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Who is the Real Number One Team in the Country?

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After losses by #1 North Carolina and #4 UCLA Saturday afternoon, within 15 minutes of each other, there remains only two teams left that can battle for "Who Should Be Number One". Not to say that neither Memphis or Kansas, the two competitors left standing on the first upset Saturday of the college basketball season, won't lose the rest of the way out, just that they are the clear-cut two best teams in the country right now. And when the polls come out Monday, Memphis will almost assuredly pop up at the top of both the AP and USA Today polls. It is the easy thing to do. Instead of poring over statistics, determining who has the better resume and all of that jazz, just slide #2 up to #1 and leave it at that, leaving the first real decision on your ballot is North Carolina's new residence after losing at home to a Maryland team with L's against American and Ohio. Yes, I am bitter.

But here at Rock Chalk Talk, I won't stand for this kind of non-analytical ranking BS. Now, if you go through the statistical formulae and it turns out that Memphis is, in fact, by your standards, the #1 team in the country I could care less. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and after poring over some of them myself, I might come to the same conclusion. But simply sliding #2 to #1, #3 to #2 and onwards doesn't serve the purpose of who are really the top teams in the country, and even if it is almost exclusively for the fans and such, with an NCAA Tournament at the end of the road to end all debate, it isn't right.

Who is the Real Number One?

Team RPI KenPom Rating Best Win Strength of Schedule Adj. Offensive
Efficiency
Adj. Defensive
Efficiency
Team A 2 2 vs. KP#8 by 14 54 20 1
Team 2 3 1 @ KP#30 by 4 58 4 2

Note: You would have no idea how hard that was for me. I'm not retarded, but for some reason all of this table-making has always confused me. I basically just stole one of JQ's tables and edited it, and it still took me awhile. Wow...

Judging by that table alone, it is clear who is the #1 team in my mind. Team A has a better win, and the secondary wins are the same (both Memphis and Kansas have home wins against Arizona on their resume), with Team A having a slight advantage in top-to-bottom SOS. Team A has a much worse offense, while still upper-echelon, while possessing the best defense in the entire country, after being adjusted for offenses face and everything. Team B is much more balanced, while being slightly better on the defensive side.

In case you didn't figure it out, which I would have actually gotten it wrong had the "Best Win" category not be included and were I not to make the actual table, Team A is Memphis and Team B is Kansas. So yes, Memphis should, according to me, be the #1 ranked team in the country come Monday morning. I still think we could take the Tigers, even in Memphis, but they have a very good basketball team. Still, we have clearly proven ourselves to have the second best resume in all of college football, mostly because of the "0" under the L column, which can only be said about us and Memphis. Both of us have a chance to go undefeated, while Memphis' chance is much more realistic with only a date against the Tennessee Volunteers, who are the biggest victors of the weekend, moving into prime, January position to snag a #1 seed, and a slate full of CUSA decency between them and undefeated-ness.

In last week's poll we were ranked #1 by three voters, and that figures to stay the same. And we figure to pick up at least some of North Carolina's departing #1 votes, but the majority should go to Memphis. Still, a comfortable second place in both polls, with around 20 first-place votes most likely, is a wonderfully nice position to be. Especially considering we are coming off of an Orange Bowl win.

Wow, what a great time to be a Jayhawk fan...

ROCK CHALK! Again, as promised, I will give my own Top 25 sometime tomorrow. Hopefully I can do better than most AP voters do.