not the biggest deal in the world.
But it's precisely why these #PollAttacks exist.
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