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 focusing on each team’s NCAA scoring potential (see the CSCAA poll for dual meet rankings). 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, Robert Gibbs, Yanyan Li, and Anya Pelshaw contributed to this report.
As we move into the second semester’s dual meets, which restart at scale this week, it’s time to evaluate where teams stand and where they’re headed mid-season. These rankings were heavily informed, though not dictated by, the mid-season scoring exercise.
Honorable Mentions: Harvard Crimson, Purdue Boilermakers, Pennsylvania Quakers
T-#25: PRINCETON TIGERS + (PREVIOUS RANK: HM)
Princeton’s been an honorable mention for the last two editions of the power rankings. They’ve cracked the top 25 for the first time this season thanks to strong performances at their midseason, the Big Al Invite, which they won. -SK
T-#25: NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 23)
After a year off with injury, Jack Hoagland looked solid, but not spectacular, in his mid-season return. He’s got a ways to go before he gets back to his pre-injury, ACC-Swimmer-of-the-Year form, but mid-season was never his forte anyway. -BK
#24: ARIZONA WILDCATS + (PREVIOUS RANK: HM)
Arizona men somehow find a way to sneak in the top twenty five, every single year. Their sprinters impressed at invites. -YL
#23: GEORIGA TECH YELLOWJACKETS + (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Berke Saka might be Yellowjackets’ solution for where their NCAA points will come from with Caio Pumputis and Christian Ferraro graduated. Saka did not score as a freshman, but is currently sitting #6 in the nation in the 200 back (1:40.02) and #12 in the 100 back (45.60). Those are both lifetime bests for him, and set him up to be a major part of keeping Georgia Tech in the top 25. -SK
#22: MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES + (PREVIOUS RANK: HM)
Miami’s prowess on the boards should keep them positioned inside the top 25 at NCAAs. -SK
#21: COLUMBIA LIONS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 22)
Diver Jonathan Suckow–who scored all of Columbia’s 30 points last year–has been performing well, recently winning both the 1m and 3m boards at the Big Al Invite. Freshman Adam Wu is worth keeping an eye on too; he’s living up to the hype. -SK
#20: MISSOURI TIGERS — (PREVIOUS RANK: 20)
Missouri is one of just two teams to maintain their October ranking. Clement Secchi and Jack Dahlgren remain two great pieces for the Tigers with their strong times in the 200 freestyle/backstroke/butterfly. But the question remains of who is going to step up along with them still needs answering. -SK
#19: LSU TIGERS -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 16)
The Tigers’ dip in the rankings from October is more a function of other teams on the rise than them underperforming. Brooks Curry was faster than he was at midseason last year, though the defending 50 and 100 free champion is going to have an uphill battle repeating in both. Something to keep an eye on is his 200 freestyle: he was sixth last year and with Drew Kibler, Matt Sates, and Kieran Smith gone, could finish higher on the podium. That would help offset losing diver Juan Hernandez‘s 32 points. -SK
#18: LOUISVILLE CARDINALS -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 15)
The Cardinals are still searching for identity after the graduation of Nic Albiero, and they’ll have the chance to find it in a stiff spring dual meet schedule. Circle January 21 against Kentucky and January 27 against Indiana as two good barometers. -BK
#17: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 18)
Starting a run of three straight teams with a clear leader, I like Minnesota’s next-best swimmers’ odds of scoring the most. -BK
One of the biggest surprises of the invite season was how strong Minnesota’s 800 free relay was—they broke a team record from 2009. The majority of this team’s star power still comes from Max McHugh, but swimmers like Bar Soloveychik and Kaiser Neverman are making names for themselves as well. -YL
#16: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 14)
It’s still not entirely clear what the Wolverines are going to look like this year, but there are some bright spots. Bence Szabados was faster mid-season in the 50 free (19.36) than he was at Big Tens, and Gal Cohen has continued his upward trajectory from last season. Michigan had a rough six months or so, but things seem to be stabilizing – at least outwardly. -BK
#15: AUBURN TIGERS +6 (PREVIOUS RANK: 21)
Auburn has been impressive all season long and that continued at their midseason invite. Reid Mikuta particularly shone – his 51.14 100 breast is the top time this year and would’ve vaulted him into the ‘A’ final at 2022 NCAAs. -SK
#14: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 12)
Transfer Victor Johansson broke school records in the 500 free and 1650 at their midseason invite. His 14:39.63 leads the NCAA this season. It would’ve been 10th at 2022 NCAAs, a welcome sign for Alabama, which had no scorers in the mile last year. -SK
#13: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 10)
The team still had strong performances from some of their NCAA crew from last year, but the incoming freshman still seem to be adjusting. -AP
#12 GEORGIA BULLDOGS -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 9)
Luca Urlando…oof…. -YL
Losing Luca Urlando for the rest of the season is a brutal blow. He was their highest scorer at 2022 NCAAs with 50 points and factored on four scoring relays. In the three freestyle relays, he was UGA’s fastest split on all of them 18.79/41.71/1:30.58. He and Matt Sates scored 86 individual points in 2022; subtract those and UGA would have been 13th. They had some strong performances at their midseason invite, but it’s a steep challenge to make up those points. -SK
#11: TEXAS A&M AGGIES +6 (PREVIOUS RANK: 17)
Thanks to a sensational team performance at midseason, the Aggies have catapulted up the rankings, moving up six spots from 17th to 11th. Baylor Nelson is bringing exactly what the Aggies hoped he would bring, transfer Anze Fers Erzen hit an ‘A’ cut in the 400 IM, and Alex Sanchez has the #2 200 breast time in the country (1:51.09). That’s a solid foundation for A&M to build on and hopefully reverse their slide down the standings. -SK
