How Did We Do? Reviewing SwimSwam’s Final Women’s NCAA Power Rankings

The 2024 Women’s NCAA Championships are in the rearview mirror after a tour-de-force performance from Gretchen Walsh led the Virginia Cavaliers to a fourth consecutive team title.

Walsh’s dominance and UVA winning the championship was no shocker, and there really wasn’t anything too surprising in terms of the team standings, with things playing out roughly how SwimSwam predicted—for the most part.

2023-24 NCAA Women’s Power Rankings

Below, find the top 25 teams from the championships alongside our final edition of the Power Rankings, as we take a look at what we got right, what we got wrong, and what we got really wrong.

WOMEN’S NCAA RESULTS VERSUS SWIMSWAM PICKS

FINISH TEAM FINAL POWER RANKING DIFFERENCE
1 Virginia Cavaliers 1
2 Texas Longhorns 2
3 Florida Gators 3
4 Tennessee Volunteers 4
5 Stanford Cardinal 5
6 Louisville Cardinals 7 ↑1
7 Indiana Hoosiers 9 ↑2
8 USC Trojans 6 ↓2
T-9 Ohio State Buckeyes 10 ↑1
T-9 NC State Wolfpack 11 ↑2
11 Cal Golden Bears 8 ↓3
12 Michigan Wolverines 13 ↑1
13 Georgia Bulldogs 12 ↓1
14 Texas A&M Aggies 16 ↑2
15 Wisconsin Badgers 14 ↓1
16 Duke Blue Devils 18 ↑2
17 UNC Tar Heels 15 ↓2
18 Purdue Boilermakers 24 ↑6
19 Auburn Tigers 19
20 Minnesota Golden Gophers 21 ↑1
21 LSU Tigers 22 ↑1
22 UCLA Bruins 25 ↑3
23 Alabama Crimson Tide 20 ↓3
24 Arizona State Sun Devils 17 ↓7
25 Utah Utes NR +

WHAT WE GOT RIGHT

  • The top five was dead on. It wasn’t unanimous in our individual ballots, but the overall sentiment that it would be UVA-Texas-Florida-Tennessee-Stanford was correct.
  • Auburn was correctly ranked 19th, and despite teams above them shifting spots, Purdue was the only team we ranked below the Tigers who ended up beating them. ASU was the team ranked above Auburn that finished below.

WHAT WE GOT WRONG – TOP 10

  • Indiana didn’t get nearly as many diving points as projected but still outperformed our prediction by two spots, placing 7th as Anna Peplowski had a standout meet and the Hoosiers had three relays score top-eight points.
  • Predicted 10th and 11th, Ohio State and NC State tied for 9th with 162 points, nine clear of Cal, which underperformed the most among the teams we picked to finish in the top 10.
  • The Golden Bears ended up 11th after being ranked 8th. The DQed 200 free relay didn’t help, costing them two spots in the team standings. The 14 points they would’ve earned based on their initial time (not factoring in the early takeoff resulting in the DQ) would’ve pushed them from 153 to 167 points, leapfrogging OSU and NC State into 9th.
  • USC was picked 6th and ended up placing 8th—though they were just 12 points back of 6th-place Louisville, with Indiana sandwiched between the two.
  • Louisville moved up one spot from the predictions into 6th, buoyed by a pair of top-three finishes in the 200 and 400 free relays.

OTHER SURPRISES

  • The biggest mover up the standings was Purdue, going from 24th in our power rankings to 18th in the final standings. We knew the Boilermakers would have elite diving, but we didn’t know it would be this good—Sophia McAfee was an ‘A’ finalist in two events for 26 points, while Daryn Wright scored 18 and Maycey Vieta put up 13. The trio combined for 38 points on platform, which saw them jump from 23rd to 18th in the last individual event on the schedule.
  • The biggest dropper was Arizona State, which we picked 17th and they placed 24th. The Sun Devils were seeded to have 49 individual swimming points, and only ended up with 13. Lindsay Looney was their lone scorer, though she was seeded to score more than double (29) her final tally. Deniz Ertan was also a highly-seeded swimmer in the 1650 that ended up outside the points.
  • Duke and Texas A&M both moved up two spots. The Blue Devils had two top-10 relays, Kaelyn Gridley scored 15 points, and their divers contributed 18. The Aggies saw freshman Miranda Grana perform with 24 points, and diver Joslyn Oakley matched that as those two alone combined for nearly half of their total.
  • UCLA was underrated at 25th in the power rankings, as the Bruins had five scorers—two swimmers and three divers—to place 22nd.
  • Alabama fell three spots, hurt by the DQed 400 medley relay that would’ve moved them past UCLA into 22nd.
  • Despite two titles from Aranza Vazquez, UNC still dropped two spots after only two of their relays scored.

MOVING UP & MOVING OUT

  • The lone team ranked inside our top 25 that missed out was Virginia Tech, who was picked 23rd and ended up 26th. They had two 17th-place relays, which stings.
  • The team that went unranked and moved into the top 25 was Utah, which had diving performances from Holly Waxman and Emilia Nilsson Garip to sneak them past the Hokies for 25th.  It only took 22 points to place 25th this year, which is the lowest since Columbia placed 25th in 2012 with 21 points.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS

1. Virginia 527.5
2. Texas 441
3. Florida 364
4. Tennessee 277
5. Stanford 250
6. Louisville 212
7. Indiana 206
8. Southern California 200
9. Ohio St 162
9. NC State 162
11. California 153
12. Michigan 147.5
13. Georgia 116
14. Texas A&M 104
15. Wisconsin 95
16. Duke 80
17. UNC 77
18. Purdue 57
19. Auburn 54
20. Minnesota 47
21. LSU 44
22. UCLA 36
23. Alabama 25
24. Arizona St 23
25. Utah 22
26. Virginia Tech 18
27. Northwestern 17
28. SIU 16
29. Penn 15
30. Nebraska 11
31. South Carolina 9
32. Notre Dame 6
32. Kansas 6
32. Miami (Ohio) 6
32. Rutgers 6
36. Akron 5
36. Arkansas 5
38. Florida St 4
38. Cincinnati 4
40. Houston 3
40. Washington St. 3
40. Miami (Fl) 3

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Sherry Smit
2 months ago

Florida’s mile group didn’t perform as well as I expected. I thought for sure Pennington would dip back into 15:40’s, and I expected Auld to also drop some time. Weyant was the lone scorer in the 1650.

Maze&Blue
2 months ago

The Michigan ladies had a great year! They were 23rd and only scored 33 points in 2023. In one season, they jumped to 12th and scored just a couple points shy of 150!! Just wow!! Happy for these women and excited for their future!

Yannick Angel Martino Moravcova
2 months ago

YAMM’s Mythical 2024 Coed NCAA Championships:
.
** Top 10 programs using combined scores from both meets:
(1) FL 742, (2) Tex 630, (3) UVA 608, (4) Cal 597.5, (5) Indy 582, (6) AZ St 546.5, (7) Tenn 508, (8) NC St 480, (9) Stan 427, (10) Lou 296
.
** Top 10 programs using a weighted score treating each team race like an individual event (20 pts for first, 17 for second, etc.):
(1) FL 32, (2) Tex 29, (3) Tenn 28, (4) Indy 27, (5) Stan 25, (6) Cal 23, (7) NC St 22, (8t) AZ St 20, (8t) UVA 20, (10) Lou 15
.
Interesting observations:
… Read more »

Shogun
2 months ago

Did the University of Arizona score zero points?

Foreign Embassy
Reply to  Shogun
2 months ago

Correct. They sent one diver and one swimmer. No relays. Neither scored.

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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