Ranking Rejects Look Longingly At Northwestern's Temporary Success

Remember all of that excitement when Northwestern made the AP Poll on Monday?

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That's pretty much gone after the Wildcats lost to Illinois in overtime Wednesday night, but a win over 11th-ranked Michigan State Saturday may keep them among the elite for another week.

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But there are a few schools who envy the Purple's trip to the Top 25, the group The Wall Street Journal has dubbed The Ranking Rejects.

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Rutgers leads the way. They haven't been ranked since the first college basketball season in which I was alive, 1978-79. Oregon State, Nebraska, Penn State and Colorado all haven't been ranked since the 1990s. However, the Cornhuskers, Nittany Lions and Buffaloes all have made the NCAAs since their last appearance in the AP poll.

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DePaul and St. John's last made the poll early in the 2000-01 season. The Red Storm, who stand at 10-3, have a chance to return at some point this season. But at 7-6, the Blue Demons will be on the outside looking in for the foreseeable future.

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Meanwhile, USF has been a BCS school since they joined the Big East in 2005, and there have been times in that span where they wouldn't have cracked an AP Top 250 poll.

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(H/T to Chicago Basketball via Twitter)

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