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Atlantic 11 Week I: Rivalry renewed

Welcome back to another year of local college basketball voting. Due to Redskins fans complaining about the front office, and then somehow finding their way to my blog, and then my traffic numbers going up, we now have easily the largest voting pool in Atlantic 11 history. To start, there were 109 voters eager to judge the difference between William & Mary and Morgan State.

As always, the 27 Division I schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are eligible. With so many voters, several of whom appear to be bad at filling out online survey forms, every single school managed to attract at least one vote. Bear in mind that with this many voters, I can't possibly monitor for horrific voters, so some bad apples might slip through, like whoever voted for Liberty, which is 1-4 with a win against Southern Virginia.

This is the poll's fourth year; the previous crowns were won by Georgetown ('07 and '08) and VCU ('09). And by the looks of things, longtime friends Georgetown and Maryland will be battling it out for early-season Atlantic 11 supremacy. Not on the court, though. Duh.

Since last year's final poll, American, Radford, VMI, Mount St. Mary's and UMBC fell out of the rankings, while George Washington, Virginia, Richmond and William & Mary entered. Seven different teams received first-place votes. Bear in mind that five Atlantic 11 teams made the NCAA tournament last year, and 12 played in some sort of postseason tournament. Would that we're even luckier this time around.

Here are the totals. We have team, record (through Sunday's games), points and first-place votes. Last year's final standings are found below. More of the hilarious pithy comments will appear at a later time.

1. Maryland (3-0) 1,004 (55)
--Next: Monday vs. Chaminade in Maui, more games TBD.
--Terps' trip to Hawaii should give Greivis Vasquez a great opportunity to see if he can throw it in the ocean from the beach. (John Albers)

2. Georgetown (3-0) 974 (46)
--Next: Saturday vs. Lafayette.
--The last time I remember a team winning with only 46 points, I was 12 years old and my team included a kid who played in jeans. (Michael Radford)

3. Virginia Tech (2-0) 598
--Next: Monday at Campbell, Friday at Temple, Saturday vs. Delaware.
--A Guard named Cassell sounds like something the Wizards could use right now. (Matt Kelly)

4. VCU (2-1) 574 (3)
--Next: Monday at Hampton, Friday vs. Nevada.
--Losing to Western Michigan and then beating Oklahoma is sort of like losing to the Lions and then beating the Cowbo...Oh. Nevermind. (Andrew Morris)

5. George Mason (3-2) 548 (1)
--Next: Saturday at Tulane.
--A week late maybe, but on Sunday the Patriots beat a team from Indiana, and they did it without going for it on 4th and 2 inside their own 30. (Markus Videnieks)

6. Old Dominion (4-0) (1) 522
--Next: Friday at Missouri.
--Marsharee Neely has just replaced Carlester Crumpler as #45 on my all time best names list. (Michael Palan)

7. George Washington (3-0) (2) 449
--Next: Tuesday vs. Princeton, Saturday vs. Oregon State.
--Hosts Oregon State on Saturday in what is becoming Craig Robinson's annual opportunity to crash on his brother in law's couch. (Markus Videnieks)

8. Virginia (3-1) 440
--Next: Tuesday vs. Stanford.
--Tony Bennett is taking his team to Cancun over the holidays, apparently just to see whether disappointment is allowed through customs. (Jack Lambert)

9. Morgan State (3-1) 192 (1)
--Next: Tuesday at Arkansas, Saturday at Appalachian State.
--Outscored Louisville in the second half, wisely turned down Rick Pitino's post-game dinner invitation. (Matt Kelly)

10. Richmond (3-1) 152
--Tuesday vs. Longwood, Friday at Mississippi State.
--Off to a nice start with wins over Duke and Georgetown and a 1-point loss to 'Nova. Oh, sorry! That's the football team. (Jamie Paquette)

11. William & Mary (2-2) 90
--Wednesday vs. Hampton, Saturday at Wake Forest.
--Can we just get it over with and name Tony Shaver's mustache the official school mascot? (Jack Lambert)

Also receiving votes: American 71, Mount St. Mary's 65, Radford 43, VMI 43, Coppin State 37, Loyola 32, James Madison 22, Howard 21, Norfolk State 21, Navy 20, UMBC 18, Towson 17, Liberty 11, Md.-Eastern Shore 9, Hampton 3, Longwood 2.

Last year's final tally
1. VCU
2. Maryland
3. American
4t. George Mason
4t.Virginia Tech
6. Morgan State
7. Radford
8. Georgetown
9. Old Dominion
10. VMI
11t. Mount St. Mary's
11t. UMBC

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 23, 2009; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11  
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Next: Wall Street Journal covers the Burgundy Revolution


Oh, Atlantic 11, how I've missed you. Welcome back!

Posted by: SRockville | November 23, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

i'm with SRockville, it's nice to have the poll (and college hoops in general) back for the winter.

that said, a note to the voters: American is terrible. also, Denmark is not the country where wooden shoes are prevalent.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I still maintain MD won last year's poll since they had the most first place votes. RECOUNT!

Posted by: JDP_ | November 23, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Clearly American's strength of schedule earned it the 12th spot.

Posted by: KCinHD | November 23, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else see the thorough beatdown VCU put on Oklahoma the other night? Shaka Smart may look more like a student manager than a head coach, but youngin kin coach and the Rams are f'real.

Posted by: fitzfacts | November 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who voted Richmond higher than William & Mary knows William & Mary beat them right?


