A big win against a sweet 16 from a year ago and a 20-2 record gets you exactly one vote in the AP poll. That isn’t good enough. Overall, the polls tend to favor the major colleges, especially in a sport like women’s basketball. There is no way to watch every game, and the airwaves are filled with the latest drama in the NBA and the super exciting dunks in college that we have all seen a million times. Heck, the Ohio Bobcats might not even be the most snubbed mid-major. Central Florida has a serious gripe, too. UCF missed out on the top 25 with a 20-3 record and 14 RPI ranking. UCF’s “bad” losses were to Central Michigan and 16th ranked Syracuse. Their other loss was to UCONN.
But this is a MAC site.
The Bobcats have the best record in a loaded conference. To judge a conference, I would start by looking at how many good teams there are. Going by RPI rankings, the ACC has 12 teams in the top 100, while PAC 12, Big Tenish, and SEC each have 9. Then comes the MAC with 7. Game in and game out, Ohio has been winning, with only 2 exceptions. Both losses were to good teams. I don’t think there would be 25 teams that would be sitting at 20-2 in the MAC.
Aside from that, the Bobcats pass the eye test. They really only have one weakness and that is inside rebounding. Since they run so well and tend to fire up threes when they are not attacking the basket, their style of play tends to negate that weakness. They have multiple stars that can take over a game, both by driving to the basket or hitting threes.
So the question is, who would I boot out of the top 25 to put in the Bobcats? I don’t particularly like calling out teams in a story like this, as all the top 25 teams are good, however, I will. Michigan State is 4-4 in their last 8 games. Twice as many losses in 8 games as the Bobcats have in the entire season, and 2 of those losses were to teams with a combined 24-22 record. Rutgers has lost 2 in a row, including one to a team that lost 7 out of 8 earlier in the season. Miami does have a big win against Notre Dame. They also have losses to Purdue and Central Michigan, two teams that the Bobcats have beaten, both by double digits. Iowa is ranked 14th, and I wouldn’t put Ohio above them, but it is worth noting that they have a loss to Purdue, too.
Ohio should not be ranked above every one of those teams, or even any of those, to be honest. However, they should certainly be in the discussion. The problem I have is not that they are not ranked, it is that so few voters seem to notice just how good they are doing this year.