November 22, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Analysis, Rankings with 15 comments
Here are Ultiworld’s late fall preseason power rankings in the D-I Open Division.
1. North Carolina: A convincing run through CCC with quality wins over Georgia and FSU lands Darkside at #1 heading into the Spring. Their potent offensive line was missing players and still steamrolled everyone.
2. Colorado: A leaner, more experienced Colorado roster bulldozed through Missouri Loves Company to emerge with the tournament title. Can Jimmy Mickle lead Mamabird back to the top of the college division?
3. Central Florida: The Dogs of War set high expectations for themselves at CCC, but failed to deliver after brutal injuries and a lack of offensive chemistry busted them out in semifinals. They may have dipped to #3 this week, but they are still going to be considered by many to be the top contender this season.
4. Oregon: Oregon played at OFUDG, but with a heavy rookie focus, we haven’t seen much of Ego yet this season. The big question mark will be how they play without Aaron Honn this spring.
5. Texas: Texas made it to the semifinals of MLC without superstar Will Driscoll on the field. That’s a good sign for the Austin squad, and Mitchell Bennett looks more dangerous than ever.
6. Wisconsin: A rookie-heavy Wisconsin lineup went 5-3 at MLC, and each loss came on double game point. Last year Wisconsin played their best ultimate in the winter before slipping later in the season. How will they approach this season?
7. Pittsburgh: A small Pitt squad had a bumpy road through the Steel City Showdown, falling to Cincinnati in an uninspired effort in quarterfinals but rallying back from a five point deficit against Tufts to win their final game of the weekend. Lots of rookies got heavy PT.
8. Minnesota: Got some strong wins and some tough losses at MLC. Top end talent is very good on this team and they should be making a big push to redeem themselves after last year’s brutal Regionals.
9. Carleton College: The always rookie-focused Carleton had mixed results at MLC, but it’s hard to read much into them.
10. Harvard: Redline finished up their fall with an undefeated tournament win at Huck a Hunk — they have yet to face much top competition.
11. Texas A&M: One of the few teams at MLC running tighter lines, Texas A&M was one of three South Central teams in the semifinals. They will be making a big push for a third bid this year.
12. Florida State: FSU was very impressive at CCC considering their heavy roster turnover. They have outstanding athletes and pushed UNC harder than any team last weekend. Their +8 jump this week was the biggest in the division.
13. Florida: After being stunned by Tulane early at CCC, Florida played very well the rest of the weekend, falling only to UNC in a very good game. They still lack depth, but coach Cyle van Auken knows how to get the best from his players.
14. Washington: The Sundodgers haven’t played a full squad tournament yet this year, but have had some nice success playing split, including a win over Oregon at UFUDG.
15. Tufts: The talent on this Tufts team is unquestionable: they’re deep and skilled up and down the roster. But their mental game has showed lapses, like in their collapse against Pitt after leading 9-4.
16. Georgia: One of the surprises of CCC was Georgia’s strong performance. Multiple opposing coaches told Ultiworld that the team looked significantly better than last season. They challenged UNC and beat a rookie-only UCF.
17. UC Davis: The Dogs didn’t have a great weekend at Sean Ryan last weekend, but, like most West Coast teams, they were still breaking in new players. They still look like the team to beat in the Southwest.
18. Luther: Luther only played one tournament this fall — No Wisconsequences — and had mixed results. Hard to read much from such an early season tournament.
19. UNC-Wilmington: UNC-W mostly took care of business at Fall Easterns, falling by four to UNC and taking a double game point loss to Delaware. They didn’t play elsewhere this fall.
20. Stanford: Bloodthirsty made the finals of Sean Ryan where they fell to the surprising San Diego, who was a bubble team this week for top 25 inclusion. Stanford has the program to get back to Nationals this season.
21. Arizona: We haven’t seen much of Arizona yet, but they got whipped by Arizona State in a friendly fall matchup with a lot of rookies on the field.
22. Cincinnati: A pair of big fall tournament wins lands Cincinnati in the top 25 for the first time. At Steel City, they took down Pitt and Ohio with a half-full roster.
23. Illinois: A great Sunday performance at MLC lands Illinois in the top 25 after reaching the finals. There, they were a little shellshocked by Colorado, but they got some good wins over Texas and Northern Iowa on the weekend.
24. Cornell: Cornell had an up-and-down Spring with quality wins over Harvard and Tufts.
25. Northern Iowa: Last year’s near bid-swoop came from Northern Iowa, but this year they are looking like a real contender. Wins over Texas A&M, Minnesota, and Wisconsin help make the case.