#10: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 10)
Hudson McDaniel is still on the team’s roster, but didn’t race for the Buckeyes in the fall. If he shows up, that really shores up the breaststroke crew, and makes this a more complete team. -BK
#9: STANFORD CARDINAL -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 7)
Minakov not being here hurts Stanford, but I’m still looking to see if strong freshman class will breakout (which I don’t think happened at invites) -YL
Is Andrei Minakov going to compete for the Cardinal this year? If not, that’s a big loss – not only did he win an NCAA title last year, but he swam all 5 relays. Their freshmen class has enough potential that I’m not yet ready to move them down from #7, but both Virginia and Tennessee are surging. -SK
I expected more from Stanford mid-season. They’ve got some ground to make up if they want to get into the top 10. -BK
#8: TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS +5 (PREVIOUS RANK: 13)
Becoming a sprint powerhouse. -AP
Jordan Crooks and Gui Caribe have quickly become one of the best 1-2 sprint punches in the NCAA. -SK
The Crooks/Caribe duo have become one to fear on the back half of relays. They are gonna need more firepower to actually finish fifth like their midseason rankings project them to, but the improvement of swimmers like Landon Driggers and Nick Simons have me hopeful. -YL
#7: VIRGINIA CAVALIERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 8)
Noah Nichols has been having an excellent season, currently ranking third in the nation in the 100 breast (51.51) and ninth in the 200 (1:52.62). Sprinter Matt King was faster than he was this time last year. They won’t really show their cards until the postseason, but with teams that finished above them in the standings last year losing crucial pieces, look for Virginia to try to use the opportunity to climb up higher in the top 10. -SK
#6: INDIANA HOOSIERS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 6)
With Arizona State on the rise, I currently have Indiana on the outside looking into the top 5. But as always, their diving could be the difference maker for them. -SK
#5: NC STATE WOLFPACK -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 4)
NC State is a very good team, so it feels weird to rank them so low (#6) on my ballot. But this year’s top 5 is going to be a bloodbath, and there’s going to be a great team left out. -BK
#4: ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 5)
It’s the way that this team is going to be even better than what they are now when Hubert Kos arrives… -YL
ASU was impressive at their midseason invite: Leon Marchand did Leon Marchand things, their relays were sharp, and they showed depth even in the events they aren’t typically known for. This team with Hubert Kos is well set up for the postseason, making the top 5 race even tighter. -SK
#3: FLORIDA GATORS -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 2)
This Florida team is living up the the early season hype. They have the potential to do some incredible things in the sprint relays come championship meet season. -SP
Florida had a lot of hype earlier in the season, even though Texas had plenty of fast swims too. Josh Liendo looks great, and they had some fast swims by relatively unheralded swimmers like Alekas Savicas. -RG
#2: TEXAS LONGHORNS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 3)
Impressive for Texas to be ranked second in the midseason rankings even with weaker relays and swimmers like Carson Foster, Caspar Corbeau, and David Johnston not swimming at invites. For that reason, I think they’ll be just fine. -YL
Texas swam so fast this fall it’s making me wonder how much faster they’ll be at the end of the season. That being said, if they’re firing on all cylinders in March they have a very real shot at winning NCAAs. -SP
The core is as strong as ever, with a floor of about 11 A-finals and a ceiling of maybe 18. The problem is that they don’t seem to have a lot of B-final type swimmers right now, and the relays are still a mess. There’s enough talent on this team that I still think they could push Cal at NCAAs with a few things going right. -RG
#1: CAL GOLDEN BEARS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 1)
Both Texas and Arizona State have a lot more top ten indiviudal performances than does Cal thus far. But the relays look to be in great shape, and that, plus Hugo Gonzalez‘s impending return and Texas’ relay issues, are enough for me to join in with the rest of the writers and move Cal to #1. -RG
Cal’s swimming roster is just so stacked. Especially with Hugo Gonzalez slated to return, it seems the most likely outcome is that the Golden Bears repeat as national champions. -SP
With Hugo Gonzalez set to return to Berkeley this semester, Cal’s got a clear shot at repeating as national champions. -SK
|#3||Texas||Arizona State||Florida||Arizona State||Florida||Florida|
|#4||Indiana||Florida||NC State||Florida||NC State||Arizona State|
|#5||Arizona State||NC State||Arizona State||NC State||Arizona State||NC State|
|#9||Virginia Tech||Texas A&M||Tennessee||Stanford||Tennessee||Tennessee|
|#10||Ohio State||Stanford||Ohio State||Virginia Tech||Georgia||Ohio State|
|#11||Stanford||Ohio State||Georgia||Texas A&M||Ohio State||Georgia|
|#12||Texas A&M||Virginia Tech||Alabama||Ohio State||Texas A&M||Alabama|
|#13||Alabama||Georgia||Texas A&M||Alabama||Auburn||Texas A&M|
|#15||Michigan||Alabama||Michigan||Georgia||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|#20||Georgia Tech||Missouri||Missouri||Georgia Tech||Penn||Missouri|
|#22||Miami (FL)||Arizona||Princeton||Missouri||Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|#23||Missouri||Miami (FL)||Auburn||Columbia||Florida State||Princeton|
|#25||Princeton||Georgia Tech||Notre Dame||Princeton||Army||Purdue|
With Arizona State’s dual meet performance v Cal, is it possible they move up to number 1 in the next Power Ranking Edition?
