It's time to send a new Top 25 men's basketball ballot to The Associated Press -- and I have a new No. 1.
I hate to demote Gonzaga from No. 1 when the Zags did not lose this past week, but I decided to make Baylor my new No. 1.
Baylor (13-1) won at Texas Tech and at Kansas this past week, giving Baylor the true road wins it had lacked on its resume. And two pretty darn good road wins at that, especially the one at Kansas.
Baylor has also beaten Villanova (on a netural court) and Arizona and is the only team to have beaten Butler. Baylor now has three wins over teams in my top 10 (Kansas, Butler and Villanova), so that gives Baylor the nod over the Zags. That is too many quality wins to ignore.
Now, the Zags have beaten Washington, which was the only team to beat Baylor (in early November), so this was a hard call. But I am going with Baylor.
I also kicked some teams off my ballot.
I booted Ohio State after it lost at Maryland and at Indiana. The Buckeyes have lost four straight. Not playing like a Top 25 team right now.
I kicked out Penn State after it lost at Rutgers and fell to Wisconsin.
I evicted UVa after it lost at Boston College and fell to Syracuse.
I did not need to kick out Arizona after its 0-2 week because I had not been ranking Arizona on my past three ballots.
Here is the ballot.
1. Baylor (13-1) moves up three spots after winning at Texas Tech and at Kansas. Next: Wed. against Iowa State and Sat. at Oklahoma State.
2. Gonzaga (18-1) falls one spot despite winning at San Diego and Loyola Marymount. Next: Thursday against Santa Clara and an intriguing game Sat. against BYU.
3. Duke (15-1) falls one spot despite winning at Georgia Tech and beating Wake Forest. Next: Tuesday at Clemson and a huge game Saturday against Louisville.
4. Butler (15-1) moves up one spot after winning at Providence. Next: a huge game Wed. against Seton Hall and a Sat. visit to DePaul.
5. San Diego State (17-0) moves up one spot after winning at Wyoming and beating Boise State. Next: Tues. at Fresno State and Sat. against Nevada.
6. Kansas (12-3) falls three spots after winning at Iowa St. and losing to Baylor. Next; Tues. at Oklahoma and a Sat. visit to Texas.
7. West Virginia (13-2) stays here after winning at Oklahoma St. and beating Texas Tech. Next: Tues. against TCU and a Sat. visit to Kansas State.
8. Auburn (15-0) stays here after beating Vanderbilt and Georgia. Next: Wed. at Alabama and Sat. at Florida.
9. Oregon (14-3) stays here after beating Arizona in OT and defeating Arizona State. Next: Thurs. at Washington State and an intriguing game Sat. at Washington.
10. Florida State (14-2) stays here after winning at Wake Forest. Next: an intriguing game Wed. against UVa and a Sat. visit to Miami.
11. Villanova (12-3) stays here after winning at Creighton and beating Georgetown. Next: Tues. against DePaul and Sat. against UConn.
12. Kentucky (12-3) stays here after winning at Georgia and beating Alabama. Next: Wed. at South Carolina and an intriguing game Sat. at Arkansas.
13. Louisville (13-3) moves up a spot after beating Miami and winning at Notre Dame. Next: Tues. at Pitt and the huge game Sat. at Duke.
14. Dayton (14-2) moves up four spots after beating UMass. Next: an intriguing game Tues. against VCU and a Fri. visit to St. Louis.
15. Wichita State (15-1) moves up four spots after beating Memphis and winning at UConn in double OT. Next: Wed. at Temple and an intriguing game Sat. against Houston.
16. Michigan State (13-4) falls three spots after beating Minnesota and getting squashed at Purdue. Next: an intriguing game Fri. against Wisconsin.
17. Colorado (13-3) moves up three spots after beating Utah. Next: Thurs. at Arizona State and a big game Sat. at Arizona.
18. Michigan (11-5) falls three spots after beating Purdue in double OT and losing at Minnesota. Next: a huge game Friday at Iowa.
19. Seton Hall (12-4) moves up three spots after winning at Xavier and beating Marquette. Next: a huge game Wed. at Butler and a Sat. visit to St. John's.
20. Illinois (12-5) cracks my ballot here after winning at Wisconsin and beating Rutgers. The Illini have won three straight, including a win over Purdue. They also beat Michigan last month. Next: Sat. against Northwestern.
21. Memphis (13-3) stays here after losing at Wichita State and winning at South Florida. Next: Thursday against Cincinnati.
22. Creighton (13-4) cracks my ballot here after losing to Villanova and winning at Xavier. All of Creighton's losses have come to ranked foes (at Michigan, San Diego State on a neutral court, at Butler, and home against Villanova). And Creighton does own nice wins over Texas Tech, Marquette and Xavier. The resume also includes a win over Oklahoma and a win at Arizona State. Next: Wed. at Georgetown and a Sat. game against Providence.
23. Maryland (13-3) stays here after beating Ohio State and getting squashed at Iowa. Terps still have not won a true road game this season. Next: a good game Tues. at Wisconsin and an intriguing game Sat. with Purdue.
24. LSU (11-4) returns to my ballot here after getting a quality win over Arkansas and beating Miss. State. LSU has now won four straight, including a win over Liberty and a win at Tennessee. Next: Tues. at Texas A&M and a Sat. visit to Mississippi.
25. For this last spot, I looked very hard at Stanford. I also looked at Liberty, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Rutgers. I also thought about leaving Ohio State on my ballot and dropping the Buckeyes to No. 25. But in the end, I decided to have Iowa (11-5) at No. 25 for the third straight week after Iowa lost at Nebraska and won big at home against Maryland. Next: Iowa visits Northwestern on Tuesday and has the huge game with Michigan on Friday.