Poll Attacks: Yes, one AP voter really moved FSU up after that terrible loss to Pitt

There’s nothing crazy about somebody ranking Florida State 15th in the country. I want to start by stating that. So let the record show that this Poll Attacks column isn’t about where AP voter Tod Palmer has Florida State ranked on his Top 25 ballot as much as it’s about how he handled Florida State after the Seminoles lost 80-66 at Pitt this past weekend.

Yes, FSU lost by 14 points to Pitt this past weekend. That’s the same Pitt team that lost to Louisville by 55 points earlier in the season. And the same Pitt team that entered the weekend having lost nine of its previous 11. And the same Pitt team that’s still only 4-10 in the ACC, which has the Panthers tied for 12th in the league standings.

It was a bad loss for FSU.

No way around it.

So how far did Palmer drop Florida State on his ballot this week?

Answer: Not at all!

In fact, the Missouri beat writer for the Kansas City Star actually moved Florida State up -- from 16th last week to 15th this week -- after Florida State lost by 14 points (as a 7-point favorite) to the 12th-place team in the ACC. For real. And it’s not like Florida State had a great victory to offset the bad loss. The Seminoles played only one game last week. It was that 80-66 loss to Pitt. They took a bad loss but moved up from 16th to 15th on Palmer’s ballot.

Meantime, West Virginia played two games last week.

The Mountaineers lost 84-80 in overtime to No. 3 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, then beat Texas Tech 83-74 in double-overtime. And how do you think Palmer handled Bob Huggins’ team on his ballot this week?

Answer: He dropped them four spots!

Palmer had West Virginia sixth on his ballot last week. Then the Mountaineers lost to No. 3 on the road (Kansas), beat a top-40 KenPom team at home (Texas Tech) ... and got dropped from sixth to 10th on Palmer’s ballot. And I hope you’re following all of this because it really is something. To recap: Florida State moved up one spot on Palmer’s ballot after losing by 14 points to unranked Pitt while West Virginia dropped down four spots on Palmer’s ballot after losing in overtime at No. 3 Kansas. So this has to be the first time in history that losing in overtime to a top-three team on the road hurt a school on an AP ballot more than losing by 14 points to the 12th place team in the ACC hurt a school on an AP ballot.

We are living in strange times, I tell you. Kyrie Irving thinks Earth is flat. Draymond Green seems to agree with him. And losing at Kansas in OT is more costly than losing by 14 points at Pitt, at least according to one AP voter. Strange times, indeed.

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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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