RTC Top 25: Week 4Posted by rtmsf on December 6th, 2010
Not a lot of movement at the top of the polls this week as we move into the part of the schedule where schools generally lighten their loads around exams. This poll will likely look very much the same through the holiday season. Quick n’ dirty analysis after the jump…
- Not Much Change at the Top. The top seven teams in the poll remained exactly the same as last week, as the pollsters generally discounted #6 Michigan State’s loss to Duke as a natural consequence of playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Only #8 Georgetown’s big overtime win over Missouri seemed to matter much, as the Hoyas jumped from #10 to #8, passing over Big East peers Connecticut and Villanova in the process.
- Teams That Impressed. Other than Georgetown, #16 Illinois was this week’s high-riser, moving up seven spots as a result of a convincing win over Gonzaga in Seattle. #13 UNLV gained four spots presumably by virtue of solid road wins at Illinois State and Nevada. #11 Tennessee didn’t play last week, yet still rose in a sort of correction, proving that sometimes it pays to not play games if you hope to rise in the poll.
- Teams That Regressed. #21 Kentucky picked up its second loss at North Carolina on Saturday, and the pollsters penalized the Wildcats heavily for that loss. Ditto with #18 Minnesota’s home loss to Virginia and #24 Florida’s loss at Central Florida. #15 Missouri also dropped five spots after blowing its game against Georgetown in Kansas City last week. It’s apparent at this early stage of the season that the pollsters are not showing much tolerance for losses unless they come at Duke.
- What’s New is Old. New entries #22 Notre Dame, #23 Washington, and #24 Vanderbilt have all seen varying degrees of support this season. These three teams replace Texas, Wisconsin and Richmond from last week’s poll. The Longhorns (@ Texas) and Spiders (@ ODU) lost games but we’re not sure why the Badgers got dinged (in fact, they crushed NC State by 39 points in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge); ultimately, in a small sample size, some teams are going to get crowded out by a hair, and that’s what happened here as Vanderbilt received a smidge more support.
- Variance. The poll has generally settled down after a month of the season, but there are two teams still getting a lot of votes all over the place: #14 Syracuse and #16 Purdue. The Orange continue to sneak by opponents while not shooting very well, but they also continue to win — they were ranked as high as #8 by one pollster and as low as #22 by another. The Boilermakers are still an iffy proposition in many’s eyes — they were as high as #11 in one ballot and as low as #24 in another. Among the teams at the bottom of the poll, one pollster believes #18 Minnesota shouldn’t be in the rankings at all, while all four others believe they’re a mid-teens level team. Predictably, the bottom three teams, #23 Washington and #24s Florida and Vanderbilt each have different champions and detractors.
- Conference Call. Big East (6), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (4), SEC (4), Mountain West (3), ACC (1), CUSA (1), Pac-10 (1).