Sunday, January 26, 2014

Michigan Makes Big Jump in My AP Top 25 This Week

The big winners in my AP Top 25 this week are Michigan, Texas and Creighton.

The Wolverines jump 12 spots, from 16 to 4, after a tremendous week in which they beat No. 3 Michigan State (on the road) and No. 10 Iowa. Couple that with another road win last week at (then) No. 3 Wisconsin, and that's a brilliant three-game stretch for the Wolverines, who are 7-0 in the Big Ten. John Beilein can coach a little, eh?

I also welcome back Creighton and, for the first time, welcome Rick Barnes' Texas Longhorns. I knocked the Blue Jays out last week after they got blitzed at Providence, but welcome them right back after they destroyed No. 4 Villanova on the road on Monday, 96-68. (By the way, that loss to PC isn't so bad. The Friars are, as of right now, an NCAA tournament team, even without Brandon Austin and Kris Dunn).

Texas, meanwhile, gets the nod after winning at No. 24 Baylor and at home against No. 22 Kansas State this week. This after beating No. 16 Iowa State last week, giving it three straight wins over ranked teams. The Longhorns will look to make it four straight when they host No. 8 Kansas on Saturday.

So, with two new teams, I had to knock two out. Kansas State was easy, after a two-loss week. The other was trickier (keep in mind, I didn't have Baylor ranked). I wound up booting Ohio State, whom I had ranked No. 17 last week. The Buckeyes lost at Nebraska on Monday, their fourth straight loss. And while they bounced back with a perfunctory home win over Illinois on Thursday, I have a tough time ranking any team that's lost four of its last five games.

Elsewhere, I kept UConn at No. 23 after wins over Temple and Rutgers. I'm starting to like my SMU at No. 25 all the more, though I was one of only two voters to vote for the Mustangs last week. And I righted a wrong by moving San Diego State up a few notches and moving Kansas over Oklahoma State, whom the Jayhawks beat two weeks ago.

1.       Arizona
2.       Syracuse
3.       Florida
4.       Michigan
5.       Wichita State
6.       San Diego State
7.       Michigan State
8.       Kansas
9.       Oklahoma State
10.   Villanova
11.   Cincinnati
12.   Louisville
13.   Kentucky
14.   Wisconsin
15.   Saint Louis
16.   Iowa
17.   Pittsburgh
18.   Duke
19.   Iowa State
20.   Creighton
21.   Texas
22.   UMass
23.   UConn
24.   Memphis
25.   SMU

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

SMU didn't belong there last week in front of Creighton, and probably doesn't belong there this week in front of a lot of teams including Providence. Strength of schedule isn't there and I think they've lost to the only ranked teams they've played.

January 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a hard time stomaching Wichita St. at #5. The eye-test is the best and only argument one could subjectively make, as they play a cakewalk opponent night-in, night-out. What quality wins do they have? Tennessee, St. Louis? Moreover, there's not one team on their roster that can trouble them until tournament time. I'm penciling in the first round upset for whichever 15 seed gets matched up against them.

January 26, 2014 at 11:50 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...

I could very well be wrong about SMU, but we'll know better over the next couple of weeks. I wouldn't bet against Larry Brown.

January 27, 2014 at 7:26 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big East is 4th best conference in RPI, yet get little respect nationally in polls. To only have two teams in there and ignore Xavier and Providence is a sin while at least on this one there are four AAC teams.

A team like SMU in the AAC just finished a week when they played Hofstra (#239 RPI) at home, Rutgers (#193 RPI) at home, and then travelled to Houston (#164 RPI). It's a different world of competition. Meanwhile, the Big East only has one team out of the top 100, and that's Seton Hall at 110.

January 27, 2014 at 8:59 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that should put an end the SMU to top-25 brigade

January 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM 
Blogger David Borges said...


January 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM 

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