The revolving door that is known as the Top 25 continued to revolve this week. 4 of the 5 Top 5 teams all loss, including Kansas who has now lost three in a row. In addition to the top 5 teams laying an egg, 14 of the 25 teams lost at least one game this week, with 5 of them not even picking up a single win. All was not bad though in the Top 25 world. There were several great games and several overtime games, including a stunning 5 overtime in the Big East. The Miami Hurricanes continued to come on like gang-busters and very well could be in the Top 5 when all is said is done with the polls this week. This week doesn’t look like it will let us down as there are quite a few Top 25 matchups and tough games against un-ranked opponents. Only time will tell how this week will end up but in the meantime, I am just going to sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting college basketball seasons that I can remember.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Indiana (20-3, 8-2) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/7 @ Illinois, L 72-74
Upcoming: 2/10 @ (10) Ohio State & 2/13 Nebraska & 2/16 Purdue
The Hoosiers were the latest Number One team to fall. A beautifully ran inbounds play by Illinois sunk Indiana. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
2. Florida (19-3, 9-1) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/5 @ Arkansas, L 69-80 & 2/9 Mississippi State, W 83-58
Upcoming: 2/12 Kentucky & 2/16 @ Auburn
Florida lost its chance to be the top ranked team with a loss to Arkansas earlier this week. A trip to Lexington to face Kentucky could spell out another loss this week. Read More
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Duke (14-0, 1-0) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 1/2 @ Davidson, W 67-50 & 1/5 Wake Forest, W 80-62
Upcoming: 1/8 Clemson & 1/12 @ (23) N.C. State
After being tied at halftime with Davidson, Duke pulled away to stay unbeaten. This week a trip to N.C. State will prove to be their first test in the ACC. Read More
History: Originally known as the Blockbuster Bowl, CarQuest Bowl, and MicronPC Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl has been a regular feature in late December in Orlando Florida for the last 10 years. The Big Ten last participated in this game two years ago when Wisconsin defeated Miami (FL).
Florida State: While the Seminoles have ended up in a relatively low level bowl, it belies the quality of their season. Their four losses were by a grand total of 21 points, with ten of those coming at the hands of then #1 Oklahoma. This FSU team might be one of the toughest teams you’ll see play this December. They lean on the strength of quarterback EJ Manuel and his 2417 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season.
Notre Dame: The list of teams that has defeated the Irish this year is a who’s who of good football teams: Michigan, USC, Stanford, and….South Florida? Ok, maybe not all of the games were, but the South Florida game occurred at the very beginning of the season. It’s tough to hold that against them. The Golden Domers will be up for the task of taking on the Seminoles. Expect a high flying passing act through the entire game as ND quarterback Tommy Rees attempts to keep up with Manuel.
Fun Fact: Ohio State has never participated in this bowl game. However, exactly half of the current Big Ten members have – Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Purdue. Penn State, however, last participated on the last game they were an independent: January 1, 1993. The following year, the Nittany Lions were playing in the Big Ten.
Who we got?
This series took an interesting turn during the last week with the announcement that Gene Smith was removing the “Interim” tag from Luke Fickell. It’s possible that the University has decided that Fickell is their guy and that any future search will be unnecessary.
At this point, though, a future coaching search is still in the plan. Until that explicitly changes, we’re going to keep running these articles because, honestly, you really want to know.
We’ve looked at a number of different possibilities for the future of the Ohio State head coaching position so far. We hit the obvious answer of Fickell first, and followed it with the nearly unheard-of possbility of Lovie Smith. Just last week we took a look at one of the big possible names for the job, Nebraska’s own Bo Pelini.
Now we hit the next big name for the job, and the one that most Buckeye fans clamor for after Luke Fickell – Urban Meyer.
As an aside, I find it amazing that Buckeye fans would be interested in hiring a coach that handed us our butts on a silver platter on the national stage. Maybe it’s because they want the best (and, lets be honest, Meyer is one of the best). Maybe it’s because he once stated that Ohio State was one of his dream jobs. Maybe it’s because he was a former OSU Assistant, and grew up in Ohio.
Whatever the reason, it netted Meyer a spot near the top of everyone’s wish lists.
Urban Meyer grew up in Toledo, Ohio, eventually receiving a scholarship to the University of Cincinati. Urban spent four years playing defensive back for the Bearcats on a number of teams that simply weren’t very good.
From 1983-1986, while Meyer was on the team, the Bearcats went a combined 16-27-1 with no winning seasons. They did show improvement, though, going 5-6 during in each of Meyer’s Junior and Senior seasons.
We continue our look at the NCAA tournament field with our third of three regions. Jay and Joe already did a fantastic job with the West and Southeast regions yesterday. The Southwest region seems a lot easier to predict than the Southeast with a lot fewer chances for upsets in the first round. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some teams to look out for, though!
Favorites: There is no question about the top favorite for this bracket. Kansas, last year’s overall #1 seed, is in no danger of facing the same fate as last year. This year’s team is a dangerously deep and talented group, not dependent on any one player to get the job done. The Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus, lead the team in points per game and rebounds per game as well as leading a trio of fantastic frontcourt players. Overall, Kansas plays with an incredibly fast pace, and runs with a significant height advantage that could give their opponents trouble.
Keep an eye on Purdue as well. While the Boilermakers ended the season in pathetic fashion (losses to Iowa and Michigan State), they are still a spectacularly dangerous team when they’re on their game. Expect Matt Painter to lead his team deep into the tournament as he’ll be more than capable of refocusing his troops on the importance of March.