College Basketball Rankings: Syracuse Falls to No. 4/5 After Rough Week

Grant Halverson

After a two-loss week, Syracuse fell to No. 4, which shouldn't really surprise you...

This week's arbitrary rankings by coaches and media have arrived,and following a two-loss week, you'll find it as no surprise that Syracuse dropped to No. 4 in the AP poll. What will certainly shock you, though, is that they fell to fifth (behind Louisville?!) in the USA Today poll. Dropping behind a couple fellow two-loss squads and unbeaten Wichita State is one thing. But four-loss Louisville? How do you defend that given this year's on-the-court results?

The AP Voter(s) You Arbitrarily Love This Week: Cormac Gordon (Staten Island Advance) and Percy Allen (Seattle Times) had Syracuse at No. 2. That was very nice of them, and especially so for Gordon, who actually had the Orange lower than most voters for several weeks earlier in the season. Ron Morris had us at No. 3, which surprised the hell out of me. Maybe we were wrong about Ol' Ron?

The AP Voter(s) You Arbitrarily Hate This Week: Scott Mansch (Great Falls Tribune) is obviously still holding a grudge from SU whipping Montana in last year's tournament, ranking the Orange ninth this week. Eight different voters also had us at No. 6, including some of Syracuse's long-time defenders near the top of the polls.

***

The large majority of AP voters had Syracuse at No. 4, which I'm completely fine with. I've mentioned the outlier No. 9 voter as well -- which we can write off as nonsense. But what I still can't understand is how we ranked behind Louisville in the Coaches Poll, and significantly so. The Cardinals and Orange were separated by 35 points, which is a significant gap. Did two losses really put that large of a gulf between the former (and future) conference rivals? Or are they just skating due to a thrilling win and last year's title?

For those curious where the rest of the ACC teams were slotted in this week's polls, Duke is sixth in the AP Poll and seventh in the Coaches Poll, respectively. Virginia moved up to 12th in the AP and 11th in the Coaches. North Carolina is 19th in the AP, and 21st in the Coaches after upsetting Duke this past week. Pitt also managed to receive a few votes in the Coaches Poll.

So what bothered you about the polls this week? I've complained enough about the USA Today poll drop to five. But what else seems amiss? Weigh in below.

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