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Week Four: Clayton Collier's AP Top 25 men's basketball ballot

Tennessee back in action, on the move in Clayton's Week 4 ballot
Credit: WATN-TV

MEMPHIS, Tenn — WEEK FOUR AP TOP 25 BALLOT: 

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Baylor
  3. Iowa
  4. Michigan State
  5. Kansas
  6. Villanova
  7. Houston
  8. West Virginia
  9. Creighton
  10. Tennessee
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Illinois
  13. Texas 
  14. Texas Tech
  15. Duke
  16. Missouri
  17. Florida State
  18. San Diego State
  19. UNC
  20. Virginia
  21. Ohio State
  22. Rutgers
  23. Saint Louis
  24. Michigan
  25. Clemson

DROPPED OUT: Virginia Tech (14), Richmond (19), Marquette (22), Florida (25)

JUST OUTSIDE: Xavier, Louisville, Oklahoma State

THE RANKING: With their COVID-19 pause in the rearview mirror, Tennessee finally opened their season with wins over Colorado and Cincinnati this week. The Vols move up three spots to No. 10 in my ballot, but that was mostly because of Illinois and Duke dropping out of the Top 10 after their losses this week. 

Virginia Tech falls off my ballot after the 20-point blowout loss to Penn State, as do Richmond, Marquette and Florida. The Spiders' 16-point defeat at the hands of No. 11 West Virginia was expected, but that coupled with the value of their signature win over Kentucky (1-4) plummeting faster than Blockbuster stock meant the time had come for Richmond to exit the Top 25. 

Missouri (16), Florida State (17), Michigan (24) and Clemson (25) debut on my ballot this week. The most difficult decision was who to place at 25. With wins over a previously undefeated Maryland and a quality Alabama squad, Clemson edges out Xavier, Louisville and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have an opportunity to force their way into the Top 25 with a Sunday tilt with No. 13 Texas.