Here’s my monthly look at the NCAAB Top 25 and who’s overrated, underrated and should be ranked (but isn’t).
#7 USC (12-0)
#8 Iowa State (12-0)
#20 Colorado State (10-0)
Look. I understand that if a team is still unbeaten in late December, they will make their way into the Top 25. But none of these three are as good as their respective rankings. At least USC can say they deserve to be ranked. Iowa State and Colorado State are not even Top 35 teams in my eyes. I will give Iowa State credit for being a top 7 team in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. But they are 135th in offensive efficiency. On New Year’s Day, the Cyclones face #1 Baylor, who is also undefeated. Expect to have to lay a large number if you want to play the favorite.
Colorado State, who had its closest call (won by three) in its most recent game, is scheduled to host Air Force on January 4th. Can’t see the Rams losing that one. At Boise State three days later may be the first loss.
USC has already postponed a Jan 2 date with Arizona where the Trojans would have been expected to lose.
#16 LSU (12-0)
Ha. The fifth remaining undefeated team is most definitely underrated. I’d have the Tigers in the Top 10. We’ll see if I’m right as their next two games are against #11 Auburn and #18 Kentucky. If LSU can make it through unscathed, then they play #14 Tennessee. So don’t expect them to still be undefeated by the second week of January, but the Tigers should win two of those three games.
I think these are Top 5 teams. BPI (ESPN) has Houston #1!
Should Be Ranked
How are the Fighting Illini not ranked? They were a #1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. They’ve played only one bad game this season. Last week, they absolutely destroyed Missouri (by 25) in the Braggin’ Rights Game.
The Wolverines already have four losses, but they are still Top 20 in my power rankings and should have a strong January run, provided they get all the games in.
I think these two unranked Big 10 sides are every bit as strong as #10 Michigan State is.