ACC Duke vs Notre Dame 2014 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Finals comparing the lacrosse polls
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Comparing The Lacrosse Polls… Seriously

Comparing the lacrosse polls is always fun, and I actually love seeing how different groups and people rank their teams. Are these lacrosse polls serious? I certainly think so, but just in case you don’t love my analysis, I’ve included the results from some of the other lacrosse polls out there, so we can compare it all head to head!

Comparing The Lacrosse Polls

My Top 20 lacrosse polls ranking comes first, then I show you how teams were ranked in the same position on the IL Media Poll, The LM D1 Top 20, and the LaxPower Rating System.

1) Notre Dame – I have finally put ND as my number 1 team, and it feels good. I made the Irish work for it, but they certainly earned it with wins over Cuse and UNC, and their overall record. Laxpower has ND with a #1 rank in the poll, SOS, QWF, RPI, and TSI, but they have ND at #2. WTF? Lacrosse polls > Computers? In this case, yes, I think so.

Media Poll: ND LM Poll: ND Laxpower: Syracuse

2) Maryland – I can see Maryland falling anywhere between #2 and #7, and if you don’t love a team that plays close games with good but not great teams, you might not love the Terps. 5 top 20 wins with one of those coming over UNC, and the Terps look good to me overall. Erase an early Yale loss and the Terps are #1. We can’t do that, so I’m putting them high, at #2.

Media Poll: UNC & Maryland LM Poll: UNC Laxpower: ND

3) Syracuse – Cuse is 2-2 in their last 4 games, but you know me, and I like Syracuse this year. I can admit to my biases, and in this case, I’m still giving the Orange the benefit of the doubt. I like this team’s structure, and if they win their next two ACC playoff games (and then beat Colgate on the 2nd of May), they could be #1 again in all of the lacrosse polls that count.

Media Poll: N/A LM Poll: Maryland Laxpower: Denver

4) North Carolina – From #1 to #4, and all because of a two minute non-releasable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Ouch. Don’t count UNC out, and if they learn from their game with ND, they are still very much a contender. Counting the Tar Heels out this year is a risky move, but they need to perform well in the ACC tourney first.

Media Poll: Syracuse LM Poll: Syracuse Laxpower: UNC

5) Denver – I feel like I’ve been ranking Denver at #5 all year long and I’m going to be totally honest with you here… it’s because I don’t see them play enough. They are not on TV all that much (why? no one knows), highlights are limited, and they haven’t played truly top level competition as much as some of the other Top 5 or 10 teams. That being said, I do believe Denver has what it takes to win it all this year. The depth of teams at the top of the heap is incredible this year!

Media Poll: Denver LM Poll: Denver Laxpower: Maryland

6) Duke – Duke plays #1 Notre Dame in the ACC tourney, and this will their NINTH straight top 20 game. They went 5-3 in those games, with all 3 losses coming to Top 4 teams. What I like most about Duke right now is that their defense is holding quality opponents (last 3 games) to 11 goals or less per game. The Blue Devils will need their D to step up and limit scoring chances if they want to contend in May.

Media Poll: Duke LM Poll: Duke Laxpower: Duke

7) Albany – Hopefully you’ve seen Albany play a couple times now. That way, when I say they are more than just Lyle Thompson, you’ll quickly agree with me. That being said, Lyle gives Albany a serious boost, and if the Danes are playing together, and showcasing relatively mistake-free lacrosse, I believe they can win the national title. They are a serious underdog to do so, as it would take an incredible run against some very deep and talented teams, but I do think Albany could conceivably find a way to win it all. It will just take a monster effort, and a lot of luck.

Media Poll: Albany Coaches Poll: LM Poll: Virginia Laxpower: Albany

8) Cornell – Cornell is, like Albany, very much on the fringe of my personal national championship picture. If the Big Red want to contend, they need to play great to do so, and lapses can not happen. In the playoffs, this can be hard to avoid, as every team you play is a top level team.

Media Poll: Yale LM Poll: Albany Laxpower: Cornell

9) Brown – When Brown plays like Brown, and the transition is flying hot and heavy, they can beat anyone. They have a go-to-guy in Molloy, who shows no fear when dodging, ever. They have plenty of other players who feed off of chaos, and then they play their slightly reckless game, they are as dangerous a #9 team as a #9 team can be. I have not seen the consistency that a national title run would require, but Brown could upset anyone in the earlier rounds.

