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Local Poll Week I: Hoya Again

Still on top. (By John McDonnell - TWP)

Last year was one of the strangest in the two-year history of the Atlantic 11 Poll, featuring every Division I men's basketball team in the DMV, plus several dozen voters with too much time on their hands. Witness:

* There was constancy on top. For the first time in Atlantic 11 history, a program went wire-to-wire as the consensus top team. (That would be Georgetown.)

* There was turmoil on the bottom. Nineteen of the 27 teams entered the rankings at some point, two in the very final week of the season (Mount St. Mary's and Coppin State).

* And there were some cream pies to the face for traditionally strong local programs like Maryland, Virginia and George Washington, which by season's end were all ranked behind non-traditionally strong local programs like American and UMBC.

The preseason poll comes out today, and all three trends seem on pace to continue. Georgetown is yet again on top, for at least the 20th week in a row, although it's far from unanimous. There is madness at the bottom; all 27 area schools received at least one vote, and a scant one point separated No. 11 Mount St. Mary's from unranked Morgan State. And while the Terps were given the benefit of the doubt by voters, Virginia languishes at 8th, behind four other Commonwealth schools, plus those pesky AU Eagles.

Two teams re-entered the rankings since the final poll of the 2007-'08 season: Old Dominion and GW. And two teams departed: Morgan State and Coppin State. Even here, the MEAC must claw for respect.

Your first week of results and pith come after the jump.

1. Georgetown (28-6) 799 (69)
--Monday vs. Jacksonville, Nov. 22 vs. Drexel.
--The Hoyas and Terrapins last played each other in 2001 in Anaheim. They have a chance to meet this season in Orlando. Based on this trend, we can expect the next meeting to be in Japan, followed by one in Paris, which nobody will attend. They'll then announce a game in Prince William County, but it will be quickly canceled. (Max Wass)

2. Virginia Tech (21-14) 623 (3)
--Friday vs. Gardner-Webb, Monday vs. No. 11 Mount St. Mary's, Thursday vs. Fairfield.
--No. 1 in the Real Virginia Poll (Chris Fish)

3. VCU (24-8) 589 (8)
--Sunday vs. The Citadel, Wednesday vs. South Dakota State, Nov. 22 at Rhode Island.
--Playing in something called the Cancun Challenge this season. Vanderbilt should be its toughest foe there, followed closely by Chlamydia . (Matt Bonesteel)

4. Maryland (19-15) 509
--Friday vs. Bucknell, Tuesday vs. Youngstown State, Nov. 21 vs. Vermont.
--Gary's already teaching Jin Soo Kim the phrase "Please, Greivis?" (Jack Lambert)

5. George Mason (23-11) 403 (1)
--Saturday at Vermont, Monday vs. Brown, Thursday at Hampton, Nov. 22 at East Carolina.
--Mason is reassigning their famous furry mascot Gunston from basketball games to kid-friendly "Go Green" events in Fairfax. That's kind of like going from the verge of leading the most powerful country in the world to being governor of an unpopulated western state with vistas of Russia. (Markus Videnieks)

6. American (21-12) 398
--Friday at Oklahoma, Monday vs. St. Francis (Pa.), Wednesday at Howard, Nov. 22 at Jacksonville.
--When Michelle Obama said, '"For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country", she actually meant to say ""For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of American University's men's basketball program" (Michael Palan)

7. Old Dominion (18-16) 231
--Sunday at Charlotte, Nov. 22 vs. UAB.
--Gerald Lee's hometown is Uusikaupunki in Finland. Spelling Fail. (Eric Holmberg)

8. Virginia (17-16) 214
--Sunday vs. VMI, Wednesday vs. South Florida, Nov. 21 vs. Radford.
--Losing Sean Singletary a definite case of subtraction by subtraction. (Eric Swensen)

9. UMBC (24-9) 146
--Saturday vs. Stevenson, Monday at Morgan State, Nov. 21 at Quinnipiac, at TBA.
--Jay Greene: Dimes :: Carlos Rogers: Interceptions. (Scott Allen)

10. George Washington (9-17) 120
--Friday at Boston U.,. Wednesday vs. Binghamton, Nov. 22 at Auburn.
--If Steve Spurrier could vote for Duke in every preseason coaches' poll, I'm voting for my alma mater in this one. (David Larimer)

11. Mount St. Mary's (19-15) 104
--Friday at Loyola, Monday at No. 2 Virginia Tech.
--How sad will it be when Friday's night game against Loyola on MASN gets better ratings than the Nats? (Jamie Paquette)

Also receiving votes: Morgan State 103, Richmond 84, William & Mary 32, Navy 26, James Madison 24, Hampton 20, Coppin State 19, Loyola 17, Radford 17, Towson 7, Longwood 4, Howard 3, Liberty 2, Maryland-Eastern Shore 1, Norfolk State 1, VMI 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 13, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Next: Morning Look: Two Caps Black Eyes


Tech at number 2? This is a basketball poll, not trap and skeet.

Posted by: ol-brob | November 13, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

No. 8 in the polls, number last in our hearts, here's a sampling of UVa's pre ACC schedule:

11/16 VMI

I guess Leito is focused on at least one poll.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | November 13, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse


wow, it's like the Cavs have some sort of "jump start the rural Virginia economy" mandate or something. oh wait, they don't play any of those on the road which will only make it all the sadder when they lose at least 2 of those games.

Bonesteel and Holmberg get my "pith of the week" votes.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

How is Maryland ahead of an American team who was IN the tournament last year? If this was a women's basketball poll I would agree, since Brenda Frese is a good coach, but since it is a men's basketball poll I think your poll is nonsense.

Posted by: andersot | November 13, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

only cause they didn't make the top 11, juss wanted to note that I'm totally feelin Coppin this year

Posted by: parkerbros | November 13, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Crap. I knew I should have ranked Morgan State one notch higher.

Posted by: eangevine | November 13, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Only Kyle Whelliston knows my sorrow.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | November 13, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Dan, Greivis remembers all. He's going to shave a giant "F you" into his sideburns and we'll all know who its directed towards. And no, it won't be Kyle Singler

Posted by: JDP_ | November 13, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

No way Maryland, Virginia or GW deserve these rankings. The Terps lost their two best frontcourt players and are counting on Dave Neal and inexperienced big men inside. Virginia lost one of the best players in its history from a mediocre team and GW has had so much turmoil Karl Hobbs is taking prescription strength Dramamine daily. Maybe they will all be there by the end of the season, but these rankings are not justified right now.

Posted by: fitzfacts | November 14, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Regarding $$ and UVA, his departure could be a blessing for that team. They have some talent, but they were relegated to roles and many did not play to their abilities as they were often gun shy and yielded to SS. He was that team because he was allowed to be that team.

Posted by: sitruc | November 14, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Poll pith at a high level even while most people don't know that the season has started. Well done voters.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 14, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

MASN has Mt St Marys at Loyola tonight. Watch and get edumacated, fellow pollsters.

Clearly, I'm going to have to use the mid-majority handicapping system to get my picks in the top eleven.

Posted by: eangevine | November 14, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

holy crap - Howard beats Oregon State! VMI beats Kentucky! Towson beats Navy! the meek shall inherit the poll! this is gonna get awesome.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 14, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

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