Okay let’s get down to brass tax. Over the many years I have been alive- all 24 of them- I have had many, many, many, many, many, many, many, MANY disagreements with the…wonderful folks….over at the AP poll. Needless to say that I could go on for hours about standards by which teams should be ranked, obvious bias in the polling process, and leniency towards “household name” teams. I will save all of those opinions for another longer article and instead jump to my main point.
Congratulations, AP, you finally did it. It only took you four months to realize what should have been held in regard since the ending of the season last year- SMU is finally ranked in basketball.
I don’t know why it seemed so difficult for you to do this a while ago. Looking back at the last four seasons, we’re talking about a team that has won 101 out of 127 games- that’s 80%. Just look at this season and last season- a record of 25-5 and this year so far 22-4… that’s 47-9, or 84% of their games. They’re holding opponents to 58.0 points a game on average and scoring 72.7 points a game. They’re getting 39.5 rebounds a game and basically making the American Athletic Conference (minus Cincinnati) look like a league below them.
Right now, SMU basketball is reinforcing the case for why they should be in a bigger conference. I’m so interested to see how this NCAA tournament goes for them- they could make a huge splash and surprise a lot of teams.
But why has it taken so long to simply put them in the Top 25? We’ve seen teams like Duke and Xavier ride the slip’n’slide through the season while teams like UVA, UNC, Kansas, and Kentucky ride a roller coaster of form. Meanwhile, SMU (and Cincy too) have been a consistent show of form no matter their opponent.
In a previous article, I confronted the issue on consistency in football, and here again I will show part of this argument and apply it to the sport of basketball. Consistency wins championships. Right now, we see a major lack of it amongst the Top 25 in basketball, and maybe the AP has finally realized that teams like SMU are showing more consistency even though they are not necessarily the first thought of a household name mentioned for basketball. Mark my words, teams like this are going to make a splash in March where consistency literally crowns a team the kings of basketball.
So good job, AP. You did something right…for now. Let’s hope you keep it up…