For the first time since December 9, Villanova is the unanimous No. 1 team in the Schuylkill 16 rankings.
Temple is the unanimous No. 2, and Drexel is up to No. 3. I wonder what would have happened had Temple not lost at Richmond, but even if they had, Villanova's win at West Virginia was really impressive.
Depending on how much snow is on the ground, I'll put together a new stats compilation today or tomorrow. I'll be at Drexel and Temple on Saturday, including a live blog of the Owls' big game against Rhode Island. It's Hooter's birthday, so there will be plenty of mascot photos.
(I know some of you are really fond of that.)
I'll also be at Cornell-Penn Friday night at the Palestra. It will be very interesting to see whether there are more Big Red fans in the house than Penn fans. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case.
Between now and then, though, we have ESPN's so-called "Rivalry Week." Syracuse-Connecticut and Duke-North Carolina should be there, of course. But it's funny how Villanova-Georgetown and Temple-St. Joe's both missed the cut by a few days each.
The New York Times' John Temple and MSNBC.com's Mike Miller both pay tribute to the Big 5 in their respective lists of college basketball's top rivalries. It would be nice if the City Series got more national love in the future. Maybe this season's exciting Holy War will get that game back on ESPN next season.
With that, let's get to this week's rankings.
1. Villanova, 16 points (16 first-place votes)
- "Fortunately for 'Nova, West Virginia's basketball players aren't as accurate shooting the ball as its fans are when throwing quarters at opposing coaches. " (Mario Machi)
2. Temple, 32 points
- "I almost gave the Owls the top spot as an early birthday to Hooter." (Mario Machi)
3. Drexel, 62 points
- "Had more wins than the entire Big 5 this past weekend." (Rob Falcone)
4. La Salle, 89 points
5. Princeton, 95 points
- "A six-game winning streak has to mean something, right? No? Okay, never mind." (Nick Catrambone)
- "A big win over Harvard last week practically clinches the Ivy League for Cornell. I feel smarter just for typing that sentence." (Mario Machi)
Well, not quite - the Tigers host Cornell Saturday night and could make life very difficult for the Big Red.
6. Rutgers, 99 points (1 last-place vote)
- "The Scarlet Knights are running a 2 tickets, 2 hot dogs, 2 sodas for $20 special for the upcoming game against Georgetown. I would probably take the two dogs and two sodas and then find a sports bar nearby to watch a more competitive game." (Mario Machi)
- "Rutgers should be required to give up their spot in the Big East Tournament to the Connecticut women. I guarantee better attendance." (Brian O'Neill)
And our rant of the week...
- "Rutgers just knocked off Caldwell by 8 points. I don't need to tell a well-learned man like Tannenwald that Caldwell is a Dominican school in Jersey that has now lost six straight thanks to poor scheduling. It's not the coaches or players fault that the AD has them running through the gauntlet of Nyack College and Felician College. Rutgers was a reprieve for them as they played Rutgers closer than they did their previous three opponents." (Todd Falkenberg)
t-7. Rider, 132 points
- "No. 4 in my poll, because the voting system doesn't let me obstain." (Nick Catrambone)
t-7. Saint Joseph's, 132 points
- "I never thought there would be a day where I'd be happy that Saint Joseph's managed a split against St. Bonaventure." (Brian O'Neill)
9. Lehigh, 135 points
- "Lehigh managed to sweep the season series from American U this weekend, but that gets you no bump in my poll... because American lost to Maryland-Eastern Shore. UMES stinks." (Daniel Simpson Day)
Just don't rip on Princess Anne.
10. Penn State, 146 points (2 last-place votes)
- "I am going to look like a genius for putting Penn State last when Penn matches their win total by the end of the season." (Brian Ewart)
- "What happens first? The snow melts in Philadelphia or the Nittany Lions win a Big Ten game?" (Mario Machi)
11. Lafayette, 160 points
12. Bucknell, 192 points
13. Delaware, 202 points
- "Delaware broke up the monotony of losing by beating another CAA cellar-dweller this week. Now, the only thing left to do is to find a comeback for Drexel's chicken-suit gag." (Brian Ewart)
14. Delaware State, 204 points
- "The Delaware State vs. Morgan State game next week might almost be watchable." (Nick Catrambone)
15. Monmouth, 234 points (5 last-place votes)
- "Monmouth lost two games to Fairleigh Dickinson this week. The combined attendance of the two games: 891. I will rank them last and feel fairly certain that nobody will care enough to object. " (Todd Falkenberg)
16. Penn, 246 points (8 last-place votes)
- "Despite being 3-14 Penn was 2-1 and third in the Ivy League for 24 hours. That's the beauty of Ancient Eight basketball." (Zach Klitzman)
- "I don't think it is a coincidence that Penn has begun to win games the same week that one of the Penn blogs releases a weekly sex column." (Todd Falkenberg)
-"The Billikens are only one win away from a Big 5 title and they get Temple at home. I vote we put them in the poll on the merits of Rick Majerus' diction alone." (Jeff Shafer)
Neumann-Goretti High School
- "Another week, another pair of blowout victories. And with St. Patrick's (N.J.) having its coach suspended this week, the Saints are in prime position to move up, as St. Patrick's was ranked ahead of them in the national polls." (Mario Machi)