I'm Looking At You: You're On Thin Ice, Rivals

B-dowd posted this link on Twitter last night, which is Rivals' current college basketball Top 25. Now, obviously, a college basketball Top 25 in May is always fraught with uncertainty, as well as conjecture. Sure, that's normal and completely acceptable.

But then you have rankings like this nonsense and, well, it begins to make me angry.

For thos of you too lazy or uncoordinated to click through and read the story, here are the rankings:

1. North Carolina

2. Kentucky
3. Ohio State
4. Duke
5. Syracuse
6. Vanderbilt
7. Louisville
8. Pittsburgh
9. Memphis
10. Arizona
11. Kansas
12. Florida
13. Connecticut
14. Wisconsin
15. Baylor
16. Alabama
17. Michigan State
18. Xavier
19. Temple
20. Texas A&M
21. Gonzaga
22. California
23. New Mexico
24. Wichita State
25. Mississippi State

Notice anyone missing? How about the team that was in the top 15 all season in '10-'11 and was one of only two teams to take down OSU in the regular season? Isn't this not only disrespectful to Purdue, but also to Matt Painter? And as we've mentioned before, if losing Robbie Hummel last season cost the Boilers 20-ish spots in most polls, shouldn't his return be good for, say, ten?  No? Oh, okay.

Seriously, who wrote this? My wife? Wait, bad example, she won the BS Bracket Extravaganza. So she probably could have done better!

So Wichita State is a better team going into 2011-2012 than Purdue? Is that what you're saying, Rivals?

And if you want to get down into the weeds, it's not just about Purdue being disrespected (again). How about these gems?

Wisconsin at #14 -- You  guys know Leuer is gone, right? I know Jordan Taylor is good, but hey, still having some talented players isn't enough to get the Boilermakers ranked.

MSU at #17 -- This is inexcusable. Absolutely brain-dead ranking. I think even most Spartan fans would acknowledge that with the way this past season went, MSU should have to prove they're not a paper tiger going forward. I agree that you should never count out Izzo and company. But last season was an unmitigated disaster. The Spartans barely made the NCAA tournament and then got immediately bounced in the first round. But they're 17th right now? Disgraceful.

Memphis at #9 -- Memphis barely won their conference tournament. That's Conference USA, for those of you wondering. The conference they finished fourth place in. I know it sounds snooty to look down on C-USA, but hey, it's warranted. The Tigers owned this conference under Calipari and I guess people simply want to rank Memphis high because of muscle memory. They went 10-6 in a truly mediocre conference, then eked out a one point win in the conference tourney final (the only time they led) and then went down in the first round like B-Dowd on a Saturday night. Everyone in the media so badly wants Josh Pastner to succeed and be the boy wonder they all anointed him when he took over. This just in: He's not Brad Stevens, folks. And if Memphis doesn't squeak out that one-point win over UTEP in the conference tourney, they don't make the NCAAs and maybe people do start questioning Pastner. But since they did make it in, here they are at #9. And don't give me recruiting class garbage -- they need to start proving it on the court before any sane person can say they're the 9th-best team in the nation. I don't give a damn if it is May.

Alabama at #16 -- Here's another one where the media just really wants a guy to succeed, so they're going to help him. Anthony Grant has done a decent job there, no doubt, but his next NCAA tournament game will be his first. He couldn't get his Crimson Tide into the tourney, despite playing in the horrendous SEC West, which is basically Conference-USA East. 'Bama's last NCAA foray, in fact, was 2006, six seasons ago, back when Davis was only 12 years old. (I kid, I kid.) Regardless, this Alabama team that everyone wants so badly to see succeed got into the NIT and went all the way....to the finals, where they lost to Witchita State. So yeah, they're still the same team they were. Wake me when they make a tourney.

We also see Gonzaga checking in at 19, still coasting off their upstart success more than a decade ago. Seriously, what has that program ever done? They're not a Cinderella anymore...they don't play in a big time conference...and they don't make Final Fours. But hell yeah, let's keep ranking them year after year because sportswriters like to recycle stories about Mark Few and his upstart band of castoffs from the west.

The top 10 is otherwise basically the usual suspects, although I do find Vandy at 6 kind of hilarious. When last we left Vandy, they were doing what they always do -- not performing up to expectations. The Commodores put together a stellar 9-7 SEC conference record, then flopped on their faces against 12-seed Richmond, which everyone in the world saw coming. Also, just to continue poking with a stick, their last three tourney appearances? First round losses to Siena, Murray State and Richmond. Well-done, Commodores. And for your continued success, let us here at Rivals award you with a top 6 ranking. Enjoy it! May is the only time you'll be ranked this high!

And yes, for those of you trolling our site to hate on Purdue, the Boilers also lost early in the tournament, for which we were quite hard on them. They did not perform up to expectations, for reasons that are still perplexing. However, that said, they lost -- once again -- to a Final Four team. Michigan State, for example, lost to UCLA.

But hey, they have Tom Izzo! He pleads with officials a lot! And he's short and scrappy! And he's a good interview, right media? Yay!

When I rant against the media, I'm sometimes told by readers to not let this stuff bother me, etc., yadda yadda. Well, for one thing, I've already explained why I have an issue with lazy, terrible sports reporting. And in this particular case, we're not talking about Andy Katz' poorly informed opinions, or Dick Vitale's brainless, neuron spasms. We're talking about Rivals, a site that many of us respect for the careful work they do. This top 25 should be put into a trash compactor and then the house the trash compactor is in should be burned down. It's that effing stupid.

Even for May.

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