Sports with Chuck McGill Dedicated to the stats and the silly in sports

Monmouth and AP hoops poll history


The Monmouth men’s basketball team has been one of college hoops’ best — and most entertaining — stories this young season.

First, check out the Monmouth bench mob:

That’s lovable March Madness stuff right there … but Monmouth isn’t a brief tournament fairytale. This is a good basketball team. So good, I thought, that I ranked them No. 25 on my ballot for this week’s Associated Press poll.

I didn’t know I was going to be part of the school’s basketball history.

My vote — the lone one from the 65 sportswriters who hold ballots in the AP poll — is Monmouth’s first-ever for the men’s hoops program. The Hawks received five total points from the coaches, and I feel like coaches know a thing or two about good basketball.

I decided to rank Monmouth on the strength of a 4-2 start. Now, we can’t ignore the two losses, but they’re hardly huge hiccups: at much-improved Southern Cal and against Dayton. Monmouth owns wins at UCLA, at Drexel, against then-No. 17 Notre Dame and then, Sunday, against USC in a rematch.

Look at the schools in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC who have at least three wins against Power 5 schools.

Iona was picked to win the MAAC this season, with Monmouth a close second. The Hawks have December games at Georgetown and Rutgers, but if they run through the MAAC schedule, I have no problem keeping them in top 25 consideration for the long haul.

It’s what a team does on the court, not the name on the front of the jersey, that should determine a team’s qualifications for the top 25.

Consider me in.