Will there be an NCAA Championships this year? If so, how different will it look? Will bored SwimSwam writers find other ways to occupy the late nights besides poring over swim results and creating spreadsheets? No one knows for sure, but as the poets say, hope springs eternal.
For the moment, we’re in between two weekends that constitute the fullest slate of college swimming meets in what feels like a very very long time. So let’s live in the moment, celebrate the fast swimming we’ve seen, and take at what our newly-updated Swimulator projections show here in mid-January.
Before we show you the results, a few reminders and caveats:
- The Swimulator pulls in data from USA Swimming’s NCAA results database. So, if meet results aren’t updated there, they won’t be included in the Swimulator rankings, either. It looks like a few of last weekend’s Big Ten meets haven’t made it in yet, for example.
- You can tweak the settings to the Swimulator uses to determine rankings. For instance, in the rankings below, we’re using season top times, instead of average times.
- No, we don’t really expect the current Swimulator rankings to wholly accurately reflect what the NCAA Championships will look like. We’re well aware that most Pac-12 teams have had very limited, if any, competition so far this season, while the ACC and SEC have been racing more regularly.
- It’s worth noting that these rankings may be thrown off by two more notable cases. Namely, NC State’s Nyls Korstanje and Stanford’s Andrei Minakov are included in the database with converted times from competing in their home countries, and each is projected to score over 30 points. Both still appear on their current college team’s roster, but last we checked, neither is expected to compete collegiately this season.
- Finally, the projected scores only take into account swimming events, not diving, so keep that in mind when looking at teams who regularly score a good chunk of points in the diving events.
As of this moment, the Texas Longhorns lead the Swimulator rankings by a wide margin, with a projected total of 617, and that’s without taking diving into account. Texas has gotten to race a lot more than most teams, and fairly unusually, was also putting up some increasingly fast times early in the season, including Drew Kibler and Carson Foster putting up some of the fastest times ever, in the 500 free and the 400 IM, respectively, at the Texas First Chance Meet in October.
Meanwhile, the Longhorns’ chief rivals, the Cal Golden Bears, haven’t raced nearly as much, but they’ve also shown some early speed, including Reece Whitley‘s 1:48 in the 200 breast the Cal-Stanford dual meet in November.
Once again, these are not predictions about what actually will happen come March, but rather a quick snapshot to show how things look at the moment. Without further ado, here’s how those rankings look currently, along with a reminder of where we ranked each team in our first (and so far, only) round of power rankings early last month.
|Team||Points||December Power Rankings|