16. New Hampshire
The PCLL coaches gave UNH the 2 spot in their preseason poll, and they even picked up a first-place vote. That shows the anticipation brimming for the Wildcats in 2017, after finishing 8-3 last year.
Only an overtime loss to UConn kept them from the conference final, and they put up a strong showing against the RMLC early last year. Consider UNH the upset pick in the PCLL.
15. Florida State
Florida State was on the rise last year, cracking the top ten before off-field issues dragged them down. With new leadership and a new culture being built in Tallahassee, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if FSU takes the SELC auto-bid in 2017.
This is a team built to score, and one that posted some big victories over playoff squads last year. If the ‘Noles keep it clean off the field, this team can be nasty on it.
The Golden Bears are one of those teams who cannot be defined by their record last year. They didn’t suffer a single loss that I would consider a “bad” loss. When you play a schedule as hard as Cal did last season, 9-5 is absolutely respectable.
Even better, they improved over the year (look at their first game against Cal Poly compared to their second to see that), and finished by putting up a great fight in nationals vs Georgia Tech. All Cal needs to do is turn a few of those quality losses into quality wins, and you’re looking at a potential top 10 squad for 2017.
The Ducks rebounded from 2-13 to 11-3 last season. They were sitting pretty at the end of the regular season, with an 11-2 record and a top ten ranking. Unfortunately for the Ducks, their rivals in Corvallis got the last laugh in the conference championship to take away their chance at the PNCLL bid to playoffs.
Despite graduating 1st team All-American Grant Clifford, the Ducks should still be a force to be reckoned with this year. The question for Oregon will be how a coaching change shakes things up in Eugene this season, as PNCLL Coach of the Year Jon Bongiorno has been surprisingly replaced by last year’s defensive coordinator Markus McCaine.