The AP voters that make up the NCAA basketball rankings have always shown a special type of stupidity, but the most ignorant thing they do is make drastic changes in their rankings based on one early season loss. The voters for the AP ranking, and even the USA Today College Coaches Poll, drive me nuts with their inability to watch teams play and make appropriate adjustments in their rankings. You see this a lot in football when a team will not move up or down throughout the season based upon where they were ranked when the season started unless they lose. But in football the rankings have an impact on the BCS standings whereas they don’t matter in basketball. I am of the belief that rankings shouldn’t start until a month into the season, but that will never change. What should change is the stupidity with which voters make their decisions.
If you thought North Carolina was the 12th best team in the country after week one and then the 24th best team after losing to Belmont, how do you then move them up to 16th after beating Louisville? That is a 12-spot fall, followed by a an eight-spot jump. Belmont went 15-of-37 from three in their win over North Carolina, and is now 33rd based on the votes they received in polls. So, UNC loses to the 33rd best team — that made 15 threes and shot 40.7 percent from behind the arc — and beat what was the third best team, Louisville but is somehow four spots worse than when the season started? Did you expect North Carolina to go undefeated? If North Carolina only lost to teams that are ranked better than them in the rankings they would end up with six losses. Since the Tar Heels already lost to Belmont, they are on pace for seven losses, the same number of losses as Marquette last year, who finished 12th overall.
Dropping teams 12 spots because they lose to good teams in November is just dumb, but if that’s where you think a team should go that’s fine; it’s your opinion. Moving teams back and forth is where true stupidity takes over. When you do that you are basically admitting you have no idea what you are talking about by continuously moving teams around. Are they good or not? And the same thing is happening again this week because Louisville lost to North Carolina. Louisville is all of a sudden six spots worse than voters originally thought. But what will happen when Louisville goes on a six game winning streak against bad teams? I will tell you; they will move up in the rankings when someone ahead of them losses a game. You know, because Louisville will be better once they beat Louisiana-Lafayette or University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Have some conviction in your rankings, voters. Either you think a team is good or you don’t. If a team has a substantial injury, loses badly or to a team inferior to them, or plays poorly in the majority of their games then it is okay to drop them in your rankings. If you see a team and think they are worse than your initial thought, that’s fine, move them down. But if you immediately move them back up in the rankings just because they win a game you are showing your ignorance. These are rankings, not standings. If you have an opinion on a team, be a man/woman and stand by your opinion; don’t waffle back and forth.
Follow Robbie on Twitter @rmarbury