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

The early stages of the NCAA campaign are behind us and midseason invite SZN is rapidly approaching—it’s actually already arrived, with the A3 Performance Invitational kicking off on Thursday, but the majority of D1 teams will be in action next week.

With that, it’s time to take a second look at our NCAA power rankings before teams face their first true taper test of 2023-24.

Previous Ranks

There weren’t any crazy movers and jumpers from the pre-season rankings, though some teams who raced well right out of the gate (Tennessee, Indiana, ASU, and especially USC) did move up, while others such as Ohio State and Cal had their traditionally slow starts (mostly due to their schedule) and slid a bit.

Florida is clearly a team most of our writers have a strong opinion about—they were either 4th or 7th on the ballots, no in-between.

We’ve included where each team is racing over the next few weeks at their invitational meets as well. Note that all the meets featuring our top 25 teams will take place during the Nov. 16-18 weekend, with the exception of the Minnesota Invite, which will be two weeks later (due to American Thanksgiving in the middle).

Honorable Mentions: Arkansas, Miami (FL), South Carolina

South Carolina

Midseason Invite: Gamecock Invite

A bit of a wild card here, but South Carolina is popping off some pretty impressive in-season times right now. Amy Riordan‘s 1:44/4:46 200/500 frees, Bella Pantano‘s 1:54 200 back, and 1:55 200 flys from Nicholle Toh and Jordan Agliano are just a few examples. -YL

It looked like South Carolina was going to drop down the NCAA standings with diver Brooke Schultz‘s graduation, but they’ve gotten big swims from multiple swimmers already (headlined by Amy Riordan‘s 200 free) that sneak them into the top 25 for me. -SK

#25: FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES + (Previous Rank: NR)

Midseason Invite: UGA Invite

Their two NCAA scorers from last season are still in the mix and Maddy Huggins is trending towards joining them after setting some best times against Georgia Tech. -JS

#24: AUBURN TIGERS +1 (Previous Rank: 25)

Midseason Invite: UGA Invite

Solid performance at the SMU Classic, led by Meghan Lee, and they appear to be in good shape heading into the UGA Invite. -JS

#23: PURDUE BOILERMAKERS +1 (Previous Rank: 24)

Midseason Invite: Purdue Invite

They’ve really been on a roll so far this season (albeit against lesser competition) and have the diving prowess in place to once again be a top-25 squad. -JS

#22: LSU TIGERS +1 (Previous Rank: 23)

Midseason Invite: Art Adamson Invite

I’m not as high on the Tigers as some others, given that they had three individual scorers last season and two of them are gone. -JS

#21: MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS – (Previous Rank: 21)

Midseason Invite: Minnesota Invite

They’ve had some resounding wins thus far and freshman diver Elna Widerstrom could make some noise. -JS

#20: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE +2 (Previous Rank: 22)

Midseason Invite: Tennessee Invite

The addition of freshmen Jada Scott and Gaby van Brunt seems to have given them a nice punch in the arm. -JS

#19: TEXAS A&M AGGIES +1 (Previous Rank: 20)

Midseason Invite:  Art Adamson Invite

Chloe Stepanek looks great and freshman Miranda Grana seems poised to be a scorer at season’s end. -JS

#18: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES – (Previous Rank: 18)

Midseason Invite: Tennessee Invite

Midseason will be good a litmus test for the team after a few tough dual meet losses. -JS

#17: MICHIGAN WOLVERINES -2 (Previous Rank: 15)

Midseason Invite: UGA Invite

Michigan has only competed in one standard NCAA format dual meet so far this season, so we don’t have a lot to judge them on. It looks like we’ll have to wait for the mid-season invite to really be able to gauge the Wolverines but I’m still feeling good about them. That being said, they do have one major hurdle to clear. They are quite weak on breaststroke. Again, they haven’t raced much but at this point in the season, their top 100 breast is 1:05.28. Even with truly elite splits on the other three legs, that caliber breaststroke leg is going to sink their medley relays. They’ll need to find a fix for it. -SP

#16: DUKE BLUE DEVILS – (Previous Rank: 16)

