November 22, 2013 by Keith Raynor in Analysis with 31 comments
1. Oregon: The returning champ is rumored to have added three stud freshman to a high powered core, including Hayley Wahlroos, who has the potential to develop into the next Fugue star.
2. Washington: Finalized A team has done the early work at fall tournaments and has a truly elite top end crop of talent to rely on.
3. Carleton: Quiet in the fall, but Julia Snyder, Kirstie Barton, and Emily Buckner should have them very dangerous come spring.
4. Tufts: Dominated in their only early fall action, not surprising considering a deep and productive returner core group.
5. North Carolina: Won CCC and beat Ohio State twice in the fall, and look rejuvenated behind Shellie Cohen, Lisa Couper, and some of their Phoenix teammates
6. UC-Santa Barbara: Lisa Pitcaithley and the Burning Skirts have already won a tournament, taking Sean Ryan, so they are primed for another run at the Southwest title.
7. Colorado: A semifinal appearance at MLC capped off a strong fall for Kali, which has the hype machine working overdrive. They can do more than just return to nationals.
8. Ohio State: Since Virginia Fusion, Fever’s only loss is in the final of CCC against North Carolina, and this is all sans Nina Finley.
9. Central Florida: Has lost just once this fall in a close game to Ohio State at CCC, and it may be that this team is stronger than ever. Can they run away with the Southeast?
10. Virginia: Have thumped many teams they’ve played, plus beaten JMU, Michigan, and Florida State. Only losses are UNC, UCF, JMU, and UNC-W, so no concerns yet.
11. British Columbia: Haven’t put up great results so far, but have not gotten contributions from Mira Donaldson and Amira Maddison yet; if they do, look out.
12. Iowa: An ugly MLC can be taken with a grain of salt due to the amount of talent they were missing in Missouri. Probably still in the North Central driver’s seat.
13. Western Washington: Have done well in their early split squad appearances at Sundodger and OFUDG, backing up offseason excitement. This could be their year.
14. Whitman: Looked great at OFUDG, sending both split squads to the bracket and playing well; they look deep and talented, ready to compete in the superpowered Northwest.
15. Ottawa: The GeeGees have been killing it in the fall, winning three tournaments (really four, but losing to a non-college team in the final) and beating Dartmouth.
16. Victoria: Split squad has an excellent showing at Sundodger, giving just one more reason to think the Northwest can earn five bids; can you say #evilempire?
17. Northeastern: Rolled through the fall with no reported losses; if rumors are true, we’ll find out a lot more about them in January when they head to Florida for FWC.
18. Michigan: Flywheel went 5-2 at CCC, with only losses to Virginia and Central Florida. The talent level on this team looks that much higher than last year’s.
19. Minnesota: Split squad at No Wisconsequences turned in a decent set of results, and it’ll be interesting to see their progress come spring.
20. James Madison: With a very early fall victory at Virginia Fusion, JMU also looked very solid at CCC on their way to a top 8 finish. In a position to win a bid for and/or challenge in the AC.
21. Iowa State: A good No Wisconsequences was followed by a very weak MLC, so it is hard to say where they’ll be come spring; early results should be very telling.
22. Kansas: MLC winners have been kicking ass and taking names the whole fall. Is this the Betty breakout? Can they get a strength bid for the South Central?
23. Florida State: Very much a team trying to find itself, but played well versus Virginia and Michigan, plus got a win over Texas at CCC and finished 9th at CCC.
24. Stanford: The addition of Caitlin Go to a talented Superfly squad may make this team one capable of a strong late season showing.
25. Texas: With a bevy of returners, Melee has a high ceiling, but without the full complement, they didn’t show that at CCC.