Michigan State's High Preseason Rankings as Relevant as a Zombie Dunking

By Joseph Nardone
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball season is unfortunately over. While all the football fans are thrilled, it leaves an empty soul in the hearts of us college hoop die-hards. As if we are not a strange enough group of people to begin with — a group who rather talk about a recruit we’ve never seen than dare to look at a football TV show — we have all started to read about preseason rankings for next year.

That is right. We have all either put together or read a preseason top-25 article about a basketball season that is months away. That is without even knowing who is going to be on certain teams yet.

Sounds insane, yet, we all get sucked into it every year.

The Michigan State Spartans are ranked third by many prestigious preseason rankers, like ESPN and Yahoo. I am not saying I don’t believe they are or could be the third best team in the nation, but come on. We are ranking the Spartans based off potential what-if scenarios.

I certainly believe in Tom Izzo and the Spartan program as a whole. If I had to bet my mortgage on it, yes, I would have them ranked very high as well. Still, haven’t we learned anything from the preseason ranking of the Kentucky Wildcats last season? You know, the same Kentucky team that John Calipari told us we were nuts for ranking them fifth?

Ranking things are fun. I get it, I really do. We want the top-25 to be released seconds after the National Title has been earned by some team, but this insanity has to stop somewhere. Really, we shouldn’t even have AP rankings as early as we do. Without seeing a single team play as the versions they are going be heading into the season with, how can we still manage to “know” how good each team is going to be?

These rankings, more importantly the ones that matter (AP, Coaches), need to be held off until games are played. Leave the guessing — because that is what we are doing — to writers and bloggers. Regardless, in the not-so-distant future, the AP and the Coach’s Polls will be released and we will see some rankings based off of nothing but tradition and maybe some ridiculous foresight.

Honestly, it is okay to be fascinated by rankings, but it won’t be long until the NCAA or universities take notice of how popular they are on ESPN, Yahoo, or yours truly and start formulating a process in which they can release theirs as soon as an hour before the season is actually over.

That is right, I just took a program which had nothing to do with anything, Michigan State, and made a point to bash the inevitable move by the NCAA to cash in on preseason rankings eight months before they should.

Back to the “Relevant as a Zombie Dunking” headline. That sums up my feelings of preseason rankings as best as anything. While a Zombie dunking a basketball is super, awesomely, wickedly (continue to insert adjectives here) interesting — it has zero relevancy to what is going on in college hoops at the moment.


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone

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