The 2nd edition of the 2011-2012 CSCAA Dual Meet polls have been released, and the top teams are no surprise. Remember that these polls (as compared to our power rankings) are designed to reflect who would win a dual meet right now, as compared to who will be at the top at the NCAA Championships. With the new format (each conference has one representative who gives a breakdown of what has happened, before each representative gets a vote), there have been some peculiar results.
I think that while the voters are still adjusting to the new polling process, they are sort of stuck in a limbo between voting for who is the better dual meet team right now, and who would win at the end of the year. It seems to me as though some teams are over-ranked on the basis of 2-or-3 swimmers who are having great seasons, even though that won’t win many dual meets.
Here’s a list of the voters:
SEC Men/Women: Richard Long, Auburn
ACC Men/Women: Chris DeSantis, Georgia Tech
Big 12 Women: Jim Henry, Texas
Big 12 Men: Andy Grevers, Missouri
Pac 12 Men: Geoff Hanson, Arizona
Pac 12 Women: Adirana Quirke, Washington State
Big 10 Women: Erica Janssen, Purdue
Big 10 Men: Bill Tramel, Minnesota
At Large: Mike Shelby, Ashland
The Arizona men swam extremely well at the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational and are well-deserving of the top-ranking in this poll, where they were voted unanimously into the top spot, with the Texas men (favorites for National Champions) placing #2. The Stanford men, whose freshman have been performing extremely well, come in at #3. Michigan is still seeing some residual effects from their earlier victory over #2 Texas in a tri-meet, and USC rounds out the top 5.
There are quite a few mid-majors in this top 20, including #17 UCSB (they have some very good sprint free relays, but seem to lack the depth to be worthy of that high of a placing), #19 UNLV, who swam very well in Austin, and #22 Princeton.
5. Southern California
6. California Berkeley
8. Ohio St
16. North Carolina
17. Santa Barbara
18. Louisiana State
19. Nevada- Las Vegas
23. Penn St
25. Florida St
Also receiving votes: Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Texas A&M
The women’s poll is pretty close to accurate at the top, with Georgia retaining the top spot after a strong performance at their home Invitational last weekend. The Texas women, who won their home Hall of Fame Invitational, come in at #4, followed by Arizona, who was also at that meet, touching #5. That’s interesting, considering that head-to-head in Austin, Arizona placed higher than the Longhorns in 4 of the 5 relays last weekend.
Stanford at #6, and Auburn is #7, which is pretty spot on given that both have had great swims, even if they’ve been overshadowed at some of their meets, this year. Indiana is at #8, Florida is #9 (though, if this poll represents right now, it’s hard to argue that the Gators would beat all of the teams ranked below them). Missouri comes in at #10, with Big 12 foe Texas A&M at #11, despite the Aggies handing Missouri a strong, 60-point victory at the teams’ head-to-head matchup in October.
New teams in the rankings include #16 Wisconsin and #20 Arkansas. SMU is the only non-major team to make the top 25 on the women’s side, with a huge jump to #13 on the strength of particularly strong swims from senior backstroker Therese Svendsen.
3 Southern California
11 Texas A&M
13 Southern Methodist
15 North Carolina
17 Ohio State
21 Louisiana State
24 Arizona State
Also Receiving Votes: Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida State