The Texas Tech basketball team remains in the top 10 of both national polls, which were updated Monday. But despite a 2-0 week, the Red Raiders actually dropped a spot in one poll.
Once a team reaches the top 10 in the national polls, it is much more difficult to move up than it is to move down. So it is not surprising that the Red Raiders did not move up in either national poll this week being as none of the teams ahead of them stumbled, but the fact that they dropped a spot in one of the polls after going 2-0 last week is puzzling.
Tech fell one spot to No. 9 in the Coaches Poll while staying put at No. 8 in the Associated Press poll. The latest rankings come on the heels of a week that saw Tech pull off two impressive victories.
On Tuesday, the Red Raiders defeated the No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners in Lubbock and on Saturday, Tech won in Austin for the first time in 23 years. But for some reason, Kansas, which beat No. 25 TCU at home and Baylor on the road, jumps one spot past the Red Raiders in the Coaches Poll while staying one spot ahead of the Red Raiders in the A.P. poll.
The fact that the Jayhawks, which already have one more loss than the Red Raiders and trail Chris Beard’s team in the Big 12 standings are ranked as the highest Big 12 team in both polls is further proof that the logo on the jersey matters as much as, if not more than, what is actually in the jersey.
The only other Big 12 team to be ranked this week is Oklahoma (A.P. 20, Coaches 19) which moved up three spots despite their loss to the Red Raiders. OU knocked off TCU Saturday in Norman. As for the Horned Frogs, they fell out of the A.P. poll following back-to-back losses at Kansas and Oklahoma.
Overall, Duke remains at No. 1 in the A.P. poll as the top ten remained unchanged. Meanwhile, Virginia is at No. 1 in the Coaches poll for the second-consecutive week.
But this week could be a chaotic week at the top of the standings. Virginia will face Virginia Tech (A.P. 9, Coaches 7) at home on Tuesday before hosting Duke on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Michigan (A.P. 2, Coaches 4) has a tough road test at Wisconsin. The No. 3 team in both polls, Tennessee, has a pair of home games against Arkansas and Alabama so do not look for Rick Barnes’ team to take a step back.
The only other team ahead of the Red Raiders that faces a tough test this week is Michigan State (No. 6 in both polls) which travels to Nebraska on Thursday for their only game of the week. The Spartans host No. 19 Maryland next Monday in a game that will have an impact on the national landscape but will not influence the next rankings.
But even as we grow frustrated with Texas Tech perhaps being overlooked and surpassed by a hated Big 12 rival, we must keep in mind that the fact that we are frustrated with the team’s top 10 ranking is a sign of where this program is. After all, it was just a handful of years ago when we would have been lucky to get to ten wins, much less a top 10 ranking.