This was the wrong week for Murray State and Bucknell to lose.
New Mexico saw its first loss of the season, sending the Lobos into the realm of the unranked. North Carolina suffered the same fate. There were spots for the taking.
But moving into the rankings were Pittsburgh and Kansas State, not any of the mid-major contenders. Not even Wichita State, which lost its spot because of a single loss could move back in. The Shockers are struggling with injuries, and despite continuing to win, they couldn't advance.
The most likely mid-majors to move up, Murray State and Bucknell, both took losses this week. Murray State lost its chance to pick up a strong win against Dayton. Bucknell dropped a game to Princeton.
That isn't a formula for gaining votes in the AP Poll, especially when moving up has been difficult for both teams. Murray State had been stuck on less than 10 votes all season. Bucknell had only just grabbed its first vote.
So the mid-major population in the poll is even smaller this week. Just Gonzaga and Creighton are ranked. No one other than Wichita State is even receiving votes.
We keep hearing how things are wide open this season, but the mid-majors are just struggling to make that happen, even to get into the contender pack.
Here is the full AP Top 25 for Week 8:
|17||San Diego State||11-1||557||18|
|23||North Carolina State||9-2||264||25|
Others Receiving Votes: New Mexico 66, Kentucky 37, Temple 36, Wyoming 28, Virginia Commonwealth 16, North Carolina 16, Wichita State 11, Maryland 7, Oregon 6, Connecticut 6.