The VCU Rams will enter the 2013-14 college basketball season by being ranked No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. However, the Gonzaga Bulldogs come in at No. 14. Should VCU be the highest ranked mid-major entering the season?
VCU should definitely be ranked higher than the Bulldogs. Gonzaga is losing arguably its two best players. Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris were the two highest scorers and rebounders on the team last season. Both will be gone.
VCU will be losing some talent as well, but at least its two best players from last season will be back. The Bulldogs did earn a No. 1 seed in the dance last year, but they did not do much with it. Gonzaga ended up losing in the round of 32 against the Wichita State Shockers.
If anything, the Shockers should be ranked higher than Gonzaga. Wichita State will be returning a bunch of talent and will be ranked No. 16 in the Coaches Poll to start the season.
Whether the case, VCU is the best mid-major entering the year. It should be ranked properly as a result. A No. 15 ranking is pretty solid, but Gonzaga should not be ranked over the Rams.
In the grand scheme of things it really does not matter. Bragging rights is pretty cool and all, but making the dance is probably a lot more meaningful. Both teams will have the talent to do so in the 2013-14 season. Still, if these two teams played each other VCU would probably come away with the victory.