Ding, Ding, Ding Round Two Coaches

By Jeff Lippman - October 31, 2007

I'm taking on the coaches once again and this time we are talking preseason Top 25 rankings.

USA Today? ESPN? WBCA? Bring them on too. It's gonna be a bloodbath.

The USA Today/ESPN Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll was released Wednesday, on Halloween, and it is scary how similar it is with CSTV.com's Top 25.

The two rankings Top 5's are the same, except in different orders, but with those teams that is like comparing diamonds and even bigger diamonds.

The Coaches and CSTV.com have the same No. 1 in Tennessee - there's a shocker - but after that is where it changes...pay attention now.

CSTV.com lists it Tennessee, Maryland, Rutgers, Connecticut and LSU. The Coaches do it this way: Tennessee, Connecticut, Rutgers, Maryland and LSU. We both have LSU at No. 5 and Rutgers at No. 3, we just flip-flopped UConn and Maryland.

Here's where the Coaches and I are seeing eye to eye. I have said all along that Oklahoma deserves a high ranking this season, despite losing a lot of senior leadership off last year's team. Many of the preseason polls and publications were ranking them as low as the high teens and I thought that was way off.

That's why in CSTV.com's Top 25 the Sooners sit at No. 8. The Coaches disagree, they thought Courtney Paris' crew deserved to be a little higher at No. 6.

The Coaches do put a little too much stock in Duke and North Carolina for my taste. They rank the Dukies No. 9 and the Tar Heels even higher at No. 7. While both teams will undoubtedly be very good by the end of the season, I think the Top 10 is a little early with such young teams. Duke is my No. 11 and UNC No. 13.

It seems the Coaches favored the long-time programs for the bottom of the rankings, instead of looking into the future, because teams that are historically good litter the bottom part of the Top 25.

Baylor at No. 15? Vanderbilt at No. 17? Purdue at No. 20?

Baylor made CSTV.com's Top 25 at No. 23 - and that was based mostly on reputation - as for the other two, Vanderbilt was ranked a team to watch and Purdue? Seriously? Purdue?

I do have two minor qualms with the two teams ranked No. 24 and No. 25 in the Coaches rankings. While both Texas and N.C. State will have solid seasons, I would rather see teams like Notre Dame, Auburn or Georgia Tech, who all show so much promise, at those spots and let Texas and N.C. State reprove themselves.

Gail Goestenkors will work miracles with that Texas program, for sure, but it is a little soon to bump them into the Top 25 just yet.

Welcome To The Top 25
Four teams are making their Top 25 debut from not being ranked to end last season. No. 14 California - CSTV.com ranks them No. 7 - No. 21 Pitt, No. 22 West Virginia and No. 24 Texas start the season ranked where last year they were not.

First-Place Votes
Tennessee received the most first-place votes with 26. Connecticut was closest with four and No. 5 LSU garnered one. Despite being ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, Rutgers and Maryland received none.

What do turtles and big red knights have to do to get a little respect around here?

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 09:27 AM on October 31, 2007

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