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Is My Lacrosse Poll Serious? D3 Edition!

I was inspired by Connor’s recent D1 “Is My Lacrosse Poll Serious” post because it looked at teams based solely on results. While it might be a tad early to do this for D3, I’m going to give it a shot anyway, simple because the D1 poll had some interesting results, which looks to be pretty accurate (Duke losing to Richmond comes to mind).

So here goes, my new-fangled D3 Top 20, based on the results so far, and not much else!

First step is to create a couple of “Tiers”, which I will use to qualify teams. Here’s the wind up…

Is My Lacrosse Poll Serious – Tiers

Tier 1: Legitimate*, With A BIG Win – To be at the top, you must have been on the preseason radar, and you HAVE to own a big win over someone good. “Someone good” is inherently still subjective, and will be until the midpoint of the season, but basically it means a legitimate Top 20 team… anyone you could make a reasonable argument for. Did you beat a team like that and haven’t dropped a game? You’re at the top of the class, for now.

*Tough schedule, meaningful wins, trending

Tier 2 – No losses, No Big Wins/One Loss Teams With BIG Wins – Have you beaten a legit Top 20 team, as specified above? Do you have ONE loss, and is it to a team in the group above (Tier 1)? Then you can make a showing in the Tier 2 group.

Tier 3 – One Loss Teams/Two Loss Teams With Big Wins – Maybe you’ve only lost a game, maybe it was even close! But you haven’t won a “big” game yet. You’re here for now IF that loss was to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 team AND it was close. Or maybe you’ve lost two games, but you own a BIG time win? If you’ve beaten someone in Tier 2, but have two losses, you are still alive.

Tier 4 – NO Big Wins, Some Losses, Close Games – To fill out the Top 20, we look into teams with no signature big wins, multiple losses, but close games. These are “potential” teams right now, and it’s a BIG group. This is where my poll will be its most subjective.

TIER 1 D3 TOP 20

1) Salisbury – Earned, not given. When you take town the teams they have beaten, you deserve to move up to #1. Some people may think the one goal win over OWU is alarming, but I don’t. They are clearly the class of the South at this point, and they continue to get points from everyone.

2) Tufts – A one goal win over a Stevens Tech team that had previously beat only an Endicott team that was ranked preseason keeps them in this group for now. Starting later than everyone else really showed this week in Hoboken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zflPz0CXlrY

3) RIT – Taking care of business. An out of conference win against a stingy Montclair State team isn’t easy to come by, but the Tigers took the lead early and ended up winning 11-4 in a game that was never really close. Both goalies played well, giving their teams a chance,

4) Gettysburg – Not one to call my own number, but the Bullets took care of a Lynchburg team last week that many had running back to the NCAA finals. Not so fast! Tommy Heller had other thoughts. They deserve this ranking. Did I call it?

TIER 2 D3 Top 20

5) Amherst – Late start to the season, but came out of the gates with a win! Not quite as hot as Dale Jarrett at Daytona in 1993, but hot nonetheless.

6) Bates – One of the first NESCAC teams to get rollin’ and they have done nothing but taken care of business thus far. Should find a lot more about them this week when they take on Amherst.

7) Middlebury – Close game against the Camels from Conn. College this weekend, but have arguably the toughest stretch of games coming up.

8) Nazareth – I debated putting Naz with the Tier 1 teams but hesitated. They always play Cortland tough, and think they beat a Red Dragons team that may be in for a down year.

9) OWU – One loss against a team that I have ranked #1 right now. They deserve this spot, and I said that last week,

10) Roanoke – Hanging on, few good wins, a loss against a York team that I think will shock some teams this year. Got the Maroons at a good time.

11) Cabrini – Wins over a dropping Lynchburg team and a Dickinson team hovering around the Top 20 keep them this group. I think they are very worthy of being in this group. Keep an eye on the game against OWU.

Tier 3 D3 Top 20

12) York – Buying them low here. Could move up, but could move down. The Roanoke win in great for the program, but they face #4 Gettysburg this weaker home. Should give us a better read.

Tier 4 D3 Top 20

13) Cortland – You have to believe in the Red Dragons.

14) Denison – a one goal loss to Roanoke doesn’t hurt them too much, with 3 easy wins.

15) Keene St. – Two VERY solid wins over WNEU and RPI give Keene life, a game with Tufts looms large!

16) Frostburg St. – They haven’t played anyone great, but they are 5-0 and have a one goal win over Ursinus. Not bad!

17) Stevens – Stevens lost to Tufts by 1 (so close!) and beat Endicott, plus they are 3-1 overall.

18) Union – Union lost to Endicott and beat Babson by 3. You’d think Endicott would be ranked, but that game went to OT and it’s the Gulls only win so far, sitting at 1-3. Union gets the nod.

19) WNEU – Sure, they lost to Keene by 8, but they did beat Stevenson, and that should mean something, right?

20) Lynchburg – How is a 1-3 team ranked in a “results oriented” top 20? Simple: They beat a decent F&M team, and lost to Salisbury (my #1) by 3 goals, Cabrini (my #11) in OT, and Gettybsurg (my #4) by 4 goals. I’ll slot them in for the SOS alone.

A couple of the Tier 4 teams could likely have been bumped up to Tier 3 like Keene State, but that’s really it. The last 9 teams was splitting hairs, and a bunch of other programs like St. Lawrence, Dickinson, Stevenson, Springfield, Colorado College, Ursinus, RPI, or Virginia Wesleyan could have filled those slots. Heck, even more teams than that were likely eligible under my criteria.

Obviously it’s hard to make true results based polls so early on, but it’s a fun and different way to really look at which teams are going to do big things in 2016. #D3forlife.