This coming Saturday will officially be one month from the first round of MCLA Nationals. If things weren’t serious before, they’re about to be. With conference battles coming and the out-of-conference slate starting to wrap up, let’s take a look at how the MCLA playoffs are shaping up. To do so, we need to ask some questions.
Who is Number Two?
#4 Georgia Tech’s loss elevates #1 Cal (10-0) up to first place. The question now becomes who is next in line? There are three contenders for the silver right now, at least to me: Georgia Tech (9-1), Grand Canyon (8-1), and Colorado (11-2).
The Yellow Jackets have a single loss so far, and spent weeks at the top. Their sole loss was on the road at Colorado. However, their five-goal deficit saw the Buffs manhandle them in the fourth quarter.
#2 Grand Canyon is the other top one-loss team. The Lops own a H2H win over Colorado, but a loss to BYU by 6 at home.
#3 Colorado might have two losses, but they’re on a seven-game winning streak that includes wins over Cal Poly, Chapman, Georgia Tech, UCSB, and Liberty. That’s a streak that cannot be ignored. Colorado has the momentum, but I’d say that third in the polls is fair.
Who Wins Each Conference?
Glad you asked! I’ve been wondering this myself, and here’s the way I figure it. Note that these are not necessarily my favorites to win the conference, but my favorite to be the #1 seed in each conference tournament.
Michigan State. The Spartans already picked up a key win against Pitt, and looks likely to secure yet another #1 seed for the conference tournament.
Indiana. The safe money might be on Kansas, but I think that the Hoosiers will take over. Their key win over Miami (Ohio) helps them down the stretch.
Texas. Their win over Oklahoma establishes them as the top threat to secure the auto-bid.
Oregon State. Their win over Boise State gives them the inside track, but they’ll need to get past rival Oregon to secure their spot as the #1.
UConn. Boston College fell on their face in their debut weekend, opening the door for the Huskies to come and snag top billing.
Flip a coin between Colorado and BYU. I lean Colorado, but at 51%-49%.
Georgia Tech. They already have the key win over Florida State to keep themselves on top here.
Grand Canyon. Don’t rule Chapman out, but it’s narrowing in on these two. ASU dropped one, and UCSB/Arizona both look weaker than these two.
Cal. This one likely comes down to the Cal-Cal Poly game, but can’t pick against the top dogs (bears?) in the MCLA right now.
What about seeding?
Oh, you better believe I’m about to make a fake bracket right now. We’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from the first round. Now is the time to start playing around with seeding.
#1 California (WCLL) vs #16 Indiana (GRLC)
The Hoosiers take the GRLC autobid, and earn the right to get steamrolled by a California squad that wins the WCLL and takes top billing at nationals.
#2 Georgia Tech (SELC) vs #15 Texas (LSA)
Georgia Tech takes the SELC, and gets the two seed out of it. Meanwhile, Texas returns to nationals as the LSA champion.
#3 Colorado (RMLC) vs #14 Michigan State (CCLA)
The Spartans once again win the CCLA. They march into Orange County, then run into the offensive buzzsaw that is Colorado. The Buffs score like nobody else does, and that offense buries the Spartan defense in the first round.
#4 Grand Canyon (SLC) vs #13 Oregon (At-Large)
The ‘Lopes escape the loaded SLC field to be the top seed. They get rewarded with a top five seed. It was tough picking between Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Utah for the final at-large bid, but Oregon had the bigger quality wins.
#5 BYU (At-Large) vs #12 UConn (PCLL)
BYU is still a top five team, despite theoretically losing the RMLC final to Colorado. UConn, meanwhile, pulls the PCLL upset to take the auto-bid.
#6 Cal Poly (At-Large) vs #11 Colorado State (At-Large)
Cal Poly took the regular season matchup by five. To be honest, I think this is a little high for CSU, but I wanted to avoid matching up two RMLC opponents in the last matchup.
#7 Chapman (At-Large) vs #10 Florida State (At-Large)
Chapman has been up-and- down all year, but a strong performance against SLC opponents brings them back up the rankings to secure the seven seed. Meanwhile, FSU rides the hot hand of Anthony Cicio in cage to an at-large bid.
#8 Arizona State (At-Large) vs #9 Oregon State (PNCLL)
Arizona State is a little hard to place, considering they have plenty of big wins but also plenty of losses. Oregon State takes the PNCLL, and their (projected and things could obviously change) 15-1 record carries them up to the nine seed. That could clearly change based on the Civil War, as could Oregon’s seeding.
Ryder’s MCLA Top 25
- Georgia Tech
- Grand Canyon
- Cal Poly
- Arizona State
- Oregon State
- Colorado State
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Boise State
- Michigan State
- Sonoma State
- South Carolina