Tennessee, Louisville and Texas started the 2022-23 season ranked in the top 10 of the women’s college basketball AP Poll. But just five weeks into the season, all three have found themselves on the outskirts in the latest poll release.
In Week 1, Texas was third, Tennessee was fifth and Louisville was seventh. Now, for the first time since 1976, all three teams are unranked. Of those teams, Louisville and Texas are still receiving votes, while Tennessee is outside of that category entirely.
Texas was given the benefit of the doubt early due to the absence of star guard Rori Harmon, who was out with a foot injury. But the Longhorns are currently 4-4. They lost to UConn, Marquette and Louisville without Harmon, and then the guard was back on the floor for their most recent loss, a 70-65 defeat at the hands of unranked South Florida on Friday.
Tennessee started the season by losing to Ohio State, a team that is currently No. 3 in the AP Poll. That was a respectable loss, but since then, the Vols have dropped to 4-5 with losses to Indiana, UCLA, Gonzaga and Virginia Tech.
Against the Hokies, coach Kellie Harper chose to bench leading scorer Rickea Jackson. She will be held out “indefinitely,” Harper said, adding that it was a “coach’s decision,” rather than an illness or injury.
Louisville’s shaky start to the season included losses to Gonzaga, South Dakota State and Ohio State. The Cardinals hit a low point on Sunday in a 67-49 upset loss to unranked Middle Tennessee. Following the defeat, news broke that former No. 12 recruit Payton Verhulst was entering the transfer portal.
Those three teams aren’t the only ones to wind up on the wrong end of an upset last week. The college basketball landscape as a whole has been chaotic.
Days after Diamond Miller hit a last-second shot to lift Maryland over Notre Dame, the Terrapins were blown out by Nebraska on Sunday, losing by 23 points. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish topped then-No. 3 UConn 74-60, as Olivia Miles finished with 21 points and Azzi Fudd sat the bench with a tweaked knee.
North Carolina also dropped in the poll after an 87-63 loss to an Indiana team that then narrowly escaped its own upset in a 65-61 win over Illinois.
Creighton dropped five places in the AP Poll, down to No. 18, after losing to unranked St. John’s.