Arizona, after being swept at USC and UCLA last week, dropped from 10th to 18th in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and in the AP media poll.
I would have thought the Wildcats (23-6) would have dropped further.
As it is, they are the only Pac-10 team in the poll. UCLA, tied with Arizona for the league lead at 12-4, ranks 28th in the coaches poll.
The Wildcats’ record still looks nice, and being tied for the conference lead counts for something. But coach Sean Miller’s team still lacks a signature road victory (winning at Washington State and Cal was nice, but it hardly moves the national needle).
To me, Arizona is more of a fringe-y Top 25 team with a resume that probably doesn’t merit inclusion in the polls. But that’s the state of college basketball this season. There is an excess of teams in that same boat … and some of them have to get ranked.
Not that the rankings mean all that much anyway.
The two losses caused everyone to re-evaluate these Wildcats, but they can still deliver at least a share of the Pac-10 title by beating Oregon State and Oregon at home this week. And that would be a fine accomplishment for Miller in his second season … no matter what the rankings say.
Arizona appeared on 50 of 65 ballots in the AP poll. The team’s highest ranking came from Roger Clarkson of the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald; he put the Cats at No. 12. Check out all the individual votes for Arizona at pollspeak.com