Media Poll: Virginia LM Poll: Yale Laxpower: Brown

10) Yale – If Yale had a true go-to-guy on offense, I would give them an outside shot at winning the national title, because their overall team is truly excellent. You MUST play team lacrosse to beat Yale, and I could even see them making the Final Four with a good late season burst. This team is a lot like the Yale team that made a nice NCAA run, but that team had Matt Gibson (a go-to-guy)… you know what I’m saying?

Media Poll: Brown LM Poll: Brown Laxpower: Virginia

11) Virginia – No ACC tourney for UVa this year, which is CRAZY! “Yeah, we’re in the polls around #10, but we didn’t make our conference tournament”. Wait, what? That’s just how good the ACC is. Virginia, like Yale, could make a Final Four run, but I can’t see them winning the title this year.

Media Poll: OSU LM Poll: OSU Laxpower: Yale

12) Ohio State – OSU has been playing solid lacrosse lately. What’s not to like about the Buckeyes right now?

Media Poll: Cornell LM Poll: Cornell Laxpower: Army

13) Georgetown – This seems like the perfect place for Georgetown. Not a contender, but this program is improving and on the way up.

Media Poll: Georgetown Coaches Poll: LM Poll: Georgetown Laxpower: Johns Hopkins

14) Navy – I have left Navy unranked for far too long, and if they run through the Patriot tournament (not guaranteed to happen at all by the way!) they will be well positioned in everyone’s Top 20. That league is all over the place this year, but Navy looks like a potential favorite, and they host the tourney.

Media Poll: Princeton LM Poll: Marquette Laxpower: Georgetown

15) Stony Brook – The Seawolves’ last three games have not been all that impressive. 15 may be a little high for SBU, or not. At 11-4, they are still a bit of an enigma. Their offense can carry them for the rest of the year, and from the looks of things, it might have to.

Media Poll: Navy Coaches Poll: LM Poll: Navy Laxpower: Loyola

16) Marquette – Denver and Georgetown are my top Big East teams, but Marquette is making waves and moving on up. Obviously they were higher in the polls earlier, but this isn’t a fluke team, it’s a good team, and the lower quarter of the top 2o is a good home for them… for now. Get a win over Denver before the Big East tourney and who knows what will happen.

Media Poll: Towson LM Poll: Colgate Laxpower: OSU

17) Princeton – Princeton lacks the consistency for me to consider them a contender or true threat this year, but when they play team lacrosse, the Tigers are very dangerous. An Ivy title isn’t out of the question at all, and a couple NCAA wins are possible too. Not bad for a team I have at #17.

Media Poll: Marquette LM Poll: Princeton Laxpower: Princeton

18) Bucknell – It’s hard to put Bucknell in the Top 20. They really need one or two more wins, but they have 3 victories over top 20 teams, and the ability to knock off a very good opponent. They may be overachieving, but that’s a lot better than underachieving (cough, Hopkins).

Media Poll: Colgate LM Poll: Towson Laxpower: Richmond

19) Colgate – Over the last 6 games, Colgate has looked like a Top 20 team, so now they are one. This is a matured and improved team from the start of the season, and a contender for the Patriot League AQ.

Media Poll: Stony Brook LM Poll: Bucknell Laxpower: Colgate

20) Richmond – Richmond should probably be higher than Colgate or Bucknell, but I want to see them win the Southern AQ. If they can run through their conference tourney, I will have even more faith in the Spiders. This is a good lacrosse team that plays top level programs tough. What’s not to like?

Media Poll: Bucknell LM Poll: Loyola Laxpower: Stony Brook

Just Couldn’t Rank Them

Johns Hopkins and Loyola both have .500 records, and that means I can rank them without having a complete crisis of conscious. But I didn’t rank either program. If you’re going to play a super tough schedule, you need to win big games, and you can’t lose to opponents you should beat. Scheduling an insane slate of games simply is not enough.

So while both teams look great at times, and have plenty of talent, I need to see something from both of them if they want votes again. Loyola can win the Patriot, and Hop can still take the Big Ten. If that happens, they re-enter the conversation quickly. If not? It is likely all she wrote for both teams this year.