The Schuylkill 16 2009-10: Opening Week

This isn't really a preseason version of the poll, because the season is already underway. And it's not really fair to call it a Week 1 poll, because there hasn't been a full week of games yet for all the teams.

So we're going to call this the Opening Week edition of the Schuylkill 16. The next edition of the rankings will appear here on Wednesday, Nov. 25. We'll call that Week 3, and go from there.

It's not easy to do a ranking at this point in the season because we have so little information to work from. But we have plenty of comments to make up for it.

We also have what I will politely call an outlier in the first-place voting. Make fun of him as you wish.

On a less light note, I've added a new feature this year that I'm calling the Progression. It's a bit math-heavy, but I think it's sort of interesting. It works something like this.

Theoretically, if every voter cast the exact same ballot, the progression of points (thus the title) would be a straight line. Multiply the number of voters times one for the first place team, times two for the second place team, and so forth.

The chart that you'll displays the progression of points from the ballots that were cast compared to that straight line. I think it's got some kind of official name, but I haven't taken a math class in a really long time. If you know, post something in the comments.

Finally, a special thanks to the many new voters out there. Tf you want to join the party, just email me. The more the merrier.

I'll be back at around 6:45 for live coverage of Drexel at St. Joe's from courtside at Hagan Arena. See you then.

1. Villanova, 29 points (26 first-place votes)
- "You can pencil in #1 for 'Nova all season long. There is no team in the area better than the Wildcats." (Mike Birnbaum)
- "Has a lot of pressure on them with the pre-season No. 1 pick in the Big East." (Ryan Wixted)
- "A lot of expectations this year, but they won't need another Final Four run to stay #1 in this poll.  This could be the only team in the S16 to make the tournament." (Nick Catrambone)

Agree or disagree?

- "If Villanova legitimately drops out of the top spot in this poll, I'll jump in the Schuylkill." (Neil Fanaroff)

And there's your pith of the week.

2. Temple, 84 points
- "Really curious to see how they handle the first couple of weeks. Ryan Brooks and Lavoy Allen are going to have to step up the scoring with the loss of Dionte Christmas." (Ryan Wixted)
- "Depending on how well Brooks and Allen take the lead Temple's season could go south. (Max Wheeling)
- "It's going to be fun getting to watch Juan Fernandez for a full season. Might be the most exciting player in the area." (Mike Birnbaum)

Shall we start handicapping the Geasey Award now?

- "Unfortunately for Fran and gang, Christmas only came for 4 years." (Fred David)

3. La Salle, 110 points
- "Aaric Murray could put La Salle back into the post-season this year." (Mike Birnbaum)
- "In my mind, the Explorers have the best shot at finishing second in the S-16 this year." (Josh Wheeling)
- "Dr. John has his best team yet at La Salle.  An at-large bid in the tourney is a stretch but it's a step in the right direction for the program." (Nick Catrambone)
- "Giannini's fingerprints are all over this team and he finally has the right pieces in place to make a run in the A-10." (Ryan Wixted)
- "La Salle will beat Villanova and return to the NCAA tournament." (Charlie Wohlrab)

That would be quite a result, wouldn't it? The teams meet Nov. 28 at the Pavilion.

4. Penn State, 112 points
- "Penn State could be a real sleeper in the Big Ten this year." (Terrence D.)
- "Wins in the Big Ten will be hard to come by this year, so a lot will have to go right for another 10-8 conference record." (Nick Catrambone)

5. Saint Joseph's, 154 points
- "It's going to be a rough year in a tough A-10 for the Hawks.  Govens and Williamson are a nice backcourt, but they'll need others to step up for St. Joe's to have a respectable season." (Nick Catrambone)
- "The loss of Nivins and Carr will lead to a significant drop off for St. Joseph's and lead to a fairly one-sided Holy War." (Max Wheeling)
- " I think they can make a run late and hang in a competitive A-10." (Ryan Wixted)

6. Rutgers, 185 points
- "I think they're trying to hide something from us: 10 straight home games against cupcakes to open the year.  Whatever success they have early will end in January, another year at the bottom of the Big East for the Scarlet Knights." (Nick Catrambone)

7. Drexel, 187 points

8. Penn, 235 points
- "Penn's margin of defeat for their two games this weekend might be 70. Just once I'd like to be the big dog opening the season against a cupcake." (Neil Fanaroff)
- "I can feel it in the air; this is the year for the Quakers!" (Fred David)

In basketball or women's lacrosse?

9. Rider, 248 points
- "I probably have Rider way too high, but I like that first place vote they got in the MAAC preseason poll." (Brian O'Neill)
- "Great non-conference challenges for Rider in November with trips to Mississippi State, Virginia, Kentucky, and Cancun. Talk about scheduling tough. I can't wait to work on my tan in Cancun!" (Steve Rudenstein)

A special welcome to Steve, who is the Broncs' radio broadcaster.

10. Princeton, 276 points

11. Delaware, 297 points

12. Lehigh, 299 points
- "Can someone explain the difference to me between Lehigh and Lafayette?  Is it the same school?  I've always been confused by this." (Terrence D.)

The one hosts Eagles training camp and the other hosts Crayola. Right?

13. Bucknell, 303 points
- "They might be the biggest team in the Patriot League, but I'm not sure if there's enough talent." (Nick Catrambone, who has clearly done his homework)

14. Lafayette, 369 points
- "The biggest question mark in the S16." (Nick Catrambone, again)

15. Monmouth, 389 points

16. Delaware State, 399 points