February 18, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Other, Rankings with 3 comments
With many of the nation’s best teams in action this weekend at Florida Warm Up and the President’s Day Invite, there is a lot of movement in the Week 4 Power Rankings. While the top 4 stay at the top, the rest of the rankings saw a big shakeup as some surprises, particularly at Warm Up, stirred the pot.
Here are the Week 4 Power Rankings in the Men’s Division.
1. North Carolina – UNC has been on a tear all season and looks like the most polished team in the country right now. Whether or not you place them or the equally dominant Colorado atop your rankings may come down to a matter of preference (and geography).
2. Colorado – Colorado ruled the roost out West at the President’s Day Invite, overcoming an early 3-0 hole against Oregon to win the finals convincingly. Their resume may, in fact, be slightly stronger than UNC’s, thanks to getting a win against a top 5 team in Oregon.
3. Texas – Yeehaw. Texas slashed through the competition at Warm Up, delivering a second undefeated tournament title to the South Central region this weekend. They beat all three of the other semifinalists. They really weren’t even challenged.
4. Oregon — Oregon slips one spot this week after collapsing against Colorado at Pres Day. Even without Aaron Honn, though, they are still among the nation’s elite. Can they return to the top at Stanford Invite with a repeat win?
5. Florida — A finals appearance and wins over Florida State, Texas A&M, and Carleton lands Florida comfortably in the top 10. Bobby Ley is putting together a season that may put him in the conversation for the Callahan award. The big question for Florida: is their early season success a product of excellence, or just more outdoor practice time than many teams?
6. Florida State — With wins over Pittsburgh, Tufts, and Texas A&M, Florida State continues to rise in the rankings and bolster the Southeast’s claim as one of the strongest region’s in the nation. Like Florida, they’ve had the luxury of lots of outdoor practice time, but they are impressive with their work ethic and systems.
7. Minnesota — Despite missing Josh Klane, perhaps the team’s best player, Minnesota had a good weekend, taking down Central Florida, Wisconsin, and Tufts. Getting a read on the North Central is very tricky right now, but Minnesota looks to be right where they need to be to recover from last year’s disastrous Regionals.
8. Harvard — The only team in the top 10 not to play this weekend, Harvard shone last weekend at the Queen City Tune Up, where they made the finals and put up a worthy effort against top-ranked UNC.
9. Central Florida — An up-and-down weekend for UCF has to be taken with a grain of salt after the injury bug bit them hard yet again. Both Jeremy Langdon and Brawley Adams went down with injuries. The team showed real toughness in an impressive comeback win against Arizona State and a pair of wins against Pittsburgh. This team’s ceiling is quite high.
10. Pittsburgh — Pitt, all things considered, had a good weekend, considering where they are in their season. This is not a team you should expect to see making the finals of big tournaments any time soon, but, come May, they will be very tough to beat. Max Thorne did not play this weekend.
11. Wisconsin — Playing very shorthanded, Wisconsin still managed wins against Texas A&M, Arizona State, and Carleton. Many of their players — and coach Hector Valdivia — got stuck in Madison with flight cancellations. Chanting “no rules” on the sideline, they fought hard and stayed competitive. Hard to get a true read on where they stand.
12. UC San Diego — Another good weekend for UCSD, who lost only to Oregon in the semifinals of Pres Day. Perhaps even more impressive, that’s the only loss the Air Squids have taken all season.
13. Tufts — Tufts finished in the middle of the pack at Warm Up, but got good wins over Texas A&M and Arizona State. Can they challenge Harvard for New England supremacy?
14. Luther — Luther has yet to take the field this Spring. But returning your entire team after making a solid run at Nationals the year before is generally a sign of good things to come.
15. Texas A&M — The talent on Texas A&M is unquestionable. They jumped out to early leads on nearly every team they faced, but frequently couldn’t shut the door in the second half. Mentality issues are plaguing them right now, but they have the pieces to be an elite team this year.
16. Northwestern — What a weekend for Northwestern! The Cinderella story of the year so far, they scored a huge win over an injury-stricken Central Florida on double game point to reach the semifinals and got another quality win over Minnesota. Because of their low seed, they didn’t have a very tough strength of schedule, but you cannot take away from an outstanding weekend like they had. Can they keep it up?
17. Arizona State — ASU didn’t really land any signature wins, but they beat Carleton, Georgia, and Georgia Tech this weekend at Warm Up. Combined with their strong performance at the Santa Barbara Invite, they remain in the mix for a Southwest bid.
18. Carleton — As usual, it’s tough to get a read on Carleton at Warm Up, where they play wide open lines. They were missing Jesse Bolton this weekend as well. But very underwhelming results don’t look good for a team that lost a boatload of talent this year.
19. British Columbia — UBC again made it deep into a tournament, falling to Colorado in the semifinals at Pres Day. They went on to a 4th place finish in a one point loss to UC San Diego.
20. Illinois — Illinois has not played yet this Spring; their ranking reflects their great performance at Missouri Loves Company in the fall.
21. California — UGMO made a big splash at Pres Day, falling in a tight game with Oregon in quarterfinals before beating Washington and UCSB late on Sunday. The strong performance comes on the heels of an undefeated run through the Stanford Open last weekend.
22. Washington — A 7th place finish doesn’t look that great for Washington until you notice that their losses came only to Colorado, Oregon, UC San Diego, and Cal.
23. Michigan — Michigan landed in the rankings last week with a solid showing at Queen City in Charlotte, where they made it to the semifinals before falling to Harvard. A good win over UNC Wilmington highlighted their weekend.
24. Georgia — Georgia did just enough at Warm Up to remain in the top 25, but it wasn’t an outstanding weekend for them. They still seem thin down the roster and if Elliot Erickson can’t get it going, they struggle.
25. Cornell — Cornell was supposed to play this weekend at Pres Day, but, like a number of teams, had their flights disrupted. Instead, they won the livetweeting award for the weekend.