Posted by: mcdonams2131 | November 23, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

i believe the liberty vote was a vote of false hope. one which many local fans fall victim to every preseason for every sport.

Posted by: theraph | November 23, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Camels are irritating.

Posted by: sitruc | November 23, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

If the Terps want to be the top team in the area, they should grow a pair and play some teams in the area.

Posted by: EShine | November 23, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

fyi, CJ Ah You is #12 on my all time names list

Posted by: parkerbros | November 24, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Disappointed in my fellow voters and their apparent ignorance to the strength of Old Dominion... and William & Mary. How the tribe fell behind Richmond this week is beyond me.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | November 24, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

There seems to be more than the usual skew in favor of teams considered local to the Washington, D.C. area. George Mason at #5 is a reach, American at an unofficial #12 is absolutely preposterous. Teams like the aforementioned Old Dominion and Morgan State should get more consideration, IMHO.

Posted by: evwill | November 24, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Hampton got no love...well, maybe if they knock off two in the top 11, they might.

Posted by: walkdwalk | November 24, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Had ODU #2, Morgan #4, Richmond #9, Mason #10, MSM last one out. AU and W&M out. Hampton? Win a game, then talk to me.

Posted by: fitzfacts | November 24, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

as a tribe grad, while I know they're off to a solid start, I know they'll screw it up somehow.

Posted by: mbhowa | November 24, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

i will say this, it's so much easier to do this now that the initial rankings have been set.

Doing them from scratch took way more research than I ever did in College.

Posted by: mbhowa | November 24, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Strong pith out of the opening gate

Posted by: Kev29 | November 24, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

If the Terps want to be the top team in the area, they should grow a pair and play some teams in the area.

Posted by: EShine | November 23, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think growing a pair is the issue when the Terps seem to have a tougher out of conference scheudle than all other A-11 teams. Two quality opponenet in Maui, at Indiana, and a top ten (five?) team in 'Nova.

However, I will say it is foolish Maryland and G-town don't play every year. It is foolish to take from us what would be a sure to be fantastic OOC rivalry.

Posted by: elowe2 | November 24, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Indiana stinks, so I wouldn't put them in an SOS argument. VT has @Penn State, @Iowa, Georgia and Seton Hall. UVA has Penn State, Stanford, @Auburn and @South Florida. George Mason has VIllanova, Georgia Tech, Dayton, @Tulane.

None of those are great, but Maryland's isn't any better and might be worse. That said, I think Maryland has played locals a reasonable amount (Morgan, American, MSM, GW) over the past few years, so I dont agree with eshine either.

Posted by: fitzfacts | November 24, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

elowe & fitz - Gary Williams has stated that he won't play the stronger local teams because he has nothing to gain by playing them. Therefore, those he does play he feels like they should roll over them. Its horrible for the area that he won't play Georgetown or even Mason. For that reason, I say that MD should grow a pair.

fitz - hold on to your rankings. ODU #2, but who have they played? Richmond lost to team you had out of your rankings. Both teams have a lot to prove in the next week or so against so tough opponents so we'll see how that shapes out.

Meanwhile, you rank GMU #10, yet they lose on a last second shot to Villanova and hung tough with a very good Georgia Tech team. Morgan State hangs tough with a ranked team, but they are #4. Why the big rankings difference? Morgan State is good, but is the spread that much?

Its early in the year. Lots yet to shake out. More debating to be done. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: EShine | November 24, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

If the Terps want to be the top team in the area, they should grow a pair and play some teams in the area.

Posted by: EShine | November 23, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

They did in 2007 when they played VCU at Verizon in the BB&T and lost 85-76. And I believe they lost last yeat to Georgetown, 48-75.

So sure, they'll argue "we play Morgan st and American"! No disrespect but play the teams who are on your level. About the only team in the area that isn't a low-major, that they seem to be able to beat is VA Tech.

Posted by: RamBand | November 24, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

EShine - Williams refuses to play Gtown b/c they won't play the Terps anywhere but Verizon Center which they insist is a neutral site even though its thier home court. (There's a bit more to it then just that but Im not writing a book here.) If Gtown would agree to a home and home this would/could get done.

Posted by: fushezzi | November 24, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Fushezzi, I'll give you that Indiana stinks but come on now. Penn State, Iowa, Georgia, Seton Hall, Stanford, Auburn, South Florida. ALL of those schools you mention also stink. Probably only Mason has as tough of an OOC schedule as MD.

Posted by: elowe2 | November 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse


It's only in regard to the BBT that Gtown refuses to play anywhere else but Verizon (MD refuses to play Gtown in the BBT because of the Verizon= Hoya homecourt issue).

Posted by: christopherwilliams100 | November 24, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think growing a pair is the issue when the Terps seem to have a tougher out of conference scheudle than all other A-11 teams. Two quality opponenet in Maui, at Indiana, and a top ten (five?) team in 'Nova.

Posted by: elowe2 | November 24, 2009 11:01 AM

I say this as a Terps fan... Maryland's non-conference schedule is horrible. Weakest Maui field in recent memory, Indiana is a long way from back (neither of those things Maryland's fault), Cincy (OK), Nova good and that's it.

Richmond play Mississippi St, Missouri/ODU, VCU, South Carolina, Florida and Wake Forest.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 24, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll lay off of MD's OOC schedule since its obvious that the Bearcats were more than they could handle. Hey, at least they won Week 1 of the Atlantic 11.

Posted by: EShine | November 24, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

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