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 our comments section.
Braden Keith, Spencer Penland, Andrew Mering and Robert Gibbs contributed to this report.
Several meaningful dual meets have gone down since our last rankings in October, and now we get a gauge of where we believe the men’s teams stack up as we head into invite season.
Things, for the most part, have stayed relatively the same at the top, while schools have jockeyed for position in the 10-25 spots.
Ultimately, the rankings are geared towards NCAAs, which is much more like an invitational than a dual meet, so we’ll have a much better idea where teams stack up in a few weeks.
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.
Honorable Mentions: Wisconsin Badgers, Northwestern Wildcats, Grand Canyon Antelopes, Arizona Wildcats
#25: North Carolina Tar Heels + (PREVIOUS RANK: UNRANKED)
With Anton Down-Jenkins on the boards, the Tar Heels will be putting up NCAA points. -JS
#24: LSU TIGERS -4 (PREVIOUS RANK: 21)
Brooks Curry really rounding into form. I’m expecting him to make some noise at Art Adamson. -JS
#23: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS +2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 25)
We don’t want to read too much into the dual meet loss against Wisconsin, because comes NCAAs, the Gophers are going to be putting up some big points with the presence of Max McHugh alone.
#22: USC Trojans + (PREVIOUS RANK: UNRANKED)
#21: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 20)
#20: Purdue Boilermakers +3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 23)
#19: Florida State Seminoles +3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 22)
The Seminoles are riding some momentum after beating Georgia Tech and Florida Southern in back-to-back weekends at the end of October. -JS
#18: Tennessee Volunteers +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 19)
Comfortable win over Kentucky with top names seemingly rounding into form for invite season. -JS
#17: Harvard Crimson -2 (Previous Rank: 15)
The team’s ranking hinges on the performances of Dean Farris, and he’s yet to really tackle his best events. -JS
#16: Texas A&M Aggies +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 17)
After a tough matchup against Texas the Aggies had a confidence-building victory over TCU earlier this month. Art Adamson Invite will be a good litmus test for the group. -JS
#15: Arizona State Sun Devils -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 13)
We already knew Leon Marchand was the real deal, but he performed exceptionally against USC in a close battle with the Sun Devils. -JS
#14: Alabama Crimson Tide – (PREVIOUS RANK: 14)
#13: Missouri Tigers +3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 16)
Jack Dahlgren has been on fire for Mizzou thus far, and the team should feast on relatively weak competition at their home invite this weekend and gain more confidence. -JS
#12: Stanford Cardinal -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 11)
Andrei Minakov is just getting his feet wet in yards, but he’s already got some pretty strong early-season freestyle swims under his belt (19.7/43.3). I think he’ll really make his presence felt during invite season. -JS
#11: Virginia Tech H2okies -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 10)
The Hokies haven’t done much yet, but I expect to see them round into form as the season continues. -RG
#10: Michigan Wolverines +2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 12)
Sure, they’ve suited up already, but the times have been tough to ignore — especially Will Chan having gone 52-low in the 100 breast twice already. -RG
#9: Virginia Cavaliers – (PREVIOUS RANK: 9)
If we factored dual meet scores into these rankings, Virginia would take a big hit after getting trounced by Texas. But, we do take note of dual meet times, and despite the lopsided score, the Cavaliers battled hard against the Longhorns, especially on the relays. -RG
#8: Ohio State Buckeyes – (PREVIOUS RANK: 8)
This is a strong Buckeye team that’s already been clicking individually and on relays. Alex Quach appears to be the real deal; his 100 fly time of 46.2 is just about what his SCM time should convert to, and it’s still early in the season. -RG
I just love the way Ohio State looks this season. One of the best diving squads in the country, and I can’t stress enough what a benefit good diving is once NCAAs roll around. The return of Ruslan Gaziev has been and will continue to be huge for the Buckeyes, both individually and on relays. -SP
#7: Georgia Bulldogs – (PREVIOUS RANK: 7)
The Dawgs got handled by Florida pretty decisively and then came back with a narrow victory over Auburn. Urlando and Magahey look strong, but the arrival of Matt Sates can’t come soon enough. -JS
#6: NC State Wolfpack – (PREVIOUS RANK: 6)
Unsurprisingly, the Wolfpack relays have already been off the chain (do the kids still say that?). They’ve already been 2:52 in the 400 free relay, and haven’t tapered or donned tech suits. -RG
#5: Indiana Hoosiers – (PREVIOUS RANK: 5)
The Hoosiers have put together some great early season times. Bruno Blaskovic hasn’t been quite as fast as we’re used to, but I see no reason to doubt that his speed will be there at the end of the season. Another thread to follow with this team: their freshmen divers have been winning at meets this fall. -SP
#4: Louisville Cardinals – (PREVIOUS RANK: 4)
The Cardinals typically don’t show their hand until championship season; still, Murilo Sartori looks to be exactly the kind of impact pickup he’s projected to be. -RG
#3: Florida Gators – (PREVIOUS RANK: 3)
I tend to weigh early-season results more than the other voters do. However, while the Gators haven’t done much of note yet this season, I’m pretty stinking confident that they’ll deliver when it counts. -RG
#2: Cal Golden Bears – (PREVIOUS RANK: 2)
The Bears have a stacked freshman class, but Gabriel Jett has stood out the most from that group so far this season, having already clocked a lifetime best in the 200 free. -RG
#1: Texas Longhorns – (PREVIOUS RANK: 1)
Doesn’t feel like we need much of an explanation here. Defending champs, with some truly great early season times to boot. -SP