Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Big Ten No. 1, Summit League makes leap
By Evan Kaplan
The top 11 conferences in ESPN Stats and Info’s weekly power rankings remained the same this week, but it was the Summit League that made the biggest leap.
For a complete recap of how we rank the conferences, click here and here.
The Summit League continued its strong movement from last week and moved up four spots in this week’s rankings, largely due to two major wins on Sunday. South Dakota State, which sits on top of the Summit League at 10-4, dominated Washington 92-73.
Despite playing a depleted Xavier team, Oral Roberts scored another big win for the league when it defeated formerly eighth-ranked Musketeers 64-42 in Cincinnati. The Summit League has been a strong conference all season, amassing a .561 winning percentage against all other conferences, the 10th-best mark in Division I.
The Big Ten remained at the top of the conference rankings, although its lead over the Big 12 was nearly cut in half this week. The Big 12 will be hurt by Kansas’ loss to Davidson, but Baylor and Missouri remain undefeated. Kansas State also had a big win over another major conference team, Alabama, which will help the Big 12’s standing.
The SEC saw the biggest drop from the human polls this past week. Two teams fell out of the both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Top 25 polls (Alabama and Vanderbilt), leaving the conference with just three teams in each poll.
As you can see from the rankings below, the Atlantic Sun had the biggest fall this week, dropping four spots from 15 to 19.
ESPN Stats & Information Conference Power Rankings