NEW FEATURE ALERT! Normally in this space you get the boring old Ryan Conwell media poll ballot. You still definitely will get that, in addition to my attempt at justifying my weekly rankings week in and week out.
But wait! There’s more! New to the weekly rankings this season: LAS’s Nick Zoroya has joined the club as a voting member of the Inside Lacrosse NCAA Media Poll! So that no longer means I’m going solo, and since Nick is also cool and likes to share is ballot, you’ll see both!
A few years ago, Connor Wilson and I were both voting and sharing like this, which would turn into pure lunacy. Nick’s a little more level headed, so I don’t think this will get too weird. But what a week to debut your ballot, eh? The top eight or so is getting increasingly difficult to get in the right order, while 15-20 is just downright confusing. In addition to my notes, Nick has supplied some words of encouragement (or scorn) for his picks.
If you’d like to see my previous polls or the national poll, you can find them here:
RC’s Ballot (RC) – NZ’s Ballot (NZ)
2021 NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings – Week 3 Top 20
Now, onto our weekly rankings ballots:
1 North Carolina (RC) – North Carolina (NZ)
National Poll: Duke
RC: With UVA as my former No. 1 dropping out, I’m bumping No. 2 UNC to the top spot. Its demolition of High Point made that an easy call.
NZ: UNC edges Duke with an impressive win over HPU.
2 Duke (RC) – Duke (NZ)
National Poll: North Carolina
RC: I’m feeling much better about Duke with every passing week. The Blue Devils are definitely starting to come together.
NZ: With the No. 1 spot open after UVA lost, UNC gets it while Duke hovers.
3 Maryland (RC) – Maryland (NZ)
National Poll: Maryland
RC: I was nervous about Maryland early on in the Penn State game, but the Terps not only pulled away with the win, they also were very impressive. They were playing at a completely different speed the entire game. It just took a little longer than expected for that to turn into more points.
NZ: Maryland jumps UVA into the top three with a big win over Penn State.
4 Rutgers (RC) – Virginia (NZ)
National Poll: Georgetown
RC: I went with Rutgers at No. 4, because that win over Ohio State was something else. It made me a big-time believer in what this team is not just capable of, but doing.
NZ: I dropped UVA from the top spot just to fourth in my weekly rankings. Its resume so far is still a good one.
5 Army (RC) – Georgetown (NZ)
National Poll: Rutgers
RC: Here’s the thing: Army beat Cuse, Cuse beat UVA, UVA beat Army. You can’t rank them the same, and following a strong showing against Saint Joseph’s – a small sample size – I’m still inclined to give Army the edge for now.
NZ: Georgetown moves up a spot for me, benefitting from the Ohio State loss.
6 Syracuse (RC) – Notre Dame (NZ)
National Poll: Syracuse
RC: Snuck in right behind Army is Cuse after a dominant win over UVA. That was the team I thought they would be in the preseason, it just took them a week to show up. With Vermont next, it’s unlikely the Orange will regress. Even if they do, they are still probably going to win.
NZ: Notre Dame goes up one for me for same reason as Georgetown.
7 Virginia (RC) – Loyola (NZ)
National Poll: Army
RC: The final part of the Army/Cuse/UVA trio comes UVA. A decent fall from the No. 1 spot where I had them, but still higher than the national poll. At this point in the season, I’m chalking this up to a bad game, and you know the Cavs will learn from it.
NZ: Loyola also climbs up one more spot.
8 Georgetown (RC) – Syracuse (NZ)
National Poll: Notre Dame
RC: I want to have Georgetown higher. I really do. But without better opponents, I can’t talk myself into making them a top-five team in my weekly rankings just yet. However, two goals allowed on the season is a gaudy, gaudy stat. In most years, the Hoyas would be up there without a second thought, but this isn’t most years.
NZ: Cuse makes a move after showing it actually does know how to play defense and do the little things.
9 Notre Dame (RC) – Rutgers (NZ)
National Poll: Virginia
RC: I moved the Irish up a few more spots, because I kind of fell in love with their offense in last week’s game.
NZ: Rutgers is still on its way up, but there is a lot of talent in the way.
10 Loyola (RC) – Ohio State (NZ)
National Poll: Loyola
RC: A good win for Loyola keeps it in the top 10 for me.
NZ: OSU drops to No. 10 while Rutgers continues to climb.
11 Denver (RC) – Denver (NZ)
National Poll: Denver
RC: So, what? Are we just going to agree now? This beating of Providence was ridiculous, though.
NZ: Denver stays put by beating teams it should beat.
12 Ohio State (RC) – Army (NZ)
National Poll: Ohio State
RC: This was a decent drop for the Buckeyes, mostly because there was just so much winning going on around them. But that was not a good game for them.
NZ: Army is really good this year, but I’m not sold on top 10 yet. More data is needed.
13 Lehigh (RC) – Penn State (NZ)
National Poll: Lehigh
RC: Lehigh should have won this game, and it did. I actually brought the Mountain Hawks back up a few spots because of it, too.
NZ: Penn State gains a spot for me, dropping UMass back.
14 Penn State (RC) – UMass (NZ)
National Poll: UMass
RC: Penn State fell a spot in my weekly rankings. The Nittany Lions still have some work to do, but this is not a rebuild team.
NZ: UMass slipping until it actually plays.
15 High Point (RC) – Lehigh (NZ)
National Poll: Penn State
RC: I still have High Point a little high, because it ran into a steamroller with UNC in their second meeting. This does not bode well for the ACC teams if UNC can bounce back like this with a little bit of film for a second time.
NZ: Lehigh climbs two spots in my weekly rankings following its debut.
16 UMass (RC) – Richmond (NZ)
National Poll: Richmond
RC: UMass sits in the same spot for me, still without a game. Soon. Soon the Minutemen will play. What I really hope is that UMass is the only team we see like this all year. It is definitely a cautionary tale of what an outbreak on campus can do, even when a program may be doing everything by the book.
NZ: Richmond hovers in the same spot for me, and the national poll agrees.
17 Richmond (RC) – High Point (NZ)
National Poll: Navy
RC: The Spiders hover for me, not too far off from the national poll.
NZ: High Point falls two spots for me following its loss. The Panthers are still better than those behind them.
18 Hofstra (RC) – Johns Hopkins (NZ)
National Poll: Albany
RC: Hofstra jumps into my ballot following its good win over a ranked Stony Brook. It was a hard one to argue with.
NZ: Hopkins stays locked in at No. 18 for a second week here.
19 Albany (RC) – Albany (NZ)
National Poll: High Point
RC: I still don’t love Albany as a top-20 team, but it has much more potential that pretty much every other option.
NZ: Albany and Navy enter the fray with Hofstra knocking at the door on the back of Tierney.
National Poll: Hofstra
RC: I kept Stony Brook in because it was really back and forth with Hofstra for most of the game. Given what some other teams have done, I think the Seawolves still deserve a spot.
NZ: (See above)
RC’s Dropped Out:
NZ’s Dropped Out:
Stony Brook (19), Jacksonville (20)
RC’s Next Teams In:
These are the ones with the best shot at making the top 20 in the coming weeks, not in order: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Delaware, UMBC, Hobart.
NZ’s Next Teams In:
Hofstra, Stony Brook.
RC’s Who Did I Leave Out?
This is a carryover from last week. Basically, I kept Stony Brook in my weekly rankings but added Hofstra. Navy is definitely my No. 21, though. Its comeback against Jacksonville showed some great promise.
NZ’s Who Did I Leave Out?