I would love to see more openness and honesty when it comes to polls for most sports so in the interest of putting my money where my mouth is, I will be posting my Laxpower.com forum poll submissions and comments on LAS (on laxpower I am wheniwasakid…)
Of course, the USILA Coach’s poll is THE poll that really matters. For what? I don’t know. But it matters. In my incredibly biased and unimportant opinion, the Laxpower.com poll is more accurate. I also think it’s more accurate than laxpower’s own formula driven power ranking but let’s face it, subjectively looking at teams without the full stats is usually not going to be better than a well executed formula.
I can’t explain why I think it’s more accurate, I just do. I’m probably just being overconfident. Thanks, Super Crunchers. The formula really doesn’t work until the end anyway but at the end it’s pretty darn good. Preseason polls are pointless, impossible and do nothing but create controversy… and they’re actually kind of fun since they mean next to nothing!
So in the spirit of “why not?”, here are my subjective selections for the NCAA Division 3 Top 20.
Enjoy ripping them apart in the comments.
1. Cortland – Obvious preseason #1. Best all around middies (especially DeLuca/Miszaek) in the country, great attack unit and kids who know what it takes to win.
2. Stevenson – A trio of stars at attack and a team/coach that expects great things in 2010. Will need to score a lot of goals every time out if they want to win the NC though.
3. Salisbury - I always like a Salisbury team to do well after a “down” year. This team has moved on and is refocused on the task at hand which, every year, is to win the NC.
4. Denison - Maybe this is a little too high for the Big Red but it’s a preseason poll so I’m going to go for it in the hopes that they make some more waves this season. Good talent and a relatively easy road to the NCAAs mean Denison should be fresh if they can stay healthy but this approach could hurt them as successful teams are often battle-tested.
5. Tufts - Talented, athletic and driven. Daly has had the talent in the past but the team hasn’t been able to take it to the next level despite some really good wins. This has to be the year the Jumbos make the leap.
6. Gettysburg - I expect some close games and losses early as the Bullets have a lot to replace on D but expect this team to be right there in the end if they come together.
7. Haverford - Just barely got it done at the end of last year but need to step up if they want to compete in 2010.
8. Bowdoin - Athletic and have good goal keeping and a solid D traditionally. Will rely on their middies to do a lot but have a good group.
9. Western New England – Can WNEC reload? I think so but they will need their goalie, Knowlton, to really shine.
10. Middlebury - Midd lost Stone to graduation. HUGE loss. The D will be the focus and with the size and talent they have, expect Midd’s D to be in top form when it counts.
11. Roanoke – Roanoke consistently has all the potential in the world and then loses a tough one at the end. Hard not to put them a lot higher but other teams just seem to have a better shot at winning it all.
12. Geneseo - Tried to beef up their schedule but with Cortland in conference to take the AQ, it might not be enough. Knights need to win their big games to make the dance.
13. Washington & Lee – Lost some really good players to graduation but the Generals seem to be headed in a good direction.
14. St. Lawrence – A good program which is capable of taking the top teams to the brink.
15. Wesleyan – Lost a lot on D but the guys in the wings will pick up the zone and Wesleyan will be dangerous. A more diverse offense will help win games.
16. RIT - New coach but he’s a good one and a lot of talent. Wouldn’t be surprised to see RIT climb the ladder.
17. Cabrini - Tough and talented but there are still questions about Cabrini and whether or not they can consistently be a top 10 team.
18. Nazareth - Return some serious talent and after an up and down 2009, should be focused.
19. Lynchburg - Could be higher, could have been left off. Questions remain but I think Lynchburg will improve.
20. Trinity - Surprise team for me. Hearing good things out of Hartford. Getting past Bowdoin, Wesleyan, Tufts, Middlebury may prove to be too much though for the Bantams. Easily a top 20 team if they played in a weaker conference.
I’ll continue to post my poll selections with explanations as the season moves on and in the future will compare the Coach’s Poll (when it is available), Laxpower Rankings (once games have started), Lacrosse Magazine Rankings and Laxpower Forum Poll to my own assessment.
For this post I’ll just link to the other polls that are currently out.
If there is enough interest, we may do an LAS poll similar to this for the MCLA. Stay tuned!
About the Author: After helping to start the program at Weston HS in Massachusetts, Connor Wilson went on to play at Wesleyan University. Post-graduation, Wilson stayed on and coached at Wesleyan for 2 years. He also played in Australia and the American Lacrosse League. Currently Wilson plays for the Southampton Lacrosse Club in NYC and enjoys dyeing lacrosse sticks, eating breakfast sandwiches and a pretentious writer’s bio on LAS.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.