So we have been away with the Power Rankings for a while now. The weeks right around Christmas are difficult becausethere is so little action it is difficult to determine who’s playing better and who is fading. But now with the BIG EAST under way we are back with the rankings. We will try to get back on track and post them consistently. We also might try to play around with the format a little in the coming weeks to see what works best. As always they are nothing official by any means but just how we see it. As always feel free to disagree with anything on here.
1. Syracuse (13-1, 1-1)
We still like Syracuse at #1. Yes they took a bad loss at home to Pitt, but Pitt is much better than a lot of people give them credit for. They had some bad foul trouble that game and will most likely get back on track.
2. Pittsburgh (13-2, 3-0)
Wow. What a great start to BIG EAST play for the panthers. A 3-0 start including wins at Syracuse and at Cincy gives the Panthers a huge leg up on the competition. Jamie Dixon is a great coach and he appears to have his team playing well. We watched both the Syracuse and Cincy game and Pitt plays with their usually toughness. Watch out for Pitt they are dangerous. Their next game is at UConn next week.
3. West Virginia (11-1, 2-0)
Like Syracuse the Mountaineers took their first loss, but it was at Purdue. They did not have a great showing by any means, but there is usually no shame in losing to the #4 team in the country, especially on their home court. Look for WVU to rebound against Rutgers, Notre Dame, and USF.
4. Villanova (12-1, 1-0)
We are shocked that they are ahead of both Syracuse and West Virginia in the rankings. If we wrote this a few days ago we would say that loss to Temple doesn’t look so bad, but the wins Temple had don’t look as impressive anymore and after what Kansas did to them in their own gym that loss to Temple looks a lot worse to us. Also, did anybody else think both Redding and King fouled at the end of the Marquette game… we think they got away with a win there. Marquette will get another shot at them soon, but look for Villanova to win its next couple of games.
5. Georgetown (11-1, 2-0)
They are seemingly still quietly going about their business, but business it good. They haven’t played a difficult BIG EAST game yet, although St. John’s played them well, but a match up with Connecticut on the 9th may be a better indication of how good they are.
6. Cincinnati (10-4, 2-1)
This is a tough one between UConn and Cincy, but given the fact that CIncy won the head to head we will give it to them. They had a tough loss to Pitt, but than again Pitt seems to be rolling in the early going of the BIG EAST schedule. They have two good games coming up against Seton Hall and Georgetown.
7. Connecticut (10-3, 1-1)
A very very tough loss to Cincy, but a nice win over Notre Dame. UConn doesn’t seems to be the dominate team in the BIG EAST this year and probably not a top three finisher as many predicted, but they are a solid team who will most likely only get better as the season goes on. We are looking forward to their upcoming game against Georgetown.
8. Marquette (9-5, 0-2)
What heartbreaking loses for the Golden Eagles. They probably should have won both of the games they lost. They were victims of a last second shot against West Virginia, and a shocking no call against Villanova. It must be difficult to be a Marquette fan right now. They good news is the team is playing much better than people thought they would. The bad news is their next two games are against Georgetown and at Villanova.
9. Seton Hall (9-4, 0-2)
Like Marquette they are 0-2 in BIG EAST play, but they looked pretty good in those loses. And their loses were against top ten teams in Syracuse and West Virginia. Seton Hall is much improved this year. There next three games are at UConn, against Cincy, and at Georgetown. We like them now, but if they don’t pick up two wins in that stretch they will be fading fast and in a fair amount of trouble.
10. Notre Dame (13-3, 2-1)
We hesitate to put them here but we will. They shot the lights out against Providence and played UConn tough, but we think that they may struggle with some of the teams that others have behind them right now. They live and die by the three and when that isn’t falling the Irish will have their struggles. Harangody can only do so much.
11. Providence (9-5, 1-1)
We are very happy to say that we have Providence out of the last slot. A tough loss to a hot shooting Notre Dame team was a bad way to start the season, but a road win over St. John’s was a nice recovery. Providence has one of the easier early BIG EAST schedules as there next games are against Louisville, Rutgers, and DePaul. Look for them to grab some early wins, otherwise its back to the bottom with them.
12. Louisville (10-4, 0-1)
We tried to watch that game against Kentucky, but it was just painful at times. We aren’t entirely sure what to make of the Cardinals just yet, but we are pretty sure that a Rick Pitino team will be competitive in the end. They take on Providence and St. John’s in their next two games as they look to start off 3-0 in the BIG EAST.
13. St. John’s (10-4, 0-2)
The Johnnies got off to a great out of conference start. They had a tough loss to Georgetown and an ugly loss to Providence at home. Their next three games are manage
14. South Florida (10-4, 0-2)
A healthy Gilchrist will do wonders for this team. Of the movers, it looks like they will be staying out of the top eight, but like we have been saying they are by no means an easy out… just ask Notre Dame who escaped South Florida with only a one point win. Syracuse and West Virginia next won’t help the Bulls’ standings.
15. Rutgers (9-4, 0-1)
A soft out of conference schedule is over so look for Rutgers to catch some loses coming up. In their next four games they have contests against Providence and USF, so we will look to see how they fare in those games before we relegate Rutgers to the basement.
16. DePaul (7-7, 0-2)
They have got there big man back in action but are only 7-7 overall with two loses in the BIG EAST. Coming up they have Villanova, followed by a stretch of some “easier games.” If the Blue Demons can’t get some wins in this stretch of games they will be looking at there regular season BIG EAST losing streak head of 20!