The NAIA has been growing for number of years now but there as always been one consistent road bump for the teams involved, being the lack of national coverage. The league currently only offers one ranking system which features a rating committee comprised of eight raters; two raters per conference/group. All of these rankings are handled on an NAIA level and release publicly every other week compared to once a week.
We decided we would take this into our own hands and contact every NAIA coach directly to get their thoughts on the top ten on a week-to-week basis. This way we can get a better understanding of what coaches across the league value in a national title caliber team and see how their thoughts relate to the NAIA polls.
Here is our latest Lacrosse All Stars NAIA Coaches’ Poll of the 2023 season.
Every coach in the NAIA was sent a poll early Monday morning and was given twenty-four hours to provide their top ten rankings. It was as simple as ranking teams one through ten. With this data, we then were able to tally the votes via a point system and comprise the final rankings which you see below.
How do these results compare the official NAIA rankings?
NAIA Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll (Last Updated March 8, 2023)
- The rating committee is comprised of eight raters – two raters per conference/group.
- Each conference/group produces a conference rating from which raters will use to compile their national ballot. Only teams represented on the conference rating are eligible for the national ballot.
- Each rater will submit a top 15 ballot, which will be used to produce the Top 10 national rating and a list of other teams receiving votes.
- Indiana Tech
- Siena Heights
- Tennessee Wesleyan
- Mount Vernon Nazarene
What Does This Tell Us?
Top 5 vs the Rest
There seems to be a clear distinction between the top five and the rest of the teams in the NAIA. To no surprise, Keiser, Indiana Tech, Reinhardt, and Cumberlands have had exceptional lacrosse programs for a number or years now with Webber being the new kid on the block. These teams have gone out of their way to schedule some of the toughest opponents in the country and it appears to have paid off. The top five teams have a combined record of 36-5 but that certainly will change when conference play really picks up for the AAC and WHAC. Does any team after No.5 stand any chance? I don’t think so.
Keiser Can Be….Confusing
Keiser currently is 9-0 with some really confusing final scores on their schedule. I hate being that guy that compares final scores, because the fact of the matter is that Keiser wouldn’t be 9-0 if they weren’t a great lacrosse program. But only beating Tennessee Wesleyan by 5? TWU played a close game with Michigan-Dearborn (who is typically at the bottom of the WHAC) before running away with it in the fourth. Only beating SCAD by 4? Cumberlands held SCAD scoreless in their 10-0 win. Lawrence Tech beat SCAD with a similar score margin. It will be really interesting to see how Keiser handles conference play this year with how dominant the AAC is.