The USILA and Nike/IL Polls for NCAA D1 Men’s Lacrosse were released yesterday. Quint Kessenich has dropped his Top 20. Did you think just because I was in Prague for box lacrosse that I wouldn’t offer up my own analysis? Come on now. I still like field lacrosse.
Let’s break down the Polls and rankings, and see if they are serious! As usual, 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) UNC | UNC | UNC A unanimous choice at #1, and it isn’t Maryland or Notre Dame? I like it! Sure, I went with Duke last week, and they dropped the ball (which did surprise me a bit), so UNC is the logical choice. For once all season, I’ll follow logic. UNC is my #1. 4/4 for the Tar Heels.
2) Cornell | Cornell | Denver I am not picking Cornell or Denver. I’m taking Loyola at #2. Right now, the Hounds look excellent. Sure Denver just beat them a few games back, but it was in OT and someone has to lose. I like Loyola in a rematch, but not by much.
3) Denver | Syracuse | Syracuse I’ll bite on the Cornell bait here no problem. They’re a clear cut contender and Top 5 team. #3 seems totally fair even though they could be anywhere from #1 to #7. I am also going to put Duke at #3 though, as I had them at #1 last week, and don’t hate a 18-17 loss to UNC that much. How can you, really? Instead of bumping everyone else down, I will just not select a team for my #20 slot.
4) Loyola | Denver | Cornell I’m going with Penn State at #4. 9 straight wins, three over Top 20 teams and they’re looking more and more like a well-oiled machine that wins lacrosse games. The Nittany Lions become less of a dark horse and more of a favorite every week.
5) Syracuse | Notre Dame | Notre Dame When Denver and Loyola meet again, how tight will it be? VERY. Denver is my #5 team this week, and I think their recent loss will only make them tougher down the stretch.
6) Notre Dame/Duke | Loyola | Maryland It’s time for Syracuse to shine. They have some suspect losses for a Top 5(ish) team, but so do a lot of people this year. When it comes down to it, I like Cuse’s D, and believe their offense is capable of big things. The swagger is coming back and it’s deserved, but Cuse also seems to know they are mortal. I can’t tell if the latter helps or hurts them yet.
7) N/A | Maryland | Duke I do like Maryland, even though my polls seems like I don’t. I just wasn’t so sure that they were a Top 2 team all season long. It seems like others are starting to agree. Are the Terps dangerous? There is NO question. Can they make the Finals again? Definitely. That’s just parity, folks.
8) Maryland | Duke | Penn State Like Maryland, you can think that I hate Notre Dame lacrosse, but that’s simply not true. I am simply not sold on them being a set in stone Top 3 team. Top 10? NO DOUBT! Top 5? Sure, I can see it. Everyone else gave them love, I just tried to keep it even. Looks like I may have also been right. Like the Terps, ND is a contender, maybe just not a favorite.
9) Penn State | Penn State | Loyola It would make sense for me to rank Princeton here, as my second place Ivy, but I like Yale in the Top 10. I’m predicting that they keep it going against Penn, and then go on to at least make the Ivy final, and maybe even take the AQ. Make me look smart, Yalies!
10) Ohio State | Lehigh | Ohio State I view the Top 10 to be teams that I legitimately think could win it all. Sure, Yale is farther away from that than say, Denver, but the idea is that the Top 10 represents the teams I think have, at the very least, a shot. I actually like the recent Albany loss to Sienna, and think it could end up helping them pull together more. Danes in the Top 10. Watch out!
11) Lehigh | Ohio State | Albany It seems like Princeton is falling a bit, but they are a top quality, and highly dangerous, team. They are a team that could go a run, pull off some upsets and maybe even make history. It’s a longshot, but Princeton could end as champion.
12) Albany | Albany | Princeton Like the Tigers, I don’t think Ohio State is a favorite right now, and I’m not sure they are truly a contender, but I do think they are dangerous, and love the direction the program is headed. 12 isn’t too shabby really.
13) Yale/Hopkins | Yale | Hopkins I can get on board with Hopkins sitting a couple spots outside the Top 20, but I was tempted to move them lower. They are playing for their lives, and that should result in better lacrosse, but I’m not sure that is the result we are seeing. Hop is Top 15 right now based on the talent on their roster, but they look a little predictable right now as a team.
14) N/A | Drexel | Lehigh Doubting Drexel? So was I. However, the Dragons have been winning a lot lately and if you remove their loss to PSU, they have 7 straight wins. I remove their PSU loss, because I have PSU at #4. 14 should lose to 4. Makes sense.
15) Bucknell | Princeton | Yale I’ll couch my bet on Yale by picking Penn here. Penn is good and more than capable of actually winning the Ivy AQ. I just don’t like them as much as I do Yale, Princeton, or Conell. Still, the Quakers are dangerous, and play very disciplined lacrosse. Makes mistakes? Anything can happen.
16) Princeton | Hopkins | Drexel If you win seven straight Patriot games, you’re probably good. I have not been respecting Lehigh enough this year, and I begin this week by moving them up 1 spot. Am I SERIOUS right now? This might be my weakest placement, but I can’t justify putting them any higher.
17) Penn | Bucknell | Bucknell I’ll move Villanova up a bit to #17 as I think they have a good shot of making the NCAAs and creating problems.
18) Drexel | Penn | Penn Sticking with my rationale above, I’ll take Fairfield at #18. It’s an outside shot, and they are 8-6, but still… the Stags could make it interesting.
19) Virginia | Villanova | Villanova Ok, ok I’ll pick Bucknell. Peer pressure and everyone else is doing it. I moved them up a spot, but they will follow Lehigh, who definitely seemed to have their number. Quality team.
20) Villanova | St. John’s | Umass I blew my #20 pick by picking two #3 teams.
Also Receiving Votes in the USILA Poll: St. John’s, Fairfield, Brown, Army
Also Receiving Votes in the Nike Poll: Virginia, Fairfield, Towson, UMass, Army, Georgetown
Quint’s Next Teams: Virginia, St. John’s Fairfield, Army, Towson
Big Takeaways: Has anyone else noticed how Penn State, Ohio State, UNC, and Maryland are all considered top lacrosse teams right now? Has anyone else noticed that these are all big time sports schools and State Universities? Remember how you used to wish big time schools played lacrosse? The day is here. The time is now. Add in some other sports megaliths like Notre Dame, Denver and Duke and it’s even more true. Welcome to the future, Marty.