Mid-Major Top 25: Hofstra Surprising Mid-Major Nation With 4-0 Start In CAA Play

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2011

Hofstra's Charles Jenkins is No. 4 in the nation in scoring with 23.8 PPG.
Hofstra's Charles Jenkins is No. 4 in the nation in scoring with 23.8 PPG.

These weekly rankings will rank which mid-majors are the best in the nation, factoring in record, RPI, and whom the teams have beaten and lost to. There are different opinions on which teams qualify as mid-majors. I say that mid-majors are teams not in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10, Mountain West, Conference USA, or Atlantic 10. Teams from any other conference constitute as mid-majors.

Rank. Team (Previous Rank)

1.Old Dominion Monarchs (1)

Record: 12-3, 3-1 CAA

RPI: 29

Old Dominion defeated George Mason on Saturday to move to 3-1 in the CAA. The Monarchs play a tough, short stretch with games at Drexel and at Hofstra this week.

Key Wins: Xavier (Neutral), Richmond (Home), Dayton (Home), George Mason (Home)

Key Losses: Delaware (Road)

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (4)

Record: 11-5, 1-0 WCC

RPI: 31

Gonzaga has stayed strong the last few weeks. The Bulldogs opened WCC play with a win over Portland.

Key Wins: Marquette (Neutral), Baylor (Neutral), Xavier (Home), Oklahoma State (Home), Portland (Home)

Key Losses: Washington State (Road)

3. St. Mary's Gaels (7)

Record: 14-2, 2-0 WCC

RPI: 39

St. Mary's has not lost in over a month. The Gaels have dominated their competition in the last few weeks, winning their last five games by 20 or more points.

Key Wins: St. John's (Home)

Key Losses: None

4. Missouri State Bears (10)

Record: 13-3, 5-0 MVC

RPI: 36

Missouri State continued its winning streak and remained undefeated in conference play with a win over Wichita State on Sunday.

Key Wins: Northern Iowa (Road), Wichita State (Road)

Key Losses: Tulsa (Road)

5. Wichita State Shockers (3)

Record: 13-3, 4-1 MVC

RPI: 50

Wichita State's eight-game winning streak ended with a loss to Missouri State on Sunday.

Key Wins: Virginia (Neutral)

Key Losses: Missouri State (Home)

6. Utah State Aggies (9)

Record: 14-2, 3-0 WAC

RPI: 51

Utah State is one of two undefeated teams in the WAC (Boise State). The Aggies will play for first place in the WAC at Boise State on Thursday.

Key Wins: None

Key Losses: None

7. Butler Bulldogs (8)

Record: 12-5, 4-1 Horizon

RPI: 24

Butler rebounded from a loss at Milwaukee with wins over Cleveland State and Youngstown State. The Bulldogs will play at Detroit on Friday for first place in the Horizon League.

Key Wins: Florida State (Neutral), Washington State (Neutral), Valparaiso (Home), Cleveland State (Home)

Key Losses: Evansville (Home), Milwaukee (Road)

8. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (11)

Record: 14-2, 5-0 Big South

RPI: 80

Coastal Carolina has won 12 straight games. The Chanticleers defeated Liberty on Saturday to take full control of the Big South.

Key Wins: LSU (Road)

Key Losses: Charleston (Road)

9. James Madison Dukes (16)

Record: 13-3, 3-1 CAA

RPI: 63

James Madison has won seven straight games. The Dukes have a fairly easy week with a pair of home games against Georgia State and UNC-Wilmington

Key Wins: Princeton (Home), Kent State (Road)

Key Losses: Georgia State (Road)

10. Portland Pilots (12)

Record: 12-4, 0-1 WCC

RPI: 41

Portland had a rough welcome to WCC play with a loss at Gonzaga on Saturday. The Pilots host Loyola Marymount on Thursday.

Key Wins: Florida Atlantic (Home)

Key Losses: Washington State (Road)

11. Cleveland State Vikings (2)

Record: 15-3, 4-2 Horizon

RPI: 30

After a 15-1 start, Cleveland State has lost two straight games. The Vikings wrap up a three-game road trip at Youngstown State on Saturday. 

Key Wins: Iona (Home), Kent State (Home)

Key Losses: Butler (Road), Valparaiso (Road)

12. George Mason Patriots (6)

Record: 10-5, 2-2 CAA

RPI: 54

George Mason lost its last two games, dropping to 2-2 in CAA play. The Patriots wrap up a road trip at Northeastern on Wednesday.

