It is early, and I know this is a mess and is not entirely practical from the sense of accurately measuring just how good teams are at this point in the year. It is, however, practical in the sense that it begins the evaluation process for all the teams out there. I am often teased for keeping an eye on so many teams so early. However, I do believe that beginning to evaluate teams now will result in better and more accurate evaluations as the season plays out.
So, on that note, don’t read too much into this. The rankings are very loose. Like I said, the idea isn’t so much to rank the teams accurately right now, but merely to start examining them.
Projected conference leaders are in ALL CAPS
1. DUKE. With wins against Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU and Louisville on neutral floors, Duke is perhaps the most accomplished team in the country right now.
2. INDIANA. Unbeaten, but not as accomplished as Duke. For that matter, they’re probably not as accomplished as Oklahoma State or Louisville, but their #1 ranking is hard to ignore when doing a seed list.
3. OKLAHOMA STATE. The Cowboys are 5-0 with notable wins against Tennessee, NC State and Akron.
4. LOUISVILLE. Nice wins against Northern Iowa and Missouri, and a close loss against Duke without one of their better players. At full strength, they’re perhaps the best team in the country.
5. FLORIDA. Their profile isn’t outstanding, but they’ve decisively beaten Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee and UCF.
6. Michigan. Unbeaten and highly ranked with notable wins against Pitt and Kansas State.
7. Ohio State. Unbeaten and highly ranked, but no notable wins yet.
8. COLORADO. At 5-0, they’ve handed Dayton, Murray State and Air Force their only losses. They also have a quality win against Baylor.
9. GONZAGA. The Zags are 6-0 and have notable wins against Davidson, Clemson and Oklahoma. As of now, they are the only teams to beat Oklahoma and Clemson. Their profile should continue to improve.
10. Georgetown. They played Florida tough for a half, but we didn’t get to see the second half. They also have a notable win against UCLA. Their only loss was in overtime to Indiana.
11. CREIGHTON. The Blue Jays are unbeaten, high in the rankings, and have a notable against Wisconsin
12. BUTLER. Good neutral floor wins against North Carolina and Marquette. Their losses at Xavier and to Illinois on a neutral floor don’t look like they’ll be too costly.
13. North Carolina. They struggled against some teams that you would expect them to beat, and don’t have a solid win yet.
14. NEW MEXICO. Unbeaten with notable wins against Davidson, Illinois Chicago (for now), George Mason and UConn.
15. Florida State. Opened the season with a loss to South Alabama, but hasn’t lost sense and has a pretty good win against Saint Joe’s.
16. Cincinnati. Unbeaten with notable wins against Iowa State and Oregon.
17. Missouri. Was beaten badly by Louisville, but looked good against Stanford and VCU.
18. Temple. 3-0 with decent wins against Delaware and at Kent State.
19. Michigan State. The Spartans only have one loss and have a good win against Kansas, but they’ve struggled to beat teams like Boise State and Louisiana Lafayette. Still, a win is a win, I guess.
20. KANSAS. They’re 4-1 with a decent win against Saint Louis, but don’t have anything quite as strong as most of the teams ahead of them.
21. Illinois. Not much was expected out of the Illini this year, but they’re unbeaten with a notable win against Butler. Hawaii is the only other team they’ve beaten with a winning record, though.
22. Syracuse. A nice win against San Diego State, but the rest of their schedule has been weak.
23. Wichita State. Unbeaten with a nice win at VCU, and another notable win on a neutral floor against Iowa.
24. VCU. The rams have three losses, but they are against Wichita State, Duke and Missouri. They also have a solid win against Memphis.
25. Pittsburgh. Their only loss is to Michigan in a hard fought game, but they’re currently lacking big wins.
26. Baylor. Their probably better than their current spot on this list, but so far their profile is lacking a big win, and they also underwent a surprising loss to College of Charleston.
27. NC State. They have a nice win against UMass, but haven’t done much else, and really looked bad in their last game against UNC Asheville.
28. Oregon. Just one loss against a pretty good Cincinnati team, and they have a very nice win against UNLV.
29. Saint Joseph’s. They have a notable win against Notre Dame, and their only loss was a close on to Florida State.
30. Kentucky. I fully expect this team to move up the list, but as of now they have a decent win against Maryland, but nothing else.
