Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: How is Duke ranked fifth? They lost by 27 to Clemson!
Yes, Duke did lose by 27 to Clemson.
That was terrible.
But when I rank schools I mostly try to look at the big picture and not get swayed too much by any one game, and here's why: The majority of college basketball teams play about 35 games, which means any one game amounts to less than 3 percent of a total body of work. Obviously, some games are bigger than others; I get that. But I've never understood why it makes sense to move one team down and another up based solely on the fact that one team took a loss in a particular week while another did not, especially if the team that lost still has a better body of work than the team that didn't lose.
Anyway, I say all that to say this: There aren't five teams with better bodies of work than Duke.
The Blue Devils are 20-3 overall, 7-2 in the ACC and in possession of the best RPI in the country. They have eight top 50 victories -- nobody has more except Oklahoma, it's worth noting -- and 12 against the top 100 while playing a schedule that is ranked fifth nationally at CollegeRPI.com. Furthermore, they have no losses outside the top 50 (i.e., no bad losses, except for the margin against Clemson), and no losses at home.
So I repeat: There aren't five better bodies of work in the nation than that.
But if you want to try to find five, by all means make your case.
(Poll Attacks , coming up)