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FRESH BLOOD!!! Is This Lacrosse Poll Serious?

It’s time for some fresh blood in my weekly Media Poll votes, and I’m bringing it this week! I tried my best to totally recombobulate (that’s a word, right?) my rankings based off of actually watching these team play real games, AND the all-important results.

Did I get the poll votes perfect? Honestly, I don’t think so! It’s still so early, and so much is up in the air, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try! Preseason rankings are dead and buried, and now all that matters are the old wins and losses! At least for me… the premise of this week’s poll was to pretend I knew NOTHING about lacrosse, and had no biases… then rank the teams based on this year alone. It was hard.

media poll loyola fresh blood
Photo Credit: Craig Chase

Once I figured out my Top 5, the rest kind of fell into place, but it’s really NOTHING like last week’s poll, which is awesome. Let’s reward big winners from now on, and throw our pre-season preconceived notions right out the door. Who cares what we think when we can talk about what we KNOW?

Is This Lacrosse Poll Serious?

My Media Poll votes are in Bold, while the actual Media Poll ranked team is in (parentheses).

My “Fresh Blood” Media Poll Votes

  1. Denver (Notre Dame) – Ok, I won’t be picky here, as either ND or Denver could be #1. I like Denver, a lot of people like Notre Dame. Either way, it’s fair. Great players, wins, great coaching, yadda yadda. They’re good. Doc Lunchbox also has this #1/2 set up, so I’m in good company here.
  2. Notre Dame (Denver) – If I could give both Denver and ND a #1 vote, I would. But I can’t. Both look rock solid, and can easily be considered contenders already. Moving on!
  3. Syracuse (Syracuse) – I dropped Cuse from my #1 spot because of that tight win over Army. A win is a win, but that doesn’t mean other wins aren’t better. Or something. I like Denver and Notre Dame now. But maybe only for now? With Maryland’s loss to Yale, there is no way the Terps can be above Cuse. Media Poll and I agree!
  4. Duke (Duke) – Duke looks rock solid early on, and that’s scary! Usually Duke starts slow typically, so for them to be up at #4 in week 3 is really kind of disconcerting.
  5. Loyola (Loyola) – Loyola’s game with Lafayette was a 12-8 affair, but because of the Terps’ sloppy loss, we all bumped Loyola up. Seems fair!
  6. Yale (Yale) – Ok, Yale, I believe in you now. Man, the Bulldogs looked awesome at times, athletic always, and disciplined to the max. Sure, their home field is TURRRRRIBLE, but their skill on that field is top notch. Yale showed physicality, and a strong predilection towards only taking high percentage shots. But please fix that field, mokay?
  7. Brown (Brown) – The Bears’ high-powered offense ran up against another big time points producer in Stony Brook, and Brown won. SBU looks good, and so Brown continues to climb. Pollsters like Brown! Stony Brook? Not so much.
  8. Maryland (Maryland) – The Terps offense was stifled by Yale to a large extent, and while a lot of credit goes to Yale, Maryland’s offense also seemed to lack a killer instinct. I think they’ll get it going, but the Terps have some work to do on O. Some doubts creeping in now for Maryland.
  9. Hofstra (Hofstra) – Other than #1 and #2 being flip-flopped, my Top 9 and the Media Poll’s Top 9 are the same. The only person who has a really different Top 9 is Quint, and his take is only slightly different, with Yale at 4, and Maryland at #7. He has Cuse at #6 and is not a believer in the Orange yet. He went after some voters this past weekend on TV for putting UNC above Hofstra last week, so I wonder if he’ll excoriate other voters again for putting Yale at #6. I don’t know… I watched the Yale game. It was SLOPPY. But that’s what makes this so fun! Parity makes our job hard, on that Quint and I agree fully! The LM Poll also had Yale at #4.
