2023-24 NCAA Women’s Power Rankings: Final 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, Yanyan Li, Sophie Kaufman, and Anya Pelshaw contributed to this report.

The NCAA Championships are upon us, with the meet set to kick off in just two days’ time from Athens.

In the wake of the conference championship meets, we’ve seen a ton of shifting in the women’s rankings, particularly among the top teams.

Tennessee has leaped up six spots into 4th, while Cal, USC and Stanford impressed at Pac-12s as they all moved up and sit inside the top eight spots.

On the flip side, NC State’s slide continues, moving them out of the top 10, while Louisville and Ohio State also dropped down significantly.

Previous Ranks

Honorable Mentions: Pennsylvania Quakers, South Carolina Gamecocks

#25: UCLA BRUINS + (PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

James: I’m higher on the Bruins than everyone else—in addition to their medley duo of Paige MacEachern and Rosie Murphy, I’m also expecting to see diver Lauren Hallaselka score some big points.

#24: PURDUE BOILERMAKERS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 24)

James: The Boilermakers qualified five female divers at the Zone C Championships. Look for them to climb the standings on the final night in the platform event.

#23: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 22)

James: The relays will need to perform as Caroline Bentz is their only swimmer seeded to score.

#22: LSU TIGERS +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 23)

James: Three divers qualified, plus multiple relays in scoring position.

#21: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS -1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 20)

James: Viviana Del Angel will be the driving force behind the Gophers, and with the departure of Joy Zhu, she’ll be joined by freshman Elna Widerstrom on the boards with a chance to score.

#20: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 21)

James: It’s now the medley relays, not free, that serve as Alabama’s key scoring opportunities.

#19: AUBURN TIGERS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 19)

James: Meghan Lee was impressive in the 100 fly at SECs—50.66 is no joke.

#18: DUKE BLUE DEVILS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 18)

James: Three swimmers in scoring position, led by Kaelyn Gridley, while Margo O’Meara returns after she was missing last year. She was 6th on 1-meter in 2022 and was solid at Zone B, as was Aliyah Watson.

#17: ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 16)

Yanyan: I’m high on this ASU women’s team this meet. I think their top swimmers will shock people.

#16: TEXAS A&M AGGIES +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 17)

James: Miranda Grana has been impressive in her freshman season and has some major international experience under her belt so the big stage shouldn’t phase her.

#15: NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 15)

Sophie: Once again, diving is going to earn UNC the bulk of their points. But they’ve got some relays in scoring position as well, which will help their cause.

#14: WISCONSIN BADGERS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 14)

James: Expecting Bacon to sizzle and a big swim from Paige McKenna from Lane 8 in the 1650.

#13: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES – (PREVIOUS RANK: 13)

James: The additions of Balduccini and Bellard have been key for the Wolverines this season.

#12: GEORGIA BULLDOGS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 12)

Sophie: Georgia’s freestyle crew is going to play a large role in how NCAAs go for this squad.

#11: NC STATE WOLFPACK –2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 9)

James: The Wolfpack only have three swimmers seeded to score.

#10: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES -5 (PREVIOUS RANK: 5)

James: The Buckeyes have always performed better than the sum of their parts at NCAAs, and that will be put to the test again this season. Nine swimmers in scoring position, but 13 is the most any of them are projected to score (Hannah Bach).

#9: INDIANA HOOSIERS -2  (PREVIOUS RANK: 7)

James: Diving will be leaned on heavily, but Anne Fowler and Skyler Liu really showed out at the Zone C Championships as should provide the Hoosiers with a big bump.

#8: CAL GOLDEN BEARS +3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 11)

Yanyan: Based on track history, I don’t think Pac-12s was the best we’ve seen from this Dave Durden-led Cal team this year.

Sophie: I agree that Durden’s track record suggests the Cal women have more left for NCAAs. I considered kicking them up ahead of their (now former) Pac-12 rivals, but I think not having divers puts a ceiling on their performance in the standings.

#7: LOUISVILLE CARDINALS -3 (PREVIOUS RANK: 4)

Sophie: Abby Hay is “day to day” with a knee injury. If she’s out of NCAAs, that will slide the Cards down a few spots in the standings.

Yanyan: Louisville and NC State aren’t projected to do as well as some of the Pac-12 and ACC teams on this list, but they have also had historical success and tend to hold their tapers better.

#6: USC TROJANS +2 (PREVIOUS RANK: 8)

Braden: The USC women looked pretty good at Pac-12s, placing 2nd behind Cal and ahead of Stanford. That’s a good sign because this is a top-heavy team built for NCAA success. They also have a really good diver in Nike Agunbiade. We still don’t know which USC team is going to show up in Athens. Last year, they were not good in March. That weighs down a team that is better than this ranking.

#5: STANFORD CARDINAL +1 (PREVIOUS RANK: 6)

Sophie: If you told me in September that I was going to rank Stanford 5th right before NCAAs, I’d have laughed in your face. Yes, it’s still a risk but the teams from 4th through 10th all have reasons that could make you hedge your bets on their NCAA performance. Stanford’s exceeded my expectations this year, and I trust them to execute in Athens more than USC, a team I think has more to lose from a projected points lens.

