Maladroit44's Week 5 Ballot

1 UConn UConn had perhaps their most nerve-racking game of the season this week. It was a ten-point win over Oklahoma State that was bigger than that most of the way.
2 Houston Houston picked up their first really strong win of the season over Saint Mary's, but it was dulled somewhat by the Gaels losing to New Mexico earlier in the week.
3Texas The win over Creighton is impressive, but it was a close one at home and the Bluejays then suffered a bewildering loss to Nebraska. So we're back to just one big data point: the Gonzaga win. Great.
4 Purdue Hungover from knocking off Marquette, WVU, Gonzaga, and Duke, Purdue dilly-dallied quite a bit against 1-9 FSU. They pulled away in the end, but it's a red flag to keep an eye on.
5 Maryland A five-point home win over Illinois doesn't necessarily mean the Terps are substantially better, but it does show they're an altogether capable team deserving of a comfortable top-ten ranking.
6Virginia Like Purdue, they weirdly struggled with FSU, but managed to escape in the end. We'll have to wait and see whether the success in Vegas was just a hot week or a sign of something more.
7 Arkansas The loss to Creighton looks worse with time, but most indications are that Arkansas is in a solid place. There's a pretty big gap between #6 and #7 here, though.
8 Alabama Alabama's big loss to UConn is the main black mark on their resume, and it gets better as UConn continues to solidify itself at the top.
9Mississippi State It'll be a while before Mississippi State plays anybody else good (not until Dec. 20 vs. Drake), but those wins over Marquette and Utah are getting better by the day.
10Illinois A close (and arguably a bit unlucky) loss at Maryland is, if anything, a point in Illinois's favor. They haven't really put in a bad game all season.
11 UCLA UCLA has Maryland and Kentucky a couple weeks down the road. A win there is important, because they don't have a marquee victory yet and opportunities for one in conference play will be scarce.
12 Auburn I'll admit I should probably have been ranking Auburn earlier. The Tigers have been a bit inconsistent, but are undefeated and have played a fairly deep schedule.
13Gonzaga I had some questions last week about whether the assumption of Gonzaga being a great win was buoying their resume. Going 1-1 against Xavier and Baylor, did assuage some of those worries.
14 Tennessee The Colorado game will remain something of an albatross, but the worst Tennessee has looked since is beating USC in overtime. The Vols' defense could shut down just about anybody right now.
15Charleston Charleston's lone loss to North Carolina has gotten worse lately, but they have a ton of solid wins and have looked pretty unshakeable lately.
16 Kansas Kansas needed a big rebound after Tennessee throttled them; stomping Seton Hall by 26 points absolutely qualifies and puts them back in the rankings.
17 Indiana A pretty great home win over UNC was immediately followed by...a 15-point loss at Rutgers? The resume has a huge hole in it now, but also two wins of demonstrable quality, so the floor is high.
18 Kentucky Kentucky finally grabbed a top-100 win, beating Michigan by four, and they benefit from Gonzaga solidifying itself as a top-fifteen team.
19 San Diego State Sure, the Arizona loss looks worse now. But SDSU also added a pretty strong win over UCI this week, and the Arkansas overtime game is a strong point in their favor.
20Iowa State As with Alabama, the main point against Iowa State is a rough loss to UConn, and it becomes less of a point against them as UConn looks more and more stable up top.
21 Arizona The Wildcats came off the Maui bump and immediately hit a speed bump, falling at Utah by 15. It's not an awful loss, but their resume doesn't stand out much in the early-season fray.
22 Baylor Baylor picked up that win over Gonzaga this week...but also lost by 26 at Marquette. Something must be done about their defensive inconsistency before they hit the Big 12 slate.
23 Saint Louis The two teams they lost two are both 8-0, and they hold an early-season win over Memphis to bolster the resume. Three games against solid mid-majors—Iona, Boise State, and Drake—should be revealing.
24 Virginia Tech A steady, controlling win over UNC is the best game on VT's ledger thus far, and their close loss at Charleston looks just fine at present.
25 VMI The SoCon team of the week: VMI! The Keydets were 1-6 in D1 play and had one Torvik game score higher than 10, but they took on top-200 Navy and pulled a stunning upset at home, 80-72.

Overall Rationale

Also considered: UNLV, Utah State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Marquette, Clemson, Arizona State, Ohio State, Iowa, Miami, Kansas State, Penn State