Another day, another set of preseason top 25 polls. Today's top 25 polls come courtesy of the Sporting News and Lindy's, both of which are likely set to raise some eyebrows. First off let's take a look at the preseason top 25 published by the Sporting News:
In comparison, five teams made top 25 in the Sporting News list: #3 Maryland #15 Indiana #18 Michigan #20 Wisconsin #23 Michigan State— Bryan Steedman (@crazytoledo) September 18, 2015
I don't believe I've seen the poll posted online just yet, but I happened to stumble across the Sporting News college basketball preview out on newsstands at the beginning of the weekend. I realize a lot of these preseason polls are subjective and debating the difference between some of these teams positioning is entirely irrelevant (and relatively pointless), but two things stuck out here:
- No Purdue
- Michigan State AFTER Michigan and Wisconsin
Huh? A Purdue team that, after a rough non-conference start, was one of the top Big Ten teams during conference play, retains almost everyone and adds a huge freshman in Caleb Swanigan missed the cut? Maybe I can see the logic if it's based around the question of how the team will fare without point guard Jon Octeus, but at the same time holding that against them makes it hard to justify including Michigan and Wisconsin. In order for the Wolverines to be ranked here it's implying that pretty much everyone improves from last year, just because. Let us not forget that the team, when healthy, wasn't doing much of anything last season as well. As for the Badgers, the team lost so much talent that including them in any preseason poll reeks of projecting success simply because they were there the past few seasons (or in other words, lazy writing/thinking).
Then of course to put both Michigan and Wisconsin over Michigan State, I'm still not sure the logic there. Michigan State was considerably better than Michigan, is coming off of a Final Four and returns plenty of talent that shows they can be great (unlike Michigan, who shows potential but did little with it last year). And Wisconsin is predominantly the Nigel Hayes show, which of course creates the question of how he'll perform this year now that he doesn't have an absolutely loaded roster surrounding him with Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker in the NBA. Not saying either team will be bad, especially considering who they have as coaches, but to imply that they're better set than Michigan State? Even more so as TSN also has both schools finishing ahead of Michigan State (and Purdue) in their projected Big Ten finish.
Now, onto Lindy's preseason top 25:
Lindy's preseason top 25 only has four Big Ten schools: #1 Maryland #4 Indiana #21 Purdue #23 Michigan State No Wiscy, Michigan was #33— Bryan Steedman (@crazytoledo) September 18, 2015
Putting Maryland up top is bound to make Terrapin fans happy and there's enough logic to justify the decision, though it was pretty surprising to see how high they are on Indiana. I'm pretty sure Tom Crean has had more talented Hoosier teams in the past and has struggled to turn those teams into a top five program. Another one of the more unexpected aspects of this poll was the fact that it only featured four Big Ten programs. I don't necessarily disagree with the mindset behind this, especially since Michigan and Wisconsin have a ton of question marks, Ohio State is too young to predict and Iowa is good, but not top 25 good, but it just looks off because everyone else seems to be including at least five Big Ten schools.
Anyway, I feel like if Maryland would have been maybe a spot or two lower and if Indiana was a bit further back then Lindy's might have actually had an entirely agreeable preseason top 25. Then again, that's just me and all of these preseason top 25 polls will mean little in the grand scheme of things once the season actually begins.