31. Arizona. Probably a much better team than this, but right now they’re 3-0 and have no wins of note.
32. Notre Dame. 5-1 with a notable win against BYU.
33. OHIO U. this may seem a little high, but I really like this Ohio team. They’re unbeaten and have pretty much blown out everyone. Their most notable win is Richmond, which is not outstanding, but I do think they are a dangerous team. .
34. Unlv. Should be a strong team, but currently their best win is against Iowa State on a neutral floor.
35. Alabama. Unbeaten with decent wins against South Dakota State and Oregon State.
36. Tennessee. Looks to be a strong team at 4-1, but as of now has no wins against anyone with a winning record.
37. Charlotte. They’re 6-0 with a fairly nice win against Oral Roberts. Not much else to speak of in the way of quality, though. They face 4-0 East Carolina this Saturday.
38. Santa Clara. Hard to know what to make of them just yet, but they are unbeaten with a notable win against Saint Louis.
39. Saint Louis. No good wins, but no bad losses…at least not right now. They played Kansas tough, and Santa Clara is unbeaten.
40. Minnesota. Their only loss came against Duke, and they have what should turn out to be decent wins against Memphis and Stanford.
41. Xavier. A real nice win against Butler, but they’ve had to sweat out their other wins that came against some pretty weak teams.
42. California. Unbeaten with a nice win (for now) against Georgia Tech.
43. BUCKNELL. Notable wins against Purdue and George Mason. Their loss against Penn State looks pretty bad, though.
44. Northwestern. The Wildcats are 6-0 with a fairly decent win against Illinois State. There is nothing else on their profile that even comes close to resembling a quality win, though.
45. Illinois State. At 5-1, their only loss so far is to Northwestern
46. Wisconsin. A pretty decent win against Arkansas in their last game, but other than that nothing of note so far.
47. BELMONT. A real nice win at Stanford, but a somewhat surprising loss to Northeastern up in Alaska. The upcoming game against VCU is hugely important.
48. Murray State. A good team, but their best win so far is against Saint John’s. Their only loss is to Colorado, but their weak schedule will work against them.
49. Marquette. No wins of note yet for Marquette
50. MIDDLE TENNESSEE. Their only loss came at Florida, and they’ve managed a notable win at UCF.
51. La Salle. I’m trying to like this La Salle team, but other than a home win against Delaware they haven’t looked impressive. Just one loss, but it came to Central Connecticut. .
52. George Mason. Semi-decent win against Virginia, and their only losses were close games to Bucknell and New Mexico, both of whom are good teams.
53. Georgia Tech. Just one loss so far, and a nice win against Saint Mary’s. SMC has not impressed, though, so it’s hard to say how impressive that win will ultimately end up being.
54. San Diego State. Has beaten up on cream puffs since losing the season opener to Syracuse.
55. Oregon State. They’re 4-1 with their only loss being a close game to unbeaten Alabama, but the jury is still out on them.
56. Dayton. A decent record at 4-1, but there isn’t much in the way of quality.
57. COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON. They a bad loss to Auburn, but a good win against Baylor.
58. Davidson. Another strong team who doesn’t have any bad losses, but as of now they don’t have any really good wins either.
59. Saint Mary’s. They appeared to get off to a good start with a win at Utah State, but since then they’ve been disappointing dropping games to Pacific and Georgia Tech.
60. Byu. At 4-2, they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on, but as of now their best win is probably against Cal State Northridge
61. Clemson. Played Gonzaga tough, but has no wins of note.
62. Virginia Tech. They’re 5-0, but are largely untested.
63. Massachusetts. At 2-2, there are good wins, but no bad losses.
64. Kansas State. 4-1, but without any big wins yet.
65. Oklahoma. They’re 4-1 with a so-so win against West Virginia, but were blown out by Gonzaga who is the only other good team they’ve played.
66. Colorado State. Unbeaten with a fairly decent win against Washington.
67. Iowa State. At 4-2, they’re another team with no good wins and no bad losses. They did play Cincinnati tough on the road, though.
68. Kent State. They’re 4-2 with notable wins (for now) against Drexel and Nebraska.
69. Texas A&M. I’m not too excited about this team, but they are 5-1 and have wins against Louisiana Tech (who has just one loss), Saint Louis and Washington State.
70. Northeastern. They’re 4-2 and are the only team that has beaten Belmont. Not sure how excited we should be about that yet.
