The Puppet’s Bracket Projections/Merit Rankings: Monday, Nov 12th

CLICK HERE for tonight’s UTR Game of the Day, as well as the rest of tonight’s action

So, let me explain exactly what it is that you’re looking at here.  If you want something that ranks how good the teams are or what seeds they will likely end up getting in March, then this is DEFINITELY NOT for you.  I am simply ranking teams on their CURRENT MERIT.  I’m really only asking myself one question.  How difficult would it be for an average team to win the games that these teams have played??  So therefore, any Under the Radar team that won any sort of a true road game is going to be ranked ahead of any P5 team that won a buy game at home, even if those P5 teams are top ten teams.

Conference USA is off to a pretty good start with LA Tech winning at Wichita State, FAU winning at UCF, and Southern Miss winning at SMU.  I think that as a group they have the most impressive collection of true road wins so far.  I’m not going to predict that they will keep winning at that pace, but it is a rather impressive first week.

Obvious outliers include Buffalo on the #1 line, UC Irvine, LA Tech, Stony Brook, Texas Southern as protected seeds, and then on the flip side teams like Tennessee, Villanova, and Virginia down in the 12-13 seed range.  Any common sense person would expect that to be flipped by the end of the year.

So, with so many irregularities that end up looking so out of whack, the number one question is why do I do this at all??  The honest answer is…..I have no freakin’ idea!  I just like doing it each week, and I like doing it this way.  I do think that it gets me in the habit of assessing all the teams very early, and the earlier I’m doing that then the more I know about them as the season goes on.  I also think that the important thing is knowing what each team has done, and not so much worrying about where to rank them.  And lastly, it’s fun giving a team some props that won a big game early in the season that many weren’t expecting them to win, even if it is just for a few weeks, and even if our little corner of the internet is the only place that’s happening.  If you think that it’s too early for brackets I’m not going to say you’re wrong.  For all practical purposes, you’re not.  If you think this is a stupid way of doing it, I can respect that as well.  But, I am doing it, and I’m doing it this way.  When you’re a puppet, you get to do whatever you want!!!



