Maladroit44's Week 10 Ballot

1 Houston Welcome to the #1 Houston era (part two). Trips to UCF and Memphis are about their only chances of a second loss, in theory.
2 Purdue You would think one loss to Rutgers with a historic #1 ranking would be enough, but noooo.
3UCLA UCLA hasn't lost since mid-November and has five top-70 wins since then in Torvik. Outside a narrow win over WSU, they've dominated everyone for a month and counting.
4 UConn Whatever magic UConn had captured before entering league play is just...gone. The offense looks pedestrian, and they're digging into depth they just don't have.
5 Tennessee I don't know how to intelligently comment on Tennessee beating two conference opponents by a combined 77 points without sounding like a homer. So I won't.
6Alabama Alabama, when they're on, looks like the best team in the nation, hands down. And they're looking less inconsistent lately. I, for one, am spooked.
7 Kansas The Big 12 is a hard place to look dominant, but the way Kansas steamrolled WVU on the road definitely qualified, and assuaged some fears about their ability to cruise over good opponents.
8 Xavier Xavier held up to the moment well and put in a solid win over Villanova. They're 5-0 in the conference, one of two unbeatens alongside Providence (!), and look like a legit Final Four threat. Fun!
9Gonzaga Hi, Gonzaga. Another week of flirting with disaster against a good-not-great opponent before pulling out a win? Oh, two this time? Cool, cool. See you next week.
10Arizona I was right all along about Arizona being not as good as everyone thought! An opinion I never wavered in, definitely.
11 San Diego State Aside from a rough defensive performance against Wyoming on Saturday, SDSU has looked every bit their high preseason ranking lately.
12 Virginia I am whelmed by Virginia. I want to believe in the upside they showed early in the year, but I'm losing faith that this offense will ever look good again.
13Texas Well I'll be damned, they actually fired Beard. Personally, I think it would be funny if their interim now goes further than Beard OR Shaka. Which is to say...makes the Sweet Sixteen, lol.
14 Ohio State Some Big Ten games make you think both teams are truly elite. Some make you wonder if it's a power conference. OSU had one of each.
15Arkansas Arkansas is a very good team but unfortunately, I saw somebody in #cbb ask why they were an underdog against Auburn. The game went predictably.
16 Marquette Providence might be this year's 2022 Providence, but if not, Marquette can fill that role out of the Big East. They play UConn and Xavier this week. Should be fun! And weird!
17 Iowa State The loss to Iowa keeps getting worse, but it can't fully overshadow how consistent ISU has been since. Five straight wins, all game scores of 85 or better, and a 3-0 start in the Big 12 is remarkable.
18 North Carolina UNC's looked like a different team ever since the four-game losing streak. Sure, the Pitt loss is rough, but I'll concur with Torvik that two points on the road to a top-100 team is acceptable.
19 Saint Mary's The WCC's power structure seems almost intentionally designed to muddle how good Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are. Lots of top-100 wins...but how many actual threats?
20Providence Funny thing here—Providence, darling of last year's resume voters (of which I was one), appeals this year to those who put weight behind recent metrics more (of which now one).
21 Florida Atlantic C-USA has some legitimately good teams at the top this year, and FAU just knocked off two of them to extend their winning streak to 13. They could sweep the league.
22 TCU TCU is in a similar boat to Providence, having started awfully, then played great for a long while, before a recent blip (in their case, a loss to ISU).
23 Charleston It's been said that metrics don't support Charleston, which there's truth to. But it's worth noting that while rarely elite, they're also rarely bad—only two Torvik game scores under 70 all year!
24 Kansas State I don't mean to overreact, but KSU is 3-0 in the Big 12 and looks as good as anybody to win it. A spate of rough play in early December has given way to consistently elite showings since.
25 Western Carolina The SoCon team of the week: Western Carolina! The Catamounts took a 72-47 loss on the chin to open league play...and have promptly won three straight by double digits over Furman, ETSU, and Mercer.

Overall Rationale

Also considered: Mizzou, Rutgers, Baylor, WVU, Auburn, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UNLV, Northwestern, New Mexico, Wisconsin