2022-2023 NCAA Men’s Power Rankings: October 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 our comments section.

Braden Keith, Spencer Penland, Robert Gibbs, Yanyan Li, Sophie Kaufman and Anya Pelshaw contributed to this report.

Previous Ranks

Similar to our women’s power rankings, the October edition of the men’s ranks doesn’t see a ton of change from the pre-season version with the country’s top programs only having raced a handful of times, and usually against lesser competition.

Purdue dropped eight spots after news of Tyler Downs‘ departure was confirmed earlier this month, which resulted in some teams moving up, most notably Texas A&M and Auburn, which both climbed three spots.

Tennessee has also made a strong impression on many through the first month of the season, though they only move up one spot to #13.

The most notable change in the rankings after one month of action comes at the top, where the Florida Gators have overtaken the Texas Longhorns for the #2 ranking behind Cal.

The two teams were tied based on the average vote from our writers, but Editor-in-chief Braden Keith broke the deadlock in favor of the Gators, who have looked exceptional despite losing two superstars in the offseason.

The Longhorns have lost a few swimmers from their roster early this season, which certainly factored in the decision some of our writers made in bumping Florida ahead of them.

Honorable Mentions: Miami Hurricanes, Princeton Tigers, Arizona Wildcats, Pennsylvania Quakers

#25: North Carolina Tar Heels – (Previous Rank: 25)

Without much agreement on which team should occupy the #25 spot, Anton Down-Jenkins holds UNC here after outperforming Miami’s Max Flory at NCAAs last season. The Hurricanes lost Zach Cooper, which hurts their scoring potential. -JS

#24: Purdue Boilermakers -8 (Previous Rank: 16)

Purdue still has one of the best diving crews in the country, but their NCAA Championship outlook plummets after Tyler Downs left the program. -BK

Losing Tyler Downs and his 43 NCAA points really hurts. -SK

#23: Notre Dame Fighting Irish – (Previous Rank: 23)

2021 triple ACC champion Jack Hoagland is back. In the 500, he’s already hitting times he was swimming in fall 2020, which is a great sign for the new-look Notre Dame team. -SK

#22: Columbia Lions – (Previous Rank: 22)

No meets yet. Columbia qualified one swimmer and one diver for NCAAs last year, and finished 24th (all points from diving). -BK

#21: Auburn Tigers +3 (Previous Rank: 24)

Auburn was dominant at the USC invite, posting some NCAA-leading times. It will be interesting to see if they can continue building this momentum throughout the season. We might have to keep an eye on freshman Kalle Makinen, who looks to be the team’s new relay anchor. -YL

That 1:24.54 200 medley relay is no joke. Auburn just keeps looking better and better. -SK

#20: Missouri Tigers + (Previous Rank: HM)

With Clement Secchi and Jack Dahlgren, Missouri has a big one-two punch at the top of its roster. Who can they find to fill in around them? -BK

#19: Harvard Crimson -1 (Previous Rank: 18)

They’ve only taken part in a scrimmage with MIT, so not much info to take into account yet. -JS

#18: Minnesota Golden Gophers +1 (Previous Rank: 19)

Double title threat Max McHugh always keeping the Gophers in this area. -JS

#17: Texas A&M Aggies +3 (Previous Rank: 20)

Baylor Nelson and the A&M men looked great at the SMU Classic, but they were overwhelmed against Indiana and Texas. -BK

#16: LSU Tigers +1 (Previous Rank: 17)

Brooks Curry has already been fast in practice and keeps LSU in the ranks. -AP

#15: Louisville Cardinals -2 (Previous Rank: 13)

Louisville drops for me after falling to Tennessee and underwhelming at the SMU Classic. -JS

#14: Michigan Wolverines +1 (Previous Rank: 15)

Bence Szabados really impressed me at the SMU Invite. -YL

#13: Tennessee Volunteers +1 (Previous Rank: 14)

The Tennessee men knocked off Louisville, and Gui Caribe is a legitimate All-America caliber sprinter as a freshman. That gets the Volunteer men one step closer to where they want to be at the NCAA Championships. -BK

Jordan Crooks is firing off 19.3 50 freestyles it seems like every day. Gui Caribe‘s sprinting has been a highlight for the Vols as well. -SK

The sprinting of Tennessee is unmatched. -AP

Gui Caribe brings a major relay boost to Tennessee. -YL

#12: Alabama Crimson Tide – (Previous Rank: 12)

#11: Ohio State Buckeyes – (Previous Rank: 11)

#10: Virginia Tech Hokies – (Previous Rank: 10)

#9: Georgia Bulldogs – (Previous Rank: 9)

Ng Cheuk-yin might be the cog that makes Georgia stick this season, because Luca Urlando can swim only the 100 fly or 100 back, and he has looked good so far this year. He swam 47.2 in the 100 back and 47.6 in the 100 fly against Florida State. -BK

A good test for the Bulldogs will be this weekend against Florida. -AP

#8: Virginia Cavaliers – (Previous Rank: 8)

The team’s dual meet against Florida showed that Virginia still doesn’t have the depth of the top six teams in the NCAA, but their top-end looked really good – especially Matt King and Noah Nichols. -BK

