Friendly fire puts KU basketball 24th on one Associated Press ballot


The man among the 64 Associated Press voters who put Kansas lowest isn’t afraid to acknowledge he has a rooting interest in the Jayhawks. Jason Franchuk has covered BYU for the Provo Daily Herald the past nine seasons and is part of the KU Class of 2001. His wife, Audrey Hickert, is an '02 graduate.

Normally, Jason and Audrey will DVR the KU games and watch them together. Since nothing was normal about KU’s Wednesday visit to Forth Worth, Franchuk didn’t wait. A friend had texted him wondering what was going on in the TCU game.

“I figured Kansas was up 30 and I turned it on to see what was going on,” Franchuk said. “I was shocked. I covered BYU for six years (against TCU) and BYU never came close to losing to TCU.”

Interestingly, Franchuk this season often has voted KU lower than its ranking, which during one long week toppled from fifth to 14th. On his ballot, the Jayhawks fell all the way to 24th. Franchuk’s doubts predated the TCU clunker.

“I think it started with the Iowa State game,” said Franchuk, who loves the form of Ben McLemore's jumper. “They made it to overtime because McLemore banked in a three. I thought, ‘I’m not going to reward a team for a little bit of luck.’ And the Oklahoma State game ... The pass that made me jump out of my seat was when McLemore stood flat-footed and threw it to one of their guys and he took it in for a dunk.”

Franchuk said he was surprised KU’s losing streak didn’t drop the Jayhawks all the way to No. 20. He even ran his ballot by his wife before e-mailing it. Her response: “Oh yeah. The TCU game. You’ve got to penalize them.”

No. 10 Kansas State, four spots ahead of KU in the AP poll, was No. 11 on Franchuk’s ballot and mine. I put KU 16th.

For the most part, polls are a reflection of what has happened so far with stronger emphasis placed on recent results. Las Vegas oddsmakers are concerned strictly with what they think will happen now. Kansas is favored by eight for today's 8 p.m. tipoff in Allen Fieldhouse. That ought to ease some worried minds around here.


Robbk1066 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree TCU should count twice against us. That is lack of focus, effort and players feeling a sense of entittlement. Worst defeat I have seen by a College BB team in 30 years. terrible.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 9 months ago

I guess so long as he penalizes every team for the same reasons..... Equally. After all, luck plays a role in every single game. A shooter's bounce. A bad call by an official. Why should it matter the luck occurred at the end of the game.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 9 months ago

If I cared about rankings I would care.

jaybate 9 years, 9 months ago

If I cared about Jason Franchuk, I would care.

Kent Richardson 9 years, 9 months ago

We are hard enough on the Hawks ouselves and It may be an insider who feels despair the most.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 9 months ago

I hope Jason Franchuk feels like a jerk now.

gchawk 9 years, 9 months ago

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Adam Evans 9 years, 9 months ago

I though KU should have dropped to around 20. But law of averages has them higher. They dropped about the same as Louisville did. I promise you some at least one voter has put Lville in the 20s after their slide a few weeks ago. Rankings only matter for bragging rights. They don't even have much impact on seeding (at least ap and coaches poll. Rpi does).

Noel Graham 9 years, 9 months ago

Duke was lucky to beat BC this week and that would have been as bad of a loss as ours to TCU. Where did he put Duke in the poll?

Sam Constance 9 years, 9 months ago


Sounds like this guy has the inverse problem of your average overly-supportive fan who overrates the ability of his own team. Mr. Franchuk prefers to dwell on the problems, apparently seeing it as his duty "not to reward" the Jayhawks for "luck".

Like HEM, I don't particularly care about rankings. Ultimately they don't matter. But the argumentativist in me still likes to debate the meaning and significance of why rankings are what they are, because that isn't a study in who is deserving so much as it is a glimpse at what the people covering the sport think of your team in relation to others at that point in the season.

The idea of moving a team up or dropping them as a punishment or "reward" is stupid to me. If I had a ballot, I would literally copy Ken Pomeroy's most up-to-date rankings and submit it as my ballot. Because it doesn't matter any more than the AP rankings, but at least it would be based on some semblance of objective measurement over the full season, rather than influenced by things like "who lost last?" and "rewarding" teams for their great individual win.

Micky Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

The only ranking that matters is the one right after the National Championship game and the only two teams deserving of their ranking are the champs and the runner up.

Micky Baker 9 years, 9 months ago

Lets face it, McLemore making a 3 pointer isn't luck. What he fails to mention is that Mclemore shot 100% from the field that night. That's right, 100%. What validated the win is the way that Kansas flat out dominated in overtime scoring at rate that would have resulted in 76 points in 20 minutes of play. The last time they did that was against UNC in the 2008 semifinal. Oh yeah, they scored 150 in a game in 1990 against Kentucky.

On Monday night, Kansas had 13 points on the board with 13 minutes left to go in go in the first half. By half time they had 48 and there were a couple of guys that couldn't get a shot to drop after the 13 minute mark. If we get hot, there isn't a team in this country that beat us.

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