Power Rankings: January 7, 2019

Hey guys, here’s this week’s top 25!

1. Duke (12-1, 1-0 ACC; 0)
2. Virginia (13-0, 1-0 ACC; +4)
3. Michigan (15-0, 4-0 Big Ten; +1)
4. Kansas (12-2, 1-1 Big XII; -2)
5. Michigan State (13-2, 4-0 Big Ten; +4)
6. Tennessee (11-1, 1-0 SEC; +1)
7. Oklahoma (12-2, 1-1 Big XII; -4)
8. Gonzaga (14-2, 1-0 WCC; 0)
9. Nevada (14-1, 1-1 MWC; -4)
10. Houston (15-0, 2-0 AAC; +3)
11. TCU (12-1, 1-0 Big XII; +1)
12. Auburn (10-2; +2)
13. Virginia Tech (13-1, 2-0 ACC; +3)
14. Texas Tech (13-1, 2-0 Big XII; +4)
15. Mississippi State (12-1; 0)
16. Ohio State (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten; -6)
17. North Carolina (11-3, 1-0 ACC; +7)
18. Iowa State (12-2, 2-0 Big XII; +8)
19. Florida State (12-2, 0-1 ACC; -8)
20. Buffalo (12-1, 1-0 MAC; -1)
21. St John’s (14-1, 2-1 Big East; +13)
22. UCF (12-2, 2-0 AAC; +6)
23. Texas (10-4, 2-0 Big XII; +12)
24. Maryland (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten; +15)
25. Minnesota (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten; +6)
26-30. Indiana, Marquette, Kentucky, Wisconsin, LSU

A ton of new entries in this week’s top 25!

– Iowa State is in after being #26 last Monday, making huge strides forward by destroying Kansas on Saturday.
– Next is St. John’s, who rebounded nicely from the loss of their unbeaten record in the previous week to beat Marquette handily.
– UCF makes their first appearance in the top 25 this season! The Knights have solid wins over Alabama and Temple and two losses by a combined total of three points, so I’m curious how they fare throughout the AAC season.
– Texas is back: the Longhorns had fallen out of the top 25 last time, having lost to Providence at home, but two Big XII conference wins see them rise up to fill the void left by some of the departing teams. They’re the first team so far this season to be ranked with 4 losses.
– Maryland is also a new entry, maybe for the first time this season? The Terps have some heartbreaking losses this year, losing to Virginia, Seton Hall and Purdue by a combined 11 points for their only three losses. There’s not a ton of marquee results there, but margin of victory (or defeat) matters around these parts, and it seems like Maryland could be a potential factor in the Big Ten.
– So too could Minnesota, the last team in the top 25 this week. They only played once this week, but what a result it was, a huge victory on the road against their biggest rival, Wisconsin. Unlike Maryland, Minnesota’s two losses were both convincing results (Boston College and Ohio State), but their wins look a little better too.

So that’s six new teams in the top 25, meaning six teams had to fall out:
– Tough beat for Indiana, who fell at Michigan yesterday. There’s definitely an argument to put them not only in the top 25, but in the top 20, but they wind up just outside the rankings here.
– As mentioned earlier, Marquette got absolutely whacked by St. John’s on Tuesday, which knocks them out from their position of 21st last week.
– Kentucky drops out again, continuing their yoyoing. No real bad losses here, but they played so many incredibly bad teams in their non-conference schedule that they’ve been slightly punished by the computer here. I know we collectively don’t really care about the RPI any more, but their RPI ranks 35th.
– Also as mentioned above, Wisconsin took a home L from their rivals from Minnesota this week, enough to knock them out from their position of 22nd.
– Now, the real bad stuff: Cincinnati actually lost to East Carolina this week. I didn’t believe that when I saw it in my data set, so I actually had to go check external sources to make sure it was real, and it was. The American conference always has these terrible, terrible teams that will torpedo your résumé at worst, and torpedo your strength of schedule at best. (It’s those bottom-feeders, not the teams at the top, that are keeping the AAC from being viewed as a power conference.) This year those teams are East Carolina and Tulane. Losing to those teams is about as bad a thing as can happen to a team from a quality conference.
– Last and least, we’ve got Nebraska. Nebraska got huge accolades from me in yesterday’s Season Sim post, where they made the simulated Final Four, but while I was typing that up, the Huskers were in the midst of losing already their third conference game in four tries, this time at Iowa. All four of their losses have been away from home, and all the evidence suggests they’re going to bounce back, but they just don’t have the accomplishments yet.

Notable unranked teams include #31 Louisville, #32 Villanova, #33 Purdue, #34 Cincinnati, #35 Nebraska, #42 Arizona State, #43 Arizona, #46 Syracuse, #47 Arkansas, #50 Washington, #57 Missouri, #65 Saint Louis, #68 UCLA, #114 USC, #120 Connecticut, #168 Illinois State, #191 Illinois, and #299 SIU-Edwardsville into the top 300! The new lowest-ranked team is #353 New Hampshire, who are 0-12 against Division 1 opposition, 9 of those 12 opponents ranking in the bottom half of D1. If you’d like for me to give your team a shoutout in these sections, just let me know! Otherwise, the full 1-353 rankings are available on the website (and I plan on updating that every morning).

Games of the Week:

1. Tennessee (-2.5) @ Florida, Saturday
2. Texas Tech (-1.5) @ Texas, Saturday
3. North Carolina (-2) @ NC State, Tuesday
4. Purdue @ Wisconsin (-2), Friday
5. Oklahoma @ Texas Tech (-5), Tuesday
6. Indiana @ Maryland (-2), Friday
7. Marquette @ Creighton (even), Wednesday
8. Ohio State (-3.5) @ Iowa, Saturday
9. Nevada (-2.5) @ Fresno State, Saturday
10. Maryland @ Minnesota (even), Tuesday

Thanks for reading along, y’all, and have a great week! Welcome to 2019!

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