There were only eleven games played this week between twelve teams, and Bowling Green played twice. Based on that there wasn't much to learn this week, other than the Falcons can block a whole lot of shots. Let's get on to the rankings:
1. Toledo Rockets (9-0), LW: 1
Last week: Sam Houston State (W)
This week: at Arkansas State (12/17), Cleveland State (12/21)
Once again the Rockets stay at the number one spot. They play three games before heading to Kansas on December 30th, and barring any unforeseen circumstances they'll be undefeated going into that one. Toledo is scoring at will; they are fourth in the nation in points per game and sixth overall in field goal percentage. They're not very good on defense, but you don't have to be if you can shoot the ball lights out. The Red Wolves will provide a test away from home, but they really haven't beaten anyone that impressive. Cleveland State can hang with anyone if they're playing lights out (at Kentucky), but can also look lackadaisical (vs. Akron) and not play well at all.
2. Kent State Golden Flashes (8-2), LW: 2
Last week: No games
This week: at Charleston (12/21)
No games played and no outstanding effort from the teams below means no movement for the Flashes. Charleston is a decent team, but one that Kent State should have little trouble with.
3. Ohio Bobcats (7-2), LW: 3
Last week: Alabama A&M (W)
This week: #22 Massachusetts (12/18), at Richmond (12/22)
If there was ever a week to define what Ohio basketball could be this season, it's this one. If you can knock off the undefeated and ranked Minutemen, you're for real. If you can back that win up with a road win at a strong Richmond team, you're really for real. It'll be hard to go 2-0, but if Ohio splits I'll be impressed.
4. Akron Zips (3-2), LW: 4
Last week: Bethune-Cookman (W)
This week: Oral Roberts (12/16), Detroit (12/18), Oregon State* (12/22)
The Zips are finally starting to come around after a long layoff, winning their last two games convincingly. Things get a little tougher this week when Southland favorite Oral Roberts comes to the JAR. The Golden Eagles have hung tough with Wisconsin and Wichita State before bowing out at the end. Detroit is playing well also and almost just knocked off North Carolina State. The Oregon State match-up is in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic, being played in Honolulu, Hawaii.
5. Eastern Michigan Eagles (6-3), LW: 6
Last week: Green Bay (W)
This week: at Oakland (12/21)
The Eagles knocked off the Horizon League favorites at home in one of the better wins for the conference last week. We know that this team is good, we're just not sure how good yet. Do they have enough to compete with Toledo? Conference season is going to be fun.
6. Buffalo Bulls (4-3), LW: 5
Last week: Canisius (L)
This week: Manhattan* (12/21)
I just can't figure this Buffalo team out. They've beaten a good team in St. Bonaventure but have lost to Canisius and Niagara. I know they're talented, but it may take awhile for Bobby Hurley's style to catch on with his new team. This week's game against Manhattan is part of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational being played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
7. Western Michigan Broncos (5-3), LW: 7
Last week: at Missouri (*)
This week: at Drake (12/18), Prairie View A&M (12/21)
So the Missouri game is just getting started, but we'll go ahead and presume that the Broncos won't be able to pull it out. I think Western Michigan has constantly been in the seven spot in these rankings, which can either be seen as a good thing (no bad losses) or a bad thing (can't move up). Only putting up twelve points in a half against Northwestern isn't helping, and the Broncos need to have a strong week this week to possibly move up. Drake is a good team and an even better rapper, while Prairie View A&M is one of the worst teams in the country.
8. Bowling Green Falcons (5-5), LW: 9
Last week: North Dakota (W), at Morehead State (W)
This week: Detroit (12/22)
So how about the Bowling Green Falcons? We weren't really expecting much out of them this year, but this team isn't laying down for anyone. They started 1-3 and have reeled off four wins in six games with one of the losses being in overtime to Xavier. This could be a surprise team this season, especially if Richaun Holmes and Cameron Black keep playing well. Detroit continues their tour of the MAC on Sunday in the Stroh Center. They might as well just join the league, honestly.
9. Central Michigan Chippewas (6-4), LW: 8
Last week: at Dayton (L)
This week: at Jacksonville State (12/17)
The Chips took a break from the cupcakes as they took a tough road loss to Dayton. The Flyers are a good team so this loss was likely, and it was good to see Chris Fowler put up good numbers (20 points on 7-11 shooting). This week they're right back to the dessert table, feasting on a team that's ranked 309 by KenPom and whose only Division 1 wins are Alabama A&M and Alcorn State.
10. Ball State Cardinals (2-5), LW: 10
Last week: No games
This week: at Marquette (12/17), at Southern Illinois (12/21)
No games means no movement for the Cardinals. They do have a tough week this week as they head up to Milwaukee to face the Golden Eagles who are just 6-4 but have losses to the likes of Ohio State, Wisconsin, Arizona State and San Diego State. The Salukis will provide a little better of a game as they sit at 2-7 with only one D-1 win.
11. Miami RedHawks (2-5), LW: 12
Last week: Wright State (W)
This week: at UMKC (12/18), at Tennessee State (12/21)
I'll move the RedHawks up one slot to eleven after beating a decent team in Wright State. Here's another team I just can't figure out, especially with a loss to a Division 3 team. Good thing for Miami is that they face two of the worst teams in Division 1 this week, including a trip to head coach John Cooper's former stomping grounds in Nashville.
12. Northern Illinois Huskies (3-5), LW: 11
Last week: at Massachusetts (L)
This week: at Loyola (IL) (12/18), at UC-Riverside (12/22)
The Huskies were ran out of the gym by UMass, which was pretty much expected. Things get a little easier this week, as NIU faces Loyola (258 in KenPom) and UC-Riverside (281). It'll be a long road trip but one that should see the Huskies play a little better.