Schuylkill 16 Poll Week 8: The invisible hand

What do you get for winning two road games since last Tuesday, including a pretty dominant performance against the third-ranked team in last week's Schuylkill 16?

You move from eighth place to seventh in this week's poll..

Bruiser Flint on one of his better days.

I expected Drexel to make a big jump in this week's rankings after beating St. Joe's by 12 points at the Palestra and, perhaps just as significantly, knocking off Hofstra on Long Island on Saturday.

But while the Dragons passed Lehigh in the latest rankings, they could not overtake Rutgers or the Hawks team they beat so soundly.

In fact, only two of the voters ranked Drexel above the Hawks on their ballots.

By contrast, the voters kept 5-6 Temple in second place despite Penn State's win at Northwestern and close loss at Wisconsin, in a week when the Owls did not play.

(Temple did play tonight, and beat Kent State, 73-58. But that result did not factor in this week's vote.)

I also found it interesting that Delaware did not move up in the rankings after beating Virginia Commonwealth in Newark on Saturday.

Now, I'm not saying you have to vote a team over another based on head-to-head results if you don't think they reflect the whole season. But I expected this week's ballot to be much closer than it was.

I will be at the DAC on Thursday for the Rams' visit to Drexel. We'll see which way the momentum swings.

Here are this week's rankings:

1. Villanova, 12 points (12 first place votes)
- "Cats stay No. 1. Any of the other teams would have lost to Marquette by 20." (Jeff Shafer)

2. Temple, 33 points
- "They were under .500 on New Year's Day but I wouldn't be shocked if they run the January table (or come close)." (Bryan Armen Graham)

3. Penn State, 38 points

4. La Salle, 56 points
- "Neither win is that impressive, but La Salle, I think, is comfortably in fourth." (Josh Wheeling)

5. Saint Joseph's, 64 points
- "Who is more overrated - Nivins or Martelli?" (Rob Falcone)

6. Rutgers, 76 points
- "And so begins Rutgers' slide." (Zach Klitzman)

They might try picking on someone not ranked in the AP top three, though.

7. Drexel, 87 points
- "The Dragons are turning it up - so much for the last-place prediction in the CAA media poll." (Josh Wheeling)
- "Stifling defense finally paired with better offense = 3 game winning streak." (Rob Falcone)

8. Lehigh, 93 points
- "Lehigh is the first Patriot League team to 10 wins. I guess that's not hard when you play every team in New Jersey." (Jeff Shafer)

9. Delaware, 96 points
- "Four guys can put up double digits each night. They will surprise some in CAA." (Rob Falcone)

10. Rider, 112 points

11. Penn, 139 points
- "Campbell? Really?" (Rob Falcone)

I wasn't there, but the Inquirer and Daily News reported on it, so I assume it actually happened. We'll find out more when Lafayette comes to the Palestra tomorrow night.

- "If the Quakers get swept by Cornell and can't steal a Big 5 game -- a completely plausible scenario -- the '08-09 team's best victory could end up being Campbell." (Bryan Graham)

He might be right about that. Campbell's Pomeroy ranking is 240, higher than every Ivy team except Penn and Cornell.

12. Lafayette, 146 points

13. Bucknell, 150 points

14. Princeton, 163 points

15. Monmouth, 179 points
- "What does Monmouth have that Villanova doesn't? A conference win." (Jeff Shafer)

16. Delaware State, 188 points
- "Where have you gone, Jahsha Bluntt? Hard times in Dover, where the Hornets rank first in strength of schedule among Schuykill 16 teams but last in quality" (Bryan Graham)