RTC Top 25: Week Eight

Posted by KDoyle on January 2nd, 2012

All of our pollsters are in complete agreement that the top two teams in the nation are Syracuse and Kentucky, but after that the waters get murky, as usual. Ohio State has dropped from their spot in the top three with a loss to Indiana. Meanwhile, the Xavier Musketeers are in absolute freefall having gone from as high as #7 to out of the poll altogether this week. The Quick ‘n Dirty after the jump…

QnD Analysis:

  • High Risers and Big Droppers—It took some time, but Tom Crean has something good brewing in Indiana. The Hoosiers have knocked off the #1 and #2 teams in the country—first Kentucky and most recently Ohio State—to elevate themselves to #10 in the rankings; mind you, IU was not even ranked in the preseason. In Manhattan, Kansas State is proving they are an elite team in the Big 12 as they have finally reached the Top 25, checking in at #21. It will be important for KSU to maintain current form this week as they do battle with Kansas and Missouri. On the other side of the coin, Wisconsin and Xavier both slipped in grand fashion this past week. The Badgers were shocked at home against a very average Iowa team, while Xavier continues their slide, having lost four of their last five games. The Musketeers couldn’t use the we-were-without-Lyons-and-Holloway excuse against Gonzaga since both of their stars were back in action for that contest. Chris Mack and Co. must right the ship soon as league play is upon them.
  • Where to rank Murray State?—Murray State has befuddled pollsters for much of the year. In our latest poll, the Racers are unranked by three pollsters, but are as high as #13 by another. Currently, Murray State stands at 14-0 and they have already begun play in the Ohio Valley Conference. According to Pomeroy, the Racers’ most difficult game the rest of the way is an away game against a 3-12 Austin Peay team. Could it happen?
  • Two new faces—Kansas State makes their first appearance in the Top 25, as noted, while Gonzaga returns after a brief hiatus. After consecutive losses to Illinois and Michigan State, the ‘Zags have run off six straight wins and are peaking at the right time as they enter conference play. As for the Wildcats, they too have won six straight games entering arguably their most brutal stretch of the year: at Kansas and then home against Missouri and Baylor.
  • Where is the A-10?—In the preseason, the Atlantic 10 placed Xavier and Temple in the Top 25. Just a few weeks into the year, St. Louis made a splash into the poll as well. However, recent struggles by Xavier, losses by St. Louis to Loyola Marymount and New Mexico, and three setbacks by Temple have pushed all three out of the Top 25. Make no mistake about it, though — those three squads will all be in at-large discussions for the NCAA Tournament barring any serious collapses in the Atlantic 10.

Top 25 Games of the Week:

Crucial weeks for Marquette, Kansas State, Michigan, and Wisconsin as all of their games come against ranked conference foes.

Big East

  • #17 Marquette at #1 Syracuse 
  • #17 Marquette at #9 Georgetown

Big 12

  • #21 Kansas State at #13 Kansas
  • #6 Missouri at #21 Kansas State
  • #5 Baylor at #21 Kansas State

Big Ten

  • #15 Michigan at #10 Indiana
  • #12 Michigan State at #18 Wisconsin
  • #18 Wisconsin at #15 Michigan

Also Receiving Votes—Nine teams grace the ARV category in this week’s poll as there is still much debate for which teams are most deserving for the final spots in the Top 25.

Conference Call Big East (5), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (4), SEC (3), ACC (3), Mountain West (1), Ohio Valley (1), Ivy League (1), Missouri Valley (1), West Coast (1)

KDoyle (99 Posts)

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8 responses to “RTC Top 25: Week Eight”

  1. garik16 says:

    Who the heck is still ranking Xavier and is not ranking Harvard?

  2. nvr1983 says:

    Not sure who put Xavier in the top 25. The three people who didn’t put Harvard in top 25 were rtmsf, Zach Hayes, and Brian Otskey.

    My entire ballot made it in the top 25 so you can see where I ranked teams, but perhaps the others can come on here and “defend” themselves.

  3. garik16 says:

    Sorry right, I see the NRs marked up there. Still confused.

    I like your ballot mostly NVR except I’m not sure I agree with KU being 18 and GTown 8 when KU beat GTown on a neutral floor.

    But that’s not you alone I guess.

  4. Matt B says:

    I’m curious as to why Baylor, Missouri, and UConn are all ahead of Duke, Georgetown, and Indiana. Baylor and Missouri are undefeated, which is always an accomplishment, but Missouri hasn’t beaten a single team who is even receiving votes in the poll and Baylor has only a semi-home win over #19 Miss St. UConn meanwhile, has a neutral court win over #23 Harvard, with no other wins over teams getting votes. They also have the worst loss of anyone in top ten losing to UCF. Meanwhile, Duke’s only loss was on the road against #4 OSU, and even though they got destroyed, they also have neutral court wins over #12 Michigan St, #13 Kansas, and #15 Michigan. Georgetown’s only loss came on a neutral court to Kansas, and they have one of the best road wins of the year, winning at #13 Louisville. All Indiana has done, meanwhile , is beat #2 UK and #4 OSU, while only losing at #12 Mich St. I understand the eye test, and that Mizzou has crushed everyone, while Duke and Indiana were beaten badly in their losses, but we’re just about halfway through the year, and the resume’s have to mean something by now.

  5. KDoyle says:

    Matt, I largely agree with you. I tweeted the other day that Indiana, along with all other teams who were unranked in the preseason, have a hard time climbing high into the rankings at this stage of the season. Their continued strong play will eventually get them higher, but right now I firmly believe their rank is a product of where they began the year.

    Think of it this way: How can Indiana possibly be ranked lower than Ohio State? A resume that is just as good as the Buckeyes (maybe even better), PLUS they beat them.

    If the Top 25 rankings didn’t exist until Week #5, Indiana is probably a Top 5 team right now. But, how could we fans survive without rankings? Just my .02

  6. garik16 says:

    Matt: UConn’s win over Harvard was at home. They didn’t get to play in Atlantis due to UConn’s loss to UCF.

    KDoyle: Indiana’s rank lower than OSU is very easy to explain: they beat OSU by a single possession at HOME….that doesn’t spell better than, it says that the teams are probably close. That’s not inconsistent.

  7. rtmsf says:

    @garik16: I had Harvard in at last week, and it was very tough to drop them out this week, but felt that the teams I escalated into my poll knocked the Crimson down to #26. I had a lot of trouble ranking everyone from #20 down, but could have just as easily picked seven or eight teams for a tie at that position.

    @Matt B: I think it comes down to the different ways in which people rank teams. Some rely completely on resume and that alone; others go with the eye test and that alone; while still others (like myself) use a combination of both. We do not tell our eight pollsters to subscribe to any particular method over another — it’s their decision. I’ve had Baylor higher than everyone else all season and until they lose, I don’t anticipate dropping them. I also believe UConn is much better than what they’ve actually shown (even with just the one loss), but if they start losing games, I’ll certainly amend my ranking accordingly.

  8. KDoyle says:

    Garik, but it is more than just Indiana’s win over Ohio State. Look at both schedules and the wins each have had…hard to say that Ohio State should be ranked much higher than Indiana.

    We can all say that Ohio State should be ranked higher because they ostensibly have more talent and “look” better, but the resumes would suggest that Indiana may be better.

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