Pittsburgh’s Kevin Gorman Is Only AP Voter Who Doesn’t Have UMass in Top 25

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Apparently the AP voters think UMass Basketball is some flash in the pan joke that can be easily humored by throwing them a bone once a week.

Considering the fact that all they do is win, while teams in front of them lose, they should probably be moving up in the national rankings. However, the undefeated Minutemen stayed in the same spot they have been for the past two weeks – outside of the top 20. This week they come in at #22 in the AP poll, and at #20 in the coaches poll. All they’ve done in the past couple of weeks is score 105 points against a very good BYU squad, and absolutely demolish a team that they should have, well; absolutely demolished, in Northern Illinois.

I guess it was foolish of me to think that the voters would actually pay attention to the games, instead of the names on the front of the jerseys. Despite being undefeated (9-0), and having defeated a Top 25 team, the AP poll has them ranked behind two teams with three losses (Kentucky and Kansas), and three teams with two losses (Duke, North Carolina, Florida). What do all of those schools have in common? Oh yea, they’re basketball royalty.


Yes, Kentucky has lost twice at home, didn’t make the tournament last year, and as usual is being led by a bunch of freshmen with no experience.

Sure Kansas lost two out of three, and three of their last five.

Granted, Florida barely beat the North Florida Ospreys.

North Carolina? Yea they lost to the mighty powerhouses of Belmont (at home), and UAB – a team that participated in the Charleston Classic Tournament, which of course was won by UMass. Oh yea, and they barely beat Holy Cross and held Bob Cousy to under 20 points.


So how did this happen? And who cares? I mean it’s just a stupid poll right?

I can see the reasoning behind these questions. After all, the beauty of college basketball (unlike college football) is that the polls ultimately don’t mean much. The champion is ultimately crowned on the court, and not in the court of AP voters public opinion.

But considering that UMass hasn’t been in the Top 25 since Monica Lewinsky could trust Linda Tripp with secrets, it means a lot to me. If they’re gonna have these polls, the voters should at least try to get it right. Not surprisingly the Coach’s poll is much more accurate. UMass is ranked #20 there, and is ahead of Kentucky and Colorado in those polls. Probably because the 32 voters in that poll actually watch college basketball outside of the small world that they live in.

That’s because a lot of these AP “writers” are living in their hometown bubble. The most obvious offender is a guy named Kevin Gorman who is the High School sports beat guy for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. For the record the primary newspaper of the Pittsburgh region is the Post-Gazette, so this guy not only is a high school sports guy, he also writes for the newspaper that isn’t as widely read.


Here is Gorman’s poll. As you can see, he is the only one of the 65 voters who did not have UMass in his Top 25. That’s a clown poll bro. I mean, this poll is a joke right? I wanna know how you become an AP voter, because apparently they just pick your name out of a hat or something. Seriously though, would love some insight on this one as I can’t seem to find the answer to that one. Seems like a pretty good gig that should go to the best of the best.

Gorman’s poll is so biased it’s laughable. For starters he’s from Pittsburgh and has Pittsburgh ranked 15th in his poll. Pitt is not ranked in either the Coach’s or AP polls. Here are some other things that stand out:

  • He has Wisconsin ranked 11th, but the 11-0 Badgers are ranked 4th and 6th in the two polls.
  • He has 10-0 Villanova ranked 19th, when the AP voters have them 8th overall. This is puzzling because Nova beat then #2 Kansas and #23 Iowa. Did I mention that Villanova is a cross state rival of Pitt’s? Funny how that happens.
  • He has Wichita State 17th, and the polls have them 11th and 9th. Shocker (da-dun-dun-ching).
  • He has UCONN 4th, and the polls have them 10th. This makes him an even bigger nudnik.
  • He has Kentucky 14th, while the polls have them 19th and 21st.
  • He doesn’t have Gonzaga ranked, while the polls have them 21st and 15th.


Overall 12 of the 25 teams he voted for didn’t finish within 5 spots of where he voted for them. That’s what happens when you cover high school sports and vote on college sports.

So if UMass fans are wondering why this team isn’t getting any love lately, this pretty much answers your question. As long as the balloting is done by a bunch of local journalists, you’re not gonna have the most accurate poll. Ultimately Kevin Gorman is just one man though. His 3,000 Twitter followers are barely more than UMass super fan Brian Long, so ultimately his influence is being offset by the man of a million tweets.


But UMass fans know how good this team is, so it doesn’t really matter what they’re ranked. Yes, they’ve beaten a lot of quality opponents from quality conferences, and they’ve done it in an impressive manner. Yes, they have a player of the year candidate in Chaz Williams. Yes, their starting five is the oldest and most experienced in the country. Yes, their head coach Derek Kellogg has clearly evolved as a coach, particularly in his ability to make second half adjustments. But you can’t expect people like Kevin Gorman to know about them if they’re still not even getting the press they should be in the Boston media.

I did try to get a comment from Gorman about his poll on Twitter, but surprisingly, no response:

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 11.00.27 AM Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 11.01.31 AM

All UMass needs to do is keep doing what they’re doing to show the national media that they are for real this year. They play at Ohio, before traveling to America’s source of tabloid news for a matchup with Florida State. If they can win these games, followed by home match ups with Providence and Miami (Ohio), and go into conference play 13-0, even guys like Kevin Gorman might have to stand up and take notice.

Is UMass ranked too low? Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.

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7 Comment(s)
  • Just Bob
    December 18, 2013 at 2:40 am

    And never mind that UMass is #3 in RPI in the nation.

  • J E
    December 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    You’re backing up your argument by (as a corollary) saying that good voters should be close to the average, but that kind of discredits the individual opinions of the voters, and makes the whole thing pointless.

    Another argument (lives in Pitt + ranks Pitt higher than others -> bias) could also be challenged by suggesting that maybe the Panthers are underrated and he has seen their play/potential, just as those from Amherst/Springfield are more likely to view the Minutemen as a better team even if they aren’t particularly fans.

    • December 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      I’m glad to see that Turtleboysports has an official contrarian. The bottom line is that Pittsburgh has beaten absolutely no one this year. UMass has the #2 RPI in the country right now. It’s simply inexcusable to have UMass ranked behind them, and his vote should probably be taken away from him since he’s a high school sports reporter.

      • jhemilian
        December 19, 2013 at 12:27 am

        glad to be an official anything!

        I do agree with the overall sentiment though. And him ranking Pitt #15 when nobody else probably put them above 20… that alone should raise suspicion. I wonder if any voters have actually been “dismissed” of their voting duties.

  • Blong
    December 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm


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