College basketball polls are dumb. In a world of KenPom, Torvik, and a thousand other metrics, you really don’t need the opinion of a sportswriter who probably can’t pronounce your team correctly to tell you whether they are better than UCLA or not. They are an anachronism.
But, like so many other anachronisms, they carry with them an inexplicable air of romance and, more importantly for the basketball fan, fun. The AP poll is out? It’s time to rage that my team isn’t higher, see who is #1, figure out who the committee might be shading this year, and see which of the big teams have big games coming up. Polls mean games, Big Monday, and numbers next to teams for the first time since last April. Knowing that they are a pointless exercise doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them.
And Xavier fans have something to enjoy with this season’s first AP poll. The Musketeers haven’t made an appearance since December 21st of 2020. They were 8-0 and had just beaten Marquette at home on a dramatic buzzer beater. It would be the high water mark of the season. This is a new season though, and X is back in the poll. Kind of. The Musketeers are 32nd in the poll, down in the area commonly known as “others receiving votes.”
The Big East has four teams appearing, with Villanova fourth, UConn 24th, and St. John’s also receiving votes. Twitter’s favorite potential Big East target Dayton, is always, nowhere to be found. Chris Mack’s Louisville Cardinals received three votes. Opponents Ohio State (17th) and Oklahoma State (RV) are also in the first poll. UC is not anywhere to be found, but I’m sure that’s just an oversight.
Polls are goofy and don’t really tell us much of anything, but they are surely fun. College basketball season is almost here, and Xavier is looking good.