What the AP voters got wrong this weekby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 26, 2010, under Sports
The Arizona Wildcats stayed at No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 after its 10-9 victory over Cal.
The Wildcats moved ahead of Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas, which all lost. I’m not sure why Arkansas should drop five spots after nearly beating top-ranked Alabama — isn’t that a sign of a really good team? — but the Razorbacks did slide to No. 15.
Stranger still is that one voter totally left Arizona off his ballot. That would be Desmond Conner from the Hartford Courant.
Conner did, however, find room in his Top 25 to put Houston — which got smacked by UCLA on Sept. 18 and has lost star quarterback Case Keenum for the season — at No. 23. He was the only one of the 60 voters to list Houston.
And there still seems to be some confusion about which team won the Arizona-Iowa game. Eight voters put Iowa ahead of the Wildcats. (Wait … let me check … Arizona 34, Iowa 27 … OK, then).
I like Iowa’s team — and the Hawkeyes don’t deserve to be left off Ray Ratto’s ballot — but there is no way it should be ranked ahead of Arizona right now.
Sometimes a head-to-head result can be bypassed because of intervening events, such as other losses or a big disparity in strength of schedule, but that doesn’t apply here.
Arizona won the head-to-head matchup.
Arizona’s second-best win, Cal, came against a team that is better than the Iowa’s best victim (Iowa State).
Arizona’s third-best win (Toledo) is better than Iowa’s second-best win (Ball State).
And each team has a win over a lower-division opponent.
So … based on the evidence we have right now, how in the world does Iowa get ranked ahead of Arizona? And, remember, it is a directive from the AP to, as much as possible at this stage of the season, base your votes on results, not opinion.
Conner, by the way, has Iowa at No. 15. Lisa Byington of WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich, has Iowa at No. 9 and Arizona at No. 17.
Arizona moved up from No. 16 to No. 14 in the USA Today coaches poll, which does not release individual ballots.
The AP poll isn’t a factor in the BCS ratings, but it is still used as a talking point and to set national perception. As usual, some of the media should be spending a bit more time with their ballot.