2019-2020 NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Power Rankings: February Edition

As in previous years, SwimSwam’s Power Rankings are somewhere between the CSCAA-style dual meet rankings and a pure prediction of NCAA finish order.  SwimSwam’s rankings take into account how a team looks at the moment, while keeping the end of the season in mind through things like a team’s previous trajectory and NCAA scoring potential.  These rankings are by nature subjective, and a jumping-off point for discussion.  If you disagree with any team’s ranking, feel free to make your case in a respectful way in our comments section.

Previous Ranks:

Check out our Swimulator for some early NCAA scoring projections based on current national ranks.

SwimSwam’s Power Rankings are the average of ballots from a panel of our top college swimming reporters. While this should help readers glean which teams are consensus picks at their rank and where in the order things get fuzzy and more subjective, bear in mind that these rankings are not an opportunity to personally attack any specific writer.

(Also receiving votes: Arkansas, Northwestern, Ohio State)

Change from previous ranks shown in parentheses

#20: UNC Tar Heels (Previously Unranked)

The energy on this team is completely revamped as compared to the last couple of seasons. Their free relays look very strong, while Caroline Hauder and Emma Cole look like potential scorers in at least one event. -KO

#19: Arizona State Sun Devils (-)

It’s not a terribly deep roster, but deep enough to make a run into the top 10. Cierra Runge is a great veteran presence, and senior Emma Nordin is having a big year after placing 17th and 19th in two NCAA events last year. -JA

#18: Alabama Crimson Tide (-)

A lot of coaching/chemistry turmoil coming out of Tuscaloosa right now. That hasn’t always been a death-knell for fast swimming, but it’s reason to be a little hesitant. -JA

#17: Wisconsin Badgers (+1)

Current Swimulator projections: Beata Nelson: 60 points. Wisconsin relays: 2 points. None of the Wisconsin relays have even hit an NCAA Provisional Standard yet, meaning they’ll need big Big Ten drops just to earn an NCAA invite. They should be able to accomplish that, but scoring big is going to require one monster taper. -JA

#16: Texas A&M Aggies (+1) 

The Aggies #2 returning scorer from last year, Jing Quahhas only been 1:57.3 and 54.1 in the butterfly races this season. She needs a big SEC showing just to make NCAA invite status. That’s going to be key for a reloading A&M group. -JA

#15: Florida Gators (-3)

For now, without any timetable on Talia Bates‘ return, I’ve downgraded the Gators. If she’s back, though, I’ll have them back in to my top 12 before NCAAs. -BK

Talia Bates‘ injury throws a bit of a wrench in an otherwise impressive season to this point. There’s still much to look forward to this post-season with the Gators, though, and their sprinters are much-improved. -KO

Losing Talia Bates to a hand injury would be a blow to the relays, though it’s unclear if she’s actually out long-term. -JA

#14: Indiana Hoosiers (+1) 

Jonty Skinner is out before the post-season begins. How much impact will that have on IU’s sprint group? Hard to say, but the Hoosiers are really going to need their sprinters behind rookie star Cora Dupre. -JA

#13: Missouri Tigers (-)

Medley relay splits all season from Sarah Thompson and Haley Hynes are tantalizing. -KO

#12: Auburn Tigers (-1)

The Auburn relays are projected to go big at this point – they project to 58, but scored 70 total relay points last year. Julie Meynen (21.8/47.7) is way ahead of where she was at this point last year (22.6/49.2). -JA

#11: Louisville Cardinals (+3)

Louisville returns a bunch of NCAA qualifiers from last year who didn’t score – 8 of them, to be specific. Any or all of them making the leap into scoring range this year would be huge for the Cardinals. -JA

#10: Kentucky Wildcats (-1)

I’m still on the hype train. Kentucky is finishing in the top 10, and they just might score 60+ in the backstrokes alone. -JA

#9: USC Trojans (-2)

The sprints and relays look solid for USC, and six individuals are currently projected to score, though half of them only a few points. Will USC swim inspired this post-season and give head coach Dave Salo a big sendoff? It’s hard to predict, especially with some key internationals perhaps splitting their focus with long course and Olympic qualifying -JA

#8: Georgia Bulldogs (+2)

We all know about Kate Douglass and her impact on the ACC. But did you know that Georgia rookie Zoie Hartman is projected for the exact same number of individual NCAA points (53)? The Bulldogs have six women with double digit points in the Swimulator at this point, and it looks like a bounce-back into the top 10 could be on its way. -JA

#7: Texas Longhorns (+1)

Kelly Pash has been an awesome addition to a deep sprint group. Texas probably isn’t going to rise in the next poll – and that’d be a good thing. The Longhorns need to save their best stuff for NCAAs, and nice Big 12 swims would only be a bonus. -JA

#6: NC State Wolfpack (-1)

They’re usually the flashy team everyone is talking about, but this year, the Wolfpack are the NCAA’s forgotten crew. That’s not going to last long. Expect NC State to come up with some huge relay performances at ACCs. -JA

The top 6 teams, to me, seem well ahead of the rest of the country. There’s a clear break here. -BK

#5: Michigan Wolverines (+1)

Olivia Carter is a likely A-finalist in the 200 fly, and if her impact can extend to other events and boost relays, Michigan could threaten a couple teams above them. -KO

#4: Tennessee Volunteers (-)

