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Big South Round Up: Time for Conference Play

It's time for conference play! Who is riding a hot hand and who is limping into a New Years Eve kickoff in the Big South?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Well that's went by quickly... Non-conference play is over, besides Charleston Southern taking on a non-Division I on Monday, and the picture in the Big South is about as clear as mud. Here is a look at the Power Rankings as we turn to an exciting New Years Eve in the Big South.

1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-3, LW 1): Cliff Ellis and the Chants took the week off in Conway and now will have a tough start to conference play with a trip to High Point and a home match up against rival Charleston Southern. Like the rest of the conference we'll learn a lot quickly about this squad.

2. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (8-5, LW 5): The Bulldogs got the win of the week early on by upsetting Purdue on the road Monday night. Tim Crafts sqaud will now start the conference slate with two road games againt Presbyterian and UNC Asheville.

3. Radford Highlanders (9-4, LW 2): Radford destroyed non-D1 Central Penn by 50 in their only game of the week and now the Highlanders roll into conference play with a home match up against UNC Asheville on the docket before heading to Longwood for an in-state rivalry game.

4. High Point Panthers (9-3, LW 3): Yes, High Point did get a nearly 40 point win against a non-Division I opponent but the story right now is why has John Brown not started the last two games? Rumblings from North Carolina point to Brown missing practice time for family matters, but that seems like a harsh penalty. Scott Cherry's team will be tested right off the bat with Coastal Carolina coming to town before a trip a to Rock Hill to face Winthrop.

5. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (5-5, LW 4): The Bucs lost their fourth straight at #24 Colorado State this week but they'll get above .500 with a Monday non-D1 match up. CSU is the lone sqaud missing out on the New Years Eve openers and will instead start Satruday with a road trip to rival Coastal Carolina. O yea, big thanks to the Big South for puttting rivalry games in the slate when students are away, BOOOO!

6. Winthrop Eagles (5-6, LW 7): It was a week off in Rock Hill and the Eagles now get to enjoy a pair of home games againnst Longwood and High Point. Can Pat Kelsey's squad get things back on track?

7. Campbell Fighting Camels (6-7, LW 6): So much for momentum... The Camels got a big win over UNCW and then lost to rebuilding Samford. How good or bad are the Camels? I don't know. We'll get a good measuring stick against Liberty right off the bat.

8. Longwood Lancers (4-9, LW 8): Longwood nearly upset Ball State on the road and may have played their best game of the year behind an inspired effort from Shaquille Johnson. The Big South did the Lancers no favors though with three of their first four games away from home including the opener against Winthrop this week.

9. Liberty Flames (6-7, LW 9): The Flames got by non-D1 Cincinnati Christian by 20 and now they basically get the softest start in the conference with match ups against Campbell and Presbyterian.

10. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (4-7, LW 10): Hopefully the Bulldogs focused on their week off as they have a brutal start to the season with a trip to Radford and a home match up against UNC Asheville.

11. Presbyterian Blue Hose (4-9, LW 11): After a loss to Virginia Tech the Blue Hose are still searching for their first D1 win. Gardner-Webb and Liberty await PC this week.