January 27, 2014 by Keith Raynor in Analysis, Rankings with 7 comments
Time to reveal the first rankings of the spring season! It is a shame WintaBintaVinta Fest was canceled this weekend, as we missed out on Atlantic Coast action with three top 25 teams. However, the season is off to an exciting start with Florida Winter Classic and Santa Barbara Invite both in the books.
The current power rankings can always be found here.
1. Oregon: Don’t read too much into Oregon’s unreported early results from Bellingham; this team still plays the kind of defense O-line’s have nightmares about. They also have the horses and leadership to go on huge offensive runs.
2. Washington: Elite top end talent makes Element probably the toughest single game draw in the division. They’ve been working hard to build their role players enough to recapture the title.
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: The early edge in the SW region goes the Burning Skirts, with their 13-12 Santa Barbara Invite win over a hot Stanford team. Noelle Neason is a great compliment to star Lisa Pitcaithley.
7. Central Florida: Beat Ohio State twice at FWC on their way to an undefeated tournament win. That’s the same OSU team that’s the only loss UCF took all Fall.
8. 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.
9. Ohio State: The arrival of Paige Soper comes just in time as Nina Finley exits stage left. Their trip to Gainesville left something to be desired, but know this team is still plenty dangerous.
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: Mira Donaldson and Amira Maddison have both been sighted cleating up for the T-birds, and they’ll decide UBC’s fate. Fact is that Donaldson, just a sophomore, is one of the nation’s elite.
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. Stanford: A great start to the season at Santa Barbara for Stanford, who have the pieces in Monisha White, Hillary Vance, Steph Lim, and freshman Caitlin Go to challenge UCSB in the SW. That’s evidence by their double game point loss to the Skirts in the SB Invite final.
14. Western Washington: The expectations are at an all-time high for the Callie Mah-led Western ladies. Mah may college women’s most underrated star; she and her teammates have a lot to prove, starting at Colluvium next weekend.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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?
18. Michigan: Flywheel went 5-2 at CCC, with their only losses to Virginia and Central Florida. The talent level on this team looks that much higher than last year’s.
19. Northeastern: Florida Winter Classic was pretty much to expectation for the Valkyries. While they are still quite scrappy, they seem dependent on big momentum swings. We’ll see if they even out as the year progresses.
20. Minnesota: Split squad at No Wisconsequences turned in a decent set of results, and it’ll be interesting to see their progress later in the spring.
21. James Madison: A real shame we didn’t get to see JMU take the field in Virginia. Their fall, anchored by CCC, results indicate a team that can challenge in the competitive AC region.
22. 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.
23. Kansas: MLC winners have been wrecking the whole fall. Is this the Betty breakout? Can they get a strength bid for the South Central?
24. UCLA: BLU ran through nearly all competition they faced at the Santa Barbara Invite, with their smallest winning margin a seven point win. Their only loss was 12-8 at the hands of eventual champ, UCSB.
25. Texas: With a bevy of returners, Melee has a high ceiling, but without the full complement, they didn’t show that at CCC.
NEW THIS WEEK
OUT THIS WEEK
– Florida State: Just outside looking in, Florida State needed a slightly better showing at Florida Winter Classic to stay in the top 25 this week. UCLA’s surge out west pushed them out.