Northwestern and the AP Poll

Since there are no games tonight lets talk about something else, polls! Northwestern is currently receiving votes in both the AP Poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The AP Poll has the Wildcats 31st with 48 points in the "Others Receiving Votes" part of the ledger.

Thanks to the wonderful PollSpeak we can figure out exactly who voted for Northwestern and if those votes actually make sense.
Ironically, Northwestern is behind a team it already beat (Notre Dame) in the Coaches Poll. The men who run college basketball teams (or probably the sports information directors or graduate assistants) have decided that the Wildcats aren't better than a team that doesn't play defense that Northwestern already handled on a neutral court. Well, that's odd, but I can't tell you who voted for whom until someone starts FOIAing all the Coaches Poll ballots like Sports Illustrated did this season for the football ones.

The AP one is a little more transparent. 14 voters have Northwestern ranked in the Top 25. The votes range from 19 to 25.

People Getting It Right:

The two voters that like Northwestern the most? Bob Sutton of the Burlington Times-News in Burlington, N.C. and Dave Jones of the Patriot News in Harrisburg, Pa. Sutton's ballot has Notre Dame at 20, good use of the principle of ranking the winning team higher. Northwestern is the only true outlier amongst all his choices. Jones has one of the ballots that's furthest from the norm, but all of his decisions are justifiable.

Without going into too deep of analysis of all 14 voters, it's worth noting that three voters also have Northwestern at 21. Those voters are: Dick Weiss of the Daily News, New York, NY; John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa; and Kevin Brockway, The Gainseville Sun, Gainseville, Fla.

What Are They Thinking:

Finally, a shame on you to the four voters who have Northwestern unranked and Notre Dame safely in the Top 25. Those voters are: Bill Cole, Winston-Salem Journal, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Charles Goldberg, The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Ala.; Gary Horowitz, Salem Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore. and Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla. What these people are thinking I'm not really sure.

As the season continues Northwestern could move higher in the polls. There are some low-hanging fruit victories available over the next couple of weeks before Big Ten play begins and a 10-1 record would be tough for voters to ignore. Expect poll watching to become a regular thing amongst Wildcat fans, at least until the reality of a brutal schedule to start conference play kicks in.

Note: This post was inspired by I Bleed Blue and White's post. Thanks! 


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  • Great info. Thanks. This year is looking pretty exciting. Come on ... who doesn't want the perennial underdog to finally have a successful season and (possibly!) invite to the tournament.

  • Northwestern has not been ranked in the AP poll in college basketball since January 14, 1969. The Wildcats were ranked as high as #12 during the 68-69 season before losing 7 of 8 games (including one to #1 ranked UCLA) in the middle of the Big Ten season. This could be an historic year for Northwestern basketball if the Wildcats are ranked in the AP poll and then, hopefully, invited to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever after a successful Big Ten campaign.

  • Yes, this could be a historic season. If Northwestern can pull out something around .500 in the Big Ten we certainly could be realistically talking about the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a long, long time. It's certainly going to be exciting. Thanks for the info redtep!

  • Like to add this link here as Carmody Court looked at N.C. State and the voters, I didn't think anyone would have the Wolfpack in front of Northwestern, but I guess I overestimated the integrity of voters.

  • Oops, apparently my link didn't work... Here it is again:

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