71. VALPARAISO. Has a decent win at Kent State, and has just one loss to Nebraska. Nebraska has a decent record now, but common sense will tell you that they’re a bad team, so Valpo is kind of hard to figure right now.
72. Boise State. No good wins at all, but their only loss was a close game to Michigan State.
73. ALBANY. A notable win against Washington is currently setting them apart from the rest of the America East.
74. Iowa. 5-1 against a weak schedule. A semi-decent win on a neutral floor against Western Kentucky is the best thing on their profile.
75. SOUTHERN MISS. They’re 5-0 with semi-notable wins against Georgia and Western Kentucky.
76. Memphis. I fully expect Memphis to climb up this list in a hurry, but as of now they’re 3-2 and have just one win against a team that isn’t winless. Their losses to Minnesota and VCU aren’t bad losses, though.
77. LOUISIANA TECH. They’re 5-1, but have no real wins of note yet.
78. STEPHEN F AUSTIN. Unbeaten with a semi notable win against Tulsa.
79. LOYOLA, MD. Out to a 6-1 record with a semi-notable (for now) win against Albany.
80. Illinois Chicago. Their only loss is to New Mexico, but they have no real wins of note.
81. PACIFIC. They’re just 3-3, but have nice wins against Saint Mary’s and Xavier.
82. Richmond. This team has potential, but at this point they’ve done absolutely nothing and been blown out by the only good teams they’ve played.
83. Seton Hall. They’re 5-1 against a very weak schedule.
84. Rutgers. They’re 4-1, but have yet to beat anyone with a winning record.
85. Arizona State. 4-1, but no real wins of note
86. Arkansas. I’m still watching this team, but they have no good wins at all, and have lost back to back games to Arizona State and Wisconsin.
87. Stanford. May be worth paying attention to . They’re 3-3 with their best win being against Northern Iowa, but they don’t have any horrendously bad losses.
88. Nebraska. Prepare to not see them on these lists in the very near future, but as of now they only have one loss and are the only team that has beaten Valpo.
89. MONTANA. One of the Big Sky preseason favorites They’re 3-1 with their only loss coming to unbeaten Colorado State.
90. Cal State Northridge. Long Beach is still the favorite, but as of now CSN has just one loss to BYU, and semi notable wins against Pepperdine and Tulsa.
91. Cal Poly. On the list because of their win against UCLA. But at 2-2, the Bruins are the only team Cal Poly has beaten that has managed a win.
92. Drexel. At 2-4, Drexel has four losses by four points are less, and has played a tough schedule. At the end of the day, a close loss is still a loss, though. I continue to watch them, but eventually they’ll need to actually win some notable games.
93. Lehigh. Not bad at 4-2, but they were beaten badly against Pitt and Baylor, which are the only two good teams they’ve played.
94. SAVANNAH STATE. They’re 4-3 with no bad losses. They actually looked good against Middle Tennessee, UCF and Florida in the games they did lose.
95. GARDNER WEBB. Not one of the Big South preseason favorites, but they’ve played Illinois and Iowa fairly tough. No one in their conference currently has a winning record.
96. COLUMBIA. No one in the Ivy has a winning record against div1 teams. Columbia is 4-2 overall, and has a semi-notable win against Villanova.
97. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE. I think this team is better than their profile, but as of now they blew it in their opener at Alabama and dropped another one to Hofstra, and have no notable wins on their profile.
98. East Carolina. A semi decent win against Georgia State, but other than that their wins have come against non-div1 teams or winless teams.
99. South Carolina. Angry Frank Martin is 5-1, but has just two wins against teams with winning records.
100. ROBERT MORRIS. Nothing too exciting about them other than a near upset win at Xavier.
101. Smu. They’re 5-1 against a weak schedule.
102. STETSON. The A-Sun already appears to be destined to play in the first round in Dayton.
103. Ole Miss. Unbeaten at 5-0, but just one win came against a team with a current winning record.
104. Lsu. Unbeaten against weak teams.
105. Eastern Kentucky. Unbeaten, but against weak competition.
106. Houston. They’re 4-0 against teams that are a combined 2-15.
107. Texas Tech. They’re 3-0, which will get them on the list, but their opponents are a combined 2-14, which is why they’re below the small conference leaders.
108. Wyoming. 5-0 against teams that are a combined 3-19.
109. PRARIE VIEW. The SWAC has just five div1 wins on the year, and Prarie View’s win over Navy is one of only two that came against teams that aren’t winless, so they get the nod.