We’re still early in the season, but for the most part, the weekly rankings were pretty stable. In the national poll, there are still four teams getting No. 1 votes: Duke (11), UNC (8), Maryland (2), and Syracuse (1). Even though Syracuse is getting a No. 1 vote, Rutgers and Georgetown are both ahead of the Orange. The Scarlet Knights and Hoyas swapped spots this week despite each having wins. Aside from them, the other movers were UVA and Notre Dame trading spots, Loyola, Ohio State, Richmond, and UMass all falling while Hofstra, Albany, Penn State, Lehigh, and Denver all rose. The back half of the poll is where the most volatility is, but even then, the national poll had the same 20 teams as last week. But enough about the national poll; what were our picks?
If you’d like to see our previous polls, you can find them here:
RC’s Ballot – NZ’s Ballot
2021 NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings – Week 4 Top 20
Note: The following are the official Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballots are from Lacrosse All Stars’ Ryan Conwell and Nick Zoroya.
1 North Carolina (RC) – Duke (NZ)
National Poll: Duke
RC: In my mind, Duke and UNC are still a virtual coin flip for who gets the No. 1 vote in my weekly rankings. But I also still think if they play head-to-head right now, I would expect UNC to win.
NZ: I’ve been going back and forth with my No. 1 pick, but I think the Richmond win was more impressive than UNC’s win over Mercer, so Duke gets the bump.
2 Duke (RC) – North Carolina (NZ)
National Poll: North Carolina
RC: The Blue Devils have significantly improved from their first games, but their lapses are no worse than others you see. Duke’s upside is still incredible.
NZ: A less impressive win pushes North Carolina to my No. 2 spot.
3 Maryland (RC) – Maryland (NZ)
National Poll: Maryland
RC: Maryland took an unnervingly close first half with Hopkins and turned it into an eight-point win after a dominant second half. Rutgers this week won’t be that easy.
NZ: Holding steady by simply not blowing a very fun rivalry game. Beating Hopkins used to mean more, but that being said, it’s never an easy victory.
4 Rutgers (RC) – Virginia (NZ)
National Poll: Rutgers
RC: Rutgers beat Michigan, as it was expected to, but its big test is this week with Maryland. You better believe the Scarlet Knights will start this game with about as much intensity as you can imagine.
NZ: Wins over High Point and Air Force are enough to hold steady in my weekly rankings.
5 Army (RC) – Rutgers (NZ)
National Poll: Georgetown
RC: Army’s game with BU was a little closer this week, but it still came away with the win.
NZ: I’ve been slower than most to push Rutgers to the top, but a solid win over Michigan and Georgetown showing a few small holes gives me faith in moving Rutgers up to five.
6 Syracuse (RC) – Georgetown (NZ)
National Poll: Syracuse
RC: I always say you need three games to even begin knowing who a team is. After three games for the Orange, it’s becoming clear: they are a juggernaut on offense. On defense? Drake Porter is a First Team All-American in goal, Mitch Wykoff will likely get AA votes by the end of the year, and Brett Kennedy is a natural LSM. But as a unit, Syracuse still has work to do before its effort against Virginia becomes a repeat performance.
NZ: Marquette gave Georgetown a little scare and potentially gave future teams some ideas on how to beat this defense. I think it’s great that the Hoyas finally faced adversity and handled it extremely well.
7 Virginia (RC) – Notre Dame (NZ)
National Poll: Army
RC: How did UVA handle its historic loss to Syracuse? A narrow one-point win over High Point in the middle of the week and a 16-point one over Air Force on Saturday. The Cavs will be fine.
NZ: I struggle each week with how high to vote the Irish in my weekly rankings. I see a really high ceiling, but I need to see them against stiffer competition to know just how good they currently are.
8 Georgetown (RC) – Denver (NZ)
National Poll: Virginia
RC: The Hoyas finally started looking a little more mortal this week, but only for a half. I still want to have them higher, and may even have them leapfrog a few teams if they have a strong win over Denver. If they can lock down the Pios, it will a major win.
NZ: Honestly, I may have voted Denver a little high here, but a Saturday matchup with Georgetown will make me feel either great or like a complete fool.
9 Notre Dame (RC) – Syracuse (NZ)
National Poll: Notre Dame
RC: Pat Kavanagh had another huge game for the Irish, recording six assists and leading the team in GBs among non-FOGOS. Faceoffs were incredible for the Irish, too, going 17-for-21.
