The Missouri beat writer is voting Missouri fourth.
I don't like it because it's wrong.
But I kinda like it because it's ballsy.
Either way, I wrote about it (and other things) in the Poll Attacks.
(Don't believe me, keep reading.)
Associated Press poll: Jeff Goodman and I ranked Missouri second in the Top 25 (and one). I believe that's right where the Tigers belong based on their body of work, but I can understand somebody putting Kentucky, Ohio State and/or Syracuse ahead of them. It would be wrong, in my opinion. But a reasonable argument could be made. So I'm not gonna freak out about the five AP voters who have Missouri ranked fourth this week. I just think it's funny that one of them is Steve Walentik from the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Yes, Steve covers Missouri in Columbia.
And he's one of the few ranking the Tigers too low.
But I kinda dig it because I know Steve must be catching hell -- especially since he has Big 12 rival Kansas ranked one spot ahead of Missouri despite the fact that KU has three losses (including a loss to unranked Davidson) while Missouri has just one loss (at Kansas State) and is coming off a road win (at Baylor) that's better than any road win the Jayhawks possess. I mean, how strong-willed do you have to be to (incorrectly) rank the team you cover lower than 60 of the other 65 AP voters? That takes some balls.
So I hereby declare Steve Walentik an anti-homer.
He could make the CBSSports.com All Anti-Homer Beat Writer Team that'll be unveiled in March.
Norm Wood screwed up pretty good this week.
He writes for a newspaper in Virginia.
He has Wisconsin ranked 10th and Marquette unranked, which is stupid for three reasons.
- Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked 10th anywhere.
- Marquette shouldn't unranked anywhere.
- Wisconsin shouldn't be ranked ahead of Marquette
Or the folks in Moraga.
My guess is they're just as confused about Norm's decision to put Wisconsin so far ahead of Marquette as they are about his decision to put Gonzaga seven spots ahead of their Saint Mary's Gaels. In case you haven't been following the WCC, here's what you need to know: SMC and Gonzaga -- like Wisconsin and Marquette -- have similar bodies of work, but SMC owns an 83-62 win over Gonzaga.
Again, that's got to count for something.
I'm not saying Saint Mary's is clearly better than Gonzaga.
I'm just saying you can't have Gonzaga ranked seven spots ahead of Saint Mary's right now.
I mean, you can.
But look at what happens when you do it.
Coaches poll: Last week was a prove-it week for New Mexico.
Some folks were already ranking the Lobos.
Others -- like us -- were not.
But what we all agreed on last Monday was that New Mexico would have a chance to prove or disprove it belongs because the Lobos had upcoming games against nationally ranked San Diego State (at home) and UNLV (on the road), and I had basically decided that a split would be enough to launch Steve Alford's team into the Top 25 (and one).
But the Lobos lost both games.
They lost 75-70 at home to San Diego State and 80-63 on the road at UNLV.
So why is New Mexico still getting votes in the coaches poll?
Answer: I don't kow.
New Mexico is 15-4 with zero wins over schools receiving votes in either major poll and two losses to teams (New Mexico State and Santa Clara) that aren't receiving votes. In other words, the Lobos are good ... but they're good with an extremely thin resume. They had two chances to record a notable win last week, but they couldn't do it. And that's why they shouldn't be on anybody's ballot until they show that they can.