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College Basketball Rankings: Pitt At No. 2?

The last couple of weeks have been kind to the Pitt Panthers, who have beaten one undefeated team (Syracuse) while two others (Duke and Kansas, who dropped their first game of the season today) have also lost. How might this week's AP college basketball rankings turn out? Let's look at last week's top 10, which came out before Pitt's defeat of Syracuse and Kansas' loss but after Duke's:

1. Ohio State

2. Kansas

3. Syracuse

4. Duke

5. Pittsburgh

6. San Diego State

7. Villanova

8. UConn

9. Brigham Young

10. Texas

There's no concern that any of the teams below Pittsburgh will leapfrog them. SDSU remains undefeated, but the Aztecs haven't played anyone tough recently. BYU hasn't either. (The two teams play each other this week.) Other than Pitt, the Big East's other top teams are cannibalizing each other - Villanova just beat Syracuse, but lost to UConn. The Huskies beat Villanova (and Texas, incidentally), but lost to Pitt earlier this year. The Panthers beat Texas, as well, and the Longhorns have three losses (although they had huge wins this week against Kansas and Texas A&M).

Ohio State remains undefeated and will easily retain the top spot in the rankings. After that, though, I think Pittsburgh should probably be No. 2. The Panthers have big wins against Texas, UConn and Syracuse, and only one loss, against Tennessee. Kansas just lost against a team that Pitt beat. And Duke barely finished ahead of the Panthers last week, before Pitt's win over Syracuse.

Here's how I think this week's AP top 10 might look, then, just based on the games that have already happened this week:

1. Ohio State

2. Pitt

3. Duke

4. Kansas

5. San Diego State

6. UConn

7. Texas

8. Villanova

9. Brigham Young

10. Syracuse

That's the same 10 teams as last week, but in a pretty different order. What will happen to Villanova, which had a huge win and a huge loss this week, is probably the toughest to figure out. It's also tricky to figure out what will happen to Syracuse, and how to balance the Orange's two losses against top-ten teams against the far easier schedules of teams like SDSU and BYU.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.