That’s got to be a historic low over the life of that poll, I would guess. Normally, the SEC has 5 to 7 ranked teams.
Our ladies are undefeated, and beat a ranked Kansas State over the Holiday weekend and are still just among “those getting votes”. Meanwhile, Texas is 3-3 and ranked #22. And there are several other teams with two losses sprinkled in the rankings.
Keep winning and you move up. No question that Mulkey is receiving the votes rather than LSU not that LSU doesn’t deserve the votes. Surprising Tennessee at 4 and 4 is shown receiving votes but Georgia and Florida did not. This first week post holiday tournaments with some not finishing until Sunday. Win tonight and win Sunday with a loss or two elsewhere should put the Razorbacks in the ranking. The big challenge will be the poll following January 8th. We will have likely played 8 ranked opponents by then and if the game were all victories the Razorbacks could be near the top ten. if not in the top ten. Be nice to beat LSU again.
Funny thing about it, however, that points out the importance of being ranked…even if it’s 25th. Something I noticed decades ago; a team might be, say, 27th (i.e., 2nd from the top vote getter among those NOT in the top 25), and 6 or 7 ranked teams may lose. You’d think that the team formerly 2 spots out of the top 25 would be ranked for sure (assuming they won their game(s) that week).
NOT (necessarily) SO! I’ve seen said “27th” team DROP 3 or 4 places to 29th or 30th in that exact scenario. You can understand if a team ranked just behind them (getting votes, but less than them) had a splashy win over a top 10 team or something. But, oddly, that’s not always the case.
It’s kind of “out of sight…out of mind”…I think what happens is that most voters START their weekly process looking at the top 25 and their results. The losers move down (or out) and the winners move up (unless it was a shaky/controversial win). And then, they “fill in” to fill the gaps of the teams that dropped out. But while I’m sure many do the proper research and look at who was “ranked” behind the top 25 the week before, many do not. So, they just kind of randomly look for teams to plug in.
So, if the team in question had been 25th, instead of 27th, and 4 teams ahead of them had lost, that team would most likely be ranked somewhere around 20th (depending on the quality of their wins, maybe higher) because their “starting point” would be #25 and everyone would see them as being “among the ranked”. But since they were NOT ranked, they weren’t on the automatic tractor beam of a higher ranking when the teams in front of them lost.
That’s why the difference between the 16th and 24th (for example) ranked teams means little to nothing, in a poll like the AP or USA Today…
The women have the 81st-ranked strength of schedule right now and it will probably drop some over the next four games. They have an opportunity toward the end of December to impress voters with games against Creighton, Oregon and potentially Ohio State over the course of five days.
Coach Neighbors talked a little about it today:
“There’s just some inertia to it that you can’t overcome. You know, there’s teams that get ranked so high to start the year and then they don’t lose. So, there’s really nowhere to go early on. If you’re asking me if I think we’re one of the best 25 teams in the country, I do. But I understand why the rankings might not lead to that, because the preseason poll is based on who you have coming back and how you finished last year. We didn’t win an NCAA Tournament game last year, we had some question marks coming in, I get that.”
He noted that he and the team will use it as bulletin board material, though.