First Annual SwimSwam NCAA Division I Men’s Preseason Picks

by Robert Gibbs 70

October 11th, 2017 College, News

In our addition to our new power rankings format, we’re trying out something else new this year: NCAA pre-season predictions.

Followers of sports like baseball or football will be familiar with writers from major sports publications making their preseason predictions about Most Valuable Players, World Series or Super Bowl champions, and the like.  We know swimming fans enjoy making their predictions about upcoming events, or even whole seasons, just as much as any other fans out there, so we decided to share own predictions about the upcoming NCAA season with our readers.

We’re not quite still in the college swimming preseason as some teams have started competition, but even some of the major Division I squads haven’t yet had their first official meet, so we figured it’s still early enough to call these “preseason” picks.

We polled our staff, did our research, and came up with our six-months-out best guesses as to who would be standing atop the awards podium for each event at the 2018 NCAA Division I championships, and without any further ado, below are our choices by writer:

Braden Lauren Jared James Hannah Morgan Karl Robert Top Pick
800 Free Relay NC State NC State Texas Florida NC State NC State NC State NC State NC State
200 Free Relay Cal Cal Cal Cal Cal NC State NC State Cal Cal
500 Free Townley Haas (Texas) Fynn Minuth (South Carolina) Felix Auboeck (Michigan) Felix Auboeck (Michigan) Townley Haas (Texas) Felix Auboeck (Michigan) Felix Auboeck (Michigan) Townley Haas (Texas) Auboeck
200 IM Mark Szaranek (Florida) Mark Szaranek (Florida) Andreas Vazaios (NC State) Mark Szaranek (Florida) Mark Szaranek (Florida) Mark Szaranek (Florida) Jan Switkowski (Florida) Mark Szaranek (Florida) Szaranek
50 Free Caeleb
Dressel (Florida)
Caeleb
Dressel (Florida)
Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb
Dressel (Florida)
Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Dressel
400 Medley Relay Texas Texas USC Cal Cal Cal Cal Cal Cal
400 IM Andrew Seliskar (Cal) Abrahm DeVine (Stanford) Andrew Seliskar (Cal) Abrahm DeVine (Stanford) Abrahm DeVine (Stanford) Abrahm DeVine (Stanford) Andrew Seliskar (Cal) Andrew Seliskar (Cal) Seliskar/
DeVine
100 Fly Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Joseph Schooling (Texas) Dressel
200 Free Townley Haas (Texas) Blake Pieroni (Indiana) Townley Haas (Texas) Townley Haas (Texas) Townley Haas
(Texas)
Townley Haas
(Texas)
Dean Farris (Harvard) Townley Haas (Texas) Haas
100 Breast Ian Finnerty (Indiana) Connor
Hoppe
(Cal)
Jacob Montague (Michigan) Connor Hoppe (Cal) Carsten Vissering (USC) Connor Hoppe (Cal) Connor Hoppe
(Cal)
Carsten Vissering (USC) Hoppe
100 Back John Shebat (Texas) John Shebat (Texas) John Shebat (Texas) Justin Ress (NC State) John Shebat (Texas) John Shebat (Texas) John
Shebat
(Texas)
John Shebat (Texas) Shebat
200 Medley Relay Cal NC State NC State Cal Cal Cal Cal Cal Cal
1650 Free Felix
Auboeck (Michigan)
Akaram
Mahmoud (South Carolina)
Felix
Auboeck (Michigan)
Felix
Auboeck (Michigan)
Akaram
Mahmoud (South Carolina)
Felix
Auboeck (Michigan)
Akaram
Mahmoud (South Carolina)
Felix
Auobeck (Michigan)
Auboeck
200 Back Patrick Mulcare (USC) John Shebat (Texas) John Shebat (Texas) John Shebat (Texas) Patrick Mulcare (USC) John Shebat (Texas) John
Shebat (Texas)
John Shebat (Texas) Shebat
100 Free Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Caeleb Dressel (Florida) Dressel
200 Breast Carlos Claverie (Louisville) Mauro Castillo Luna (Texas A&M) Mauro Castillo Luna (Texas A&M) Jonathan Tybur (Texas A&M) Carlos Claverie (Louisville) Carlos Claverie (Louisville) Conner McHugh (Minnesota) Andrew Seliskar (Cal) Claverie
200 Fly Zheng Quah (Cal) Zheng Quah (Cal) Zheng Quah (Cal) Joseph Schooling (Texas) Zheng Quah (Cal) Joseph Schooling (Texas) Zheng
Quah (Cal)
Joseph Schooling (Texas) Quah
400 Free Relay Cal Florida NC State NC State Florida NC State NC State Texas NC State

