You had to know there was going to be a shakeup in men’s college basketball with the opening schedule. With the top 5 packed with blue bloods and four of those teams going head-to-head, something had to give. The changes aren’t that dramatic, after all, it’s the beginning of the season, not March. Aside from the fall of Michigan State and Kansas and the rise of Kentucky there’s a bigger and better story coming via the ACC. For the conference, it’s a slow roll to supremacy.
The top 10 includes four conference teams and then, well, there’s none. We knew it was going to be a top-heavy season in the ACC but we didn’t realize just how much. But, let’s get real here for a quick minute or two. If you think that Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia will be all by their lonely in the Top 25 this season, well, you’d be very wrong.
The conference certainly won’t be taking up as much space in the Top 25 as they have in years past. We’ve got a whole lot of basketball to be played between now and the first of the year when conference ball kicks off. Plenty of time to play a bit of catch up and have coaches put a spit-shine on their teams.
None of the aforementioned ‘top-of-the-class’ conference teams are getting away scot free when it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. There’s plenty of talent spread out across the ACC. That’ll ensure that there won’t be any undefeated teams this season. Think not? We’ll chat again come March.
Some times reputation alone is enough to carry you into the heady air of the top 5. Can it keep teams there? That remains to be seen. We probably won’t see any significant shuffling past week one until holiday tournaments roll around. For the ACC, it’s a slow roll to supremacy until March.
Among conference teams Florida State is on the precipice of entering the Top 25. Leaving the discussion (those that were in the preseason RV category) this week are Notre Dame (39), Syracuse (41) and NC State (42). For fans of those three teams, fear not. It’s an early season boo-boo that required a Sponge Bob band-aid.
How’s the conference look in the Ken Pom college ratings? The key-word again is, top-heavy.
Ken Pom Ratings – ACC
There’s clearly a demarcation line after the Seminoles. The middle is jammed packed full this season. From NC State through Pitt there will be a mad scramble to rise to the top. You like basketball? Yeah, well, you’ll love the battles coming your way this season.
Meanwhile, the struggle is real among the three teams at the bottom. A job or even jobs could be on the line. But keep in mind, this is the ACC and when you over look a team is when you get handed a loss.
Jim Quist is Managing Editor of ACC Nation and Co-Host of ACC Nation Podcast. He’s a member of NSMA (National Sports Media Association), FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and USBWA (U.S. Basketball Writers Association). He is enrolled in the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program at the University of Richmond. Follow him on Twitter @ACCTheQ.