Chicago City Rankings - 11/16

Note: This is the weekly spot where I'll recap what happened for each of the five teams this blog covers and rank them. The rankings are a combination of subjectivity and statistical analysis. It includes RPI, Basketball State, Ken Pomeroy and my own observations. Please note that this season is very young, I mean Rotnei Clarke leads the nation in scoring at 51 points per game.

DePaul isn't included in this week's rankings, because in order to have a profile you've got to actually play a game. The Blue Demons will fix that in a hurry though with a home game on Tuesday night against Columbia and then some good competition at the Paradise Jam Tournament.

The rankings:
1. Northwestern
2. Chicago State
3. Loyola-Chicago
4. UIC

Notes and justification after the break.
Northwestern is the only team in Chicago which currently has a record against NCAA Division I opponents. Sure, the Wildcats only beat Northern Illinois at home, but that's more than any of the other schools can boast. The win was surprisingly solid on both ends of the court. Northwestern will probably come back to the pack this week after the Wildcats host Butler on Wednesday.

Chicago State played one easy game - against NCAA Division III Concordia University - and one tough one - against Iowa State. The game against the Cyclones didn't go particularly well, especially on the offensive end. Still, the Cougars did hold Craig Brackins to very poor shooting. With games against non-Division I opponents coming up this week don't expect things to change much for Chicago State. The real tests start November 24 when Eastern Illinois comes to the Jones Convocation Center for what should be a competitive game.

Loyola lost it's opener at Kansas State in a humbling fashion, but the Wildcats are going to be one of the second-tier teams in the Big 12 and so it's not a particularly bad loss. The Ramblers get fellow Jesuit university Canisius on Tuesday and then go to Massachusetts to take on Holy Cross. Those are teams closer to Loyola's overall talent level, so we'll learn a lot about a young Ramblers squad this week.

UIC managed to beat NCAA Division II University of Illinois Springfield in its season opener, but that doesn't help in any of the rankings used in this equation. A trip to Central Michigan - which just lost to Princeton - on Wednesday will provide more of a test. Sure to be on the mind of Flames fans, and Chicago basketball aficionados in general, is next Monday's game at the Pavilion versus an Illinois State team that includes a number of local products, including Osiris Eldridge.

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