Purdue Boilermakers not top-10 worthy
The loss of forward Robbie Hummel is greater than coaches' poll expresses
The nice thing about having two major polls is that we can compare the thinking of college basketball writers (AP poll) with what Division I coaches (ESPN/USA Today) are seeing. So what do we find when we put these two preseason polls side by side?
We find that the two groups of observers have remarkably similar opinions when it comes to ranking the nation's top teams. Whether you're parked behind a laptop along press row or pacing the floor in the coach's box, you're very likely to think that Duke is the best team in the nation. In fact, as we saw in last week's edition of "Poll Position," the writers and the coaches are in more or less complete agreement when it comes to identifying the top seven teams in the country.
And yet just outside that top seven, there's a team that the coaches and the writers clearly can't agree on: The Purdue Boilermakers, ranked a lofty No. 8 by the coaches, are ranked a more down-to-earth No. 14 by the writers. No other team in either poll's top 25 is the source of so much disagreement in terms of ranking. Who's right?
To read why Purdue is not a top-10 team, you must be an ESPN Insider.
John Gasaway's 'Poll Position'
John Gasaway has written for Basketball Prospectus since its inception in 2007. His college hoops commentary appears weekly on ESPN Insider. John's writing has also appeared at SportsIllustrated.com, as well as in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Playboy.