#4: TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS +6 (PREVIOUS RANK: 10)

James: There’s a lot of trepidation around Tennessee and their #4 seeding on the psych sheets. We’ve seen them peak for SECs and then fall flat at NCAAs before. However, this time feels different….maybe? In the past we’ve seen them go all-in for the conference title, but that wasn’t really within reach with Florida. We’ll have to wait and see, but their top swimmers like Fuller and McSharry usually show up when it counts. 

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

Sophie: Florida is expected to be 2nd until the last individual event, when the Texas butterfliers will go to work. They’re going to need multiple swimmers to outperform their seeds if they want to counteract the Longhorns’ 200 fly depth and hold onto 2nd.

#2: TEXAS LONGHORNS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 2)

James: Near identical with Florida on the psych sheet scores, but the Longhorns qualified six divers for NCAAs, four of which scored points last year.

#1: VIRGINIA CAVALIERS – (PREVIOUS RANK: 1)

James: Clear-cut. Exactly 100 points up on Texas in psych sheet scores.

WRITER BALLOTS

James Braden Yanyan Anya Sophie
#1 Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia Virginia
#2 Texas Texas Texas Texas Texas
#3 Florida Florida Florida Florida Florida
#4 Tennessee Louisville Tennessee USC Tennessee
#5 Stanford Tennessee USC Tennessee Stanford
#6 USC Stanford Louisville Louisville USC
#7 Louisville USC NC State Stanford Cal
#8 Indiana Ohio State Cal Indiana Louisville
#9 Cal Indiana Stanford Ohio State NC State
#10 Ohio State Cal Indiana Cal Indiana
#11 NC State NC State Ohio State NC State Ohio State
#12 Georgia Georgia Georgia UNC Georgia
#13 Michigan Wisconsin Michigan Michigan Wisconsin
#14 Wisconsin Texas A&M Arizona State Georgia UNC
#15 UNC UNC Wisconsin Wisconsin Michigan
#16 Texas A&M Michigan UNC Texas A&M Texas A&M
#17 Arizona State Arizona State Duke Arizona State Arizona State
#18 Duke Duke Texas A&M Duke Auburn
#19 Minnesota Auburn Alabama Auburn Duke
#20 UCLA Alabama Auburn Alabama Alabama
#21 Auburn Virginia Tech LSU LSU Virginia Tech
#22 Alabama Minnesota Purdue Purdue LSU
#23 Purdue Purdue Virginia Tech Minnesota Minnesota
#24 LSU LSU Minnesota Virginia Tech South Carolina
#25 Penn UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA

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Puzzled swim fan
3 months ago

Honorable mention: Pennsylvania Quakers? They finished 5th at the Ivies. Please explain?

Admin
Reply to  Puzzled swim fan
3 months ago

This is based on NCAA Championship finish projections.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
4 months ago

May I ask why NC State is still 11th? Again, they only have 3 swimmers in scoring position, and there’s a huge dropoff after.

Andrew
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
4 months ago

Katherine Berkoff.

I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Andrew
4 months ago

I feel like that by logic Wisconsin should be higher then! They have Phoebe Bacon who is an Olympian and could very well win her best event and get top 3 in the other two. Plus, I think they have more than 3 individuals in scoring position. I think NCS is getting too much benefit of the doubt.

Diehard
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
4 months ago

You need to chill and do your own rankings. SwimSwam has done the work to base their rankings on times done so far….it has proven in past years to pretty accurate (no diving of course). Of course, the only true standings will be determined this week then everyone can say “I told you so”!

Klorn8d
Reply to  I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
4 months ago

Berkoff will probably score at least 50, arens and noble combined for 40 last year. Last year it took 137 points to place 11th. So 47 points for relays. That’s averaging around 12th place per relay, I’m very confident they will exceed that.

MarshFAN
4 months ago

This year will be different for the Lady Vols. They are locked at 4th and might improve their psyche sheet standing! If Florida went all in at SECs maybe they will falter like TN has in the past? So TN is either 3rd or 4th – just watch!

Ivy Fan
4 months ago

Penn getting an honorable mention but not Princeton getting one is actually comical.

Sherry Smit
4 months ago

I hope Paige McKenna of Wisconsin has a good meet this year. I know that recovering from a severe injury can alter level of performance for a long time. Would love to see her pop again at the NCAA level and break 15:40.

swimswamswum
4 months ago

On paper I agree with all of this. I just feel like Stanford has the most upside of the 4-11 group to get the 4 spot. If the Tennessee score and swimmers were from any other team, I would have them 4th but just hard for me to ever predict them to match their seeded place at NCAAs.

RMS
4 months ago

Tennessee at 4 😂

Jimbo
4 months ago

Texas only qualified 4 women divers, but they did all score last year.

IMO
Reply to  Jimbo
4 months ago

They qualified the same four divers as last year who scored 49 points.

Last edited 4 months ago by IMO

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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