2023-24 NCAA Men’s Power Rankings: December 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, Yanyan Li, Robert Gibbs, Sophie Kaufman and Anya Pelshaw contributed to this report.

The men’s NCAA Championship picture is anything but clear—Arizona State and Cal will go head-to-head for the title in three months, and either squad could realistically win it all. But at this point, the Sun Devils have been so good they’re a near-unanimous pick as the #1 team in the nation.

The men’s rankings didn’t see as many big movers inside the top 10 as the women’s, but several teams moved up one spot while Virginia Tech dropped four spots into #12. It wasn’t a great midseason showing for the state, as the Cavaliers also dropped down to #16.

Alabama was the biggest mover that was previously ranked, jumping six spots into 19th, while Florida State, Arizona and BYU cracked the top 25 after being on the outside looking in previously.

Previous Ranks

Plenty of dissension in the picks, especially in the mid-range with teams like Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Alabama and Wisconsin.

There were also a lot of teams getting 1-2 votes towards the bottom of the rankings—32 teams received at least one—which is an uptick compared to previous editions and tells us there’s a bit more parity after invites.

Honorable Mentions: Penn, Georgia Tech

Also Receiving Votes: Kentucky, LSU, Mizzou, Purdue, UNC, Utah

Falling Out of the Top 25:

  • Mizzou (Previous Rank: 20)
  • Purdue (Previous Rank: 23)
  • UNC (Previous Rank: 24)

#25: MIAMI HURRICANES -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 22)

The diving prowess of Flory and Farouk keeps them in the top 25. -JS

#24: BYU COUGARS + (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

If Jordan Tiffany makes a few ‘A’ finals, that can go a long way. -YL

#23: ARIZONA WILDCATS + (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Ralph Daleiden‘s three PBs at midseason and five relay ‘B’ cuts should give the Wildcats a lot to be excited about headed into the new year. -SK

#22: SMU MUSTANGS -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 21)

Cotton Fields powered up at the SMU Invite, while Jack Hoagland was a bit off. If they’re both on form at the end of the season the Mustangs will be OK. -JS

#21: WISCONSIN BADGERS -2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 19)

Jake Newmark has mostly been racing backstroke this season, and the Badgers’ final ranking probably hinges on him putting up some individual points (likely in the 500 free), so it’s still a bit of a wait-and-see feel. -JS

#20: FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES + (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Peter Varjasi is a 100 breaststroker now? Anyway, FSU looked strong at midseason, and that 1:16.54 200 free relay is not to be ignored. -SK

Peter Varjasi, hitherto known primarily as a sprint freestyler, has improved his 100 breast time from 54.0 to 52.1 already this season. And it looks like Seminole sprinting may be back — they’ve already been faster in the 200 free relay than they were at any point last season. -RG

*insert College Football Playoff joke* But in all seriousness, FSU had a super impressive midseason showing. Peter Varjasi aside, Yordan Yanchev‘s 4:13 500 free and the two 45-point 100 backs were pretty impressive. -YL

#19: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE +6 (PREVIOUS RANK: 25)

Charlie Hawke and Kaique Alves‘ midseason performances give Alabama a much-needed boost. -SK

#18: LOUISVILLE CARDINALS -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 17)

Louisville typically keeps their cards close to their chest until the calendar flips to a new year. It’ll be interesting to see how all their international additions do going forward. -RG

#17: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 18)

Michigan looked good at their first midseason invite under head coach Matt Bowe. They’ve got a group of proven upperclassmen performers, but I’m interested to see how the continued development of underclassmen like Colin Geer and Tyler Ray will contribute to Michigan’s success in the postseason. -SK

#16: VIRGINIA CAVALIERS -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 13)

Virginia commits at Winter Juniors (Thomas Heilman, Maximus Williamson, Spencer Nicholas, David King) swam phenomenally. I’d love to see some positive momentum from the actual UVA squad, though. Jack Aikins not being there is rough, but the sprint crew is capable of driving the team and it didn’t really show at invites. -YL

