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The OVC appears to be headed for a down year overall, but this past week brought not just the highlight of the year, but one of the highlights of the last ten regular seasons. There was no other option but to name a new number one team in this week’s Power Rankings:

1

Belmont-Bruins-Power-Rankings
Belmont

Record:4-1 (0-0)
Previous: T-2nd
Writers Rank
1st

Fans Rank
1st
Has any team made more strides in the first two weeks of the season than the Bruins? After looking flat in a narrow win over Lipscomb and a loss at Richmond, Belmont almost looks in March form. Don't discredit just how big that win over North Carolina was on Sunday if the Bruins go dancing in March.

2

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Eastern Kentucky

Record: 5-1 (0-0)
Previous: 1st
Writers Rank
2nd

Fans Rank
2nd
It's rare to see a team dropped from the number one spot without losing, but Belmont simply has more impressive wins on the young year than EKU. Looks like the Bruins aren't simply ready to hand over the East Division to the Colonels just yet.

3

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Morehead State

Record: 4-1 (0-0)
Previous: T-4th
Writers Rank
3rd

Fans Rank
3rd
Is it possible to fly under the radar at 4-1? No one is really talking about the Eagles as a threat, although you could blame a fairly bland schedule for part of that. With UCLA and Nevada on the schedule before the next Power Rankings are released, we should have a much better idea just how high these Eagles can fly.

4

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Southeast Missouri

Record: 2-2 (0-0)
Previous: T-2nd
Writers Rank
2nd

Fans Rank
3rd
Every time I'm almost ready to say Southeast Missouri is ready to take that next step, they find a way to trip over it. The Redhawks loss at Ball State earlier this week isn't horrible, but it's a game they had chances to win, and probably should of. The West Division clearly looks down, but are the Redhawks really poised to take it over?

T-5

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Austin Peay

Record: 2-1 (0-0)
Previous: 7th
Writers Rank
5th

Fans Rank
7th
The Governors win over SIU was quite shaky to be honest, as Austin Peay got up big and then had to hold on for dear life, but at the end of the year it might be a fairly solid one RPI wise. Austin Peay clearly still has some issues, but they clearly appear to be better than a year ago. There aren't many teams in their division that can say that.

T-5

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Murray State

Record: 2-2 (0-0)
Previous: T-4th
Writers Rank
6th

Fans Rank
6th
This week is where the fun, or lack there of, really begins. Looking at their non-conference slate, if Murray State is better than 5-8 heading into conference play, I'd consider that a major victory. They face some supremely tough opponents in the next few weeks, and have quite a few long road trips ahead of them.

7

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Eastern Illinois

Record: 2-2 (0-0)
Previous: T-8th
Writers Rank
8th

Fans Rank
5th
Much like last season as this time, I just don't have a good feel for the Panthers quite yet. Do they possess the skill to be a good team? Yes. Are they a good team? No. Will they be a good team? Um...

8

Tennessee-Tech-Power-Rankings
Tennessee Tech

Record: 2-3 (0-0)
Previous: 6th
Writers Rank
7th

Fans Rank
9th
Had TTU pulled out one of their two narrow losses in Texas, that trip would have easily qualified as a success. As it stands, it still wasn't a bad trip, but it does make me wonder if the Golden Eagles have the firepower to compete with the top tier of the conference.

9

SIU-Edwardsville-Power-Rankings
SIUE

Record: 1-2 (0-0)
Previous: T-10th
Writers Rank
9th

Fans Rank
8th
So we've learned SIUE has the capacity to score in bunches. Defending? Well, let's just celebrating the scoring, shall we? The Cougars have four games in the upcoming week, and if they go well, it might be time to reevaluate SIUE's standing in a down division.

10

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Tennessee State

Record: 0-5 (0-0)
Previous: T-10th
Writers Rank
11th

Fans Rank
10th
While the Tigers are still shutout in the win column, they're actually competitive now, which is a huge step in the right direction. There are still almost certainly a few bumps in the road ahead, but this team shouldn't be heading for historical badness, just, regular badness.

11

UT-Martin-Power-Rankings
UT Martin

Record: 1-5 (0-0)
Previous: T-10th
Writers Rank
10th

Fans Rank
12th
UT Martin's struggles with a non-DI, and their loss at home to a previously winless UMKC team are very troubling. How has a team, returning every nearly key component of an OVC Tournament team a year ago, off to this rough of a start? If they somehow miss the tournament this year, there will be a lot of tough questions for head coach Jason James.

12

Eastern-Illinois-Power-Rankings
Jacksonville State

Record: 0-5 (0-0)
Previous: T-8th
Writers Rank
12th

Fans Rank
11th
If you're a team built on defense, and you aren't defending, it's going to turn out badly. That's Jacksonville State right now. They're not going to outscore many opponents, and if they can't hold them to the 60s, trouble is brewing.

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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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