I don’t know what Matt King and Noah Nichols going faster than they did at mid-seasons last year exactly means, but I feel like it’s positive. I feel like there was a lot of discourse last year around how the UVA women go all-out in-season and that taper doesn’t really help them…and look what happened after that. I think the same logic can be applied to the men right now. -YL

They lost their dual against Florida, but there are a lot of positives to take away. King kept his long-course momentum rolling in yards, and Noah Nichols neared his best in the 100 breast. He didn’t score at NCAAs last year, and it would be a huge boost for the Cavaliers if he could earn a second swim(s). -SK

#7: Stanford Cardinal – (Previous Rank: 7)

#6: Indiana Hoosiers – (Previous Rank: 12)

Hafnaoui not swimming for Indiana this year hurts, Burns looked strong in October, collecting three wins (two against Carson Foster) in Indiana’s dual against Texas. Even without two of their high-powered divers, that meet came down to the last relay, a great sign for Indiana early on. I had them below ASU in the pre-season, and I’ll keep them there for now, but yikes it’s tight at the top of the men’s standings. -SK

I was “team ASU” in the debate over which school gets the #5 ranking, and Hafanoui leaving only cements my stance. -YL

#5: Arizona State Sun Devils – (Previous Rank: 5)

Leon Marchand is swimming very well as expected. -AP

I think a lot of my colleagues might jump Arizona State ahead of Indiana with the news that Ahmed Hafnaoui won’t swim this year for the Hoosiers. Arizona State still has the best swimmer among the teams, but I don’t think they’re quite deep enough to overcome Indiana’s diving yet. -BK

#4: NC State Wolfpack – (Previous Rank: 4)

Mono has struck NC State. It’s early in the year, and we don’t know how much impact it will have yet, but it’s something to keep an eye on. -BK

I hate to be that person, but I was close to putting NC State over Texas as well, and I truly think they are just 1-2 stars and a breaststroker away from closing that gap. -YL

I was almost ready to put NC State ahead of Texas, but then illness struck the Pack. They’re an incredibly deep team that has put up some fast October swims, but I want to wait and see the impact the illness has before making that move. -SK

#3: Texas Longhorns -1 (Previous Rank: 2)

The departures from Texas aren’t devastating, but the Longhorns were always going to be on a thinner margin this season, and the loss of a lot of talent won’t help. With Josh Liendo settling in nicely in yards, I’ve jumped the Gators ahead of the Longhorns, for now. -BK

Freshmen are really gonna have to step up this year to fill in the holes of this sprint-deprived team. Carson Foster looks great, and I think David Johnston and Alec Enyeart will have breakout years. However, barely beating Indiana without their best divers shows they have a lot of work to do. -YL

Texas still has incredible talent. Though the early season retirements don’t affect their NCAA points that much, some cracks are beginning to show. Van Zandt hasn’t raced yet, and their meet with Indiana came down to the last relay. They need some of their newcomers to step up. -SK

Texas has a few losses and Florida swam well against UVA. -AP

#2: Florida Gators +1 (Previous Rank: 3)

With Josh Liendo settling in well and the distance crew cleaning up as usual, it’s looking more and more possible for the Gators to surpass the Longhorns this season. -SK

#1: Cal Golden Bears – (Previous Rank: 1)

After so many years of Cal v. Texas for the number one spot, the question is now whether or not the Longhorns belong in the top two. Meanwhile, it’s business as usual for the Bears, who have another national in sight. -JS

WRITER BALLOTS

Rank James Braden Robert Spencer Yanyan Anya Sophie
#1 Cal Cal Texas Cal Cal Cal Cal
#2 Texas Florida Cal Texas Florida Florida Florida
#3 Florida Texas Florida Florida Texas Texas Texas
#4 NC State NC State NC State NC State NC State NC State NC State
#5 Arizona State Indiana Arizona State Arizona State Arizona State Arizona State ASU
#6 Indiana Arizona State Indiana Indiana Indiana Indiana Indiana
#7 Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Virginia Stanford
#8 Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia Stanford Virginia
#9 Georgia Georgia Georgia Virginia Tech Georgia Virginia Tech Georgia
#10 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Georgia Virginia Tech Georgia Virginia Tech
#11 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State
#12 Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama Tennessee Alabama Alabama
#13 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Michigan Alabama Tennessee Tennessee
#14 Michigan Michigan Louisville Tennessee Michigan Louisville Michigan
#15 Louisville Louisville Michigan Louisville Louisville Michigan Lousiville
#16 Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas A&M LSU LSU Minnesota LSU
#17 LSU LSU LSU Minnesota Texas A&M LSU Texas A&M
#18 Minnesota Minnesota Missouri Harvard Auburn Harvard Minnesota
#19 Auburn Harvard Harvard Missouri Minnesota Penn Auburn
#20 Harvard Miami (FL) Minnesota Texas A&M Harvard Columbia Missouri
#21 Missouri Purdue Purdue Arizona Notre Dame Auburn Harvard
#22 Columbia Columbia Arizona Notre Dame Columbia Notre Dame Columbia
#23 Purdue Princeton Miami (FL) Auburn Mizzou Wisconsin Notre Dame
#24 Notre Dame Missouri Notre Dame Columbia UNC Missouri UNC
#25 UNC Arizona Columbia UNC Miami (FL) Purdue Purdue

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Person with Eyes
3 months ago

So let me get this right…… Wisconsin destroys Arizona in a dual meet and they aren’t even in your honorable mention…. Oh, and a dive team is?!?!?

