Is this week four lacrosse poll serious? Which poll am I talking about? You be the judge! In bold you can find my picks for the IL Media Poll (they do actually let me vote! How nice is that?), and in italics, you can find the team that the rest of the media picked for the same spot. In italic bold, you can find Quint Kessenich’s Top 20 picks.
Compare and contrast… which week four lacrosse poll is serious?
My Week Four Lacrosse Poll
1) Syracuse – With 5 wins, and 3 of those Ws coming over top 10 teams, Cuse looks very much at home in the top spot. Their offense is varied and deadly, their D looks tough and team-oriented, and special teams are coming up big. It’s an Orange world right now. IL Poll: Syracuse QK Poll: Syracuse
2) North Carolina – UNC has six wins, and two are over Top 20 teams. Their win over Denver will do a lot to boost them for the entire season, and that’s a good thing because UNC closes out the year with SIX Top 15 games! IL Poll: UNC QK Poll: UNC
3) Denver – The Pioneers definitely look like a Top 5 team, and their OT win over Notre Dame helps solidify their case. A strong offense which excels at pressuring a defense is their key, but don’t sleep on the Denver D either. Denver’s game with Ohio State this weekend could be a good one! IL Poll: Denver QK Poll: Denver
4) Notre Dame – The Irish will stay in the Top 5 for now, even with their loss to Denver. ND lacks a strong win, but they are a really solid team, and if they beat Virginia this weekend, they are an easy Top 5 pick again. If they lose it’s harder to say, quality wins are a MUST! IL Poll: Notre Dame QK Poll: Notre Dame Right now Quint and I are on agreement on 4 of 4 teams. We will only agree once more in the entire poll!
5) Virginia – Wins over Cornell and Loyola keep UVa from falling. If Virginia wants to stay in the Top 5 they need to beat St. Joseph’s on the 10th. Then on the 14th they play Notre Dame. Depending on how those games shake out, the Wahoos could be anywhere from #3 to #20. This is a big week for Virginia! IL Poll: Duke QK Poll: Duke I’m not sure why everyone else seems to be dropping UVa for Duke right now… are we all watching the same games here?
6) Yale – The Bulldogs are quietly bumping along at 5-0. A win over Maryland keeps them high, and OT wins over St. John’s and Fairfield keeps them alive! OT games are fine for Top 10 teams, but they need to win, and Yale has been doing just that. IL Poll: Yale QK Poll: Virginia
7) Duke – Duke lost to Denver early on, but since then they have won 3 straight games, and two of those wins were over Top 20 teams by comfortable margins. Duke plays Georgetown this weekend, then faces four consecutive opponents in the Top 10 in Syracuse, UNC, ND, and Virginia. That run of games will truly test the Blue Devils and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out. IL Poll: Virginia QK Poll: Cornell
8) Cornell – The Big Red has a solid win over Albany, but losses to Cuse and Virginia. The Cuse loss wasn’t great, but it was early enough that I can look past it. Their game with UVa was close, but Cornell has potential statement games against Yale and Colgate this weekend and early next week, and winning both would help the team’s resume greatly. IL Poll: Maryland QK Poll: Yale
9) Brown – Brown has leapt into my Top 20 with vigor. Sure, the Bears lack an amazing win, but they are 4-0, and a 6 goal win over UMass is their closest game of the year. It’s not like Marquette, who is eeking out wins. Win big, and win consistently, and you can make rapid moves in my poll. IL Poll: Cornell QK Poll: Maryland Am I a crazy person for ranking Brown this high? Probably!
10) Maryland – The Terps got a big win over Princeton this past weekend and they did so in dominating fashion. Games with Villanova and UNC over the next two weekends will tell us where Maryland truly sits in this poll. Right now they are a big of a enigma. IL Poll: Marqueete QK Poll: Marquette this is an interesting place to put Marquette. I don’t think they deserve it just yet, but I like that the other pollsters are going for it with gusto on this one.
