Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Silent Majority rankings #3

Lots of movement this week, but that's the way it should be early in the season. You see,our intention is to reflect what teams are doing now, not what we think they'll be doing in March. So while we still fully expect teams like Temple and San Diego State to excel down the road, other teams have gotten their act together sooner and have earned the love.

But if you're a fan of those teams, or any other team you feel we've missed, don't fret. There's plenty of season - and rankings - still to come.

Previous rankings
Week One

1. Xavier (2-0)
Last week: 1
Last year, we suspect that deep down, everyone except UConn knew they were playing for second place. But last week's UConn-Baylor showdown should have infused the Musketeers and a handful of other teams with the confidence that this time, anything truly is possible.

2. Green Bay (3-0)
Last week: 3
Seized state bragging rights - again - with a stunning 69-43 beatdown of Wisconsin. Badgers coach Lisa Stone summed it up best - "We got smashed in the face."

3. TCU (3-0)
Last week: 2
The Horned Frogs drop a notch not because of anything they did but rather as a nod to Green Bay's sensational effort against Wisconsin. Speaking of sensational, how about TCU star Emily Carter's school-record 43 points in last week's 87-74 double-overtime victory over SMU?

4. Dayton (2-2)
Last week: 5
Led by tournament MVP Justine Raterman, the Flyers spanked South Dakota 78-56 and Minnesota 97-81 to win Minnesota's Subway Classic.

5. Old Dominion (2-0).
Last week: 9
After easily dispatching North Carolina A&T last week, the Lady Monarchs will go for their second victory over an ACC team Tuesday night at North Carolina State. ODU downed Georgia Tech in its season opener.

6. Princeton (2-1)
Last week: 18
The Tigers came within seconds of winning at Rutgers (54-53), then hammered a good Lehigh team by 17. It snapped Lehigh's 33-game home winning streak. Niveen Rasheed earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors.

7. Marist (3-1)
Last week: 21
The Red Foxes cruised to Vermont's TD Bank Classic, but because of the format were able to claim the title without playing fellow tournament unbeaten Boston College. Would have loved to have seen those two matchup. Marist certainly appears ready for more of a challenge as the Red Foxes have whipped their last three foes by an average of nearly 27 points.

8. UALR (2-1)
Last week: 8
We're not going to penalize the Trojans too much for getting dismantled at Texas A&M - a lot of teams get shredded in that meat grinder. Instead, we're crediting them for pulling off a 59-55 victory over tough Louisiana Tech.

9. Tulane (3-0)
Last week: 17
With Roshaunda Barnes, Tiffany Aidoo and freshman Whitney Bibbins leading the way, the Green Wave is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2001-02 season. To get to 4-0, all they have to do is win at LSU. No pressure, guys.

10. South Dakota State (2-1)
Last week: 6
Advanced to the WNIT semifinals, then suffered through a forgettable 73-40 drubbing at Purdue - the Jackrabbits' lowest scoring game since 1981-82.

11. Illinois State (3-0)
Last week: 13
The Redbirds consolidated their big victory over Illinois with solid wins over Eastern Illinois and SIU-Edwardsville. Can't wait to see what they do at South Dakota State Wednesday night.

12. Gonzaga (1-2)
Last week: 12
Saw their 19-game home winning streak end against No. 3 Stanford in what sounds like quite a game. At a sold-out McCarthey Athletic Center, the Bulldogs rallied to pull even at 68 before the Cardinal found a fifth gear and escaped 84-77.

13. Bowling Green (3-1)
Last week: 14
How's this for responding to adversity - since dropping their season opener, the Falcons have won their last three games, all at home, by an average of 35 points.

14. Florida Gulf Coast (2-0)
Last week: 22
The Eagles spanked Troy on Sunday to run their home winning streak to 26. Only UConn and Stanford have gone unbeaten at home longer. Now we'll see how well their act travels - the Eagles are headed to Cancun for games against unbeaten Virginia Tech (4-0) and Purdue (4-0).

15. Delaware (3-0)
Last week: 24
Two years ago, if someone had told us Elena Delle Donne would score 41 points in Connecticut, we'd have said, so what else is new? That she would do it at Yale while playing for Delaware....well, you know the story.

16. James Madison (2-1)
Last week: 19
Got back on the winning track with home wins over St. Francis (Pa.) and UCF in Preseason WNIT consolation play.

17. Louisiana Tech (2-1)
Last week: 20
Adrienne Johnson continued playing at an elite level with 26 points in the Techsters' 16-point win over Western Kentucky and 23 points in Tech's near-miss at UALR.

18. Richmond (3-1)
Last week - NR
The Spiders bonded during a Scandinavian trip in August and are reaping the benefits with a terrific start. Two-way guard Brittani Shells is averaging nearly 29 points per game, and on Saturday the Spiders engineered a statement home victory over N.C. State.

19. Appalachian State (4-1)
Last week: NR
The Mountaineers shrugged off a loss to Richmond by snapping East Tennessee State's 12-game home winning streak, then rolling by 30 over a quality Gardner-Webb outfit.

20. Charlotte (3-1)
Last week - NR
A solid home win over Hampton boosts the 49ers into the Top 25. They'll get to measure themselves on Saturday when they host Duke.

21. Hampton (1-2)
Last week: 10
Injuries to guards Bernadette Fortune and Jericka Jenkins haven't helped, but the Lady Pirates still acquitted themselves well at South Dakota State and Charlotte. Tuesday night they get Richmond at home.

22. Fresno State (3-2)
Last week: 7
We haven't given up on these guys but it was clearly a difficult week for the Bulldogs, who sandwiched losses to Cal Poly and at Oklahoma around a four-point squeaker over UC Irvine.

23. St. Mary's (2-2)
Last week: NR
You've got to be pretty good to lose by just one point at Nebraska. The other loss was at California, so clearly this team doesn't mind being tested. Home games against Northwestern and Wisconsin this week should provide more stiff tests.

24. Utah (2-1)
Last week: NR
The Utes' one-point win over SMU began looking even better after the Mustangs took TCU to double-overtime last week. Utah also showed itself well in a nine-point loss to mighty Stanford.

25. Portland (4-1)
 Last week: NR
Call this a bit of a leap of faith as we'll freely admit we're not totally sure about the Pilots. But we're impressed with the fast start and respectable showing in a four-point loss to Oregon. Just a hunch.

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