  1. DUKE – 2-0, neutral floor win vs Kentucky
  2. BUFFALO – 2-0, road win @West Virginia
  3. KANSAS – 1-0, neutral floor win vs Michigan State
  4. OHIO STATE – 1-0 with a road win @Cincinnati
  5. AUBURN – 2-0, blowout home win against Washington
  6. FURMAN – 1-0, road win @Loyola Chicago
  7. North Carolina – 2-0 in true road games with a good win @Wofford
  8. Florida State – 2-0, blowout win at home vs Florida, road win @Tulane
  9. UC IRVINE – 2-0, road win @ Texas A&M
  10. Vanderbilt – 2-0, won @USC
  11. LOUISIANA TECH – 2-0, win at Wichita State
  12. STONY BROOK – 2-0 with 2 true road wins @GW and @South Carolina
  13. Florida Atlantic – 1-0.  win @UCF
  14. Texas – 2-0, neutral floor win vs Arkansas
  15. GONZAGA – 2-0 in buy games, but beat TX Southern
  16. TEXAS SOUTHERN – 1-1, road win @Baylor, road loss @Gonzaga
  17. Southern Miss – 1-0 in div1 games, won @SMU
  18. Iowa State – 2-0, home win vs Missouri
  19. NEVADA – 2-0, home wins vs BYU and Pacific
  20. PENN – 2-0, road win @George Mason
  21. AMERICAN – 1-0, won @George Mason
  22. Purdue – 2-0 in buy games, beat Fairfield
  23. STANFORD – 2-0, road win @UNCW
  24. FAIRFIELD – 1-1, win @Bucknell, loss @Purdue
  25. Vermont – 1-0 with a win @ Boston U
  26. WICHITA STATE – 1-1 with a home loss to LA Tech, but a neutral win vs Providence
  27. Washington – 1-1, loss @Auburn, home win vs Western Kentucky
  28. Kentucky – 1-1, neutral loss to Duke, home win vs Southern Illinois
  29. North Texas – 2-0, both wins away from home including @Hawaii
  30. LONGWOOD – 1-0 with a win @ Richmond
  31. MONTANA – 1-0 with a win vs Georgia State (who is good)
  32. CENTRAL CONNECTICUT – 1-1, won @Hartrord, lost @Georgetown
  33. Wofford – 1-1, home loss to North Carolina, road win @High Point
  34. Utah State – 2-0, wins @Montana State and at home vs Hartford
  35. UC Santa Barbara – 1-1 with a win @Wyoming and a loss @North Dakota State
  36. NORTHERN KENTUCKY – 1-0, road win @Northern Illinois
  37. Toledo – 1-0, won @Oakland
  38. JAMES MADISON – 1-0 in div1 games, won @Eastern Carolina
  39. Kent State – 1-0, won @Cleveland State
  40. COASTAL CAROLINA – 1-0, road win @Campbell
  41. New Mexico – 1-0, won @CSUN
  42. Charleston – 2-0, road win @Western Carolina
  43. Oklahoma – 1-0 with a true road win @UTRGV
  44. FLORIDA A&M – 1-0, won @Jacksonville
  45. Prarie View A&M – 1-0, road win @Santa Clara
  46. San Diego – 2-0, road win @UC Davis, home win vs Weber State
  47. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE – 2-0, home win vs Grand Canyon
  48. North Dakota – 1-0, road win @Milwaukee
  49. Virginia – 2-0 in buy games
  50. Tennessee – 1-0 in buy games
  51. VILLANOVA – 1-0 in buy games
  52. Michigan State – 0-1 with loss vs Kansas
  53. Kansas State – 1-0 in buy games
  54. Oregon – 2-0 in buy games
  55. Syracuse – 2-0 in buy games
  56. Mississippi State – 1-0 in buy games
  57. Michigan – 2-0 in buy games
  58. Ucla – 2-0 in buy games
  59. Virginia Tech – 1-0 in buy games
  60. Northeastern – 1-1 with a road win @Harvard, loss at home to Boston U
  61. Boston U – 1-1, won @Northeastern, lost at home to Vermont
  62. Bucknell – 1-1 Road win @Saint Bonaventure, loss at home to Fairfield
  63. Marshall – 2-0, home win vs Hofstra, road win @Eastern Kentucky
  64. Lehigh – 1-1, won @Monmouth, lost @Miami FL
  65. Nebraska – 2-0 in buy games
  66. Marquette – 1-0 in buy games
  67. MURRAY STATE – 1-0 with a win at home vs Wright State
  68. Belmont – 1-0 with a home win vs Illinois State
  69. Lsu – 2-0 in buy games
  70. Clemson – 2-0 in buy games
  71. Louisville – 1-0 in buy games
  72. Texas Tech – 2-0 in buy games
  73. Tcu – 1-0 in buy games
  74. Vanderbilt 1-0 in buy games
  75. NEW MEXICO STATE – 2-0, home wins vs North Dakota State and UTEP
  76. Indiana – 2-0 in buy games
  77. Xavier – 2-0 in buy games
  78. Georgetown – 2-0 in buy games
  79. Temple – 2-0 in buy games
  80. SAINT JOSEPH’S – 1-0 in buy games
  81. INDIANA STATE – 1-1 on the road. Won @Green Bay, lost @Ball State
  82. Penn State – 1-0 in buy games
  83. Houston – 1-0 in buy games
  84. Creighton – 2-0 in buy games
  85. Butler – 1-0 in buy games
  86. Saint John’s – 2-0 in buy games
  87. UConn – 2-0 in buy games with a win over Southern Miss
  88. Notre Dame – 2-0 in buy games
  89. Chattanooga – 1-1, road win @Charlotte, home loss to Eastern Kentucky (
  90. ucf – 1-0 in buy games with a win over Rider (
  91. LIPSCOMB – 1-0



-Outside of conferences, I did not take into account at all whether or not teams played during the regular season, so there was no regard at all to try and avoid rematches.  Truth be told, at the end of the year I can remember pretty much who has and has not played each other.  At the beginning of the year, I don’t have a good grasp on all of the team’s schedules and who they are going to play.  So, I just didn’t worry about it.

-I have to admit that even by absurd early season bracket standards, this is still pretty absurd.  Some of the match-ups may be okay.  Texas Southern v Michigan State is a very plausible Round of 64 match-up.  So is Stony Brook v Syracuse, LA Tech vs Oregon, and a few others.  But, I don’t see this being where the seeds end up in the end.



-Coming soon…..maybe.  I can completely understand them being in such a state of shock from looking at this that there is simply too much to unpack.

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