Time to send off another Top 25 ballot to the Associated Press.
This one was hard, because I had 27 worthy candidates for 25 slots.
It was an easy call to kick out Northern Iowa after it lost to Evansville, even though it did beat Ill. State.
That made room for Maryland.
But that only opened up one slot. I wanted to add 3 new teams. Who else to evict?
I kicked out Richmond after its double-OT loss at Xavier. I hated, hated to do it, but I had to make room for Xavier. I hope the Spiders bounce back so I can put them back in next week’s ballot.
I also kicked out Gonzaga, even though it beat Santa Clara and San Francisco. But I wanted to make room for Oklahoma State, and somebody had to go. I thought about kicking out BYU, but I opted for the Zags. I would have kicked the Zags out of last week’s ballot because of that loss to Loyola Marymount, but I only needed to make room for one team last week, and kicking out Wake Forest accomplished that. But now I need the room, so bye bye Zags. But again, don’t be surprised if they return to the ballot next week should others stumble.
Here is my ballot:
1. Syracuse moves up 2 spots after beating Providence and Villanova. Yes, SU is my alma mater, but of course they have to be No. 1 after Kansas and Kentucky (and Purdue) lost. Next: home game Tues with St. John’s and big Sat visit to Louisville.
2. Kansas drops one spot after beating Oklahoma and losing to Oklahoma St. Next: big home game Wed with Kansas State and visit Sat to Missouri.
3. Kentucky falls one spot after beating South Carolina and losing to Tennessee. Next: Wed visit to Georgia and Sun home game with Florida.
4. Duke moves up one spot after beating Tulsa and UVa. Next: huge game Wed at Maryland, and Sat. home game with UNC.
5. Kansas St. moves up one spot after beating Texas Tech and Mizzou. Next: huge visit Wed to Kansas, and Sat home game with Iowa St.
6. Purdue falls 2 spots after beating Minnesota and, minus injured Robbie Hummel, losing to Mich. State. I’ve got a feeling Purdue will be falling even farther in the coming weeks, but for now, two spots feels right after a 1-1 week.
7. New Mexico moves up 3 spots after beating Colorado State and winning at BYU. Next: Wed home game with TCU.
8. Ohio St. moves up one spot after beating Penn St. and Michigan. Next: Tues home game with Illinois.
9. Villanova falls two spots after beating South Florida and gettting crushed at Syracuse. Wildcats have lost 3 of their last 4. Next: Tues visit to Cincinnati and big home game Sat with WVU.
10. Vanderbilt moves up 3 spots after beating Georgia and Arkansas. Next: Tues visit to Florida and Sat home game with South Carolina.
11. Mich. State moves up 5 spots after winning at Purdue. Next: Thurs home game with Penn State and Sun home game with Michigan.
12. West Virginia falls 4 spots after losing to UConn and beating Cincinnati. Next: big home game Monday with Georgetown and big game Sat. at Villanova.
13. Tennessee moves up two spots after losing to Florida but beating Kentucky. I hate to move teams up after a 1-1 week, but that Kentucky win deserves some recognition in terms of a move up. And it’s not like there were other teams that cried out for this spot, over a team that has beaten both Kansas and Kentucky this year. Next: Wed home game with Arkansas and Sat visit to Miss. St.
14. Butler stays here after beating Valpo. Next: Horizon League tournament.
15. Georgetown falls 4 spots after beating Louisville and losing to Notre Dame (great week for the Irish, by the way). Hoyas have lost 3 of 4. Next: big game Monday at WVU, and Sat home game with Cincy.
16. Pitt falls 4 spots after losing to N. Dame and beating St. John’s. Next: home games Thurs and Sat with Providence and Rutgers.
17. Temple moves up one spot after beating Dayton and La Salle. Next: big visit Wed to St Louis and Sat home game with GW.
18. Baylor moves up 6 spots after beating Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Next: Tues visit to Texas Tech and big home game Sat with Texas.
19. Wisconsin moves up 2 spots after beating Indiana. Next: Wed home game with Iowa and Sun visit to Illinois.
20. Maryland cracks my ballot here after beating Clemson and winning at Va Tech in 2 OT to extend its win streak to six games. Maryland is behind Wisconsin, which beat the Terps early in the year. Next: huge home game Wed with Duke, and Sat visit to UVa. Will Terps still be on my ballot next week?
21. Xavier cracks my ballot here after winning at St. Louis and beating Richmond in double OT. Atlantic 10 co-leader has won five straight, including a win at Florida. Next: Wed visit to Fordham and Sat home game with St. Bonaventure.
22. Texas A&M stays here after losing to Baylor and beating Texas. Next: big home game Wed with Oklahoma St., and Sat. visit to Oklahoma.
23. BYU falls 4 spots after beating San Diego State and losing at home to New Mexico. I thought long and hard about kicking out BYU instead of Richmond, but decided to leave Lobos in. Next: visits Wed and Sat to Utah and TCU.
24. Texas moves up one spot after beating Oklahoma St. and losing to Texas A&M. Next: Mon home game with Oklahoma and big game Sat at Baylor.
25. Oklahoma State cracks my ballot here after losing at Texas and beating Kansas. Six Big 12 teams on the ballot? Yep. I know some folks will say UTEP deserves to be in the AP poll this week, or that I should not have dropped Richmond or Gonzaga, but I think Oklahoma State deserves a shout-out. Oklahoma State has 20 wins, including 8 in the Big 12, and their resume now includes a win at Kansas State and home wins over A&M, Baylor and Kansas. That’s 4 wins over Top 25 teams. Looks like a Top 25 team to me. Compare their resume to Gonzaga and tell me Oklahoma St. doesn’t deserve to be ranked this week. And their resume is way better than UTEP, which cracked the coaches poll last week and might crack the AP poll this week. Next: Wed visit to A&M and Sat home game with Nebraska. Will they still be on the ballot next week?