That would at least partly explain why the Hokies managed to crack the poll at No. 11 over a slew of more deserving teams.
Maryland received 48 of 78 first-place votes to lead the first poll, while Virginia, which finished last season atop the Atlantic 11, is No. 2. George Washington, VCU and Georgetown round out the top five, though the Hoyas were the No. 1 target of voter-submitted pith. Avert your eyes, Georgetown supporters — there’s a whole lot of schadenfreude below.
William & Mary received some love for its season-0pening win over N.C. State, while Radford debuts at No. 8. All but one of the 27 eligible schools received at least one vote. (Sorry, Loyola.) With several intriguing, intra-Atlantic 11 matchups this week, including Virginia at George Washington on Monday and Georgetown at Maryland on Tuesday, there could be some serious movement in Week 2. Don’t worry; ballots won’t go out until long after those games are decided.
To the poll. And the pith.
1. Maryland (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) 741 points (48 first-place votes)
Next: Tuesday vs. No. 5 Georgetown, Friday vs. Rider.
Stone and Trimble would be a great name for a Neil Diamond cover band. (Chris)
Last time Maryland was this highly ranked in basketball Mike Grinnon was sitting on a bar stool at Bentley’s. Oh wait, he’s still there? (Michael Hoffman)
In Layman’s terms, I would call the Maryland win over Mt. St. Mary’s a blowout, mostly because Layman set the terms. (The I-Train)
Did you ever notice that Jake Layman celebrates the most routine plays as if he had just won the Powerball? (Matt Bonesteel)
Gotta give the Terps credit for playing local teams in the non-conference season — two straight DMV opponents in Mount St. Mary’s and Georgetown. Maybe next year they’ll even attempt to play some of the good ones. (Kangy Gareaux)
Scott Van Pelt has rescheduled his show’s appearance in College Park for the next Maryland-Radford game. (David Wilson)
Another year, another early-season schedule filled with cupcake opponents who can’t beat low-majors like Radford. (Markus Videnieks)
Dozens of confused and lonely-looking men, with handfuls of single dollar bills, left Xfinity Center five minutes after the opening tip against Mount St. Mary’s. Apparently, “Diamond Stone’s debut” turned out not to be what they were expecting. (Grant Kronenberg)
A D.C. team with a talented young roster and sky-high preseason expectations. What could possibly go wrong? (Chris Olson)
Does Kenpom having the Terps all the way down at 22 mean Valdez won’t let him on Junkies? (Jake Leffler)
College Park hasn’t been this excited for its Terps since Steve Blake was in his 7th year as the team’s starting point guard. (Joey Flyntz)
2. Virginia (1-0, 5-0 ACC) 729 points (30)
Next: Monday at No. 3 George Washington, Thursday vs. Bradley.
While the shot clock has been shortened, the laundry list of reasons not to like Virginia has not. (Jamie Jones)
With Evan Nolte now a senior, it appears that U-Va. coach Tony Bennett has wasted four years of opportunities to bring in an eerily similar player named Busey. (Markus Videnieks)
The Cavs should just trot out the old Loyola Marymount playbook for one game, just to freak everyone out. (Matt Bonesteel)
The new college basketball rules introduced this year to speed up the game should just be called the Virginia Rules. (Michael Hoffman)
The Hoos have improved consistently under Tony Bennett. At this rate, they will be 36-(minus-1) in 2017-18. (Michael Freeman)
In an effort to appease critics, coach Tony Bennett has promised that this season the Wahoos will take no more than 30 seconds on each possession. (Grant Kronenberg)
Cavs fans hoping that Tony Bennett is not singing “I Left My Heart in Madison” when Bo Ryan retires…or quits mid-season based on Wisconsin’s start. (The I-Train)
Virginia is hoping to find Justin Anderson’s replacement before they find Mike London’s. (Ted Wheeler)
Virginia cracked 80! The new shot clock has saved college basketball! (David Wilson)
Malcolm Brogdon hopes his 13th year in the program will be as successful as the previous 12. (Chris Olson)
Virginia scored 86 points, so all you pace snobs can shut it. (Paul Clifton)
Insert-pace-of-play-joke-here. (Alex Knobel)
3. George Washington (1-0, 0-0 A10) 450 points
Next: Monday vs. No. 2 Virginia, Thursday at South Florida.
