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:
|2||Michigan St. (3)||27-9||749||13|
|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.
- 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.