POLL WATCH: Hello, Top 10

Matthew Holst

We big time.

The new AP and USA Today Coaches polls are out and Iowa's occupying some rarefied air these days.

Yep. As we suspected on Friday, Iowa's win over Minnesota -- plus no small amount of chaos among last week's top 25 teams, especially in that 8-13 range -- has propelled them into the top 10 of the polls.  Iowa last appeared in the top 10 in the 2001-02 season, although things didn't go so well for Iowa after cracking the top 10 that year.

Yeah, we're aiming for better results than that this year... and this Iowa team seems very capable of achieving them.

Welcome back to the top 10, Hawkeyes.  It's been a while.

Here's the full AP top 25 in a lovely table.

AP Top 25 (January 20, 2014)

Rank Team Record Pts
1 Arizona Wildcats 18-0 1621
2 Syracuse Orange 18-0 1559
3 Michigan St. Spartans 17-1 1497
4 Villanova Wildcats 16-1 1377
5 Wichita St. Shockers 19-0 1368
6 Florida Gators 15-2 1303
7 San Diego St. Aztecs 16-1 1211
8 Kansas Jayhawks 13-4 1117
9 Wisconsin Badgers 16-2 1074
10 Iowa Hawkeyes 15-3 1041
11 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 15-3 971
12 Louisville Cardinals 16-3 804
13 UMass Minutemen 16-1 781
14 Kentucky Wildcats 13-4 769
15 Cincinnati Bearcats 17-2 736
16 Iowa St. Cyclones 14-3 644
17 Ohio St. Buckeyes 15-3 549
18 Duke Blue Devils 14-4 447
19 Saint Louis Billikens 17-2 421
20 Pittsburgh Panthers 16-2 419
21 Michigan Wolverines 13-4 362
22 Kansas St. Wildcats 14-4 221
23 Memphis Tigers 13-4 201
24 Baylor Bears 13-4 170
25 Oklahoma Sooners 14-4 111

No table for the USA Today Coaches Poll this week, but Iowa's ranked 10th in that poll as well; you can find the full set of rankings here.

As I said last week, obviously the rankings themselves aren't any sort of desirable end goal (those would include Big Ten championships and deep runs in the NCAA Tournament), nor do they directly impact Iowa's ability to achieve those real goals (a top 10 ranking isn't going to impact Iowa's ability to win a Big Ten title or, likely, what seed it gets in the NCAA Tournament).  But rankings are a great indicator of which teams matter at a given point in time and they give us a sense of which teams are good.  They also bring with them increased attention, which is the sort of thing that can turn heads in recruiting.  They're also a nice way to document the progress of a team; for Iowa, a top-10 ranking is the latest sign of just how far Iowa has come under Fran McCaffery.  Four years ago, it was laughable to even dream of Iowa being ranked in the top 10.  Now it's not a dream -- it's reality.  Enjoy the moment.

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