NZ: Syracuse is in my top 10 because of the Virginia win, but I’m still nervous about trap games against Hofstra and Stony Brook coming up. Oh yeah, Duke is just around the corner, too. If they win these next two, we may have a top-five Orange team against a No. 1 Duke.
10 Denver (RC) – Penn State (NZ)
National Poll: Denver
RC: Denver had another massive win in the Big East, this time over St. John’s. But with Georgetown coming up, we’ll see if the Pios are going to keep their stranglehold on the conference or not.
NZ: A strong win against Ohio State bumps Penn State up.
11 Lehigh (RC) – Loyola (NZ)
National Poll: Lehigh
RC: Lehigh had the big-time win over Loyola. This was actually a big win for the program, as it was the first time in the school’s history that it beat the Greyhounds. Now the Warhawks need to show that this was no fluke and they really are a Patriot contender. I mean, they are, but still.
NZ: No shame in a loss to rising Lehigh. Have a chance to win out before playing Georgetown on May 1.
12 Penn State (RC) – Lehigh (NZ)
National Poll: Penn State
RC: Penn State’s win over Ohio State was much needed, giving the Nittany Lions their first W of the year.
NZ: Honestly, I should’ve put Lehigh at No. 11, but I’m being cautiously optimistic until I see this team play live.
13 Loyola (RC) – Army (NZ)
National Poll: Loyola
RC: The Greyhounds did drop this one to Lehigh, but it should just be a blip on their schedule. They have very winnable games for most of the season, with Lafayette up next.
NZ: The Cuse win was amazing, but I’m still unsure just how high to place the Black Knights in my weekly rankings. I’ve noticed some inconsistencies in their last two games, which explains why I have them slightly lower than most.
14 Ohio State (RC) – Ohio State (NZ)
National Poll: Albany
RC: Ohio State dropped a few spots for me, but not much given I only had the Buckeyes two spots ahead of Penn State. But for as good as they looked in their opener, trying to stay in the top four of the Big Ten will not be easy.
NZ: Straight forward. A good, close loss to a surging Penn State team results in a slight drop.
15 High Point (RC) – Albany (NZ)
National Poll: Ohio State
RC: High Point almost pulled off a win versus Virginia, and it has one more ACC game with Duke this week before kicking off its SoCon schedule.
NZ: Dane Train is here, and I’m all in. They’re getting more impressive by the week, and I look forward to seeing them push up the polls each week.
16 UMass (RC) – UMass (NZ)
National Poll: UMass
RC: Well, we all agree that UMass belongs here. But it will finally see the field this week!
NZ: Old man shaking fist at the sky murmuring, “Covidddddd.”
17 Richmond (RC) – Richmond (NZ)
National Poll: Navy
RC: I’ve actually kept Richmond in this spot in my weekly rankings all year. Outside of about eight minutes of game time, the Spiders did a good job keeping pace with Duke. But in those eight minutes? Seven goals.
NZ: I’m still high on the Spiders because of their quality losses against top-10 teams.
18 Hofstra (RC) – Hofstra (NZ)
National Poll: Hofstra
RC: So, I guess we all agree on CAA teams?
NZ: Is Tierney enough? For now he is.
19 Albany (RC) – Navy (NZ)
National Poll: High Point
RC: A W for the Danes was their second, but next up is Vermont, who had a great game with Cuse.
NZ: Navy won’t face a real test until April. Expect the Midshipmen to move up, but slowly.
20 UMBC (RC) – High Point (NZ)
National Poll: Richmond
RC: Apparently UMBC is now “that team,” with two games and a combined five overtime periods. Its opener with The Mount was an 8-7, and its AE opener with Stony Brook went into four extra frames. Next up is Binghamton. Can UMBC do it again?
NZ: When you play UNC twice, lose by two, and then lose to Virginia by one, you are a top-20 team. In my book, High Point has the hardest schedule in Division I, and while I think it’ll finish just above .500, this is a top-20 team.
RC’s Dropped Out:
Stony Brook (20)
NZ’s Dropped Out:
Johns Hopkins (18)
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, Vermont, Navy, Delaware, Hobart.
NZ’s Next Teams In:
Johns Hopkins, Jacksonville, Vermont.
RC’s Who Did I Leave Out?
I still have Navy out, and unfortunately the Midshipmen on a pause and had to postpone their planned game with Bucknell.
NZ’s Who Did I Leave Out?