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SBN College Top 25 Week 5

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A quick note on the wayI'm voting in this week's poll, because I doubt anyone reading this really cares. My first clue is the fact that I'm writing this, and I don't really care about anything beyond the Top 5.

  1. Wisconsin (26-2)
  2. Florida (24-3)
  3. North Carolina (23-4)
  4. Ohio State (23-3)
Ohio State will almost certainly be the top-ranked team in all polls tomorrow, primarily because they have the longest winning streak of the four above teams. So why do I have them fourth? Because they've lost to all three of the teams above them.

This, of course, brings up an interesting philosophical debate. Ohio State's only three losses are to the above teams. Theses other teams are not undefeated, and have all gone off and lost to schools much worse than Ohio State. So is the better team the one that only loses to very good opponents, or the ones that win the toughest head-to-head matchups but lose elsewhere?

I say in college basketball, with its odd bounces and element of chance, winning the head-to-head is more important. A certain shot goes the other way and Ohio State has a loss to unranked Michigan State on their record. A couple of other bounces and Wisconsin is undefeated. But it's undeniable that Florida blew out Ohio State. North Carolina controlled the second half quite handily, albeit without facing Greg Oden. Wisconsin had their own huge lead, although they let the Buckeyes back into it.

Which isn't to say Ohio State is doomed to fourth for the season. Another loss for UNC would certainly drop them in my eyes below the Buckeyes, and OSU will get a Wisconsin rematch in a week. But right now, these are the four best teams in the country by far, and this is how I'm sorting them now.

  1. UCLA (23-3)
  2. Texas A&M (22-4)
  3. Pittsburgh (23-4)
  4. Memphis (23-3)
  5. Kansas (23-4)
  6. Nevada (24-2)
  7. Georgetown (20-5)
  8. Southern Illinois (23-5)
  9. Washington State (22-4)
  10. Butler (24-4)
  11. Air Force (23-4)
There's a clearly defined second tier, and this is it. UCLA earns my respect by blowing out UCLA, and the gospel of Georgetown is slowly spreading. They're probably yhe best two teams in this list - I just don't know enough about the Hoyas to comfortably put them in the Top 10 yet.
  1. West Virginia (20-6)
  2. Duke (19-7)
  3. Vanderbilt (18-8)
  4. Boston College (18-8)
  5. Marquette (21-7)
  6. Virginia Tech (17-9)
  7. Virginia (18-7)
  8. Southern Cal (19-7)
  9. Louisville (19-8)
  10. Michigan State (19-8)
And everybody else. I'd love to put Duke lower, if just more teams would step up and win a few games. There's a real drop off after 15 or so teams this year in the NCAA's.

And yes, this is all written before the Southern Cal - ASU game, leaving the door open for Herb Sendek to make me look foolish. But again, I just don't care about the rest of these teams.