GW spent much of the off-season preparing to face Virginia’s frustratingly slow offense by single-tracking on the orange and blue lines. (Markus Videnieks)
Potentially the best team in the country that is neither in a major conference, a mid-major or a one-bid conference team. Things just got weird in that last sentence. (Joshua Meridith)
The Colonials are the only District of Columbia Division I men’s college hoops team to win its season-opening game, and there’s nothing like being the best in early November. That’s why polls like these are so important. (Sean McLernon)
Is it just me or does the name Mike Lonergan sound like the villain in some old Western movie? (The I-Train)
At a time when the nation’s #THUNDERJAM reserves are at historic lows, America needs the Colonials more than ever. (Matt Bonesteel)
4. VCU (1-0, 0-0 A10) 424 points
Next: Monday vs. No. 8 Radford, Friday vs. Duke.
The Shaka Smart jokes wrote themselves. Will wade into puns with new coach Will Wade as the season goes on. (Chris Olson)
I presume Dick Vitale will be doing the VCU-Duke game Friday. It’s been a long off-season, so just so we are all prepared, everyone refamiliarize yourself with where the Mute button is on your remote. (Markus Videnieks)
Shaka finally left for greener pastures. Hardywood might want to consider amping up their ABV to avoid too many frowning Rams in Richmond. (Michael Hoffman)
Isn’t the A&M part of Prairie View A&M a bit obvious? (The I-Train)
New Rams coach Will Wade went to Clemson, so get ready for some crushing, hilarious disappointment. (Matt Bonesteel)
The Rams have two juggernauts on the schedule this week, giant-slaying Radford and defending champion Duke. (Brian Hoysa)
VCU has 17 steals in first game without Shaka. HAVOC lives. (Paul Clifton)
5. Georgetown (0-1, 0-0 Big East) 381 points
Next: Tuesday at No. 1 Maryland, Friday vs. Wisconsin.
The Hoyas opened the season with their best Nationals impression – a disappointing performance compensated by a cool bobblehead giveaway. (Brian Hoysa)
There’s funny, and then there’s Georgetown losing to team apparently named after a U-Va. frat boy. (Matt Bonesteel)
Kudos to the Hoyas coaching staff; it’s only mid-November, but they have the team playing like it’s mid-March. (Vince Colatriano)
Going off the notion that they were looking ahead; although losing to Radford is Badford (James Schneider)
Wash, Rinse, Repeat. (Jamie Jones)
Normally playing like it’s the NCAA tournament is a good way to start the season. (Markus Videnieks)
Hoyas, woof. (Chris Olson)
I believe it was Aesop who taught us that when preparing for your rival, the turtle, you should not overlook the Highlanders from southwest Virginia. Or perhaps it was Sun Tzu. I’m sure it was one of those guys. (Grant Kronenberg)
Took the Metro Matchup thing too seriously by starting the weekend imitating the Silver Line. (Paul Frampton)
Georgetown needs to see a doctor about that bad Rash-un Davis they caught. (Mike Doughten)
Someone tell Georgetown they’re supposed to save the upset for the NCAA Tournament, not the season opener. (Rachel Marcus)
The Hoyas forgot to set their clocks back to “not March.” (John Taylor)
Want to avoid losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament? Easy, don’t make the tournament in the first place. Brilliant! (Kangy Gareaux)
I assume someone already re-purposed the 2 Chainz-15 Chainz joke by now? (Joey Flyntz)
Got the 4/13 upset out of the way. (Billy Boros)
They didn’t even get a chance to build unrealistic expectations this year. (Will Hayward)
Georgetown is already in postseason form. (Nick Andrews)
Georgetown decided to get their annual loss to a double-digit seed out of the way early. Like really early. (Joe Pope)
Looks like L.J. Peak can put off his obvious career in mountain climbing for a bit. (The I-Train)
In a twist, the Hoyas decided to start their season with a 15-2 type upset. (Jake Leffler)
6. William & Mary (1-0, 0-0 CAA) 297 points
Next: Tuesday at Liberty, Thursday vs. Washington Adventist.