Midseason Invite: NC State Invite

Beat Virginia Tech handily and gave Georgia a good run. Foley and Gridley leading the charge. -JS

#15: ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS +2 (Previous Rank: 17)

Midseason Invite: NC State Invite

I expect to see the ASU stock rise a LOT this season—the move to a combined program seems to be working out well for the team. Nine top 12 performers in the nation right now are no joke. -YL

#14: NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS -1 (Previous Rank: 13)

Midseason Invite: Tennessee Invite

Wouldn’t read too much into tying South Carolina—Skyler Smith is flying and should be in the 58s in the 100 breast next weekend. -JS

#13: GEORGIA BULLDOGS +1 (Previous Rank: 14)

Midseason Invite: UGA Invite

Georgia distance swimming is actually so deep it’s crazy. -YL

#12: WISCONSIN BADGERS – (Previous Rank: 12)

Midseason Invite: Texas Invitational

Hailey Tierney‘s ability really complements the rest of the team and we’ll see her give the relays a nice boost next week. -JS

#11: CAL GOLDEN BEARS -2 (Previous Rank: 9)

Midseason Invite: OSU Invite

As has become the norm, Cal hasn’t shown their hand yet and built into the early season with some lopsided wins over mid-major teams. They fall in the rankings after USC came flying out of the gate. -JS

#10: STANFORD CARDINAL – (Previous Rank: 10)

Midseason Invite: Texas Invite

How the Cardinal handle their well-documented losses will be put to the test at the Texas Invite. -JS

#9: USC TROJANS +2 (Previous Rank: 11)

Midseason Invite: Texas Invite

Okay, okay, I’ll give in and rank USC above Stanford now. But it’s because it’s relays are so strong right now and I feel like relay strength translates more into championship season than individual times do. Both the Cardinal and Trojans posted fast early-season times, but I don’t necessarily trust either team to fully replicate that in the postseason, so I’m picking whoever has the better sprinters now. -YL

Lea Maurer took a lot of heat last season and going into this season but it seems like she may be in the midst of proving her doubters wrong. There’s no denying the Trojans look fantastic so far this season, and to add to the praise, they look really good in essentially every event. Suddenly, their relays look like they could be top-tier as well. I see no reason why I shouldn’t consider USC to be a top-10 team at this point in the season. -SP

USC has looked great to this point in the season. Kaitlyn Dobler is always reliable, but the arrival of Minna Abraham and Claire Tuggle, combined with Caroline Famous‘ breakout should give a lot of confidence to this team. Plus, their 400 medley relay has already been faster than they were at NCAAs last year–there’s a lot to like. -SK

#8: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES -4 (Previous Rank: 4)

Midseason Invite: OSU Invite

I went in circles for a while in this 4-11 range. Ohio State moving down is more about teams like USC and Stanford showing way more than expected early in the season than anything that’s really changed with Ohio State. The Buckeyes need a mid-season meet to really show us where they’re at this year, I think. -BK

#7: NC STATE WOLFPACK -2 (Previous Rank: 5)

Midseason Invite: NC State Invite

I didn’t drop NC State down like most of the others, I’m still pretty optimistic about the core and culture they have in place. Losing to Georgia could be pause for concern. -JS

#6: INDIANA HOOSIERS +2 (Previous Rank: 8)

Midseason Invite: OSU Invite

I’ve been impressed with the Hoosiers so far. So far, they’ve been a bit more well-rounded of a roster than I suspected going into the season. After a bit of a down season last year, Kacey McKenna looks like she’s back in top form, which is huge for IU. Some of their stars from last season, like Ching Hwee Gan, Anna Peplowski, and Kristina Paegle have put up really solid times already. -SP

#5: TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS +2 (Previous Rank: 7)

Midseason Invite: Tennessee Invite

Trying hard not to be a prisoner of the moment but I really love how Tennessee has looked in the early stage of this season. It’s a really well-built roster with some serious star power at the top. -SP

#4: FLORIDA GATORS +2 (Previous Rank: 6)

Midseason Invite: UGA Invite

I don’t really know why everyone has teams like Indiana and Tennessee ahead of Florida when the Gators have looked better than them so far this season—and usually, they don’t swim fast in-season in Gainesville. Emma Weyant had the dual meet of her life vs. UVA, and I hope this leads to her unlocking another gear in championship season. -YL