 

If our collective crystal ball is correct, here will be some of the highlights of the 2018 Men’s NCAA championships:

  • Florida’s Caeleb Dressel will complete his four-year sweep of the 50 free, and he’ll earn wins in the 100 free and the 100 fly once again.  Dressel’s wins in the 50 and 100 free were our only unanimous picks.
  • John Shebat of Texas and Felix Auboeck of Michigan will be our other multiple-event winners, with Shebat sweeping the backstrokes and Auboeck the distance events.
  • Another Gator, Mark Szaranek will win the 200 IM outright after tying with Will Licon last year.
  • The 400 IM is a bit murkier; Gunnar Bentz of Georiga and Abrahm DeVine of Stanford were tied among our picks until Bentz broke his collarbone last week.  While he may recover and swim at NCAAs, we decided to err on the side of caution: two of the Bentz votes went to Seliskar and one went to DeVine, meaning those two swimmers are now tied.
  • With Licon gone from the breaststroke events as well, both of those races look wide open, with Connor Hoppe (Cal) and Carlos Claverie (Louisville) earning the most votes among our writers.
  • Texas’s Townley Haas will win his third-straight title in the 200 free, remaining undefeated in the event in which he is the fastest man ever.
  • Joseph Schooling‘s quest to reclaim his 200 fly title will prove unsuccessful, as five of our eight writers think Cal’s Zheng Quah will take that race after an impressive showing in limited college swimming last season.
  • The five relay titles will be split between NC State and Cal, as the Longhorns’ lack of a top-notch breaststroker dooms their medley relay chances, and Cal reclaims the 200 free relay title behind the likes of freshman Ryan Hoffer.

Now, again, the above descriptions are only best guesses as the season gets going.  Surely some swimmers will emerge, others may take some steps back, and other picks in March are going to look a lot different than they do now.  In the meantime, leave a comment and let us know what you think is going to happen.

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70 Comments on "First Annual SwimSwam NCAA Division I Men’s Preseason Picks"

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Mr I like visuals

I don’t see no pix? Where are the pix?

Bobthebuilderrocks

Looks like the Longhorns arent the favorites going in… We’ll see what happens in March 😉 get ready for that four peat everyone

Bobthebuilderrocks – they’re certainly our pick to win the meet. In spite of popular rhetoric, it doesn’t necessarily take a ton of event wins to win the whole meet. Texas has probably 19 guys who can score at NCAAs.

https://swimswam.com/2017-2018-mens-ncaa-power-rankings-first-edition/

Sean Justice

you can win NCAAs without an individual win. I think that Texas and Florida did it.

Reminds me of last year when we had people at NCAAs talking about how ‘everybody’ was doubting Texas during the regular season. Having moderated these boards on a daily basis, I can’t remember a single person suggesting Texas wasn’t the heavy favorite to win NCAAs. This year seems no different. I’d be pretty surprised if they ever slip from #1 in our Power Rankings, but I’d also be pretty surprised if we didn’t hear at least one person talk about how ‘everyone is sleeping on Texas.’

It’s sort of the classic Bill Simmons ‘Nobody Believes In Us” conundrum.

Texas certainly seems dominant again, as a team.

It’s interesting that the coaches voting in the cscaa pole ranked Cal’s men’s team number 1 all last season, and ranked them number 1 again this year in the preseason pole.

http://www.cscaa.org/top25/

Have Texas and Cal competed head to head in a duel meet recently?

I doubt Quah Zheng Wen will win 200 fly. Schooling definitely has the chance to win 100 fly.

JP input is too short

It would be fun to see Justin Wright pull a back half past everybody to win, but I just don’t think he has enough speed.

or vazaios

I’m holding out hopes for Wright as well…he’s shown more speed every year, and all his fastest 200 Fly’s came this past season/year. He’s a 200 fly specialist, so he can put all his training and concentration into the event. Not to mention his 100 is improving – while not “world class” he is still a quick sprinter.

Long shot, but best of luck to him!

Caeleb Dressel WILL get 7 golds in Tokyo

Schooling has a chance but almost everyone predicted Dressel because he is by far the favorite.

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