Chicago City Rankings - 12/21

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 (mostly) statistical analysis. It
includes RPIBasketball StateKen PomeroySagarin and
my own observations. It's sort of like the BCS for Chicago. I'm sure
that makes you cringe. Like the maligned football system Chicago
College Basketball is also on Twitter.

There has been a change in the rankings! DePaul's loss to American at home has convinced a number of people that the Blue Demons are struggling right now. This could all change again once Mac Koshwal reenters the DePaul lineup, but for now a game between Loyola and the Blue Demons would be fiercely competitive and the rankings suggest that with a small shakeup.

The Rankings:

  1. Northwestern (9-1)
  2. Loyola (8-2)
  3. DePaul (7-4)
  4. UIC (3-6)
  5. Chicago State (3-6)

Northwestern: The Wildcats continue to take care of business with two victories last week. Northwestern defeated North Florida and Stanford. The victory over the Ospreys was expected to be easy, and it was. Beating the Cardinal was quite a bit more difficult. Even though Northwestern struggled from three-point range the Wildcats still found a way to play very strong defense and pull out the victory. With only a game versus Central Connecticut standing in the way of a very strong 10-1 start before Big Ten play the Wildcats are looking like a special team.

Loyola: A surprising victory over Bradley helped the Ramblers gain a lot of respect from a number of ratings systems. Depending on what you believe Loyola is anywhere from the 27th best team (RPI) to the 174th best team (Pomeroy) in NCAA Division I. The reason there is such a discrepancy? Close victories. Loyola just seems to have a knack for pulling out the tough ones this season. Hopefully the Ramblers won't need late-game heroics when they take on Albany on Tuesday. They certainly didn't need them against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

DePaul: Losing to a team that was previously 1-8 has a way of dampening expectations. (The fact that American followed it up with a loss to a terrible UMBC team didn't help things either.) DePaul's loss to American was unexpected and inexplicable. The Blue Demons had no reason for allowing the Eagles to hang in there long enough to get a victory. Unfortunately, this is what life without Mac Koshwal is like. He needs to return shortly. By the way, this week's game against Florida Gulf Coast is no gimme either. Playing on the road is always tough. A road game at an Atlantic Sun team right before the start of Big East play is an awfully strange bit of scheduling.

UIC: A two-game winning streak wasn't enough to overcome a six-game losing streak and move the Flames past some other teams. Still, the victory over Oregon State is one that'll have some legs. What was really impressive though was the 20-point victory over Northern Illinois. Tough games on the road this week against Akron and Wisconsin might lead to another rough week. The Flames seem to thrive off the energy and familiar settings of the Pavilion. Can Jimmy Collins generate that energy for his team on the road?

Chicago State: The Cougars got Jonathan Montgomery into the rotation and then promptly lost to Olivet Nazarene - an NAIA school - and a decent Tulsa team. It is going to be a long season, but the Cougars could still be competitive in the Great West. This is a conference that has Texas Pan-American, North Dakota and Houston Baptist. Those three teams are a combined 3-32. Should make for some interesting games at least.

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