<
>

Poll Thoughts: Florida survives, somehow

College hoops polls might be inconsequential noise, but that doesn't mean they're not fun to argue about. In that spirit, I present the creatively named "Poll Thoughts," which you can expect every Monday until the season is over, or until the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll voters stop being so dumb. (In other words, expect it until the season is over.)

  • The first item of business? Florida. The Gators seem to have more coaches' poll staying power than anyone not named "North Carolina," and even the Tar Heels were finally banished from the top 25 two weeks ago. At No. 24, what did Florida do to edge out teams like Arizona, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin and even No. 25 Texas? A Sunday win over American must have impressed the country's voting coaches, because an impotent defeat to UCF on Wednesday would have seemingly been enough to bump the two-loss Gators out of top-25 contention to start the season. Maybe fellow coaches really like Billy Donovan. Maybe they're still buying the five-starters-returning hype. Either way, Florida seems a little out of place here.

  • Speaking of which, most coaches must have finished their ballots before Sunday night, because the Texas Longhorns are still present at No. 25. That's despite a 73-56 loss to USC, which -- with losses to Rider, Bradley, Nebraska and TCU -- is not the kind of team a top-25 squad should be getting blown out by, even on the road.

  • Credit the coaches for doing something many writers are unwilling to do: Ranking UConn ahead of Michigan State. The latest poll has the Huskies at No. 6 and Michigan State at No. 8. Is Connecticut better than Michigan State this season? Maybe not. Did the Huskies, with their undefeated record and head-to-head win in Maui, prove enough to get the nod poll-wise right now? Absolutely.

  • Speaking of MSU, the Spartans have looked like a Final Four team despite their two losses (one to the aforementioned Huskies, and one at Duke). Syracuse has looked like a middling Big East team despite its undefeated record. But that record was enough for the Cuse (No. 7) to edge Tom Izzo's team (No. 8) in the coaches' poll this week. Fortunately, this one gets settled on the court Tuesday night. Can't wait.

  • Which undefeated team is more impressive? The one with wins over Grambling, La Salle, Jackson State, Lipscomb, Prairie View A&M and Arizona State? Or the one with wins at Old Dominion, vs. Wofford, vs. NC State, vs. Missouri in Kansas City and vs. Utah State? I'd argue the latter (Georgetown, No 10). The coaches' poll apparently believes it's the former (Baylor, No. 9).

  • I'd like someone to explain this: Tennessee is undefeated with a win over Villanova on a neutral court. Villanova is a one-loss team, and that loss was to -- reading comprehension test here -- Tennessee. And yet Tennessee (No. 13) is still somehow ranked behind Villanova (No. 12) in this week's poll. Is anyone else confused? This can't just be me, right?