The Michigan Wolverines received 51 first place votes to earn the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll that was released earlier this evening. Following the Wolverines are the Kansas Jayhawks who received 13 first place votes. The Florida Gators also received a lone first place vote and were ranked in the No. 4 spot.
Many had predicted that Kansas would be ranked No. 1, considering that they beat a common opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes, have not lost a game in over 75 days, are undefeated in Big 12 play and are alone atop the conference standings.
However, despite all the recognition that Michigan is receiving because of their No. 1 ranking, it should be noted that Kansas is ranked No. 1 as well. The Jayhawks are ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, receiving a total of 760 votes to Michigan’s 757.
What makes one poll more important than the other?
In one poll, the Associated Press (AP), you have writers that are given the responsibility on voting on the teams. In the USA Today poll, you have coaches who are a part of the voting process. It is safe to say that both Bill Self and John Beilein are more concerned what their coaching peers think of their program, rather than what college basketball writers think of it. Now it is well known that in some cases head coaches have their Sports Information Directors vote for them, but nevertheless it is a coaches poll in principle and is usually held in high esteem by the coaches who are voters.
Ironically, both polls mirror each other in the first eight spots, that is except for Kansas and Michigan, of course.
The question is: which poll is more important?
The media would make fans think that Michigan is because that is all that college basketball fans are inundated with. It is the first time since 1992 when the “Fab Five” roamed the courts that Michigan has earned the No. 1 ranking and the media has already begun to hype up that storyline.
However, in the Kansas locker room it is safe to say that the Jayhawks consider themselves the top team in the nation.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo