Rock Chalk Blog Power Rankings: Week 1

It’s that time of year again! Now almost at the end of the weirdest year of our lifetimes, the Jayhawks are back in action this week taking on top-seeded Gonzaga. This year, Landen Fields of ITP fame and I are teaming up to bring you a weekly Top 15 power rankings list.

We wanted to make a list that reflects more than just wins or losses. If a good team gets upset randomly to a mid-major team in a flukey game, we don’t think that should necessarily warrant a massive drop in the rankings. Instead, we want to focus on how a team is playing overall. It’s sort of hard to create our top 15 before games have started, so for this week we will cluster groups of teams together.

  1. Baylor
  2. Gonzaga
  3. Villanova
    These three teams are the best in the country and they’re difficult to distinguish. We give Baylor the nod simply because they are the most complete team in college basketball, returning just about every important player from a team that finished with four losses last season. Realistically, any of these three teams can be ranked one, however.
  4. Iowa
  5. Kansas
    Iowa returns last year’s National Player of the Year in Luka Garza, so they get the slight nod over Kansas, who loses its top two scorers. However, Marcus Garrett is expected to take big leaps forward offensively, and Kansas has a multitude of capable guards to turn to if the offense isn’t clicking. Kansas’s key will be the play of the big men.
  6. Illinois
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Virginia
  9. Duke
  10. Creighton
    The teams after Kansas get a little harder to judge simply because we aren’t quite as familiar with their rosters and incoming freshmen. Illinois is the team to keep an eye on here, while Virginia looks to bounce back from an average season last year.
  11. Kentucky
  12. Michigan State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. North Carolina
  15. West Virginia
    Two more Big 12 teams appear in our final five. At this point, we feel like these final teams will be good but won’t likely be title contenders. Michigan State loses its stud point guard Cassius Winston, while West Virginia returns almost all of its scoring from last season.

And that’s our list! We’ll be a little more in depth as the season progresses. We’ll include the top risers and fallers as well as try to include a shoutout to a noteworthy mid-major. Happy Thanksgiving!