It’s been incredibly hard to create an accurate D1 Top 20 poll this year. I’ve had Denver up top from the start, but other than the Pioneers, everyone else has moved quite a bit! This week I take an honest look at D1 men’s lacrosse, throw my “tier system” right out the open window, and rank the teams according to what they’ve done, and what we know. This is the most accurate D1 Top 20 I could come up with… and next week it will all likely change again!
Photo Credit: Craig Chase
All right, here are my most accurate D1 Top 20 Media Poll votes for this week.
The Most Accurate D1 Top 20… I Hope!
1) Denver – Undefeated, 20 straight wins, and quality contests give Denver the nod, and they keep the #1 spot this week with relative ease. They’ve been my #1 since day one and they should probably be your #1 too, even if you’re a fan of Ivy.
2) Yale – Undefeated, with wins over Cornell, Bryant, and Maryland. With the Terps looking solid now, Yale looks even better. Discipline and consistency. Boom.
3) Brown – Undefeated, with rock solid wins over Stony Brook, UMass, and Harvard. Slightly easier strength of schedule has Brown one spot below Yale. Brown has a HUGE game coming up with Villanova. That will be a meeting of bizarre and awesome offense. WOOOOO!!!!
4) Notre Dame – I won’t knock the Irish for an OT win over Virginia, but why not move Yale and Brown up? No reason not to, so I did. ND at 4 is hard to do, but I did it. Next week they could be #2 again, it’s still early. Moving on.
5) Villanova – WHY NOT? The Wildcats lost an OT game to Harvard to open the season, and now they have wins over Penn State, Penn, and Bucknell, and no more losses. All solid, and they play a different style of O, and I like different!
6) Syracuse – Yes, they just lost to Hopkins, but everyone below the Orange has a loss that bad or worse, so it’s hard to knock them down too far, plus Hop is climbing again.
7) Johns Hopkins – See? Hop climbed a lot! At least for me. Wins over Towson and Cuse overshadow losses to UNC and Loyola, but the head to head wasn’t enough to jump over Cuse. This is where polls get weird… some value the most recent result, I don’t. I tend to believe that when teams play a game one has to win that game (never seen no one win a game) and if teams are close, either can pull out the W. The loser can still be better. Love seeing Hop get back on their horse when people started to count them out.
8) Maryland – Hard to put Maryland below Hop as the Terps’ two losses were to top level teams and Hop’s were to 10-20 teams, but Hop has better wins, so they get the nod for now. Maryland is another team I was not sold on early, but now I’m all BUY BUY BUY. I’m buying the Terps, not shorting them, and going with the long.
9) Albany – The Danes have four solid wins and their two losses are to teams above them, so I can keep them in the Top 10… I just don’t feel great about it. They have some holes.
10) Army – West Point doesn’t have the BIG win they need, but they are 3-0 in the Patriot, and look competitive and tough. Their overall body of work bodes well.
11) Stony Brook – Losses to Brown and Albany push Stony Brook down a bit, but wins over Hofstra and Rutgers keep SBU high for me right now. SBU can’t afford to drop any more games, or their top 15 status could be in jeopardy. The rest of their schedule has zero top 20 teams on it.
12) Towson – At 7-1 with a loss to Hop, Towson still looks good. I’m not giving up on the Tigers yet, but I’m also cautious.
13) Duke – I have Duke above Harvard even though Harvard beat Duke because the Crimson are 0-3 in their last 3 games, and Duke is 2-1. Both teams have played 2 top 20 teams out of their last 3. That actually seems fair, and I don’t think can Duke can play any worse than they did against Harvard. It was like a low of lows for the Blue Devils. Right?
14) Harvard – Three straight OT wins were great to start the year, but with 3 straight losses, playing it close is showing some cracks.
15) UNC – Throw out the UMass loss, and UNC is possibly a Top 10 team. Add it in, and they slip just a bit. An OT loss to Denver and a throttling of Richmond, and UNC looks rock solid.
16) Navy – With a solid win over Loyola, and and TWO double OT losses, Navy is right there. For me, they’re back in now, but need to keep winning.
17) Loyola – 4-3 makes it hard to rank Loyola, but their losses are good losses, if there is such a thing.
18) Air Force – A one goal loss to Denver and a loss to open the season vs Navy… other than that, Air Force has been pretty perfect. They run and look inside. I like ’em!
19) UMass – Sure, UM is 4-4, but they have played one hell of a schedule, so I’m giving it to them. Losses to Army, Albany, Harvard and Brown shouldn’t hurt too much as I like all 4 of those teams a lot. Wins over UNC, PSU, and OSU help the Gorillas make the jump.
20) Bucknell – a 5-3 record, and a solid ledgers of wins and losses gets Bucknell the nod… this week. A win over Loyola would do wonders for my belief in this team!
After about 15, I can see arguments for any of those teams to be in, out, or moved within the 15-20 slots. There are a bunch of other teams I considered for the last 5 spots. This week they were, in no particular order:
Drexel, Rutgers, Penn State, Penn, Cornell, Lehigh, Marquette, Bryant, BU, Richmond, Providence, OSU, Hofstra, and Colgate.