Welp! Welcome to Week 5 of ‘Is This Poll Serious?!’ Here I share my ballot that I sent into the NCAA Division I Inside Lacrosse Media Poll! As much as I want to complain about how tough it was to put this ballot together, it was more fun than tough. For teams to keep their spot, it was tough. The reason why it was much for fun is this week was my official clean slate week, meaning I officially set aside preseason expectations and just looked at wins and losses, who they were against, and what I’ve seen. Truth be told, the vast majority of teams have been judged beyond preseason expectations for the past few weeks, but this is the line in the sand. 2018 and your recruiting class do not matter anymore.
Now, for parts of this ballot, things were somewhat easy. The top five is pretty consistent across all voters in terms of who is there, but the order is not. That’s why four difference teams received number one votes this week. But when you get past about nine, things get weird. The problem when looking across these teams right now is that nearly everyone has a loss that makes you scratch your head. Deciding which of those matters more than the others is where the subjectivity of poll voting comes into play. If that didn’t matter, and there’s no differing opinions, there’d be no poll.
My Inside Lacrosse Media Poll Ballot Week 5 — Is This Poll Serious?!
1 Penn State LW: 3 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll:1
W 19-13 vs Cornell; W 24-11 vs Jacksonville
Putting Penn State back here wasn’t automatic, but it’s hard to argue against how good this team is. Sure, they have a loss. But a one point loss on the road to another really good team where they still scored 13 points is legit. It’s going to be hard to hold this team back this year.
2 Cornell LW: 2 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 3
L 19-13 vs Penn State; W 18-11 vs Towson
The Big Red lost their first game of the year to Penn State by six, but it was looking much worse to start. They came back and ultimately fell short. Against Towson two days later, the tables turned and Cornell looked dominant. This awesome is going to be causing problems all year, and it’s not just Jeff Teat. But yeah, he’s a problem.
3 Duke LW: 7 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 2
W 12-7 vs Loyola
We don’t need to dwell on this too much, but Duke looked really good against Loyola. Their defense played that matchup to ear perfection. It’s hard to imagine this is the same group that lost to High Point.
4 Towson LW: 1 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 5
W 15-13 vs Jacksonville; L 18-11 vs Cornell
They had a scary one with Jacksonville and ultimately fell to Cornell, which made me really reconsider this team for the whole “clean slate” concept. But their wins over Loyola and Georgetown still stand by themselves. The Hopkins win is no OK, but still earns some bonus point for the manner in which they did it.
5 Loyola LW: 4 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 8
L 12-7 vs Duke
Loyola dropped another game, this time to Duke. And like Towson, it was a proper loss. But, with the Virginia win, and wins over Hopkins and Rutgers, it’s fair to say they’re still a top ten team. I can handle the national poll saying 8, since like I’ve said several times, I won’t lose sleep over a few spots.
6 Notre Dame LW:9 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 7
W 10-7 vs Denver
Notre Dame continued their rebound from the Richmond loss by winning another good game over Denver out in California. Had they beaten Richmond, Notre Dame would be a solid top five team and maybe getting first place votes. But they didn’t, so six is where they go for me.
7 Yale LW: 5 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 4
W 17-11 vs Michigan
When I knew that I would level set everyone, I honestly thought I would have Yale lower than this. But that Penn State win is proving to be a great one. UMass is OK, and Michigan was certainly expected. We are definitely going to learn some things when the Elis travel down to Ithaca to face the Big Red this week.
8 Maryland LW: 6 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 6
W 14-9 vs Albany
Richmond, Penn, Navy
The Terps needed a good rebound win and Albany was the team for it. As puzzling as the Tehoka-less lineup is for the Dane Train, Maryland still got their win. In terms of where they fall, they do lack big wins, but their loss is good, and I like the Navy, Richmond, and Penn wins right now. Based purely on schedule, I could see the Terps even lower, but that doesn’t feel right.
9 Navy LW: 14 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: UR
L 19-11 vs Princeton, W 12-7 Lafayette
The Midshipmen is officially the strangest pick that I have. Top ten for a team that isn’t even ranked nationally? You’re crazy, Conwell. So far they are 2-0 in Patriot play and have Loyola up next. This pick will either be genius or we’ll never talk about it again.
10 Denver LW: 8 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 11
L 7-10 vs Notre Dame
Denver could certainly be lower than here since they are lacking good wins. Their best is UNC, which is still lacking. But their losses are good, which is the only reason they are this high. We’re officially into subjectivity land.