ASU shows 13 individuals scoring, across every non-diving event aside from the 100 Breast, and in that event the school record holder returns and has a PB that would have ranked 7th currently if done this fall. How many times has a squad scored in every swimming event? Not likely, but….
why did you comment three times
Just sharing information as it occurs. Guess you didn’t have anything to share?
ASU had 14 A heat and 10 B heat individual swims in the updated season best times list; they make the A heat in all 5 relays. And while they had an excellent Fall Invite, only 9 of 24 individual scoring swims from that meet were PBs. There is plenty of room to improve.
The really fun stuff is getting closer.
It could turn out in the order predicted in the article; and then again …. I would posit that ASU continues to be objectively undervalued. I have stated, in submitted posts, my own anticipation that Texas/Cal have to be considered the frontrunners based on recent history, but at some point another squad will break into this two team clique; ASU is well positioned to make that happen this year.
The SwimSwam 12/30/22 article scoring out the Mid-Season “Mythological” National Champions was great fun but acknowledged accuracy difficulties based on errors in available time lists, especially the USA Swimming database. After making some initial efforts to update the times, SwimSwam had to head… Read more »
Longhorns for the win @ NCAA’s with just a tad bit of luck + DIVING!
Braden totally dissing the Pack. That won’t age well.
Fill in the blank: If NC State men aren’t top 4 at NCAAs, Snarky will eat ___________.
(this went really well for you last time 😅😅).
I’m just the only member of the staff who weighed the fact that Indiana returns 59 diving points and brought in a Junior National Champion as a freshman (Max Weinrich). Even though I told them all about it. They might crack 100 diving points this year.
That pick is, of course, predicated on Andrew Capobianco diving in the spring semester. I don’t think he did in the fall, but he’s still on their roster and said he was coming back for a 5th year.
I think this year is going to be a lot closer than in many years past among the top five.
Capo is on their training trip in Florida right now and confirmed that he is ready for the 2nd half of the season.
and indiana diving was only given 4 stars in the 2022-2023 season previews when they have a plausible chance of cracking 100 points on the boards this year at NCs…
I’ve never seen a fan base so easily triggered, except maybe my own. It seems to me that this ranking is done based on times this year and known returning swimmers/divers (like Hugo), but isn’t totally accounting for swimmers that may not have tapered yet this year. Understand that the task of trying to account for all the variables that may occur during a swimming season like who has tapered, who has taken a semester off etc is insanely difficult. i have been trying to track best times for the past three years to make my own predictions and it is an insanely arduous experience. There are dozens of swimmers that had top 16 times last year that don’t even… Read more »
Some people like to weigh recent performances higher than potential. I think its what have you done lately that counts more. We are ranking the current season not last March.
I understand the thinking there, but for a few examples:
1) would you ignore Brooks Curry having 1:31.39 last year because he’s only been 1:33 this year? If he swims the 200 Free he is absolutely a threat to be in the top half of the A-final.
2) Would you ignore Luke Hobson’s 14:40 1650 free from Dec 2021 just because he hasn’t beaten it since then? Despite massive improvements in other events since then? If you want to, do so at your own risk. If he swims that at NCAA this year instead of the 100 he is in the mix for a top 8 finish.
3)Whitley went a 1:48.5 200 Breast in 2020. His best since is… Read more »
to be fair, their midseason (and effectively the entire first half of the season) was ruined by the swimmers kissing each other and spreading mono
Hop on the bar hype train before it’s too late
Also for a and m is bustamante who just keeps getting better