  10. Stony Brook (UNC) – In order for UNC to be this high, you have to think Hop is a good win, but Hop is ranked 13th in the Media Poll now, so I’m not sold on this. In order for Stony Brook to be this high, you have to think Brown is a really good team, which everyone does. So why the heck is Stony Brook UNRANKED by both the Media Poll and Quint? My #10 vote didn’t even help them crack the Top 20! Other pollsters have NO LOVE for Stony Brook. They’re good though, just watch. 
  11. Towson (Towson) – Yup, Towson. How can you not have them high right now? Great season so far. Everyone seems to agree, moving on!
  12. Harvard (Harvard) – Harvard could easily be 0-3 right now, but instead they are 3-0 with 3 OT wins. UNHEARD OF. Still, I LOVE a team that can win OT games, even if it’s all of them. Crazy way to start a season to be sure, but it speaks to a desire to finish from the Crimson. That’s a VERY good thing. Will they stay high? Duke is a HUGE test coming up. OT win or loss?
  13. Villanova (Johns Hopkins) – I really think Hop is a little too high here… maybe I’m crazy but I’m not seeing the WINS from them yet. That’s important for a team slotted at #13. Villanova only has one win, but hey, I SAID I was bringing fresh blood into my poll! You were warned. And hey, we all agree Harvard is good, so maybe an OT loss to the Crimson is ok?
  14. UNC (Virginia) – I don’t know about my UNC pick here… I am keeping Hop and UNC in the Top 15 for now, but it’s dicey for both programs. They need wins ASAP. Both of them.
  15.  Johns Hopkins (Villanova) – We flip-flopped these teams, but I think ‘Nova is scrappier so I went with them. Could be wrong. Petro coaches scrappy.
  16. Marquette (Albany) – Why not? Marquette is winning games, and for an early season poll, that’s a good thing. Good to see them come in at #17 for the Media Poll overall.
  17. Rutgers (Marquette) – 3-0 Rutgers deserves a shot, so they get it. They need to keep competing, and winning, to stay at #17 (or better?).
  18. Boston University (Penn State) – First OT game, first OT win, first 4-1 start in school history, first 1-0 Patriot League start… BU is doing work, so they are my fresh blood at the #18 spot.
  19. Navy (Rutgers) – Here is where my bias crept back in and made itself known. Navy should probably be out after losing to BU, and dropping to 2-2. The Midshipmen NEED to win on Saturday vs Bucknell. They need to win so badly I avoided a “right the ship” metaphor in my last sentence.
  20. Air Force (Boston University) – You know what, I’m giving the Falcons a shot. No one else did, and that’s totally fair, but it’s early, and I want to keep an open mind. I like their resume, and like how they play the game. Air Force is my last Top 20 pick for the week!

How Could You Leave Out _____?!?!?!?

You could be talking about Albany, Virginia, High Point, Penn State, Georgetown, Cornell, Ohio State, Lehigh, Princeton, Bucknell, Colgate, Army, UMass, or Bryant as your “blank” for the above sentence and you would have a strong point. ALL of the above programs have shown some spark for 2016, and I can see any of them not only entering the polls, but climbing a number of spots.

syracuse albany 2016
Photo Credit: Jeff Melnik

How did I drop Albany? Maybe I shouldn’t have, but a 20-14 win over 0-2 Drexel wasn’t quite enough for me this week, as I really wanted to reward wins, and try some new teams. Virginia is in a similar boat, as they also beat Drexel, and recently beat Penn. But how good is Penn? So far they don’t look all that impressive, so how do I keep Virginia in over a team like Stony Brook, or Air Force? AFA lost to Denver by 1 goal, and they have won 3 straight over some decent teams. For now, I had to give them the nod.

The above is actually what makes the Media Poll great.

While voters do make mistakes (I certainly do!), when you add up all the mistakes, they start to even out a bit, and really good poll is the end result. I obviously don’t agree with it in many ways, but that’s a good thing, and it makes us all think.

Is this lacrosse poll serious? I don’t know, is it?