Time to send another Top 25 ballot to The Associated Press.
Unlike other voters, I did not have to kick out Pitt after its 0-2 week because I have not been ranking Pitt.
I did kick out New Mexico after its 60-46 loss at St. Louis, but I’m sure the Lobos will be back on the ballot soon.
I also evicted Cincinnati after its home loss to St. John’s.
I also booted Georgetown after its loss at Marquette, although I am sure the Hoyas, like the Bearcats, will be back on the ballot soon.
I also kicked out Ohio State after its 74-55 loss to Illinois. Unlike many voters, I did not have OSU too high — I only had them at No. 22 last week. Ohio State has not lost to any bad teams — Duke, Kansas and Illinois — but they do not have a single marquee win on their resume. I want to see them beat someone of quality before I put them back on my ballot.
Here is the ballot:
1. Duke stays here after beating Davidson and Wake. Next: Clemson on Tuesday and huge game Sat at NC State. Will Saturday be Duke’s first loss of the season?
2. Michigan stays here after beating Northwestern and Iowa. Next: Wed. vs Nebraska and big game Sunday at Ohio St. Will Sunday be Michigan’s first loss, or will OSU whiff against a good team again?
3. Louisville moves up a spot after beating Providence. Next: Wed, at Seton Hall and Sat. vs. South Florida.
4. Arizona falls a spot after beating Colorado in OT thanks to a fortunate call in regulation nd a close shave against Utah. Don’t usually drop unbeaten teams, but Arizona did not play like the No. 3 team in the nation this week. Next: huge game Thursday at Oregon and a Sat. game at Oregon State. Will Thursday be Arizona’s first loss?
5. Indiana stays here after beating Iowa. Next: Mon. at Penn State and big game Saturday against Minnesota.
6. Kansas moves up a spot after rallying at home to beat a good Temple squad (I have a feeling Temple will be on my ballot soon). Next: Wed vs Iowa State and Sat vs Texas Tech
7. Gonzaga moves up two spots after winning at Oklahoma State and beating Pepperdine and Santa Clara. I am moving them ahead of Syracuse because of that win at Oklahoma State. Next: Thursday against Saint Mary’s.
8. Syracuse stays here after beating Central Connecticut, Rutgers and South Florida. Next: Wed. at Providence and Sat. against Villanova.
9. Minnesota moves up 3 spots after beating Michigan State and Northwestern. That win over Michigan State makes them worthy of the top 10. Next: big game Wed at Illinois and another big game Sat. at Indiana. Tough week.
10. Butler stays here after beating Penn and New Orleans. Next: Wed. at St Joe’s and Sat. at Dayton.
11. Creighton stays here after beating Ill. State and Indiana State. Next: Tues. vs. Drake and Friday at Missouri State.
12. Missouri moves up 2 spots after beating a good Bucknell team (assuming Bucknell wins the Patriot League because of McCollum’s unfortunate injury in Lehigh’s loss Saturday, I wouldn’t want to play Bucknell in the NCAAs(. Next: Tues. vs. Alabama and Sat. at Ole Miss.
13. Illinois falls 7 spots after losing to Purdue and squashing Ohio State. Next: huge game Wed vs Minnesota and a Sat game at Wisconsin.
14. San Diego State moves up a spot after beating Cal State Bakersfield. Next: Wed at Fresno State and good test Saturday against Colorado State.
15. Kansas State cracks my ballot here after beating Oklahoma State. That and their previous good win over Florida makes them a top-15 team to me. Their only losses were to Michigan and Gonzaga. Next: Sat at lowly WVU.
16. NC State moves up 3 spots after beating UNC Greensboro and BC. Next: Wed against Ga. Tech and the big game Sat with Duke.
17. Florida moves up 3 spots after beating Yale. Next: Wed vs Georgia and Sat at LSU
18. Marquette cracks my ballot here after beating UConn and Georgetown. That’s a very nice week. Their resume also includes a win over Wisconsin. Two of their losses were to Butler and Florida, but they do have a humbling loss to Green Bay. Still, that 2-0 week deserves a spot on my ballot. Next: Sat. at Pitt.
19. Wyoming moves up 4 spots after beating SMU to stay unbeaten. Next: good test Wed against Boise State and a Sat visit to Nevada.
20. Oregon moves up 4 spots after beating Nevada and Oregon State. Next: huge game Thursday with Arizona and a Sun game with Arizona St.
21. Michigan State stays here after losing to Minn. and beating Purdue. Next: Thurs at Iowa and Sun vs. Nebraska.
22. Notre Dame moves up 3 spots after beating Seton Hall. Next: big game Monday at Cincinnati and a Sat game with UConn.
23. Wichita State returns to my ballot here after beating Drake and Bradley. Next: Wed against Southern Illinois and Sun at Evansville.
24. VCU returnst to my ballot here after beating ETSU and Lehigh. Rams have won 9 in a row since their back to back losses to Duke and Mizzou. Next: Wed against Dayton and Sat at St. Bonaventure.
25. For this last spot, I thought about keeping Ohio State or Cincinnati on my ballot. I looked very hard at New Mexico and Georgetown. But in the end, I decided to drop Oklahoma State 8 spots to here. Yes. the Cowboys went 0-2 this week. But they only lost by a point to Gonzaga, albeit at home, and they lost by 6 at K-State. Those are good teams they lost to, and they didn’t get blown out like Ohio State did. And they do have a nice win over NC State on their resume — a better win than New Mexico or Georgetown, albeit back in November. So I decided to bump the Lobos and Hoyas and Buckeyes and Bearcats but keep the Cowboys. Hard to punish Oklahoma State too too much with that kind of week, even if it was an 0-2 week. Next: Wed vs TCU and Sat at Oklahoma