The newest AP Poll is here and Duke fans will not like the result. For the first time since 2016, the Blue Devils are in the "Receiving Votes" category. Here are the Blue Zone's thoughts on this week's rankings:
Duke drops all the way out
Hold on, where did Duke go? For the first time in nearly five years, the Blue Devils find themselves on the outside looking in of this week's top 25. After last Tuesday's loss to then-No. 20 Virginia Tech, the program is in a territory that has been a virtual unknown for the better part of 35 years. While Duke has taken care of business against a few inferior opponents, three chances for ranked victories have gone by the wayside. Whether the Blue Devils can rebound and claw their way back into the rankings depends on the next four games, one of which comes against another ranked opponent in Clemson.
Virginia retakes ACC top-dog status
Early season struggles were cause for concern in Charlottesville, with a loss to San Francisco and a nail biter against seemingly overmatched Kent State showing that Virginia still had to work out the kinks before becoming a dominant team. Now, the Cavaliers have hit their stride, as a 35-point victory over Clemson—a team that has surprised many around the country with their 9-2 start—impressed the pundits. Thanks to that resounding win and a 5-0 record in conference play, Virginia is once again the highest ranked team in the ACC. Tony Bennett's club is going to be difficult to handle for everyone in the conference, it just took a little longer for Virginia to show it this season.
It's highly unlikely to last for the entire regular season, but the top two teams in America have shown no signs of slowing down after starting their respective seasons without a blemish. Gonzaga and Baylor came into the year as the clear alphas and nothing they have shown so far has made anyone think otherwise. Both are top five in points per game, average margin of victory and offensive efficiency, and the eye test shows that both can just devastate opponents on both ends of the floor. Whether they can keep up this pace remains to be seen—as no college basketball team has finished undefeated since Indiana in 1976—but right now, its Gonzaga and Baylor's world and we're just living in it.
1. Gonzaga (62)
2. Baylor (2)
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12. Texas Tech
14. West Virginia
15. Ohio State
16. Virginia Tech
25. Saint Louis