11) Army – In years past, a loss to Holy Cross would have knocked Army way down, but this year’s Holy Cross team is actually pretty darn good! They dodge well on their own, and play pretty smart lacrosse. I had a hard time keeping Army this high as they lack a quality win right now, but I have seen them play a number of times, and this is a very good team. That being said, the Black Knights need to win most of their remaining games to stay in the hunt for a Top 10 spot. IL Poll: Albany QK Poll: Princeton
12) Harvard – Harvard has some serious talent on their roster, but they don’t always put it together in the best ways… Four road games coming up against Holy Cross, UNC, Brown, and Dartmouth will test the Crimson nicely. Win 3 of the 4 and they’re just fine (as long as they lose to UNC), but drop another game and Harvard could start falling. IL Poll: Princeton QK Poll: Harvard
13) Marquette – The Golden Eagles lack a big Top 20 win, but they are 7-0, and it’s hard to knock a team for that! Marquette won’t play a game for two weeks (next up is Gtown on 3/21), so they should be sage in the Top 15 for at least a little while longer. When their games start back up, and if they keep winning, it will be hard not to move them up further. IL Poll: Harvard QK Poll: Loyola
14) Albany – I don’t know what to make of Albany, and I didn’t last year either. I thought this was a more predictable team in 2015, but that doesn’t seem to be holding true so far. Albany has 3 games in the next 2 weeks (Stony Brook, Canisius, and Hartford) and really needs to win all three to stay on peoples’ radar in a good way. IL Poll: Army QK Poll: Johns Hopkins I would never call Quint a homer on his TV broadcasts, but he has Hop WAY too high here. Maybe the blinders are on for him, kind of like how I view Army.
15) Loyola – While Loyola has played more Top 20 teams than Albany, they are similar in that they are unpredictable. At times, Loyola looks like a contender, but during other runs of play, they seem to fall apart at the worst times. I do think they are getting better as the season goes on, but the Hounds will need to improve week over week, EVERY week, if they want to get back to the top this year. IL Poll: Villanova QK Poll: Villanova I really don’t get the Villanova pick. No top 20 wins, and an early loss to Hop. Of course Quint has Hop at #14, so maybe that bias is bleeding over?
16) Towson – It’s tempting to move Towson down after their loss to Navy, but I have moved Navy into my Top 20, so it’s not that weird to keep the Tigers around 16. After all, it was a 3 OT game! Towson has a quality win, two tough losses, and has shown moments of excellence. IL Poll: Hopkins QK Poll: Albany
17) Princeton – I was a little surprised to see Princeton held to 4 goals against Maryland, but it also makes some sense. The Tigers are a team-oriented offense, and the Terps did a great job of controlling roll backs and forcing bad shots. If the Tigers have 1-2 more guys who can really get to the cage, this is a different game. But since Princeton doesn’t have a ton of guys who can get to the cage, the fall a bit in the rankings. IL Poll: Loyola QK Poll: Brown
18) Johns Hopkins – I don’t love a 3-3 team in the Top 20, but since it’s this 2015 Hop team, I don’t hate it. A solid win over Navy this past weekend and a win over Villanova (plus 3 Top 15 losses) gets Hop back in… but only for now. The Blue Jays play Syracuse and Virginia over the next two weeks. Win one and move up, lose both and who knows. IL Poll: Brown QK Poll: Holy Cross
19) Holy Cross – Wins over Fairfield, Loyola, and Army all look superb! A loss to Navy also looks ok, but that 18-6 loss to Delaware has me scratching my head. A Top 20 has those wins, but does NOT have a game where they get blown out by a non-Top 20 team. Delaware plays good team ball, but it’s still not excusable. Lose by a goal or two? Ok, I can deal with that. Lose by 12? That makes things harder. Two Top 15 wins get Holy Cross in above the doubts. IL Poll: Towson QK Poll: Army Quint really put the hurt on Army for losing to Holy Cross.
20) Navy – I did not like Navy this year, but they have strong face off work, better offensive cohesion, and a stout group of defenders. The last part isn’t a shocker, but the other two surprise me a bit. Navy needs to move the ball a LOT better on offense, and they still look a step slower on O, but wins over Holy Cross and Towson are enough to boost another 3-3 team into my Top 20. The Midshipmen need to be Lafayette and Lehigh if they want to stay here. IL Poll: Holy Cross QK Poll: Towson
If you look at the votes, it’s clear that this season is a challenging one when it comes to ranking the teams… So who do you think got it closest to correct? Me? The IL Media Poll? Or Quint Kessenich?