11 High Point LW: 15 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 10
W 22-13 vs UMBC
High Point’s two ACC wins are definitely going to have them in this range all season long unless they suffer another weird St. John’s-esque loss. This week’s UMBC win was proof that this is not a fluke team.
12 UVA LW: 11 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll:12
W 14-13 vs. Brown
Three overtime games in a row, all wins, preceded by a one goal loss to High Point? Do you want to be compared to 2017 Syracuse? Because that is how you get compared to 2017 Syracuse. UVA is flirting with disaster, which means they’re also flirting with greatness. Let’s just see how this plays out.
13 Syracuse LW: 12 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 13
W 14-10 vs Hopkins
The Syracuse defense was a little lifeless in the first quarter, which allowed the Jays to really take advantage and build a lead. When the Orange had the ball, they showed promise, which eventually turned from promise into dominance. What we really know about Cuse after five games: their midfield is no joke. From Cal Dearth and Brett Kennedy on defense to Brendan Curry, Jamie Trimboli, and Jacob Buttermore on offense, this team can run.
14 Richmond LW: 16 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: UR
L 12-11 vs Mount St. Mary’s; W 17-4 vs VMI
The Spiders split this week, and realistically are afloat mostly due to their Notre Dame win. Their good losses are going to lose luster if they drop another Mount St. Mary’s type of game. Ultimately, they’re going to probably need the SoCon title.
15 Ohio State LW: 17 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 9
W 14-8 vs Hofstra
Another week, another weak game. Finally Ohio State is going to get into the meat of their schedule to show once and for all if they are a contender or a pretender in the Big Ten.
16 Rutgers LW: 18 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 15
W 9-8 vs Princeton
Rutgers is just barely hanging on here, but they’re continuing to win the games they should. Their two losses aren’t bad, which helps their case quite a bit. They could make a huge statement by beating Cuse this week.
17 Hobart LW: UR Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: UR
W 17-11 vs. Vermont
I’m in the minority, but I do think Hobart is worth a vote here. There are only three teams averaging over 16 points per game. One is the #1 team in the country. The other is Cornell, who beat the Statesmen by only three goals. And yes, the third is Hobart. Their defense isn’t exactly going to win them tough games, but there’s no doubt that this is a team to keep an eye on.
18 Georgetown LW: 19 Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 14
W 18-6 vs Furman; W 19-6 vs Fairfield
Georgetown is basically Ohio State with a good loss. Their six point loss to Towson still stands out as a good one, but their wins are definitely lacking.
19 Delaware LW: UR Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: UR
W 10-9 vs Mercer; W 10-6 vs Binghamton
Delaware is another team that is similar to Georgetown in some ways. The Villanova loss was bad, but the rest of their wins are over teams they should be beating. They may not last too long here, but it was worth giving them some recognition.
20 Lehigh LW: UR Inside Lacrosse Media Poll: 16
W 11-8 vs Army
Lehigh is just scraping by with a vote right now. The Army and Colgate wins are keeping them above those two, and their losses are Cornell and UVA are excusable. Had they beaten Hofstra, it wouldn’t even debatable that they’re a top 20 team. But I still have some pause with them.
Who Did I Drop?
I had to drop Hopkins. For most of the first half against ‘Cuse, this was a team that looked like they had fixed their wrongs and were on track to be fighting for a Big Ten title again. But in the second half, the wheels came off the bus. Inconsistency and losses do not make a top 20 team. Villanova certainly has an argument, but their good wins are pretty much all offset by equal losses. Creates kind of a “meh” feeling right now. I think they’ll be back in the top 20 soon, but not this week. Army I also dropped because they only have the good win over Rutgers, and while the Lehigh and Syracuse losses were close, they were still losses.
Who did I leave out?
I’m not going to argue Colgate being included at all. Realistically, they’re my #1 team out right now. Penn and Hopkins, though? Records aren’t everything, but both are 2-3. Hopkins has wins over UNC and Princeton, which are both OK at best. Penn’s better than their record shows, which happens when you start the season with Maryland, Duke, ad Penn State. But a win over St. Joseph’s isn’t going to make me give them a vote right away. Although, they did look very good in that win. If they beat Princeton this week in their first Ivy game, they’ll be in assuming a few teams on the list now lose.