Monday, October 8, 2012

AP voter: Why not Duke?

Sunday, Duke received its first AP poll votes since the end of the 1994 season when John Silver of the Journal (Conn.) Inquirer ranked them No. 23. I had a chance to catch up with John via email and phone, and he explained his reasoning.

Looking at the AP poll it was very hard this week to find teams 20-25. There's a glut of two loss teams and I didn't want to just blindly follow conventional wisdom.

I knew that there was little chance of Duke being ranked -- schedule strength -- and when I looked at Duke vs. Michigan and or TCU, I just felt that maybe we should add another team in the mix. At 5-1, it's a good start for Duke, though the schedule isn't tough outside of the 50-13 loss to Stanford.

The Blue Devils are scoring more than 40 points a game, are 2-0 in the ACC and have scored 76 points in wins over Wake and Virginia. That profile is one of a team that should get consideration in my opinion. If Duke wins at Va Tech , they would be 6-1 and 3-0 and certainly ranked. I think Duke should be on the radar with its kind of start.

I try to use those last couple of spots, when there are no obvious teams, to maybe highlight a rising team. I have put Ohio in the Top 25 for several weeks as I have done the same with La Tech. I think I have been proven right.

To me, it's trying to find teams to get in the mix and not only blindly following the polls of a week prior.

It came down to Iowa State or Duke for a spot and I felt, why not Duke?

So, there you go. Many thanks to John for getting back to me.

- Laura Keeley