Time to send a new Top 25 ballot to The Associated Press.
I’m sure many of my peers are kicking UNC off their ballots tonight, but I didn’t have to because I already did so last week. Same goes for NC State.
I did kick out Kentucky after its losses to Notre Dame and Baylor.
I also evicted Colorado after it needed two overtimes to beat Texas Southern and then lost at Wyoming. Tough call because they’ve got some nice wins over Baylor and Murray State, but this was a bad week for the Buffaloes. They might be back on the ballot very soon, though.
I also booted Mich. State after its loss at Miami, although it was a very close call because of its quality wins. I am sure MSU will be back on the ballot soon.
I also booted Ohio University after its loss to Robert Morris.
Here is my ballot:
1. Duke stays here after beating Ohio State and Delaware. Again, I am going Duke over Indiana for the top spot because of Duke’s resume so far, which includes wins over Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State. That’s a great body of work for this early in the season. Next: good game Sat. at Temple.
2. Indiana stays here after crushing UNC and beating Coppin St. Next: Sat. vs Central Conn.
3. Syracuse moves up two spots after winning at Arkansas. Next: E. Michigan on Monday, Long Beach St. on Thurs. and Monmouth on Sat.
4. Michigan moves up two spots after beating NC State and Bradley. Next: W. Mich. on Tuesday and Arkansas on Sat.
5. Florida moves up two spots after beating Marquette. Next: a visit to reeling FSU, coming off losses to Minn. and Mercer, on Wed.
6. Louisville drops two spots after rallying to beat Ill. State. Louisville misses its injured center. Without him, Cardinals just not as good. Moving them down because the others had better wins this week, and I think the others are better than the Cardinals until they get their center back.
7. Ohio St. drops four spots after losing at Duke and beating N. Kentucky. Next: Long Beach State on Saturday. That’s a tough 2 games in 3 days for Long Beach.
8. Gonzaga stays here after beating Lewis Clark St. and Pacific. Next: visit to Wash. St. on Wed. and big game with Illinois on Sat.
9. Arizona moves up a spot after beating N. Arizona and Texas Tech. Next: visit to Clemson on Sat.
10. Cincinnati moves up a spot after beating Alabama. Next: Arkansas Little Rock on Thurs. and Maryland Eastern Shore on Sat.
11. Missouri moves up a spot after beating App. St. Next; Southeast Mo. St. on Tues. and Tenn. St. on Sat.
12. Kansas moves up seven spots after beating San Jose St. and Oregon St. Next: good game with Colorado on Sat.
13. New Mexico moves up three spots after beating Mercer and Indiana St. (in OT). Next: Southern Cal on Wed. and Ben Boggs and Valpo on Sat.
14. UConn moves up 3 spots after beating New Hampshire. UConn is no longer in the poll, but I still believe they deserve to be because they have a good win over Mich. State and their lone loss to New Mexico is no shame. Next: good game Tuesday vs. NC State in the Jimmy V Classic in NYC on Tues. and Harvard on Friday.
15. Wichita St. moves up six spots after beating Tulsa and Air Force. Wichita State is still not ranked, but they deserve to be. Hopefully they crack the poll Monday. Next: N. Colorado on Sat.
16. San Diego State moves up seven spots after beating UCLA. Next: Mon. vs. Texas Southern and Wed. vs. UC Santa Barbara
17. Oregon moves up seven spots after beating Texas San Antonio and Arkansas Pine Bluff. Another team not ranked yet, but that Nov. 23 win at UNLV deserves more respect. Next: Idaho St. on Sat.
18. Illinois moves up seven spots after beating Ga. Tech. Next: W. Carolina on Tues. and big game at Gonzaga on Sat.
19. Virginia Tech cracks my ballot here after beating Iowa and Oklahoma St. The Hokies had played a weak schedule until this past week, but the win over the Cowboys sold me. Will they be in the poll Monday? Next: at WVU on Sat.
20.Oklahoma St. drops six spots after losing at Va. Tech. Next: South Fla. on Wed. and Missouri St. on Sat.
21. Boise St. cracks my ballot here after winning at Creighton and at Seattle. One of the biggest road wins of the week, beating a good Creighton team. Hey, great week for the Moutain West — Boise beats a previously unbeaten Creighton team on the road, Wyoming upsets previously unbeaten Colorado at home and San Diego St. beats UCLA in Anaheim (although that was hardly a shocker). Boise’s only loss was at Mich. State. Next: Wed at. Utah.
22. Georgetown stays here after beating Tenn. Sorry, but when you only score 37 points, you don’t move up my ballot. Next: Texas on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic in NYC and Sat. vs. Towson.
23. Creighton drops 14 spots after losing at home to Boise and squashing St. Joe’s. Creighton still deserves to be ranked. Next: Thurs. at Nebraska.
24. These next two spots were tricky. For this spot, Minnesota cracked my ballot after winning at FSU and beating N. Florida. I hesitated only because that win over FSU isn’t as impressive after Mercer won at FSU on Sunday. But Minn. also has beaten Memphis and Stanford, and the lone loss was to Duke. And Minnesota passes the statistical test as a Top 25 team. So one week after they cracked the AP poll, I am now in agreement. Next: Tues. vs. South Dakota St. and Sat. at Southern Cal.
25. For this last spot, I looked at VCU, Temple, UNLV and Pitt. I looked hard at keeping Colorado on my ballot, but it had a down week. I looked hard at unbeaten Wyoming after its win over Colorado, but I want to see Wyoming a bit more before ranking them because of their previously weak schedule. I also looked hard at keeping Michigan State on the ballot because of its earlier wins over Kansas and Boise, but MSU did lose at Miami this past week. I also looked hard at Baylor after its win at Kentucky, but the recent loss to College of Charleston leaves me wanting to see Baylor just a bit more before I put them back on my ballot. I also looked hard at Notre Dame, but its home win over Kentucky was not as impressive once Baylor won at Kentucky. So I want to see the Irish just a bit more before putting them back on my ballot.
So in the end I went with Miami at No. 25 after it beat Mich. State and won at UMass. Notre Dame, Baylor and Wyoming each had a good win this week, but I went with Miami because it beat a good Mich State team. Yes, Miami opened with a loss to Fla. Gulf Coast, but that was before Durand Scott came back from his suspension. Next: Fri. vs. unbeaten Charlotte.