Dear Gary (on UNI's omission from my rankings)
Posted on: January 18, 2010 12:15 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 12:19 pm
Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: What's Northern Iowa have to do to get in the Top 25 (and one)?
The Panthers were one of the last five or six teams I considered for the final couple of spots, but the truth is that their body of work is mostly unimpressive. Doesn't mean they're not good. Doesn't mean they won't win the Missouri Valley Conference and somehow make the Sweet 16. But to date their resume is awfully thin.
Sure, the 16-1 record looks nice. But the one loss was to the worst team in the Big East (DePaul), and the best win is probably a home win over Siena (or perhaps a win at Iowa State.) Now compare that to Northwestern, i.e., the last team in the Top 25 (and one). The Wildcats are 13-4, but they don't have any losses as bad as UNI's loss to DePaul, and they have three wins (over Notre Dame, at Michigan, over Purdue) better than any of Northern Iowa's wins. So to me, it's simple: Northwestern > Northern Iowa. But the Panthers can gain some respect with a Tuesday night win at Wichita State. Get that, and then we'll talk.