Maladroit44's Week 4 Ballot

1 UConn UConn this week played (as I write this) the #56, #17, and #29 teams in Torvik. They won by 24, 15, and 18. That's how you go from a forgettable resume to one of the nation's best in one week.
2 Arizona Speaking of great weeks, Arizona knocked out three solid teams—Cincinnati, SDSU, and Creighton—in definitive fashion early in theirs.
3Purdue Purdue and Texas are both hanging their hats on a blowout win over Gonzaga, which raises the question of whether both are good or whether Gonzaga is just not very special.
4 Texas But...Purdue also rocked WVU and Duke, hence their ranking over a Texas team that has yet to do much aside from that big Gonzaga win.
5 Houston Houston slips some distance this week through no fault of their own. Well, not very much fault of their own. Failing to score 50 on a MAC team is pretty ugly, but at least it was a good MAC team.
6Virginia To punish Virginia (relatively speaking) for the dodgy opening win over NC Central feels tough, but near-perfection is the standard for these top six.
7 Creighton In the realm of the imperfect, Creighton has one of the best losses (by two points to Arizona) and looked very good taking down Texas Tech and...
8 Arkansas ...Arkansas, which was kind enough to immediately establish itself as a win of some quality by beating SDSU.
9Maryland Coppin State, of all teams, exposed some defensive flaws en route to scoring 79 on the Terrapins, but Maryland did pull away to win handily. Still, it's to be hoped that was a bit of a wake-up call.
10Alabama If you're willing to forgive getting stomped by UConn (which is in the business of stomping just about anybody right now), Alabama put together quite a solid week by beating MSU and UNC.
11 Michigan State The loss to Alabama was easily the worst we've seen MSU look, and a touch-and-go escape from Portland wasn't pretty either. In between, they added a win over Oregon to go with the one over Kentucky.
12 Mississippi State Both Marquette and Utah had winning odds of over 70% in the second half of their games against Mississippi State. But the Bulldogs survived and advanced—and are now 6-0 with two strong wins.
13Baylor Metrics hated Baylor's lackadaisical first half against a very bad McNeese State, but maybe they're reading too much into it. Marquette and Gonzaga will test if they're still all systems go.
14 Indiana Indiana has a very nice road win over Xavier...but also no other wins over teams ranked higher than #249 in Torvik. Now they play four top-40 teams in their next five. Should be interesting!
15Illinois The Virginia loss looks respectable—nearby Baylor has a similar one—and the UCLA win is probably good. A visit to Maryland this week will reveal more.
16 UCLA UCLA started last year with a couple quick losses and didn't beat much of anybody for a while, and they were *fine*. They'll probably be fine to do that would assume.
17 Charleston Charleston flirted with disaster against Kent State, but survived and picked up their sixth win (all of which have come over top-150 teams in Torvik).
18 Kansas State KSU is now the superior purple state over LSU in both football and basketball. Beating the otherwise-unbeaten Tigers is a great resume point for Kansas State, which has looked solid all year.
19 Sam Houston This may have been overdue, but I did want to see Sam Houston look like the impressive team that took down OU and Utah in some other D1 games. Well: they beat NIU and USD by over 30 apiece this week.
20Tennessee I don't think I'm comfortable with entirely throwing out the Colorado game, which was simply dreadful, but an authoritative win over Kansas is good enough to get Tennessee ranked, at the very least.
21 Gonzaga A huge win over Kentucky (who...we'll get to), crushing losses to Texas and Purdue, a narrow victory over Xavier. I really don't know what to make of it; check back after they play Baylor, maybe?
22 Kentucky As for Kentucky, they're in a similar boat to UCLA. I'm a little more worried for the Wildcats on account of how bad Gonzaga, which beat UK by 16, has looked elsewhere.
23 Wisconsin I never doubted Wisconsin for a second! (Do not fact-check this.) They went 2-1 in Atlantis and (?refs incoming) probably should've beaten Kansas.
24 Iowa State Iowa State got thrown for a loop by a fantastic UConn team, but they had a solid week otherwise, highlighted by a neutral-site win over previously-undefeated UNC.
25 Wofford The SoCon team of the week: Wofford! The Terriers handily beat North Carolina A&T and North Greenville before putting up a great fight on the road against LSU.

Overall Rationale

Also considered: North Carolina, West Virginia, Auburn, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Utah State, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Ohio State Explicitly not considered: Duke. Ranked teams don't escape Oregon State by three points. (Don't @ me about Portland; Portland is a lot better than Oregon State.)