The Cavaliers are hurt by the absences of their Olympic year redshirts. That and no NCAA relay ‘A’ cuts after midseasons points towards them being more likely to repeat their 15th-place finish than we initially expected at the start of the season. -SK

Even with Jack Aikins redshirting, the Cavaliers certainly have the talent to crack the top ten. They usually get faster as the season progresses, and we’ll see if that holds true this year. -RG

#15: USC TROJANS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 16)

Shangfei Wang missed a couple of meets early for USC, but is competing for the Trojans this year. Those big diving points help boost the Trojans’ outlook alongside a rebuilding year in the pool. -BK

#14: AUBURN TIGERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 15)

Midseason performances from Nate Stoffle, Aidan Stoffle, and Mason Mathias should give Auburn confidence that they’ll have more than one individual ‘A’ finalist this year–an important step for them as the majority of their points came from relays last year. -SK

#13: NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 14)

The Fighting Irish have been swimming fast under the new coaching staff. Keep an eye on grad transfer Abdelrahman Elaraby, who could help the relays even more if he approaches his best times second semester. -RG

#12: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES -4 (PREVIOUS RANK: 8)

Youssef Ramadan seems like he’s going to be okay, but he’s going to need some more help for the Hokies to get back into the top 10 this year. -BK

The Hokies have been quiet so far this season, but this is a team that returns all of its swimming points from last year’s NCAAs. They should be in the mix for a top-10 finish come March. -RG

I’m probably undervaluing them at this point, but it feels like their NCAA position is too reliant on Ramadan and Coll Marti being lights out again. -JS

#11: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 12)

The Buckeyes may have been treading water in a sense last month, but with the return of Charlie Clark and the presence of diving star Lyle Yost, not to mention Ruslan Gaziev is a proven NCAA performer, they figure to be in a similar range (11-12) as last season. -JS

#10: TEXAS A&M AGGIES +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 11)

It’s the question marks about Stanford’s roster that led me to put the Aggies ahead of them. The Cardinal have stronger relays but Texas A&M has been rolling through the first semester and we have a clearer idea about what their team will bring in the postseason. -SK

Don’t forget about the A&M diving crew, which might be the best in the state of Texas this year. -BK

#9: GEORGIA BULLDOGS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 10)

Georgia swimmers are better than we gave them credit for, and while they’re a bit thin in the sprint ranks, they’ve got enough ‘other guys’ who can fight through a 50 or 100 free to keep the relays in the points. Bulldogs should be top 10 scoring this year based on swimming, but fall behind a few teams with better divers in these ranks. -BK

It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that Georgia was known for the 200 stroke events. But the Bulldogs have a better 200 free relay time this season than half the team teams in last year’s top eight at NCAAs. -RG

#8: STANFORD CARDINAL +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 9)

Stanford had an alright showing at their midseason invite, highlighted by first-years like Rex Maurer, Jonathan Tan, and Henry McFadden‘s new PBs. -SK

It’s really hard to assess where the Cardinal are until we see who all is actually swimming next semester. -RG

The Stanford freshmen are performing much better than I expected (most notably Rex Maurer), so I’m giving them a boost here. -YL

#7: TEXAS LONGHORNS -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 6)

Will Modglin having a monster meet isn’t going to cover up the holes that this team has, but we already knew that. -YL

Surely Texas is going to figure out some way to score in the 200-yard relays, right? Right? -RG

#6: TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 7)

I was going to make a big deal about Jordan Crooks going 18.40 in November. Then I remembered he was even faster last fall. Yup, folks, Crooks was *only* 18.40 last month. -RG

#5: NC STATE WOLFPACK -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 4)

Luke Miller and Quintin McCarty are flashing some early-season speed, while other key members of the Wolfpack haven’t raced much. There’s certainly a ton of depth — will that be enough to overcome Indiana’s diving advantage? Stay tuned to find out. -RG

