There’s a tradition in the blogging world of producing next season’s top 25 about four minutes after this season has ended. And then writers couch their predictions as being “way too early” as if anyone smart enough to decipher these little scribbles we call words didn’t already know that.
Why do sites put out these lists? Because A) they get linked to team-specific sites, and 2) they consist of teams a lot of people are googling, and thus these lists generate hits. And hits are what it’s all about (just ask the crew who sells advertising on porn sites). Version 3.0 will drop post-Wiggins, 4.0 will be once most of the transfers have settled, and then 5.0 will be the ACTUAL pre-season top 25.
But I have more fun critiquing the mainstream media than I do performing acts of SEO fellatio (SEO, to you virgins, is Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as “why anyone knows the name Bleacher Report”).
Last year I campaigned on the over-ranking of NC State. There are always a few teams which sneak through the filters – largely because it’s impossible to be an expert on 50 or 100 teams, so writers tend to pick the same teams everyone else is picking so as not to be the dumb guy.
So who is it this year? Which team is going to get overly diagnosed in five or six posts by me in the next six months?
The choices are intriguing. Is Oklahoma State really going to be a top 10 team with the same roster minus their best rebounder? What about Kentucky? Everyone had them in their top-3 last year, and everyone has them No. 1 this year.
In the end, though, I’m going with Arizona. They’re in virtually everyone’s top 5 (No. 4, 4, and 7 in the polls I linked above) but they shouldn’t be. Last year I spent several posts illustrating why NC State shouldn’t be in the top 10, and this year I’ll spend the same amount of time breaking down Arizona and why they shouldn’t be in your top 5.
And who knows, maybe I’ll even be right again, even if it is way-too-early.