Texas A&M Swim Fan
3 months ago

Still trying to figure out how Louisville & Michigan are ranked ahead of my Aggies at this point🧐? They both were at the SMU invite & I know that there were “special rules” invoked (only 1 diver per team & only 8 swimmers allowed per team) but we took 2nd behind “the school in Austin”! I know Indiana & “the school in Austin” finished 1-2 at the tri – meet in Austin but it doesn’t appear that Louisville has done much so far & Michigan as well! My “engineering mind” doesn’t wrap around that😄

MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

I’M going to laugh when UT ends up on top!
All this fou-fou about defections from the team is just that: lesser mortals leaving for greener pastures in — XXXX
The Longhorns are still THE most attractive program in the US.
Just sit back, relax, and watch how it goes……………………………………………

Justin Pollard
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

Proximity to Franklin BBQ puts them in the 2 spot over Florida for me 😆🐮

Last edited 3 months ago by Justin Pollard
BearlyBreathing
3 months ago

I see Robert Gibbs is the outlier. I’d like very much to hear his thoughts on why he ranked Texas #1. Not angry just curious what he thinks the rest overlooked.

Editor
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
3 months ago

I think it’s just a matter of weighing data differently…and maybe I’m feeling oddly contrarian this week. I could type a few paragraphs, but, succinctly: Texas returns essentially the same number of individual swimming points as Cal if Hugo Gonzalez doesn’t show up, I think the Longhorns’ diving will bounce back a bit, and the core guys have put up some solid swims already. If Hugo shows up (and it seems he probably will), or if Cal goes ham at the mid-season invite, or if Texas loses anyone else, then I’ll probably stop being intransigent and join the swelling chorus that sings “Cal is the Clear Number One.” I didn’t get a chance to write any blurbs for this round…I… Read more »

Taa
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
3 months ago

Cal off to a slow start except Bjorn. The rest of the team hasn’t shown up yet. If you looks at TX top swims from last March the only swim missing is Kibler’s 200fr. But relays look to take a slight hit also.

Grant Drukker
Reply to  Taa
3 months ago

If you check their results against last year, they’re swimming faster for the most part. Cal that is.

Last edited 3 months ago by Grant Drukker
Taa
Reply to  Grant Drukker
3 months ago

It’s a stretch to say that. Slow last yr slow this yr and not much data to compare

h2olover
Reply to  Taa
3 months ago

Taa,

Interesting that you caution Grant D. not to make early season assumptions due to lack of data, while your reply to Robert plainly states, in your opinion “Cal off to a slow start except Bjorn.”

Cal has swam three times in competition this year compared to four times last year. If you look into the results, you will see that, in addition to Seeliger being in form, returning NCAA scorers like Gabriel Jett, Liam Bell, Dare Rose, Destin Lasco and Colby Mefford are ahead of last year’s times.
Since the Bear’s generally are not focused on early season times, it may seem that something is amiss while swimmers from Texas, ASU, Indiana, Florida etc post impressive early… Read more »

G-Money Raindrops
3 months ago

I hear that the NC State Wolfpack loves kissing each other. Mono could prove to be devastating to their performance.

Rowdy Marsh
3 months ago

#21 Auburn just obliterated #16 LSU…

Noah
Reply to  Rowdy Marsh
3 months ago

Dual meet results don’t matter too much when LSU has minimum 30+ points just from Brooks Curry.

Rowdy Marsh
Reply to  Noah
3 months ago

I know, but I’m still not convinced a team like them should be ranked ahead of Auburn. Kalle Makinen was faster than Curry in the 50 free today and that was after Makinen swam in the 200 yard medley…Auburn has some fire power now too.

edit: I know I’m biased…could be wrong about all of this.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rowdy Marsh
Swimmer
Reply to  Rowdy Marsh
3 months ago

He might of beat him in a duel meet but curry isn’t the defending 50 champ give him some respect

Wisco Swim Fan
3 months ago

If you couldn’t tell, I’m biased, but I don’t understand the disrespect for Wisconsin. Arizona gets an honorable mention and Wisconsin just beat them handily. Wisco’s has beat (and will beat) Purdue and Minnesota in the regular season and Big 10s (I know they have an amazing swimmer in McHugh, not arguing how great he is and will score at NCAAs, but what about dual meets). If “SwimSwam’s Power Rankings are somewhere between the CSCAA-style dual meet rankings and a pure prediction of NCAA finish order” Wisconsin has to be looking pretty good under those criteria. Wisco is going to shock the world come February and March. Mark my words.

Educatedfan
3 months ago

Michigan’s suited times were relatively underwhelming at SMU

Assuming them moving up is more indicative of others moving down vs them rising

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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