#4: INDIANA HOOSIERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 5)

Raise your hand if you had Jassen Yep leading the nation in the 200 breaststroke at mid-season. J’accuse you of lying. -RG

#3: FLORIDA GATORS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 3)

Scotty Buff, the #3 recruit in the high school class of 2023, and a multi-stroke sprinter, may not crack the Gators’ ‘A’ relays this year. That’s not a knock on Buff; that just goes to show how ridiculously stacked Florida’s relays are. -RG

#2: CAL GOLDEN BEARS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 2)

I’m not going to falter on Cal yet. Back-to-back champions and we know they show up at the end of the year. -SP (voted Cal #1)

Honestly, Cal is still probably the safest bet to win NCAAs, but since these aren’t (yet) pure predictions about March, ASU gets the top spot for now. -RG

#1: ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 1)

The NC State Invite showed that even without Leon Marchand the Sun Devils still have a staggering amount of depth on their squad. They’ve set the bar high in the first half of the season and it will be up to the rest of the NCAA to try and match them. -SK

I would like to see a healthy Leon Marchand in 2024. -YL

Fast. The Sun Devils are fast. ‘Nuff said. -RG

WRITER BALLOTS

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

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oxyswim
3 months ago

IU loses a guaranteed 40 points and moves up a spot? I’ll take NC State over them this year.

Andrew
Reply to  oxyswim
3 months ago

Ehhhhhh NC state has not looked convincing this year at all and IU still has their stars + diving.

NCS relays will be better than IU (maybe not 4 med/8FRR) but IU should edge them.

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
3 months ago

Any truth to the comments below about Curry and Shackell??

Andrew
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
3 months ago

Curry was supposed to only be a pro and considering he’s not taking classes, idk how he would compete collegiately. Then again it’s cal and bending the rules of eligibility (cheating) is their thing.

As for Shackell, he’s gone. Couldn’t survive Berkeley for a semester (most wouldn’t). No surprise there

Justin Pollard
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
3 months ago

Seems to have been removed. Guessing they were baseless

bubbles
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
3 months ago

what was the comment about if you don’t mind me asking? were they really really bad?

bevo’s horns
Reply to  bubbles
3 months ago

Someone said Curry is swimming for Cal the spring NCAA season. Probably not true if SwimSwam deleted it though

Admin
Reply to  bevo’s horns
3 months ago

Cal coaches say that neither Shackell nor Curry rumors are true.

Admin
Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

Whelp. Now they’re taking it back and saying some of it might be true.

Stay tuned.

MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

Texas Longhorns love has, well, gone south.
Sorry!!
They’ll place 3rd at NCAA’s

Marc P
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

Doubtful

Andrew
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

There’s delusion and then there’s Texas fans

oxyswim
Reply to  MIKE IN DALLAS
3 months ago

The only way Texas places third at NCs in 2024 is if the women underperform and Louisville steps up. Men aren’t getting close

Facts
3 months ago

The CFB committee would move ASU to #5 due to Marchands illness

Alex Wilson
Reply to  Facts
3 months ago

Marchand is already back swimming good times in practice. The meet to watch will be the meet on the ASU calendar on January 6th.

Cal fan
3 months ago

Nobody has a clue that brooks curry is swimming for the bears next semester

chinnychenchen
Reply to  Cal fan
3 months ago

source?

Justin Pollard
Reply to  Cal fan
3 months ago

Is this just wild speculation? I knew he was swimming there, but I assumed with the pro crew.

Thugshake
3 months ago

157.5 – 139.5
171.5 – 111.5
143 – 119

Anonymous
3 months ago

Spencer ranking TAMU 9 spots below Texas whenever they beat them by a large margin in a dual meet. Comedic

Anonymous
Reply to  Anonymous
3 months ago

^^^

Anonymous
3 months ago

These rankings never fail to make me laugh

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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