2/8 Bidwell's Blog: Murray State's AP voting breakdown
Once again, here is this week's breakdown of the 65 Associated Press college basketball voters and how they view Murray State. For the most part, the voters are thinking along the same lines with just a few exceptions.
5th Place: 1 vote -- Mark Smith, Albuquerque (NM) Journal
7th Place: 16 votes
17th Place: 2 votes
20th Place: 1 vote -- Ron Morris, The State (Columbia, SC)
I guess I've reached the point in the season where I've kind of grown tired of the weekly argument over where Murray State should be ranked -- and the weekly offense some people take as to where they end up in the polls, locally and nationally. At 23-0, the Racers have firmly established they are a very, very good basketball team. Whether that means they're #7 or #15 in the country, that doesn't change how good they are.
Ultimately, the Racers, along with the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference, are still a mystery to much of the country. It's hard for voters to really reward Murray State for beating OVC teams by 10 points -- and by really reward, I mean move them up into the top five in the polls. Anybody with a nickel's worth of basketball IQ knows how hard it is to win on the road, especially in conference. Steve Prohm could not care less whether his team wins by 2 or by 20. He just wants to win -- and that's the way it should be. But without the "style points" or beating everybody in this "weak" conference by 30 points, it's hard to convince people who don't watch you play that you're one of the elite teams in America -- even if you still haven't lost a game this year.
At this point, Racer fans should be turning their attention to where Murray State will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. That seed is what is most important -- not a ranking. If those two things were tied together at all, as the #9 team in the country, Murray State would be a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They may end up that high -- or they may end up a 4-seed, or an 8-seed. It all depends on how the Racers close out the year. The seed is what matters. Would you rather be the #5 team in the country that gets knocked out in the first round of the tournament, or the #15 team that got a good seed and was able to use that to make a run to the Sweet 16 and beyond. Exactly.
I guess my point is -- you have to let go of the angst. If you are a Murray State fan, you are witnessing something you've never seen before and will most likely never see again. I just feel as if your energy would be better spent enjoying the moment rather than chirping about where some beat writer from Nowhere, Idaho has you ranked this week. Maybe I'm to blame for posting this blog every week pointing out who votes the Racers the highest and the lowest.
Yes, the polls are something fun to look at on Mondays and something to argue about. In the end, the argument has no right answer. Just don't take them personally.
In case you haven't looked at the calendar, we're down to the last six weeks of the season. Enjoy every last second of it before time slips away.