‘Hello darkness, my old friend.’ It was a similar tune playing on the radio for Oklahoma State fans following Saturday’s loss to Texas in devastating fashion. Oklahoma State dominated the game, there is no two ways around that fact, but the most important numbers were 41 and 34; the final score in which the Longhorns defeated the Cowboys in overtime. Despite the Cowboys outgaining Texas 530-287, the Longhorns were able to make the plays at the end and spoil the Cowboys hopes of an undefeated season.
Here at Heartland College Sports, we will take you in depth of the AP rankings and let you, the casual fan, see why the ranking is the way it is and possibly call out some strange things we see from the AP registered voters. With that being said, let’s check out who gets free cheese fries at Eskimo Joes the next time they’re in Stillwater and who will be overpaying for parking near Boone Pickens Stadium on gameday.
Usually we would focus on one subject for our “worst voter of the week” when looking into the AP rankings, but this week there are a multitude of options to choose from. This week we will play a game and let you at home decide which voter you think had the worst brain fart when filling out their AP ballot.
Behind curtain number one, from the Salem Statesman Journal in Oregon is Pete Martini! Mr. Martini covers the PAC-12 for a living and looking at his ballot he made it pretty obvious which conference he thinks is the conference of champions. Pete ranked Oklahoma State #21 after their loss to Texas, behind four PAC-12 teams and also sitting behind Iowa State at #18. Perhaps Pete needs a refresher, because the Cowboys defeated Iowa State 24-21 only 8 days ago. Ranking Iowa State ahead of OSU after they quite literally just played is crazy but thinking Oklahoma State is not one of the top 20 teams in the country while Arizona State and Utah, who haven’t played, deserve to be there is just ludicrous.
Moving forward, let’s introduce you to the man behind curtain number two; he is from the great state of New Jersey representing NJ.com, he is James Kratch! James also ranked the Cowboys #21 in his polls; joining Martini as the only two voters to keep OSU outside their top 20. According to Kratch, he thinks that 0-2 Penn State is not only better than OK State, but he has them significantly higher at #14 in his polls. Perhaps James messed up his abbreviations and wrote “PSU” instead of “OSU” because that seems like the only logical explanation to have a team with 2 losses and ZERO wins ahead of a 4-1 team that lost in overtime. Penn State isn’t even ranked in the newest AP Top 25 but if it were up to Kratch the last place team in the Big 10 would be in the top 15. This is all added on with the fact that he put the Louisiana Lafayette Rajun Cajuns (also with a loss) ahead of Oklahoma State. Go figure…
Last, but certainly not least, we have our final contestant from 105.7 The Fan in Maryland, Rob Long! Rob is a college football connoisseur; his expert knowledge of the game really comes to light when you look at his rankings and he has the Liberty Flames at #15. Liberty, for those wondering, is 6-0 which looks impressive until you see the fact that they haven’t beaten a team with more than one win. Yep, 6 wins all over teams with zero or one win on the season. Moving on past that obvious blunder, this is Rob’s 16-19 rankings in order: Tulsa, OU, Texas, Oklahoma State. I’ll let you digest that for a second; Rob has Tulsa ahead of OSU, who beat them in week one and put them ahead of OU and Texas. I must say this, please relinquish your voting rights for the AP Top 25 if you’re not even going to try to take it seriously Mr. Long.
This week’s AP top 25 voting read like a scary story; everyone really had a different idea of who belongs in the top 15 and what conference is the best. The final piece of the puzzle will kick off on Saturday when the Pac-12 joins the mix and we will have to wait and see what chaos that brings in next week’s votes. Arizona State and USC are playing each other, so you would assume Pete Martini will rank the Cowboys above the winner ahead of the loser of that one next week.
As the Halloween chapter in the yearbook of 2020 closes, we move into November where each AP Top 25 gets us one week closer to the release of the first CFB Playoff ranking. For anyone wondering why I like to poke fun at the voters and write these articles, its simple, every vote counts. Think about this; Clemson and Alabama were separated by 2 points in the AP Top 25 this week. If one single voter ranked Bama 1 instead of 2, the Crimson Tide would hold the top spot. So, that is why I write an objection to Rob Long and others. Rob, you truly can’t believe Liberty is better than Oklahoma State. I refuse to believe anyone with two eyes would draw that conclusion. Oklahoma State finished 5 points shy of Indiana. If Pete Martini ranked OSU in his top 20, the Pokes would be #13 instead of 14 this week. The same goes for Kratch and Long. Alas, I must mention at the end of this article an honorable mention for worst voter has to go to Tom Green who had Kansas State ranked 13th in this week’s ballot. Moving forward, let’s be better AP Voters.
*Please do not send any ill-will to any AP voters, this is meant to be a fun article highlighting some discrepancies amongst the AP Top 25 voters.
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