The USILA and Nike/IL Polls for NCAA D1 Men’s Lacrosse have been released. Quint Kessenich has dropped his Top 20. Let’s break down the Polls and rankings, and see if they are serious!
I will add in my ranking of the Top 20 to provide an alternative view on the situation.
Main Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan
Rank | USILA Poll | Nike/IL Poll | Quint’s Top 20 | My Ranking
1) Maryland – Maryland – Maryland - Everyone going with Maryland, eh? Not me. I’m sticking with Cornell as my #1 team.
2) Cornell – Cornell – Duke - I had Duke at #2 last week, and people called me crazy. I move them down a spot, and move UNC up, because I like how the Tar Heels are playing right now. UNC at #2.
3) UNC – Denver – UNC - Now I get to Duke at #3. Their run of consecutive wins is impressive. I’ve all but forgotten about their early season struggles. #2 and 3 could be switched easily in my poll.
4) Denver – Notre Dame – Denver - I like ND and Denver, but I like Loyola more. I don’t care that they lost to Maryland earlier in the year. If they played again, I’d take the Hounds. Call me crazy, it’s your right.
5) Notre Dame – Loyola – Cornell - I’ll slot Maryland in here at #5. Last week I had them at #6, so they’re moving up in my book.
6) Loyola – UNC – Notre Dame - I’m going with Denver at #6. Nike Poll really is not showing much respect for UNC. If the Nike/IL poll had Bellarmine higher I could see their justification of Denver at #3, but right now it just looks like biased favoritism.
7) Duke – Syracuse – Syracuse - I’m really surprised that the Coaches have Duke that low. I’m even more surprised that IL has Duke even lower. That seems like a HUGE miss.
8) Syracuse – Duke – Loyola - I can’t hate on the Cuse placement at this point in the season. Some solid wins, that Albany loss is looking MUCH better to everyone else, and a good win over Princeton on the road all make me much more of a believer. Syracuse is good at #8.
9) Bucknell – Princeton – Princeton - I do like Notre Dame, really I do. But I’m not sure that they are improving as quickly as some of the other teams out there. They started off as an easy Top 3 team for me, but I’m worried that they are plateauing. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve been watching them play quite a bit this season. I have a feeling. ND at #9.
10) Princeton - Penn State – Bucknell - A loss to Cuse is far from the end of the world. Princeton is really strong, and has a bunch of guys who can kill you on offense. This is team that can beat ANYONE in the country, and I have them at #10. Hello parity.
11) Penn State – Bucknell – Ohio State - This is where things start to get really tough. Who can beat anyone on any given day? The Top 10 are proven contender status teams. The next 5 are capable of being the 2013 version of Loyola. Who can go on a SERIOUS run in the playoffs? Penn State can. Speed, great coaching and a team on mission. I like the Nittany Lions at #11.
12) Albany – Albany – Penn State - I put PSU above Albany because I think PSU is a little more consistent than the Danes. That being said, Albany can clearly knock off a behemoth (0r two), so they have to be in the Top 15 at this point. Good to see the rest of the Polls finally catching up to the Albany train. Welcome abroad, amigos.
13) Ohio State – Ohio State – Yale - Have people given up on Yale already? Not Quint! And neither have I. #13 Yale is a team of defensive potential with some scorers and plenty of composure. The Bulldogs may indeed be the drones you are looking for.
14) Penn – St. John’s – Albany - Quint hates Albany… well not really. #14 is pretty good. St. John’s seems awfully high considering they just lost to Georgetown, which is a team in flux. I’ll take Hopkins here, and won’t penalize them too harshly for losing to four teams that I have ranked above them.
15) Hopkins – Hopkins – Penn - I’ll take Quint’s lead here and go with Penn. Why not? I liked Brown, and Penn took them down 10-3 this past weekend, which is an impressive win. I’m not sold on Penn yet, but I also think they could be dangerous in the Ivy Playoffs.
16) Yale – Penn – St. John’s - I’ll go with Ohio State here, but I’d like to see more consistency from the Buckeyes. I’m not saying they can’t lose, as someone has to in every game, but two 9-4 losses to Top 10 teams gives me some pause.
17) Drexel – Yale – Drexel – Normally, I’d like to have 10-2 Bucknell a little higher, like the other polls do, and I know they are more than capable of winning HUGE games, but I get the feeling this team is going to sputter in a key game. They might not, and can make me look like an idiot, but how hard is that, really?
18) Lehigh – Drexel – Lehigh - I’ll go with Hofstra at #18. Strong team that could turn it around and make some noise
19) St. John’s – Lehigh – Hopkins - Let’s take Bellarmine at #19. I had them at #18 last week but can’t drop them simply due to a 11-10 OT loss to Denver. Could you?
20) Hofstra – Bellarmine – Bellarmine - I’ll stick with St. John’s in the Top 20 for now, even with their loss to Georgetown last weekend. I have faith they can bounce back.
These teams also got votes in the USILA Poll: Virginia, Bellarmine, Towson, Villanova, Army
These teams also got votes in the Nike/IL Poll: Hofstra, Towson, Virginia, Villanova, Colgate
Quint’s Next Five: Towson. Just Towson.
BIG Takeaways: Why is Maryland still such a clear cut #1 for everyone? They are clearly a VERY good team, but what makes them so special and deserving of 3 out of 4 number 1s? I have seen them play a bunch of times now, and do not see their CLEAR CUT dominance. Someone explain that to me, please.
To go a little further on the above issue… why do some teams seem really “sticky” in certain polls? For almost all, it’s Maryland, but certain polls also rank other “favorites” quite high, and quite consistently. I’m not claiming ANY intentional bias, but can you notice that certain pollsters keep certain teams super high?
I am pretty sure I’ve been doing that with Loyola, Penn State, Cornell, and Albany. To me, that makes sense, but to you, it might seem like bias. It’s interesting to say the least, and a big reason for why I write this post each week.