January 27, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Analysis, Rankings with 16 comments
Here are Ultiworld’s Week 1 Regular Season Power Rankings in the D-I Men’s Division. The current power rankings can always be found here.
1. North Carolina: While you can nitpick about focus and some defensive inconsistency, this team is playing great ultimate right now. They remain unbeaten and captured their third straight ACCUC title this weekend, including wins over #8 Pittsburgh and #12 Florida.
2. Colorado: Colorado quietly managed one of the more impressive feats of the weekend: taking home the New Year’s Fest title in the Club Division. While the results don’t matter, preparing against experienced players might.
3. Oregon: Oregon played at OFUDG in the fall, 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.
4. Texas: Texas made it to the semifinals of MLC in the fall without superstar Will Driscoll on the field. That’s a good sign for the Austin squad, and Mitchell Bennett looks more dangerous than ever.
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. Carleton College: The always rookie-focused Carleton had mixed results at MLC, but it’s hard to read much into them.
8. Pittsburgh: After suffering two losses to unranked teams on Saturday at ACCUC, Pitt nearly upset UNC in the quarterfinals before closing out Sunday with wins. They have the defensive intensity to stay close to the top.
9. Central Florida: The loss of Mischa Freystaetter and a tough loss to LSU on Saturday at T-Town Throwdown pushes the early 2014 favorite down to #9 to start the regular season.
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: Florida fell by just one to Pitt and then made their way to the finals of ACCUC before succumbing to UNC.
13. Florida State: FSU was very impressive at CCC in November considering their heavy roster turnover. They have outstanding athletes and pushed UNC as hard as any team this season.
14. 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 at Steel City Showdown
15. 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. It will be interesting to see how they develop in the coming months.
16. UC San Diego: UCSD burst onto the scene this weekend with an undefeated run through the Santa Barbara Invite. The Southwest looks wilder than ever.
17. Luther: Luther only played one tournament in the fall — No Wisconsequences — and had mixed results. Hard to read much from such an early season tournament. But with the entire team returning, they could be scary good.
18. 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 in the fall.
19. Arizona State: Arizona State made waves last season when they upset Arizona in the Conference finals for the first time ever. They showed they’re back for more with a strong performance in Santa Barbara, losing only to eventual champions UCSD 13-12.
20. Washington: Khalif El-Salaam and the Sundodgers got mixed results this weekend, finishing 6-2. They look to have real promise this year and should be a team to keep an eye on.
21. UC Davis: It was a mediocre weekend for the Davis Dogs, but they were playing without top playmaker Eli Kerns. Without a player of his caliber in the lineup, it’s tough to say much about their results.
22. Illinois: A great Sunday performance at MLC landed Illinois in the top 25 after reaching the finals. They haven’t played yet this Spring.
23. British Columbia: The Thunderbirds had just two losses this weekend — both to eventual champs UCSD. On their way to the finals, they beat ranked teams Stanford, Arizona, and Cincinnati.
24. Cornell: Cornell had an up-and-down Fall with quality wins over Harvard and Tufts. The lone Metro East team in the top 25, can they prove they belong?
25. North Carolina State: NC State may just be a flash in the pan, but they played well this weekend at ACCUC, beating Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech, while hanging tough against in-state rival UNC for much of the game.
NEW THIS WEEK
– UC San Diego
– Arizona State
– British Columbia
– North Carolina State
OUT THIS WEEK
– Stanford: Bloodthirsty had a dreadful weekend in Santa Barbara, finishing 2-5. While they always focus heavily on rookies early in the spring, they have a lot to prove this year.
– Arizona: Arizona lost a lot of talented seniors this year, and although they still have Callahan nominee Brice Dixon, they have a lot of growth yet to make. The diamond zone may not be enough!
– Cincinnati: Cincy had a great fall, but not a great Santa Barbara. They did get a quality win against Stanford, but they needed to show more to stay in the top 25. They are one of the few outside looking in this week.
– Northern Iowa: Northern Iowa got bumped out of the #25 spot mostly because they didn’t play this weekend. NC State’s impressive performance pushed UNI just out of the top 25.