Initial USA Today Coaches Poll for 2013-14 College Basketball Out; Iowa Not Ranked

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

We're talkin' polls.

The first top-25 polls for the 2013-14 college basketball season are starting to leak out and while there's a lot of optimism in the air about Iowa hoops, no one's ready to rank them just yet.  CBS Sports released their top 25 earlier this week, which omitted Iowa (although Iowa did place on three of their six experts' polls, with a high of #22 by Jerry Palm).  The USA Today/Coaches Poll was released today and it too leaves Iowa out of the top-25:

1 Kentucky (16) 21-12 767 NR
2 Michigan St. (3) 27-9 749 13
3 Louisville (10) 35-5 741 1
4 Duke (3) 30-6 710 5
5 Arizona 27-8 637 14
6 Kansas 31-6 623 8
7 Syracuse 30-10 551 3
8 Florida 29-8 550 9
9 Michigan 31-8 548 2
10 Ohio St. 29-8 533 6
11 North Carolina 25-11 494 NR
12 Oklahoma St. 24-9 462 NR
13 Memphis 31-5 334 18
14 Gonzaga 32-3 270 12
15 Va. Commonwealth 27-9 258 23
16 Wichita St. 30-9 233 4
17 Marquette 26-9 230 11
18 Oregon 28-9 175 15
19 Connecticut 20-10 167 NR
20 New Mexico 29-6 153 19
21 Wisconsin 23-12 148 22
22 Notre Dame 25-10 128 NR
23 UCLA 25-10 121 NR
24 Indiana 29-7 118 7
25 Virginia 23-12 103 NR
Schools Dropped Out
Others Receiving Votes
Baylor 102; Colorado 93; Creighton 87; Iowa 86; Tennessee 73; Georgetown 38; Harvard 28; Pittsburgh 23; California 16; Boise State 11; Saint Louis 8; La Salle 7; Temple 4; Missouri 4; Villanova 4; Kansas State 3; LSU 2; Iowa State 2; Arizona State 2; Illinois 2; Georgia 1; UNLV 1.

Iowa does appear among the Others Receiving Votes teams, slotting in around #29 if the poll extended that far.

The AP preseason top-25 is scheduled to be released on November 4.  The AP poll is also the last time Iowa was ranked in a preseason poll, way back in 2006.

While Iowa isn't on the Coaches Poll themselves, several potential Iowa opponents are ranked, including Michigan State (#2), Michigan (#9), Ohio State (#10), Wisconsin (#21), Notre Dame (#22), and Indiana (#24).  Two of Iowa's potential Battle 4 Atlantis opponents could be ranked as well: #6 Kansas (a potential opponent in the B4A final) and Tennessee (currently a fellow "Others Receiving Votes" team, but they might be able to sneak into the top-25 by the time the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament rolls around.  All told, that would give Iowa 12 games -- over one-third of their regular season schedule -- against teams ranked in the preseason top-25 this year.  So yeah: RPI probably won't be a problem this year.

Other thoughts:

  • Kentucky goes from ending 2012-13 by losing to Robert Morris (miss u, Bobby Mo!) to beginning 2013-14 ranked atop the preseason poll.  It's good to sign perhaps the greatest recruiting class in the history of college basketball, I guess.
  • Michigan State is the clear B1G favorite (thanks to their bounty of returning talent, including Gary Harris and Adreian Payne), but the league still places three teams in the top ten, more than any other league.  (The ACC and SEC each have two top ten teams, while the AAC, Pac-12, and Big 12 each have one team in the top ten.)
  • Losing Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. knocks Michigan out of a likely top-3 spot, but keeping Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary is enough to keep them in the top ten.  Likewise, losing Deshaun Thomas drops Ohio State a few notches, but returning Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross cushions the blow.
  • Two of Iowa's fellow NIT denizens from a year ago, Kentucky and Virginia, enter the season ranked in the top-25, while Baylor and Tennessee join Iowa in just missing out on a preseason ranking.  Maybe the NIT really can be a springboard for future success.
  • Death, taxes, and Wisconsin being picked in the top-25 and to finish in the top four in the Big Ten: the most reliable things in life.
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