The second installment of this year's preseason power rankings is here!
October 30, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Rankings with 25 comments
We are excited to present the second installment of this year’s preseason College Power Rankings in the Men’s Division! These rankings are based holistically on a number of factors: last year’s performance, roster changes, conversations with coaches, the “eye test”, and assorted other factors.
#25 – #16 were posted yesterday. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next installment: #5 – #1.
15. Minnesota (2014: 3rd Place in North Central)
Minnesota was probably the best team not to make Nationals in both of the last two years. The talent — and regular season results — have been undeniable, but the team seems to struggle mentally at Regionals. This may be a bounce back year for Grey Duck, who brings back a healthy Josh Klane who just had an excellent season with Sub Zero. With Wisconsin and Carleton always seeming to have their number, Minnesota might want to hope for a three bid year for the North Central.
14. Georgia (2014: 4th in Southeast)
Georgia may have seemed like a total surprise at last year’s Southeast Regionals, reaching the final before losing three heartbreakers in a row to miss Nationals. But don’t tell them that. The team has been building towards National relevance over the past two years, and with Elliot Erickson coming back and an underrated Sam Little pacing the team, they’ll be back in the spotlight in 2014.
13. Massachusetts (2014: T-13th at Nationals; 4th in New England)
Massachusetts may have been the last in to Nationals out of New England Regionals, but they proved at Nationals that they were no fluke. They took good teams down to the wire and will be better this season. With Jeff Babbitt emerging as a Callahan candidate and Ben Sadok and a host of quality throwers, UMass is poised to do more than back in to Nationals this season. Tiina Booth is a full time coach this year, and the team is buying in.
12. Wisconsin (2014: T-5th at Nationals; North Central Champion)
With Colin Camp now coaching instead of playing, Wisconsin won’t have a lot of name brand star power this season. But that’s just how they like it. Danny Stuligross is back as a grad student, the 6’6″ Craig Cox is captaining in his senior season, and the team picks up some under-the-radar 5th years in Walter Cai (2014 2nd Team All-Region in the Metro East last year playing for Cornell) and Brandon Taitt (formerly of D-III standout Carleton GOP).
11. Harvard (2014: T-9th at Nationals; New England Champion)
Harvard will be missing 2014 Callahan nominee Jeremy Nixon for a few months as he recovers from a wrist injury, but he’ll be back in the fold in the Spring alongside sophomore John Stubbs and senior Mark Vandenberg, making for a big three to rival just about anyone. The defending New England champions will remain the frontrunner to start the year, and they’ll be looking to crack into the top 10 as the season rolls along.
10. Florida (2014: T-13th at Nationals; Southeast Champion)
2015 is the year for Florida to make a run, with a full 15 of their 24 rostered players either seniors or graduate students. 2014 Callahan nominee Bobby Ley is back, James Dahl is back, and 2014 leading goal scorer Tanner Repasky is a year older and getting more comfortable with his throws. Florida may finally have the experience with this personnel to make a run at Nationals.
9. Texas A&M (2014: T-17th at Nationals; 3rd in South Central)
Texas A&M will be a force this year with both Dalton Smith and Matt Bennett back to lead a team now with Nationals experience. Bennett has a chance to make a name for himself as a potential Callahan nominee after lighting up Cincinnati last year as one of the most effective handlers at the tournament. The team is deeper than long-time rival Texas and will be gunning not just to qualify this year, but to win the South Central.
8. Michigan (2014: T-5th at Nationals; Great Lakes Champion)
Scrappy and resolute, Michigan stormed onto the National scene last season with an Easterns victory and followed it up with a quarterfinals appearance at Nationals. The team brings back much of the star power from last season — including Sam Greenwood, Eli Leonard, and Jesse Buchsbaum — and looks much more polished at this point of the year than they did last year. If they can dial in their defensive efficiency again this season, look out.
7. Florida State (2014: T-13th at Nationals; 2nd in Southeast)
2014 Callahan nominee Chris LaRocque is back for another year with FSU, and hopefully this year he won’t miss Nationals for a wedding. Also returning: Andrew Roney, Connor Holcombe, and Drew LaRocque. Roster continuity and increasingly strong leadership puts FSU in a good position to contend for a Southeast title and, perhaps, a deep run at Nationals.
6. Colorado (2014: National Champion; South Central Champion)
Though the team loses Jimmy Mickle, Tim Morrissy, Hidde Sneider, and a host of other fifth years (and its head coach!), Colorado is a staple at Nationals for a reason. They have a deep and talented team that will likely be rookie-free once again as they make call-ups from their excellent B team. The workload will fall to Stanley Peterson, Mark Rauls, and Pawel Janas to lead this year’s team, and we’ve seen plenty of evidence that they can succeed.
#5 – #1 will be revealed tomorrow.