MEMPHIS, Tenn. — AP TOP 25 BALLOT FOR WEEK 14—
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- West Virginia
- Virginia Tech
- Texas Tech
- Loyola Chicago
ENTERED— LSU (22), Oregon (24)
DROPPED OUT— Wisconsin (20), Missouri (23)
JUST OUTSIDE—San Diego State, Purdue, Drake, UCLA, Arizona
THE RANKING—The most enjoyable college basketball game of this season was played Sunday afternoon. No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State absolutely battled. The high-quality showdown not only cemented the Wolverines as the third-best team in college basketball, but also the Buckeyes as the fourth-best, despite the loss.
The other big winners of the week include Florida State and Kansas. After upsetting No. 7 Virginia, the Seminoles jump to No. 10 in my poll, the highest I have ranked them all season. After dropping out of the rankings two weeks ago, Kansas has responded with five straight wins, highlighted by Saturday's 67-61 victory over Texas Tech. The Jayhawks check in at No. 14 in my ballot.
An 0-2 week dropped UVA to No. 17 this week. A nine-spot drop is harsh, but the Cavaliers, while 3-4 in Quad 1 games, lack a premiere signature win to help cushion the blow.
Texas is 5-5 since their Jan. 2 win over Kansas. The Longhorns have two chances to prove they belong inside the Top 15 this week, hosting the Jayhawks Tuesday, and facing Texas Tech in Lubbock to finish their conference season.
There were quite a few teams worthy of being ranked this week. San Diego State, Purdue, Drake, UCLA, Arizona and Wisconsin all received heavy consideration. Ultimately, Oregon's established resume, coupled with this week's win over Colorado pushed them over the top.
Tennessee barely hangs on at No. 25, despite the blowout loss to Kentucky in Knoxville. The Vols 5-4 record in Quad 1 buoyed them this week. They will need a 2-0 performance at Vanderbilt (Wednesday) and at Auburn (Saturday) to remain on my ballot. Even that may not be enough, with the way many of the other aforementioned teams are playing.