Fair To Middlin' If you follow the college hoops Mid-Major Top 25, you will not be shocked come mid-March

November 26, 2001

They used to be called Cinderella teams, but after the recent
stellar NCAA tournament performances of such schools as Butler,
Gonzaga and Utah State, the fairy-tale moniker seems
condescending. Now emerging basketball minipowers have their own
classification: mid-major. Over the last three years the website
collegeinsider.com has made a niche for itself by tracking these
teams with its Mid-Major Top 25.

Each Sunday evening, Collegeinsider posts its rankings, which
are derived from a poll of 30 Division I coaches and the
judgments of the site's five-person editorial team. To be
eligible a school must rest outside the realm of the 10
so-called major conferences. If you'd followed the rankings last
season, you might not have been shocked when Midwestern
Collegiate power Butler--which finished the regular season
unranked in the AP poll but second in the Mid-Major Top
25--waxed the ACC's Wake Forest 79-63 in the NCAA tournament's
first round. The site also has chosen a preseason Mid-Major
All-America team, headed by Gonzaga (West Coast) senior point
guard Dan Dickau (right).

Collegeinsider editor-in-chief Joe Dwyer, a former music
producer, watches as many as 15 games a day by means of satellite
dish and videotape at his office in Norwood, Mass. He has given
the site a lighter side: In the Fashionable Four, it selects the
game's best-dressed coach (last year's winner: Bruiser Flint,
then at UMass, now at Drexel). Collegeinsider even posts coaches'
Recipes for Success. This week, for Thanksgiving, the dish is
fried turkey with Louisiana hot sauce from Auburn's Cliff
Ellis.

--John O'Keefe

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)