The 31 college basketball coaches with a vote in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll should give it up.
It’s clear they don’t pay any attention to games outside of their own.
There’s no other explanation for Creighton—spotted by the coaches at No. 12 in the latest rankings—remaining nine spots ahead of Wichita State, the very team that “shocked” the Blue Jays over the weekend.
Nor does Kansas’ place at No. 2, inexplicably toting eight first-place votes to boot, help quash the prevailing belief that the coaches base their ballots upon team names and records. That’s it. Kansas hasn’t played crisp basketball since the end of December while Michigan and Syracuse, two teams ranked behind the Jayhawks, are rounding into midseason form.
No less perplexing, Miami (13-3, 4-0 ACC), the lone unbeaten remaining in the ACC with wins over Michigan State, Maryland and North Carolina on the road, remains on the outside of the poll looking in. The Hurricanes are playing inspiring basketball, especially on the defensive end, minus their most valuable player (Reggie Johnson). For the coaches to exclude the current leader of a power conference while reserving spots Missouri and San Diego State, two four-loss teams mired in ugly slumps, is blasphemous. The Tigers lost by 30 over the weekend at Florida while the Aztecs dropped both games in the week.
This isn’t the first week the coaches have turned heads. They senselessly handcuffed Kentucky in the Top 25 earlier in the year, even as the young Cats dropped two games in one week while their own head coach urged voters to reassess the team’s standing. Kentucky became the first-ever three-loss team as of Week 5 to retain a Top 25 ranking. VCU, a three-loss team which hasn’t lost since November, had to wait until early January (Week 10) to crack the poll for the first time. Way to go, coaches.
College coaches have enough on their plate as is (i.e. overseeing a viable, self-sustaining program). Let the media fill in with the weekly cross-comparing and trivial conjecture. Just like you wouldn’t ask an AP writer to coach, don’t expect a coach to do the job of a writer. Coaches are experts of their own teams, not national pundits. Don’t assume they’re qualified to analyze teams they may or may not even notice.
A random drawing of lottery balls would produce a fairer and more accurate reflection of the current college basketball landscape than the coaches’ Top 25. Please, do away with the parody poll now before the credibility of the coaching fraternity sinks any lower.