#3: LOUISVILLE CARDINALS – (Previous Rank: 3)

Midseason Invite: OSU Invite

Louisville has looked excellent. Gabi Albiero is showing no signs of slowing down. Great sprint crew. Very well-rounded team. I’m very excited to see how they look at mid-season. -SP

#2: TEXAS LONGHORNS – (Previous Rank: 2)

Midseason Invite: Texas Invite

Texas is sort of like Virginia. So far, they’ve been right where we would expect them to be: firmly in the #2 spot. -SP

#1: VIRGINIA CAVALIERS – (Previous Rank: 1)

Midseason Invite: Tennessee Invite

They’re rolling. I really don’t know what else to say. -SP

Gretchen Walsh. -YL

WRITER BALLOTS

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

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Rick
7 months ago

Not seeing Kacper Stokowski anywhere. Is he still swimming for NC State?

Texas Swims in a short pool
7 months ago

No mention of the fact Duke took NC State to a 151-149 result in a dual. Also worth mentioning freshman Ali Pfaff and returners Aleyna Ozkan and Martina Peroni for their swims so far this year.

VaSwimFan
Reply to  Texas Swims in a short pool
7 months ago

Yes. Ali Pfaff.

AutoPhil
7 months ago

On the night before Midseason Invite, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring – not even a mouse!!!! Send

NoMorePancakes
7 months ago

YanYan got the best list here.

Queens
7 months ago

Yup

swimmer5681
7 months ago

I think y’all constantly overlook Arkansas, they are 4-1 in their season right now and their only loss was to Stanford and that meet was relatively close. Know what you are talking about and stop having favorites.

Admin
Reply to  swimmer5681
7 months ago

How many points do you project Arkansas to score at the NCAA Championships, and from whom?

Swimm
Reply to  Braden Keith
7 months ago

Well considering both Cothern and Ferraguti currently have times within the Top 8 fastest this year and multiple others within the top 16 so far. That combined with the relays, it is looking pretty good so far.

Admin
Reply to  Swimm
7 months ago

Ferraguti is 9th in the 200 but that doesn’t change your point much.

Okay so let’s project Cothern to score in the 50. We can even give her the benefit of the doubt even though most Arkansas swimmers added at NCAAs last year.

Let’s give her 15 from the 50 and 100. Let’s give Ferraguti another 5 from the 200. So that’s 20 points, which doesn’t make it.

They scored 18 relay points at NCAAs last year. They graduated half of those swimmers, including Kobie Melton, who was their best performer at NCAAs on those relays. Cothern is improving at a rate that she can replace Melton, but who’s there to backfill her? Their next option this season Gracie… Read more »

Benice
Reply to  Braden Keith
7 months ago

Arkansas had 0 divers score at SEC’s and NCAA’s last season. They added a whole 5 new divers to the roster so that could possibly help score at SEC’s and NCAA’s. But potato potato you can’t predict how someone’s going to swim especially not a growing 19-21 year old woman. Why don’t we all participate in no noise November and let the swimming do the talking

ark
Reply to  Benice
7 months ago

Don’t overlook the diving.

SwimMom2004
7 months ago

why is a&m ranked so low? didn’t they beat tennessee and virginia tech

Last edited 7 months ago by SwimMom2004
Admin
Reply to  SwimMom2004
7 months ago

This is not a dual meet ranking. You’re looking for the CSCAA poll.

swimfan14
7 months ago

How is LSU ranked after being mowed over by Arkansas, Utah, Florida State, Alabama… should I keep going?

Admin
Reply to  swimfan14
7 months ago

Diving is overvalued in an NCAA projection relative to its weight in a dual meet. It’s just the nature of how the math works.

LSU has a great diving group. It only takes about 25 points to get into the top 25 at NCAAs, and LSU has at least 20 already from diving. Miami losing their divers opens up another spot in the top 25 as well.

The CSCAA dual meet poll should be out soon. We don’t vote in that, but if we did, as you say, we’d probably have LSU out of the top 25. Different poll with a different purpose.

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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