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Patriot League Power Rankings Jan 21: Holy Cross, American Challenge the Numbers

In a league like the Patriot League, all it takes is one loss to alter your standing. Holy Cross is on the rise after a good week that included a win over one of the teams it jumped.

Eric Green can fly. For real.
Eric Green can fly. For real.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Martin Luther King Day holiday was taken by the power rankings as well, but they are back with a vengeance and some numbers that may shock all of your quiet sensibilities. The Patriot League has gotten somewhat out of hand with teams beating teams they shouldn't while only a pair of teams seem particularly concerned with taking care of business every time out. The most unpredictable power rankings in the country are taking a week from rationality as well, which you will see very early on in the rankings.

So without further posturing, on to the rankings.

1. BU Terriers (13-6, 6-0; Rating Average 1)

Another week, another unanimous No. 1 for Joe Jones & Co. This team has separated itself from the pack with convincing wins over the bottom two-thirds of the Patriot League and a solid 10-point win over Holy Cross. This week again saw them take care of business against a pair of also-rans, but the next three games will see their mettle tested as American, Bucknell and Army await them. Change could be coming at the top after those three games, but I wouldn't predict anything too drastic.

Last Week's Ranking: 1
Schedule: 1/22 at American, 7:30 p.m.; 1/25 at Bucknell, 2:00 p.m.

2. American Eagles (10-7, 6-0; Rating Average 3.4)

American, much like BU, has simply gone about its business throughout conference play. The Eagles are 6-0 and have only played on game that ended as a one-possession game. John Schoof picked up some scoring slack this week and earned himself Player of the Week honors, which were much deserved. Much like BU, we will find out a lot about American this week with games against the Terriers and Army on the docket.

Last Week's Ranking: 2
Schedule: 1/22 vs. BU, 7:30 p.m.; 1/25 at Army, 4:00 p.m.

3. Holy Cross Crusaders (9-9, 3-3; Rating Average 3)

Whoa! Thats the sound of the trend being bucked. Holy Cross' RPI and Strength of Schedule gave it an edge over American in the numbers, but when you lose by 15 at home to the team the numbers say you're better than I can't in all good conscience rank you higher. Sorry, Milan Brown. But Holy Cross has shown me something the last two games as Malachi Alexander has stepped his game back up and was crucial in the Crusaders' win over Army. Things are starting to jell in Worcester and next week I may just have reason to put them above the Eagles.

Last Week's Ranking: 4
Schedule: 1/22 at Lafayette, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 at Navy, TBA

4. Army Black Knights (9-8, 5-1; Rating Average 5.6)

Army fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a loss to Holy Cross this week, but rebounded with a win over Bucknell to close the week out. Tanner Plomb and Kyle Wilson traded high scoring games with 29 and 28 respectively, which lends itself to how dangerous this offense can be any given night. Unfortunately, the overall schedule Army has played is murdering its potential for growth in these rankings, but once we get through one round of games those numbers will probably get thrown out in favor of the eye test.

Last Week's Ranking: 5
Schedule: 1/22 at Colgate, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 vs. American, 4:00 p.m.

5. Bucknell Bison (8-9, 3-3; Rating Average 4.8)

An 0-2 week for the Bison is tough to swallow, especially when one of those losses comes to lowly Navy team, but the Bison are helped by their RPI and strong BBState Rating. Things should even out for Bucknell at some point, but at the other than Navy they have pretty much beaten who they should beat and lost to who they should lose to. Expectations were high to kick off the conference season and they have proven themselves to be good enough to hang with the big guys in the league.

Last Week's Ranking: 3
Schedule: 1/22 vs. Loyola, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 vs. BU, 2:00 p.m.

6. Loyola Greyhounds (8-9, 3-3; Rating Average 6.4)

Loyola kept it close with BU for a little bit, but the Terriers quality prevailed. When Dylon Cormier only takes eight shots, things certainly aren't going to plan and R.J. Williams' 0-for-6 night definitely didn't help matters. Much like Bucknell, Loyola has beaten the teams they're supposed to beat (Navy, Lafayette, Lehigh) and lost to who they should have lost to (Army, American, BU).

Last Week's Ranking: 7
Schedule: 1/22 at Bucknell, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 vs. Colgate, 1:00 p.m.

7. Colgate Raiders (7-10, 1-5; Rating Average 6.6)

Matt Langel's team finally got on the board with a win over Navy this week, ending the long national nightmare that has been the first half of Colgate's Patriot League season. Even the Raiders' loss, a 66-58 defeat at the hands of BU, was encouraging thanks to 27 points from Murphy Burnatowski. Whether or not the momentum of its lone win can carry over will be interesting to watch when Colgate hosts Army on Wednesday.

Last Week's Ranking: 8
Schedule: 1/22 vs. Army, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 at Loyola 1:00 p.m.

8. Lehigh Mountain Hawks (8-11, 1-5; Rating Average 7.2)

Poor, poor Lehigh. After a double-overtime win over then power-ranked No. 1 Colgate, things have really fallen apart for the Mountain Hawks. In fairness, losses to BU, Army, Loyola, American and Holy Cross do not warrant shame, but you have to think that Lehigh's expectations were to have more than one win at this stage of conference play. This last loss, a 61-42 loss to Holy Cross, might be rock bottom and with Navy and Lafayette on the horizon things can only get better.

Last Week's Ranking: 6
Schedule: 1/22 at Navy, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 vs. Lafayette, 7:00 p.m.

9. Navy Midshipmen (7-10, 2-4; Rating Average 8.4)

Navy has run the gamut of emotions since Patriot League play started and the roller coaster is likely to keep flipping over. BU was a low point, then the near-win against Army showed progress that culminated in a win over Bucknell. The Mids then crashed back to earth in a loss to then-winless Colgate by 22 points. Fellow disappointment Lehigh is up next and if the Mountain Hawks approach that game like Colgate did, it could be more disappointment for Navy up ahead.

Last Week's Ranking: 10
Schedule: 1/22 vs. Lehigh, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 vs. Holy Cross, TBA

10. Lafayette Leopards (4-13, 0-6; Rating Average 8.6)

Fran O'Hanlon must be pulling his hair out over this team. The Leopards are allowing 1.156 points per possession on defense, which is good for last in the Patriot League and No. 343 in NCAA Division I. There are 351 teams competing. The worst news is that a win may be further away than anticipated with Holy Cross and Lehigh on the schedule this week. Things are bad, and I'm not sure they could be worse.

Last Week's Ranking: 9
Schedule: 1/22 vs. Holy Cross, 7:00 p.m.; 1/25 at Lehigh, 7:00 p.m.