Every year we get a few weeks where it seems like everyone in our rankings loses and we’re left scrambling to put together a somewhat sensical ballot.
This was one of those weeks.
Outside of the top three teams, The Other Top 25 saw a MAJOR shake up from week four to week five, highlighted best by BYU falling from No. 6 all the way out of the rankings and Radford debuting at No. 13.
Both moves might sound aggressive, and they are. Aggressive, but justified. BYU started the season ranked so high because of the makeup of its roster. The Cougars were supposed to be the second-best team in the West Coast Conference behind Yoeli Childs and TJ Haws. That benefit of the doubt kept them in the top 10 after an understandable loss to Nevada and a string of ho-hum wins. Then BYU lost three in a row, including a 10-point defeat at Weber State this week. If the Cougars want to re-enter the rankings, they need to string some Ws together against teams better than, say, Oral Roberts.
As for Radford, well, how many other teams have road wins at two Power 5 opponents? The Highlanders caught our eye in week two with a win at Notre Dame. Then they went to Austin and beat Texas on Friday, more than making up for their one blemish against a solid Duquesne team. They’ve got a tough road ahead, however, with games at Ohio, Clemson, and UNC Greensboro on the horizon. Let’s see how long they can stay in our top 15.
A few more notes: KenPom has loved Utah State this season, and with a pair of wins against Northern Iowa and at UC Irvine, the Aggies jumped all the way into the poll to No. 12. They were one of the first teams out last week, so the leap isn’t quite as big as Radford’s, but it’s still substantial. Perhaps we should have taken the hint after their neutral court win over Saint Mary’s and near-upset against Arizona State. Wofford and Charleston were the other newcomers. The Fightin’ Fletchers destroyed South Carolina, while the Cougars have won four in a row, knocking off UAB and Memphis along the way.
Here’s the complete poll:
The Other Top 25: Week 9
|14||South Dakota State||12-6||11||133|
Also receiving votes: San Diego (30), Georgia State (29), Murray State (22), VCU (20), Southern Illinois (19), Georgia Southern (13), Texas Southern (13), New Mexico State (11), Liberty (9), BYU (9), Indiana State (8), Northern Kentucky (7), Ball State (6), New Mexico (5), Stony Brook (5), The Citadel (3), Old Dominion (1), Fresno State (1), Harvard (1).