2024 D-I College Preseason Power Rankings: The Top 5

We reveal our preseason Top 25 for the 2024 D-I college season, finishing with the top five contenders.

 

Ultiworld’s College Power Rankings, presented by the National Ultimate Training Camp!

We are excited to present the 2024 preseason College Power Rankings! As we head into a new season, we’ve looked at past performance, roster changes, preseason results, and more to figure out how we think the team could stack up this season. Take a look at our first rankings set of the spring college season and read up about each Top 25 team.

We will be counting down our rankings in three parts:

#25 to #16
#15 to #6
The Top 5


D-I Women’s

1. North Carolina Pleiades

2023 Finish: #1 in Power Rankings, National Champions1, 34-0 record

UNC are one of the few teams that get to have their cake and eat it too. They’ve got superstars – Dawn Culton, Erica Birdsong, and Theresa Yu come to mind – and the depth to outlast any team in the division. With a strong roster from top to bottom, UNC’s reign at the top doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon. As for the years-long undefeated streak? Preserving it will be a tough lift, but it’s still actually mind-bogglingly possible that they don’t lose a game this season.

– Felicia Zheng

2. Vermont Ruckus

2023 Finish: #3 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 24-3 record

Vermont have had arguably the best recruiting year in the division, adding Ella Monaghan, Annie Pozzy, Tatum Cubrilovic, and Rita Narbonne (among others) to an already stacked roster. Throw in 2021 D-I Men’s Division Coach of the Year Liz Leon2 and her wealth of experience joining the coaching staff and you have a title-worthy team on your hands. Expect great things from Vermont this season.

– Felicia Zheng

3. Colorado Quandary

2023 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, National Runner-up, 34-3 record

Is the third time the charm for Colorado Quandary? They’ve got the big game experience and they return many key players, namely Clil Phillips, Abbie Gillach, and Emma Williamson. But can their young players step up to fill the roles left by Bailey Shigley, Sai Lostra, Emma Cortright, Kenny, and Mei Hecht? With a world class coaching staff, deep roster, and experience under pressure, they have all the pieces they need to (finally) win the championship in May.

– Grace Conerly

4. UBC Thunderbirds

2023 Finish: #4 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals , 23-3 record

After a semis loss last year, British Columbia have reloaded and are ready to make a push for the title. They return three of the best players in the division in Anna Goddu, Madison Ong, and Mika Kurahashi along with tremendous depth. Helena Tremblay is coming off a great season with Traffic; Miu Shiraiwa and Avery Lee-Pii were both starters for Red Flag this summer. With this amount of talent and big game experience under their belts, UBC are as ready as ever to win the title.

– Grace Conerly

5. Stanford Superfly

2023 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-5th at Nationals, 34-10 record

Things look pretty good for Stanford Superfly this season. With a strong core of their most powerful players, such as Macy Vollbrecht, Esther Fillipek, Anika Quon, Anna Fischer-Lopez, and Sage McGinley-Smith returning, it’s not hard to imagine Superfly will continue to be a force to be reckoned with this season. Harper Baer, coming off of a gap year, will be a great rookie addition after two turns with the U20 variant of Team USA. Their depth of returners, combined with their continual ability to play neck-and-neck with any opponents they face makes Superfly a legitimate contender to win it all this year.

 – Laura Osterlund

 

D-I Men’s

1. North Carolina Darkside

2023 Finish: #1 in Power Rankings, National Champions3, 42-2 record

It would be journalistic malpractice not to have the three time champions who bring back the bulk of their key contributors as the top ranked team. Darkside will stay here until proven otherwise. Given how hard they work and the talent of returners like Rutledge Smith, Ben Dameron, Matthew McKnight, Dylan Hawkins, and Kevin Pignone, it’s a good bet they’ll stay at #1 and claim another national title. The team also add former Ohio State standout Noah Krumme just in case they didn’t have enough firepower.

– Alex Rubin

2. UMass ZooDisc

2023 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, National Runner-up, 32-5 record

The 2023 runners-up return almost all of the key players for the 2024 campaign. All indications point to the talent, playmaking, depth, and discipline to make another serious run at a title – and maybe flip the results their way this time around. Not having Jonah Stang-Osborne this spring4 isn’t ideal, but everything else is coming up Zoodisc.

– Edward Stephens

3. Brown Brownian Motion

2023 Finish: #4 in Power Rankings,  T-5th at Nationals, 25-12 record

No team challenged a full-strength UNC team the way Brown did last year at Nationals. They bring back just about every key contributor. Headlined by Jacques Nissen and Leo Gordon, Brown also have the benefit of returning key role players like Elliott Rosenberg, Cal Nightingale, Jason Tapper, and Luca Duclos-Orsello who are steeped in the Brown system and are poised to improve. BMo even replaced their biggest loss already: Emmett Young, a key defender for the 2023 team, is not on the team this season, but Cam Curney is back after impressing as a rookie in 2022 and taking the next year off. With momentum moving in the right direction, Brown need to be considered a legitimate title threat.

– Alex Rubin

4. Cal Poly SLO SLOCORE

2023 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 40-7 record

What’s not to like in the 2024 update of this powerhouse program? They still have Alex Nelson and Anton Orme tearing through the lanes and tossing dimes to each other; they still have Kyle Lew to dot the field with incisive forehands; they still have the rangy athleticism and brimming throwing repertoire of sixth-year star Calvin Brown. CORE will have title aspirations on their mind.

– Edward Stephens

5. BYU CHI

2023 Finish: #3 in Power Rankings, Did Not Participate in Series, 20-1 record

BYU should continue to remain a regular season force in college ultimate. Chad Yorgason, McKay Yorgason, Logan Clarke, Jensen Wells, Zach Burnside, and Simon Dastrup form a solid starting line that can challenge the best talent in the country. With a large second year class, the always-athletic CHI will have the depth necessary to compete what is sure to be a challenging schedule. Devon Terry’s transition to the head coaching role last season was a smashing success; in his second year expect the team to continue to stay near the top of the power rankings.

– Alex Rubin


  1. Thrice 

  2. Leon coached Georgia Jojah to a national final in Norco 

  3. Also thrice 

  4. He’s reportedly taking a gap year. 

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

  2. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  3. Jake Thorne
    Jake Thorne

    Jake Thorne is a staff writer for Ultiworld with a focus on the college division. He is a graduate of Cal Poly SLO, where he played for four years. He now lives and works full-time in sales for a fintech company in San Francisco.

  4. Felicia Zheng
    Felicia Zheng

    Felicia Zheng is a D-I College Women’s reporter for Ultiworld. Originally from Wisconsin, she is currently on the East Coast playing with her beloved college team, Yale Ramona Quimby. In her free time, she enjoys talking about all things ultimate with teammates, friends, and strangers alike. You can reach her by email at [email protected].

  5. Grace Conerly
    Grace Conerly

    Grace has played frisbee for 9+ years. She's won some stuff and lost some stuff at various levels. Her most notable accomplishment is winning Triangle Ultimate’s indoor recreational winter league, 2019.

  6. Laura Osterlund
    Laura Osterlund

    Laura picked up a disc her senior year of high school and hasn't put it down since. She played on the mixed/open team at Bethel University where she graduated with a journalism degree. Based out of the Twin Cities, MN, you can find her engaging in all levels of Ultimate: working with Minnesota Strike, playing mixed club, and grinding at local ultimate and goalty leagues. Her ultimate accomplishment - besides helping start a women's league (coming spring 2024) - is winning Z league with Big Blue.

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