No Big East in AP top 25; Bulls get 3 votes
As expected, there are no Big East teams in the preseason Associated Press top 25 poll, and USF ranks fifth among the Big East schools getting votes in the poll.
The Bulls netted three total vote-points, good enough for an unofficial No. 45 in the poll. Pittsburgh is the top Big East team at No. 28, followed by Rutgers (30), West Virginia (32) and Cincinnati (33). Of the teams on USF's schedule, Florida State checks in at No. 18, with Miami getting enough votes to be 35th.
As we pointed out this week, this is only the third AP poll in the Big East's 19 seasons not to have a conference team included in the top 25.
According to pollspeak.com, a great site that shows you all the AP voters' ballots, the three writers to rank USF were the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner, the Arizona Daily Star's Ryan Finley and Sal Interdonato of the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y.
-- More fun research using Pollspeak's data -- turns out 44 of 60 AP balloters had a Big East team in their top 25, but the votes were obviously split enough to keep any one team from making the aggregate top 25. Pittsburgh was on 23 ballots, Rutgers 15, West Virginia 14, Cincinnati 11 and USF 3.
-- Highest vote for any Big East team? ABC's Craig James put Cincinnati No. 12, six spots higher than Bearcats were on any other ballot. Jay G. Tate of the Montgomery Advertiser ranked Rutgers 14th and matched Pitt's highest ranking at No. 15 -- same as Marcus Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. West Virginia's highest ranking came at No. 15, from Mitch Vingle of the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette.
-- Seven different AP voters had three Big East teams on their top 25, including Vingle and Hartford's Conner. Eight others had two Big East teams ranked, including Craig James, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Kevin Gorman and the Tampa Tribune's Brett McMurphy. Gorman, incidentally, was one of two writers to vote Texas No. 1, along with Joe Giglio of the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.
-- What do the national writers think of the Big East? James had Cincy 12th and West Virginia 25th, ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit had Rutgers 18th, SI.com's Andy Staples had Cincy 22nd. ESPN's Chris Fowler didn't rank a Big East team, with four non-BCS schools (Boise State, TCU, Utah, BYU) on his ballot.
-- Biggest anomalies out of 60 ballots? Adam Van Brimmer of the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News is definitely outside the box -- he has Utah No. 2, 10 spots higher than any other voter, has LSU No. 24, seven spots below any other voter, and was the only balloter not to rank California, the highest ranked team to be left off a ballot. ... Only 11 teams were ranked on all 60 ballots. ... In all, nine teams were both ranked in at least one top 10 and left off at least one ballot: Boise State, Cal, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Oregon, TCU, Texas Tech and Utah.