Jerry Carino, an AP voter from New Jersey, released his AP ballot on Tuesday.
Carino’s ballot was largely predictable, containing the same top 10 as other outlets and having a similar All-American list.
But there was one glaring, questionable decision: He ranks Kentucky at No. 8.
In nearly every reputable poll that has been released, Kentucky is listed either at No. 1 or No. 2 in the country.
And with every poll released after this week’s FBI trial testimony, I expect the cloud over Kansas to give Kentucky the boost to No. 1 more consistently.
Carino’s College Basketball Top 25 Poll
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Gonzaga Bulldogs
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Duke Blue Devils
- Nevada Wolf Pack
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Michigan State Spartans
- Villanova Wildcats
- Kansas State Wildcats
- Auburn Tigers
- Mississippi State Bulldogs
- Florida State Seminoles
- Clemson Tigers
- Oregon Ducks
- West Virginia Mountaineers
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Michigan Wolverines
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Syracuse Orange
- Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
- Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Marquette Golden Eagles
- UCF Knights
Yes, he only gets one vote. But this is a great example of a writer with a vote trying too hard to be “different” with his ballot.
It seems as though Carino is purposefully trying to make a point about Kentucky, though. In addition to listing them at No. 8, six slots below any other outlet, he intentionally leaves them out of his “analysis.”
Kansas is the deepest team and has enough experience to be a comfortable choice at No. 1. You could make a strong case for Gonzaga as well . . . Yes Duke possesses the most raw firepower but let’s see how the pieces fit . . . The Pac-12 has a ton of individual talent but the league stunk to high heaven last year and the coaching is suspect . . . It’s a transitional year for the Big East, for sure, but Villanova is being underrated by most of the national forecasters. When will they learn?
For anyone to have a drastically unique take on a top tier program, as Carino obviously does by not giving Kentucky a top 2 or even a top 5 ranking, it would make sense to explain your point within the article where you share your unique perspective. His only mention of Kentucky at all is when he lists Reid Travis as a third team All-American selection.
By dismissing the Wildcats altogether, it seems like there may be some other agenda at hand here.
It is also of note that calling Kansas the “comfortable choice” at No. 1 after they have been implicated under oath in a pay for play scheme this week is a bit rich. The situation at Kansas is anything but comfortable right now.
The official AP preseason poll has yet to be released. It comes out on October 22nd. At that point, we will find out how many other writers agree (or disagree) with Jerry Carino.