Wall gets all the pub, but KU frosh Henry is just as impressive (cont.)
This week's AP ballot
(Last week's ranking on my ballot in parentheses)
1. Kansas (1)
Dropped from my ballot: Ohio State (13), UNLV (22), Wisconsin (24).
Skinny: I am expecting that one of the big stories to come out of this week's poll is the entrance of Kansas State into the rankings following the Wildcats' 15-point-and-it-wasn't-that-close win at UNLV Saturday night. But regular readers of my columns and followers of my Tweets know that I have been on the K-State bandwagon for weeks now. I voted them 17th last week so I pretty much left them where they were. My lofty assessment of K-State also explains why I have Ole Miss ranked so high, since the Rebels handed the Wildcats their only loss last month in Puerto Rico.
The highly subjective nature of poll rankings means that you have to be inconsistent almost by definition. I try to give heavy consideration to head-to-head results, especially on neutral courts. That's why I have kept Minnesota ahead of Butler, who the Gophers beat by nine points in Anaheim. Yet, I have left Michigan State one spot ahead of Florida, even though the Gators beat the Spartans in Atlantic City. Why? Probably because I was at the game, saw Michigan State commit 22 turnovers and only lose by three, and I still feel they are the better team. That's my prerogative as a voter. If you don't like it, you'll need to get your own ballot.
I do not like to punish teams too badly for road losses to quality opponents. That's why I only dropped Villanova four spots after losing at Temple, and it's why Cincinnati moved up to No. 24 (by attrition) despite falling in double overtime at Xavier. The exception here is Ohio State. Yes, the Buckeyes lost a true road game at Butler, but without Evan Turner I just do not think this is a top-25 team. I'll be happy to put them back on my ballot when and if they prove me wrong.
Incidentally, not only did Temple beat Villanova, but the Owls only lost to Georgetown by one point, and they also handed a pretty good Virginia Tech team its only loss. Hence their introduction to my ballot at No. 19. In hindsight, I punished Georgetown too much for only beating Temple by one point. After a terrific week in which they throttled Butler and Washington, the Hoyas are back to their rightful status.
As for my also-rans, I am not quite ready to bite on Texas Tech, despite its undefeated record. The Red Raiders have played a very weak schedule outside its win at home over a Washington team which I am also not ranking. (That's zero Pac-10 teams on my ballot if you're scoring at home.) I know 8-2 Clemson is getting some love from my fellow voters, but the Tigers' best win of the season is a one-point victory over Butler, and I cannot shake the image of this team blowing a 23-point lead to Illinois at home.
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