Our weekly rankings are in!
This was an interesting week for the ol’ top 20. Lots of volatility from top to bottom. All you have to do is go all the way to last week when both Nick and I had UNC as our No. 1. Well, that’s changed!
For me, I took this week to really start from scratch, starting at No. 14 and recast the net for who should be in. It’s just gotten to that point, and I’m not alone. In the national poll, 13 schools are in the “receiving votes” section, including Marist with one game and Penn with none. It’s an interesting time in college lacrosse.
Public ballots and weekly rankings are nothing without praise and shame, so here is our scoreboard:
Ryan Conwell’s picks aligning with the national poll: 5
Nick Zoroya’s picks aligning with the national poll: 4
Everyone agreeing: Just 1, Syracuse at No. 9.
If you’d like to see our previous polls, you can find them here:
Week 0 | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7
RC’s Ballot – NZ’s Ballot
2021 NCAA DI Men’s Weekly Rankings – Week 8 Top 20
Note: The following are the official Inside Lacrosse Media Poll ballots are from Lacrosse All Stars’ Ryan Conwell and Nick Zoroya.
1 Maryland (RC) – Duke (NZ)
National Poll: Duke (10-0)
RC: While Duke did beat my previous No. 1, I moved my No. 2 up to the top spot in my weekly rankings. Why? Simply put, I think Maryland beats Duke head-to-head right now.
NZ: Huge OT win against my former No. 1 makes this the easiest choice of the year.
2 Duke (RC) – North Carolina (NZ)
National Poll: Maryland (7-0)
RC: Duke moves up from No. 3 to No. 2 after topping UNC and officially taking control of the ACC.
NZ: In what I believe was a matchup between the two best teams in the country, the Tar Heels lost in OT. Can’t wait for round two.
3 North Carolina (RC) – Maryland (NZ)
National Poll: North Carolina (8-1)
RC: UNC falls from my No. 1 down to No. 3 in my weekly rankings. These three teams are very much a consensus top three right now.
NZ: After a solid win over Penn State, the Terps are part of the three team race for No. 1. The only issue they have is the all-Big Ten schedule makes comparisons difficult.
4 Rutgers (RC) – Denver (NZ)
National Poll: Notre Dame (5-1)
RC: A single point separates Denver and Notre Dame for the No. 4 spot. I’m probably alone in having Rutgers this high. The Scarlet Knights only lost to Maryland, and despite the close game this weekend, I expect it to stay this way. Rutgers still is playing as a more complete team than nearly any other team out there.
NZ: The Pios continue to improve each week, and adding TD surely doesn’t hurt. Dispatching Marquette, 16-6, is a good win.
5 Denver (RC) – Virginia (NZ)
National Poll: Denver (8-2)
RC: Denver had another win and is looking stronger by the week. The Pios are in total control of the Big East right now.
NZ: The Cavs handled business, beating a really solid Richmond team, and just like Denver, all of the pieces are falling into place.
6 Notre Dame (RC) – Notre Dame (NZ)
National Poll: Virginia (8-2)
RC: I never thought I’d say these words, but I love this Notre Dame offense. It can strike from so many different areas. It is a matchup nightmare, as Syracuse learned.
NZ: In what was a back-and-forth game, ND proved more athletic and just flat out more prepared than ‘Cuse.
7 Lehigh (RC) – Georgetown (NZ)
National Poll: Lehigh (5-0)
RC: Lehigh jumps up to No. 7 in my weekly rankings after topping Army, which was a huge win for the Warhawks. Right now, they are in the Patriot driver’s seat. This is proving to be a historic year for Lehigh. It hadn’t beat a top-10 team since 2012 and also hasn’t won the Patriot League or made the NCAA field since 2013.
NZ: With all of the chaos happening around them, beating St. John’s means the Hoyas stay put at No. 7.
8 Army (RC) – Rutgers (NZ)
National Poll: Rutgers (5-2)
RC: I didn’t drop Army too far for this loss. It was a close one, and we’re talking about the two best teams in the Patriot League. No. 8 still feels right to me.
NZ: A one-goal Ohio State win isn’t the most impressive thing, but it takes a few close games to get you ready for the post season.
9 Syracuse (RC) – Syracuse (NZ)
National Poll: Syracuse (4-3)
RC: Yup, we all agree that this is where Syracuse is. This team could still win the Natty, but it’s not playing like that right now. I wrote more about the Orange in yesterday’s DI Rundown.
NZ: Ric Beardsley is dying watching this version of Syracuse. Where’s the defense? Still an overall top-15 team, but it needs the defense to improve to beat great teams.
