November 22, 2013 by Jesse Moskowitz in Analysis, Rankings with 14 comments
1. Amherst: Despite mixed fall showings, Amherst remains the top DIII squad. Everything came together for them during the series as it may again in 2014. Don’t be surprised to see another team here as the spring goes on if Army of Darkness values development over wins.
2. Puget Sound: They’re hungry for a National championship. Coached the right way, UPS will be fighting for a top spot late in the season.
3. St. John’s: Nihal Bhakta and the rest of BAM will fight the rest of the tough NC for bids to Nationals. Earning those bids will be extremely important in an increasingly-strong region.
4. Wake Forest: WOMB will likely play against DI competition in preparation for the series. They’ve produced some of the best results for aDIII team against Division I competition in the past few seasons.
5. Carleton GOP: GOP loses a plethora of talent but the Carleton system will allow them to continue to be competitive. Like BAM and St. Olaf, they’ll need the bids.
6. Middlebury: The reigning champs lost some top talent but should still be considered a top tier group until proven otherwise. The NE will be fierce as always and they’ll likely see regionals competition well before the series.
7. John Brown: One of last year’s surprises, John Brown is young and primed for continued success this season. However, they only participated in one tournament this fall.
8. Kenyon: An average fall should be overlooked. SERF had semis potential last season had they not gone the way of D-I for regionals.
9. Stevens Tech: It will be interesting to see how Stevens adjusts this season after losing some key pieces. Their defense will still be stiff, but the system might need to adapt without huge throwers.
10. North Park: North Park fell to a surprising Wisconsin-Parkside in semis of Ktown Throwdown. Parkside would go on to win the tournament while North Park would go 6-1.
11. Lehigh: A really dominant fall season that showed wins over Stevens Tech and Virginia Tech as well as a 1 point loss to NYU.
12. Claremont: A weak division will likely lead to another Nationals bid for this regular. Do they have the talent to make that jump from good to great? Nathan Hall will help
13. Bentley: Max Rick and Alex Foo will have Bentley back at the top of the division. They play with a competitive fire that many DIII teams don’t possess.
14. Harding: Some big losses for Harding will have a deep division nipping at their heels. Don’t be surprised to see a decently sized drop from their past season results.
15. Rice: What will Rice choose to do this spring? They hardly played any tournaments before the series last season and didn’t play a tournament this fall.
16. Parkside: UW Parkside made a splash with a strong fall, taking down North Park on route to a Ktown victory. Parkside throws a wrench into the three-team equation that was the North Central. St. John’s, GOP, and St. Olaf should keep them on their radar.
17. St. Olaf: Olaf was one of the best teams to not make Nationals last season despite a highly talented (and spirited) roster. Like the rest of the NC (including Parkside) the regular season becomes especially important.
18. Fredonia: SUNY-Fredonia went an impressive 6-2 at Northeast Classic. Their only two losses would come to Concrete Jungle, an unsanctioned team, including once in the finals. Junior handler Kevin Quinlan is one of the strongest players in the ME-III.
19. Brandeis: TRON remains a tough game for any opponent in the NE area. They’re a handler-first offense that could have made some noise at Nationals with a full roster.
20. Wesleyan: Wesleyan will be interesting to watch after an up and down fall. The Metro East is deep and looking to take them out. We’ll have to see if they choose elite tournaments or local events.
21. Knox: Harper Garvey’s squad will be an exciting one to watch in the GL. North Park is talented and deep but Knox has shown the ability to play right with them.
22. Truman State: The SC is deep and if they can earn as many bids as last season, Truman State has a chance to make the show. They’ve been there before and usually play good competition durinf the spring.
23. Hartford: Hartford jumps in to 23rd. Keep an eye on Lighthouse. Impressive wins over Williams and Steven’s Tech this fall are good signs for a surging program. Luke DiOrio (Wild Card) is a player to watch.
24. SUNY Geneseo: A decent fall for a team ranked highly last season. They’ll play well in the wind and Dave Abbott will be tough to guard for many college defenders.
25. Xavier: A disappointing regionals shouldn’t stop Xavier from competing for a bid to Nationals this season. They need to have a strong regular season to sneak an extra bid for the OV.