Hoops: Thoughts on the new Top 10

The first coaches' poll of the new year provides some good grist for debate when compared to the rankings at cishoops.ca and the RPI.

How's this for a coincidence? The Ottawa Gee-Gees finally break into the Top 10 in a week where they have a road game vs. the U of T Varsity Blues, who have inherited the mantle of the country's overlooked team. The Blues are in the Also Receiving Votes zone, but are No. 6 in the country in the view of Mark Wacyk and are No. 5 in RPI.
  1. Carleton: No debate at all; everyone says the five-time champs are No. 1, although Calgary is very close in the RPI.
  2. UBC: The T-Birds are only No. 9 in RPI, but their strength-of-schedule has taken them down a bit. Mark Wacyk sees them as the No. 2 team in the country. Games this week vs. Simon Fraser and Brandon give the T-Birds and star scorer Chris Dyck a chance to live up to their billing.
  3. Acadia: Probably the dodgiest pick. Did everyone see that the Axemen lost to Manitoba, one of the weaker teams in the country, and was never in it against Calgary? They're outside the Top 10 in the other two rankings.
  4. Calgary: Speaking of the Dinos (No. 3 cishoops, No. 2 RPI), they have gone 14-4 playing the toughest schedule in the country. Their RPI of .623 is a smidge lower than Carleton's .637; they might very well be first if not for their holiday-tournament loss to Brock. From afar, they're scary good.
  5. Concordia: The coaches are probably giving the Stingers the benefit of the doubt after a shaky weekend.
  6. Guelph: By all accounts, coach Chris O'Rourke's Gryphons (No. 5 cishoops, No. 7 RPI) are legit. They have a tough one on Saturday vs. Brock.
  7. Ottawa: Some shuffling with the Gee-Gees (No. 4 RPI, No. 4 cishoops), Acadia and Calgary might be in order, but let's hold off until Ottawa faces Toronto.
  8. Brandon: Not unlike Concordia, the Bobcats started the season ranked up high.
  9. Alberta: See the Calgary comment. Alberta is 13-5 and three of those losses have been against the rival Dinos.
  10. Cape Breton: The only team other than Carleton whose ranking perfectly matches their standing in RPI. The Capers have a show-us game this weekend vs. St. FX (No. 8 cishoops).

Also Receiving Votes -- St. Francis Xavier, Brock, Toronto, Saint Mary's, Western.

UPDATE: Mark Wacyk has a strong take on this week's vote that touches on a big problem with the process in the coaches' poll -- there seems to some inefficiencies in getting the information out about the results from non-conference games. There are some questions about how much the coaches take those games into consideration when they vote.

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