10 Virginia (RC) – Lehigh (NZ)
National Poll: T-10 Georgetown (7-1)
RC: Just behind Cuse is UVA for me at No. 10. The Cavs had a good win, and the Notre Dame win is looking better.
NZ: Lehigh earned every bit of this win. Dominance at the dot gives the Warhawks an edge. I feel vindicated they beat an Army team that I’ve kept out of the top 10 for weeks.
11 Georgetown (RC) – Loyola (NZ)
National Poll: T-10 Army (4-2)
RC: The Hoyas got another win but actually fell a spot in my weekly rankings. That was just due to Lehigh’s rise, though.
NZ: Annoyingly streaky, Loyola pulled of another close win against a solid Navy program.
12 Ohio State (RC) – Army (NZ)
National Poll: Delaware (7-1)
RC: This was a much better game for the Buckeyes. After getting blown out at home by Rutgers, they got Ryan Terefenko back from injury, which is key to them capitalizing on their postseason hopes.
NZ: It almost pulled off the comeback, but I think the polls will now agree with me that Army is a top 10-15 program this year.
13 Loyola (RC) – Delaware (NZ)
National Poll: Loyola (5-3)
RC: Loyola got a good win, but it’s still looking like the third team in the Patriot League this year. It has its work cut out for it to overtake Army and Lehigh.
NZ: I’ve slowly been pushing Delaware up in my weekly rankings, and a win against Fairfield keeps things trending upward.
14 Richmond (RC) – Ohio State (NZ)
National Poll: Ohio State (3-4)
RC: Richmond losing to UVA dropped the Spiders a few spots in my rankings, but I think this is about right for where they are at the moment.
NZ: A really impressive showing against Rutgers gives me faith that the Buckeyes can work their way into a Big Ten championship game.
15 Delaware (RC) – Hofstra (NZ)
National Poll: Richmond (4-4)
RC: This is where things start to get interesting for me. From here on out, I started with everyone from scratch and looked solely at their resumes, as well as what I’ve seen from watching them all. Delaware definitely fits the bill to be in this spot, but I don’t quite see it higher than here.
NZ: An early week loss to UMass by six followed by a clutch one-goal win over Towson means Hofstra is only slipping a single spot in my weekly rankings.
16 Hofstra (RC) – Richmond (NZ)
National Poll: UMBC (5-1)
RC: Next for me is Hofstra. Yes, the UMass loss wasn’t good, but everyone has a blemish on their record when you get to this area of the poll. What helps Hofstra out in this AE/CAA mess of teams is the win over Stony Brook, who is also moving on up.
NZ: The Spiders are a great team – they will win their conference – but a big loss to Virginia moves them down the rankings.
17 UMBC (RC) – UMass (NZ)
National Poll: Stony Brook (6-3)
RC: Following Hofstra, we get UMBC fresh off wins over Stony Brook and Vermont. The Retrievers dropped a weird midweek game to Binghamton but immediately bounced back to beat the Bearcats that same week. Overall, they have more upside than down.
NZ: UMass beat Hofstra, then inexplicably got upset by Drexel. I moved the Minutemen up a spot because of the chaos around them in the polls.
18 Stony Brook (RC) – Stony Brook (NZ)
National Poll: Hofstra (5-2)
RC: Stony Brook’s three losses? Cuse, UMBC, and Hofstra. Combining that with the win over Albany makes me feel more comfortable having the Seawolves in my rankings but still behind the previous two.
NZ: Like a yo-yo this year, SBU is up a spot every time it wins.
19 Vermont (RC) – Albany (NZ)
National Poll: Navy (3-1)
RC: After three-straight wins following its Cuse loss, Vermont dropped a tough AE game to UMBC. Its road isn’t much easier, either. With four games left, the Catamounts get Albany again and Stony Brook.
NZ: Is Albany better without Tehoka? Time will tell, but this is a great start. Moving up a spot this week.
20 Drexel (RC) – Drexel (NZ)
National Poll: Villanova (4-2)
RC: Drexel is sitting at 4-2, splitting games with UMass, which gives the Dragons an edge there, and their other loss is Delaware. Considering the teams around them, I weigh the UMass win higher than what most others have.
NZ: Welcome to the show! Drexel is in my weekly rankings thanks to a win over UMass.
RC’s Dropped Out:
Hopkins (17), Albany (18), UMass (19)
NZ’s Dropped Out:
Vermont (16), UMass (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: Navy, High Point, Albany, UMass, Villanova.
NZ’s Next Teams In:
RC’s Who Did I Leave Out?
Navy (19), Villanova (20)
NZ’s Who Did I Leave Out?
UMBC (16), Navy (19), Villanova (20)