Key Wins: Harvard (Home)

Key Losses: Wofford (Neutral), Hofstra (Road)

13. Charleston Cougars (21)

Record: 11-5, 4-0 SoCon

RPI: 70

Charleston defeated Charleston on Saturday to take complete control of the SoCon South. 

Key Wins: Coastal Carolina (Home), Tennessee (Road), Furman (Road)

Key Losses: Clemson (Home), Morehead State (Road)

14. Drexel Dragons (5)

Record: 10-4, 2-2 CAA

RPI: 56

Drexel ended a two-game slide with a win over Delaware on Saturday. The Dragons host Old Dominion on Thursday.

Key Wins: Louisville (Road)

Key Losses: Hofstra (Home)

15. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (18)

Record: 11-8, 6-0 Summit

RPI: 72

Oakland remains undefeated in the Summit League. The Golden Grizzlies play at IPFW on Saturday for first place in the conference.

Key Wins: Tennessee (Road), Austin Peay (Neutral)

Key Losses: Valparaiso (Home)

16. Valparaiso Crusaders (22)

Record: 12-5, 4-1 Horzion

RPI: 58

Valparaiso has won six of its last seven games. The Crusaders have a pair of tough games this week against Detroit and Wright State.

Key Wins: Oakland (Road), Ball State (Home), Cleveland State (Home)

Key Losses: Ohio (Road), Toledo (Road), Butler (Road)

17. Princeton Tigers (20)

Record: 11-4

RPI: 45

Princeton rebounded from a loss at Central Florida with a win over Marist. The Tigers open Ivy League play against Brown on January 28.

Key Wins: Rutgers (Home)

Key Losses: Presbyterian (Neutral)

18. Virginia Commonwealth Rams (14)

Record: 11-5, 3-1 CAA

RPI: 67

Virginia Commonwealth has won four of its last five and is off to a strong 3-1 start in the CAA. 

Key Wins: UCLA (Neutral), Drexel (Home)

Key Losses: South Florida (Road), Georgia State (Road)

19. North Texas Mean Green (15)

Record: 13-3, 2-1 Sun Belt

RPI: 92

North Texas picked up its third road loss of the season to Middle Tennessee. The Mean Green is in second place in the Sun Belt West.

Key Wins: None

Key Losses: Sam Houston State (Road), Middle Tennessee (Road)

20. Harvard Crimson (25)

Record: 11-3, 1-0 Ivy

RPI: 52

Harvard picked up a strong OOC win at Boston College on Wednesday. The Crimson then defeated Dartmouth to open up Ivy League play. 

Key Wins: Colorado (Home), Boston College (Neutral)

Key Losses: None

21. Creighton Jays (23)

Record: 12-5, 4-1 MVC

RPI: 100

Creighton's winning streak ended with a loss to Missouri State, but the Jays rebounded with a pair of road wins over Southern Illinois and Evansville. 

Key Wins: None

Key Losses: Missouri State (Home)

22. Hofstra Pride (Not Ranked)

Record: 10-5, 4-0 CAA

RPI: 99

Hofstra has surprised everyone with 4-0 start in CAA play. The Pride has already beaten two of the better teams in the conference (George Mason and Drexel). The Pride play at Towson on Wednesday.

Key Wins: Rider (Road), Drexel (Road), George Mason (Home)

Key Losses: Western Kentucky (Neutral), Florida Atlantic (Home)

23. Northern Iowa Panthers (17)

Record: 11-6, 2-3 MVC

RPI: 85

Northern Iowa had a rough start in conference play, but the Panthers picked up a win over Bradley on Sunday. 

Key Wins: Iowa State (Home), New Mexico (Neutral)

Key Losses: Milwaukee (Road), Missouri State (Home), Southern Illinois (Road), Indiana State (Road)

24. Kent State Golden Flashes (13)

Record: 9-6, 0-1 MAC

RPI: 88

Kent State has lost three straight games to and dropped to 0-1 in the MAC with a loss at Akron. The Golden Flashes host Bowling Green on Tuesday.

Key Wins: Iona (Neutral), Furman (Home)

Key Losses: Morehead State (Home), James Madison (Home)

25. Vermont Catamounts (24)

Record: 11-4, 2-1 A-East

RPI: 66

Vermont picked up its first conference loss at Boston on Sunday. The Catamounts host 1-14 UMBC on Saturday.

Key Wins: Iona (Road)

Key Losses: Fairfield (Road), Boston (Road)

Added: Hofstra

Dropped: Murray State

Considered: Akron, Austin Peay, Ball State, Belmont, Detroit, Fairfield, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville, Murray State


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