This Tennessee group is outstanding, currently projected with the second-most relay points of any team in the Swimulator. The Vols currently don’t project to get any points from Stanzi Moseley or Kaitlin Harty, but I have a sneaking suspicion at least one of those two will contribute something at NCAAs. -JA

#3: Virginia Cavaliers (-)

I have no idea what Kate Douglass will do with a full taper but I cannot wait to witness it. -KO

#2: Stanford Cardinal (-)

Stanford may not have the in-season fireworks to realy blow our socks off. But with so many individual standouts, and so much talent in every event, I can’t see them not piecing it together. -KO

Still an incredible team top-to-bottom. Swimulator projections are really not to be trusted here, as Stanford is only projected 58 relay points. Try at least triple that. -JA

#1: Cal Golden Bears (-)

Abbey Weitzeil has exceeded expectations. I do think these Golden Bears can challenge for the win; the answer may lie in their freshmen showing up and delivering like Isabel Ivey did last year. -KO

The impact of having the NCAA’s best sprinter can’t be overstated. Stanford is deeper, but if Abbey Weitzeil is lights out, it might not matter. -JA


Rank Jared Braden Karl Torrey Robert
1 Cal Cal Stanford Cal Cal
2 Stanford Stanford Cal Stanford Stanford
3 Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia
4 Tennessee Michigan Tennessee Tennessee Michigan
5 NC State Tennessee Michigan NC State Tennessee
6 Michigan NC State NC State Michigan NC State
7 Texas Georgia Texas Texas Texas
8 Georgia Texas Georgia Georgia USC
10 Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky
11 Auburn Louisville Auburn Louisville Louisville
12 Louisville Auburn Indiana Auburn Auburn
13 Missouri Arizona State Louisville Missouri Indiana
14 Florida Indiana Missouri Indiana Missouri
15 Wisconsin Florida Florida Florida Florida
16 Alabama Missouri Texas A&M Alabama Alabama
17 Texas A&M Texas A&M Wisconsin Texas A&M Texas A&M
18 Indiana Wisconsin Alabama Wisconsin Arizona State
19 Arkansas UNC UNC UNC Wisconsin
20 Arizona State Ohio State Northwestern Arizona State Northwestern

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1 year ago

This article making it sound like Kate Douglass is gonna get UVA 3rd on her own which would be doubtful

Reply to  Jared Anderson
1 year ago

“Regardless of what the rest of the team does, Uva is sure to finish no worse than 3rd if Kate Douglass hits her taper.”

If you read the uva section backwards that’s what it says.

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

And why would you read it backwards???

Reply to  Jared Anderson
1 year ago

i think it is just very limited comments on each team especially compared to the men’s article

Reply to  AuggieBuschFan
1 year ago

Maybe drinking Busch Lite too much and/or still disgruntled that the Hoos have passed the Cats by. UVA won out on Augie leaving – get over it 🙂

Reply to  AuggieBuschFan
1 year ago

I’m sure the SwimSwam writers are tired of addressing this in comments every time these power rankings come out, so for their sake I’ll reIterate for them: this is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of each team listing all their strengths and assets, just a quick comment or blurb.

1 year ago

Braden sleeping on the Cavaliers like always😳

Reply to  DAN'S CONE
1 year ago

Lol what? That’s so 6 years ago. Now SwimSwam is too biased FOR Virginia. Try to keep up. I also picked them in the exact same spot as everyone else.

Landon Waters
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Point made Braden. You did find a way to get a Kate Douglass mention in the Georgia preview section.

Reply to  DAN'S CONE
1 year ago

Biggest clown comment of 2020 and it’s only February

Reply to  Swimmerwhoswims
1 year ago

I think you missed the bama thread earlier this year.

Reply to  DAN'S CONE
1 year ago

How is being consensus 3rd being “slept” on? Cal and Stanford have given no reason to believe they will not be top two this year.

DeSorbo Effect
Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

Wheres the credit for the best coach in the business Desorbo proves it in recruiting & results

Stanford grossly overrated without Ruck Cal only have Weitzel rest of team are nothing special

Douglass may get the Hoos to 3rd on her own but whole team = the national team title! BOOM!

Reply to  DeSorbo Effect
1 year ago

See? This is how you properly troll. Well done

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

no one can beat Desorbo Effect in his realm.

Texas swims in a short pool
Reply to  DeSorbo Effect
1 year ago

Recruiting does not equal coaching.

2 Cents
Reply to  Texas swims in a short pool
1 year ago

While I do not want to sound like I’m on the side of DesorboEffect et al…. Recruiting really does equal coaching in the NCAA realm as in it is a MAJOR part of the success of a program and more so in the building of a program.

Reply to  DeSorbo Effect
1 year ago

This whole front of Desorbo as-a-god to go with the negative recruiting done at Virginia is really getting old

Reply to  Swimswammer
1 year ago

Whats really getting old is all the constant trolling on posts like this.

1 year ago

Cant believe anyone reads this TRASH!!! Putting the PACK 6th? WAIT AND SEE!!

1 year ago

No, no. You’re doing it wrong. Read DE’s comment above. Take meticulous notes.

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

What? Who are you? A UT Fan? Just to let you know BEEF is on the menu this year for the PACK!!! Holloway going to WRANGLE himself some STEERS!

1 year ago


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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