Destroyed N.C. State by 17. A summer of churning butter and hammering horseshoes in Williamsburg pays off. (Chris Olson)
Williamsburg is beautiful in the spring, which is fortunate, since there’s no reason to be inside during March on campus. (Joey Flyntz)
Best sabotage of N.C. State since Gary Williams. (Matt Bonesteel)
The Tribe’s alliterative allies Sean Sheldon, Terry Tarpey, and Daniel Dixon together totaled 38 points and 19 rebounds in their surprise stomping of NC State. (Markus Videnieks)
William & Mary’s Daniel Dixon put up 19 in a win over N.C. State, while George Mason’s Danny Dixon put up 0 in a loss to Colgate, proving you should always go with a grown-up name. (Mike Doughten)
After stomping N.C. State, the Tribe must be a contender to be the ACC’s 16th team. (Brian Hoysa)
7. Old Dominion (1-0, 0-0 CUSA) 270 points
Next: Monday vs. Buffalo, Wednesday vs. Morgan State.
The Monarchs have won 25 straight home games, but still have a long way to go to earn respect in royalty circles. “They’re no Ming Dynasty!” said one royal pundit. (Sean McLernon)
Jeff Jones and Bryant Stith on the coaching staff. Only like seven Alexanders away from completing the mid-90s UVA box set. (Joey Flyntz)
Coming off their NIT Championship run, the Monarchs managed not to, against Niagra, fall in their home opener Friday. (Brian Hoysa)
8. Radford (1-0, 0-0 Big South) 221 points
Next: Monday at No. 4 VCU, Wednesday vs. Catawba.
The win over Georgetown this weekend is the kind of momentous victory that could cause people to learn where Radford is actually located. (Sean McLernon)
Unless the Highlanders win the Big South tournament, their season will have unfortunately climaxed in their first game. (Brian Hoysa)
While I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Radford, I do hope that Ya Ya Anderson and the Highlanders crack the top 10 at some point based on name awesomeness alone. (Matthew B.)
Not just what I say about my killer new Fusion anymore! (Matt Ipri)
We are all Radford. (Matt Bonesteel)
Rad win. (Markus Videnieks)
The tears of Georgetown fans are usually a spring delicacy, the Highlanders harvested an early crop. (Chris Olson)
It’s not the size of the sample in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the sample. (Jake Leffler)
9. JMU (1-0, 0-0 CAA) 195 points
Next: Monday vs. West Virginia, Friday vs. Florida International
The Dukes have players from Lithuania, Serbia, New Zealand and Haiti on their roster. Their Model UN meetings are probably pretty great. (Matt Bonesteel)
Richmond players learned early that Shakir Brown does not find the “Shakira” jokes very funny. (The I-Train)
Saturday’s season-opening win over Richmond totally makes up for the Spiders derailing the Dukes’ promising football season when the entire nation was (kinda) paying attention. (John Taylor)
Clearly fueled by rage after losing to the Spiders in football when College Gameday came to town, the Dukes got revenge on the hardwood by beating Richmond on the road to open the season. (Brian Hoysa)
10. Richmond (1-1, 0-0 A10) 164 points
Next: Wednesday at Wake Forest, Saturday vs. Bethune-Cookman.
Biggest collapse against James Madison since Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in 1808. (Matt Bonesteel)
I went to their website to look up their new coach before the annual realization that Chris Mooney is still there, somehow. (Joey Flyntz)
Scoring 108 points in their first win of the season, the Spiders showed they can be more effortlessly offensive than a Donald Trump campaign speech. (Sean McLernon)
11. Virginia Tech (0-1, 0-0 ACC) 88 points
Next: Wednesday vs. Jacksonville State, Saturday vs. VMI
Totally the second-best school in the greater Blacksburg area. (Jake Leffler)
I am happy for the Hokies fans who get to experience a favorite Maryland fan pastime: Boiling over with rage as Seth Allen laughs his way to an empty 20-point performance in a 25-point loss. (Joey Flyntz)
When does football start for the Hokies? No, we meant next year. (Ted Wheeler)
No big deal losing to Alabama State — it was a trap game. The Hokies have been laser focused on this Jacksonville State game all summer. (Markus Videnieks)
Reinforcing Blacksburg’s reputation as a football town since 1982. (Richard Hsu)
What evaporates first, their postseason hopes or their weekly appearances in the Atlantic 11? (Brian Hoysa)
Also receiving votes: George Mason 62, American 58, Mount St. Mary’s 24, Liberty 22, Hampton 20, Norfolk St. 16, Towson 16, Navy 14, Longwood 7, Morgan St. 4, UMBC 4, VMI 3, Coppin St. 2, UMES 2, Howard 1.