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CougCenter Investigation: Which AP voters ranked Stanford higher?

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NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Good afternoon. In case you hadn’t noticed, your Washington State Cougars headed down to Palo Alto Saturday night and absolutely throttled defending conference champion Stanford. With the 42-16 (which was really 42-10 but whatever) result, WSU improved its conference record to 2-0, while Stanford fell to 2-2. Aside: Four conference games by this point in the season seems like alot.

Since this beatdown was the second game in a row that Stanford was thoroughly dominated, one would think that Stanford would not garner a single vote from an AP voter, especially since this loss came at home. One would be wrong. Not only did Stanford still get AP Top 25 votes, THEY GOT MORE THAN WSU.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge deal. Over the course of a typical season, Team A will upset Team B, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Team A should be ranked higher. So let’s take an admittedly simplistic look at each team’s performance thus far.

Stanford has an overall record of 3-2. Their body of work is a bit better than WSU. They’ve beaten Kansas State, USC and UCLA. On the other hand, Stanford has now lost two consecutive games by a combined score of 86-22. Their bellcow, Christian McCaffrey, has been rendered a nonentity, and it’s clear that their personnel losses are finally catching up to them.

WSU has an identical record of 3-2. They have not played as difficult a schedule as Stanford, with wins over pretty-much-hapless Idaho, suddenly-terrible Oregon and Stanford. Their losses are worse, one to an FCS team and one to unbeaten Boise State. Regardless, both teams have an identical overall record. One team is unbeaten in conference play, while the other team has lost twice.

So as the intelligent reader you are, you’d probably infer that even though WSU is only 3-2, surely they would garner more votes in this week’s AP Top 25 than Stanford, right? Wrong. Four prescient AP voters included the Cougs in the Top 25 poll. They are David Briggs, Rob Long, Josh Kendall (clearly this dude is a genius because clearly) and Brett McMurphy.

Now to the important part: Which voters, despite the fact that WSU absolutely murdered Stanford, think the Cardinal are better? Let’s take a look.

Mike Barber: Twitter handle - @RTD_MikeBarber. Mr. Barber voted Stanford #18. He did not rank WSU. WSU beat Stanford 42-16. Barber also ranked Florida #14. Florida has played one good team this year, when they faced Tennessee. Florida gave up about 134 straight points in the second half and lost badly. Florida’s best win is over Vanderbilt. But yeah, Mike, Florida should be ranked ahead of Virginia Tech, who also lost to Tennessee but just destroyed North Carolina. Sure.

Jonny Miller: Twitter handle - None. Jonny Miller voted Stanford #20. He did not rank WSU. WSU beat Stanford 42-16. Jonny Miller mainly follows the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox are in the MLB playoffs. One look at Jonny Miller’s AP profile should show you why Jonny Miller is not on Twitter. But seriously, if anyone has any idea why Jonny Miller is allowed to vote in a college football poll, let me know.

Graham Watson: Twitter handle - @Yahoo_Graham. Ms. Watson voted Stanford #22. She did not include WSU in her Top 25. WSU beat Stanford 42-16. She’s a national writer for Yahoo, so maybe she was too busy covering important games like UCLA-ASU? I don’t know.

Dana Sulonen: Twitter handle - @danasulonen. Ms. Sulonen voted Stanford #23 and did not rank WSU. WSU beat Stanford 42-16. Ms. Sulonen writes for a newspaper in Auburn, AL. I guess I’m actually impressed that she didn’t just vote for the 12 SEC teams and leave the other 13 spots blank. She was clearly distracted by Auburn’s rousing victory over that juggernaut in Starkville, MS.

Michael Bonner: Twitter handle - @mikebbonner. Mr. Bonner voted Stanford #23, and did not rank WSU, who beat Stanford 42-16. Bonner was also covering that compelling Auburn-Mississippi State matchup. Of note, Bonner also put Air Force at #24. In case you didn’t know, Wyoming beat Air Force this weekend, 35-26. (I know because I may or may not have had Wyoming +10.5...WINNER). In other words, this guy probably should be on voter probation.

Mandy Mitchell: Twitter handle - @MandyWRAL. Ms. Mitchell ranked Stanford #24. She did not rank WSU. WSU beat Stanford 42-16 Saturday. The only logical explanation is that Ms. Mitchell, who works in Raleigh, NC, lost power this weekend and did not see Saturday night’s results until after her vote was due. She also ranked Arkansas #15, which is absurd.

So there you have it. There are six people who are reputable enough to have a vote in the AP poll who think Stanford is better than WSU. I listed their Twitter handles for entertainment purposes only. Please do not troll them via Twitter or any other means.

Well, you can’t tweet Mr. Miller because he voted for Andrew Johnson, but we’d all like them to vote for the Cougs in the future. However, it is necessary to expose these people due to the fact that they probably don’t deserve the privilege of voting in the Top 25.