2024 Mid-Season D-I Bid Watch

Who has a chance to earn their way to Madison and who still has work to do?

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2024 college ultimate season is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

We’re far enough into the college season now that speculation about bids to D-I Nationals is baked into the general ultimate discourse. Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Cody Mills, rankings from Frisbee-Rankings.com paint an approximate picture of where teams currently stand. Of course, once the official USA Ultimate rankings come out we will have an even clearer picture with the precise algorithm along with adjustments based on roster eligibility.1

For now, the unofficial rankings will suffice as they give us enough information to prognosticate how the bid picture might shake out with important tournaments like Easterns (men’s), East Coast Invite (women’s) and Northwest Challenge (both) coming later this month.

Note: If you’re curious about how the algorithm works, Mills included a summary in the FAQ portion of his site. 

Men’s Division

RankTeamBidRegionRecordRating
1North CarolinaAC1Atlantic Coast18-12268.04
2GeorgiaSE1Southeast13-22165.01
3MassachusettsNE1New England14-12151.03
4ColoradoSC1South Central11-42142.96
5Cal Poly SLOSW1South West16-02118.88
6OregonNW1Northwest19-31970.53
7PittsburghOV1Ohio Valley9-41970.24
8VermontNE2New England8-51965.49
9NC StateAC2Atlantic Coast15-51952.40
10Alabama-HuntsvilleSE2Southeast10-41949.96
11Penn StateOV2Ohio Valley17-41947.58
12BrownNE3New England11-41940.55
13Carleton CUTNC1North Central8-61891.21
14TexasSC2South Central8-61885.19
15McGillNE4New England4-21866.39
16MinnesotaNC2North Central8-71862.94
17NortheasternNE5New England4-31857.19
18UNC WilmingtonAC3Atlantic Coast14-61806.41
19Bringham YoungNorthwest9-51785.87
20CalSouthwest16-71780.67
21Ohio StateOhio Valley10-41749.84
22WashingtonNorthwest10-71741.43
23Oregon StateNorthwest9-51736.99
24UCLASouthwest11-111728.35
25WashUSouth Central9-41718.22
26TuftsNew England5-91709.27
27South CarolinaAtlantic Coast16-41698.35
28Georgia TechSoutheast9-61689.18
29British ColumbiaNorthwest11-51671
30Utah StateNorthwest5-101632.30

Secure

North Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Cal Poly SLO, Pittsburgh, Vermont, NC State, Brown, Carleton, and Texas are locks to earn their regions a bid to Nationals. That counts everyone currently above a 1900 rating along with teams like Brown and Texas who would really have to try to not earn a bid for their region. These teams all have enough cushion between the bottom end of the bid-earning rankings that their spot in the top 18 is safe, even with an unexpected result here or there. They are also likely to play a tough enough schedule that the strength-of-schedule component of the ranking will keep them towards the top.

On the other end, it feels pretty secure that no teams from the Great Lakes or Metro East will be ranked high enough to make it on to our table, so the strength bid cut off will be at the 18th place in the rankings rather than the 20th.2

All-But-Secure

Minnesota, Alabama-Huntsville, and Penn State could theoretically play their way out of contention with rough showings at Easterns, but it would take a particularly rough weekend for them to fail to earn second bids for their regions. PSU and UAH have taken the country by storm with impressive early season performances and each earned a bid to Easterns through their play. Taking wins there and, more importantly, avoiding costly blowout losses will help them keep their high ranking and their chances at making their first D-I Nationals appearances since 2003 (PSU) and ever (UAH). Minnesota are a perennial Nationals team, but their 8-7 record shows they haven’t played their best ultimate yet this season. With a high strength-of-schedule, Grey Duck simply need to keep playing as well as they have to stay in bid-earning range.

Bubble Life

Northeastern, UNC Wilmington, Brigham Young, California, Washington, Oregon State, UCLA, WashU, Tufts, and South Carolina will all have the chance to earn their way to a bid. Right now Northeastern and Wilmington reside in the Top 18 while the other teams listed above are clawing to get in. The Western teams will all be in action at Northwest Challenge, and we might end up with some direct win-and-in scenarios by that point. South Carolina earned a bid to Easterns and will have the chance to knock off higher-ranked competition to garner much needed points of their own — hopefully at the expense of another region, rather than a zero-sum fight with another AC team.

Need Some Help

McGill look like they’re sitting pretty at the 15 spot, but their low strength of schedule and few number of games played are artificially inflating their ranking. MUT will need to perform exceptionally well at East Coast Invite to keep their strength bid given that many of the other teams attending are ranked well below them. Georgia Tech do not have another tournament scheduled during the regular season and therefore will not recover enough points to have an impact on the top end of the rankings; they’ll need a higher-ranked team to seriously falter to have a chance at their own bid. Utah State have played a very tough schedule, but a win over a top-20 team would go a long way.3

Dreamers Can Hope

Utah and British Columbia are between 150-200 points off the bid cut off pace. They could make a push with a late bracket run at a tournament like Northwest Challenge, but they each would need to play like a top ten team to have a shot at a bid and they haven’t yet shown that ability.

