The release of the first Associated Press Poll has gotten many fans fired up about the new season. Currently, teams are playing exhibitions with the first game of the regular season looming next week. This season is going be different from any other because of traditional power house teams in different conferences and having a lot of good teams in only a few conferences.
In the preseason AP poll, Indiana (1), Ohio State (4) and Michigan (5) all find themselves ranked in the top five with the addition of Michigan State (14) and Wisconsin (21) making many believe the Big 10 is the best conference talentwise this year from top to bottom. The reputation of being the best conference in America will benefit the Big 10 Conference and the teams that play in it. First off, this will give every team in the Big 10 special consideration come selection on Sunday because the tournament committee takes into consideration “strength of schedule”. This means they look at how many quality teams you play and how they fare against them. Another benefit is with each team in the conference playing good competition week in and week out will help every team improve and be ready for tournament time in March. Being the most talented conference will help the Big 10 in the future, because more recruits are going to want to play there. This is different than any other year because in years past the Big East Conference has had the role of being the most talented. However, this year the Big East only had two teams in the top 25 with Louisville ranked number two and Cincinnati at number 24.
Having traditional power house teams in different conferences from prior years will have an effect on this season as well. This year the Big 12 Conference is welcoming West Virginia and Texas Christian University. It was only two years ago when West Virginia was in the final four and almost advanced to the championship game before falling to Duke. West Virginia is bringing a well-established program into the Big 12 under head coach Bob Huggins. They pose a big threat to number seven ranked Kansas and number 19 Baylor in respect to the winning the Big 12 conference. However, the Big 12 is not the only conference welcoming new teams. The South Eastern Conference (SEC) is welcoming Missouri and Texas A & M from the Big 12. Missouri is ranked number 15 and along with number 10 Florida, will challenge the defending National Champions and number three ranked Kentucky who, has once again brought in a talented freshman class. There is no doubt that these conference changes will cause many more conference losses and new conference champions.