Women’s Division

women's ultimate frisbee rankings bid predictions 3.6.24

RankTeamBidRegionRecordRating
1British ColumbiaNW1Northwest11-12301.1
2CarletonNC1North Central11-22299.98
3VermontNE1New England12-12274.40
4North CarolinaAC1Atlantic Coast13-02221.81
5OregonNW2Northwest13-12143.96
6StanfordSW1Southwest14-62064.04
7TuftsNE2New England12-22054.93
8UCSBSW2Southwest16-71922.25
9ColoradoSC1South Central11-41911.59
10MichiganGL1Great Lakes9-41873.38
11WashingtonNW3Northwest9-41853.59
12Brigham YoungNW4Northwest5-31781.17
13GeorgiaSE1Southeast7-61724.27
14PennOV1Ohio Valley8-61693.84
15Notre DameGL2Great Lakes7-61689.14
16UC Santa CruzSW3Southwest6-81675.37
17Ohio StateOV2Ohio State15-51665.43
18UC San DiegoSW4Southwest10-111662.54
19Western WashingtonNW5Northwest3-51653.31
20VictoriaNorthwest5-71636.3
21NortheasternNew England4-21609.07
22Colorado StateSouth Central3-51570.09
23PittsburghOhio Valley10-101535.38
24NC StateAtlantic Coast7-51528.96
25Cal Poly SLOSouthwest13-111514.23
26UT DallasSouth Central7-01503.52
27UC DavisSouthwest8-121502.18
28AmericanAtlantic Coast9-11430.70
29UtahNorthwest6-91425.41
30WashUSouth Central10-31409.54

Secure

British Columbia, Carleton, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon, Stanford, Tufts, UC Santa Barbara, Colorado, Michigan, and Washington are locks to earn their regions a bid to Nationals. That counts everyone currently above a 1800 rating, as there is a steep drop off between spots 11 and 12 in these unofficial rankings. All of these teams have played a good amount of games with a tough strength of schedule, and even a poor result here or there won’t knock them out of the bid picture.

On the other end, it feels pretty secure that no teams from the Metro East will be ranked high enough to make it on to our table, so the strength bid cut off will be at the 19th place in the rankings rather than the 20th. Yale are the highest Metro East team, currently ranked 47th on frisbee-rankings.com. SUNY-Binghamton and Cornell are also around that ranking, but it’s doubtful any of that group could make up the ~400 points or so they’d need to get back to the bubble.

All-But-Secure

Brigham Young and Georgia are both 100 points clear of the bid cut off. Each has proved their mettle this season and should have no problem staying in the top 19. Even if Georgia missed the cut, their bid would revert to an autobid, and the next-highest ranked Southeast team (UAH at 45th) shouldn’t pose Athena too much of a threat at Regionals. Similarly, BYU will earn the Northwest a bid, but they aren’t able to take advantage of it as their school honor code prevents them from playing on Sunday. Their choice to register for Conferences (or not) will determine where that bid goes.

Bubble Life

Penn, Notre Dame, UCSC, Ohio State, UC San Diego, Western Washington, Victoria, and Northeastern are all hanging around the fringes of the bid picture. Their performances at Northwest Challenge and the inaugural East Coast Invite will either earn their region a bid or help another team do the same for their neck of the woods. Penn and Northeastern will both be at ECI and could face off against teams like UNC and Vermont in an effort to earn precious algorithm points. The West Coast teams will, of course, have their attention set to Northwest Challenge — which UNC is also attending — this coming weekend.

Need Some Help

Recent Nationals teams Colorado State and UT-Dallas are within 150 points of the bid cut off and have an outside chance of getting in should teams ahead of them falter. Because they have each only played in one tournament, their results going forward will each be a bigger part of their composite ranking, meaning one key upset will go a long way. UT-Dallas have a particularly special case, as four of their seven wins are blowout eligible. Once they play the requisite ten games to have those blowouts (which are currently costing them about 60 rankings points) excluded, they’ll have a chance to quickly gain a foothold closer to the bid cut-off point.

Dreamers Can Hope

Other recent Nationals attendees NC State, Pittsburgh, and UC Davis are also within 150 points of the bid cut off, but they’ve each played at least two tournaments and their diluted results leave little room for significant, quick improvement, barring chaos ahead of them in the rankings. Cal Poly SLO took advantage of windy conditions to pull upsets at Stanford Invite. They’ve reached the bubble, but they’ll need another push to pop themselves in the top echelon of the rankings.


  1. Remember last season’s debacle that cost the Southwest men’s and Northwest women’s regions bids? 

  2. Illinois is the highest Great Lakes team and is currently ranked 50th on frisbee-rankings.com. SUNY-Buffalo at 79th is the Metro East autobid earner at the moment. 

  3. They have three double game point losses in such games – to Cal Poly SLO, Brown, and Carleton 

  1. 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).

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