Florida Men, Texas A&M Women Begin 2011 Outdoor Season as Number Ones

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 23, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – The bees are buzzing, the brackets are busting, and for the nation’s collegiate track & field teams, it is time to move it outdoors. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced computer-generated preseason national team rankings for the NCAA Division I 2011 outdoor track & field season on Wednesday. Heading the charts to start the season is the men of Florida and women of Texas A&M. The Gators are fresh off their second-straight national indoor title, while the Aggies, like their male teammates, will look to take third-straight national outdoor crowns.

The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will begin May 26-28 with preliminary rounds in Eugene, Ore. (west site) and Bloomington, Ind. (east site). Those who qualify will compete for national crowns at the finals site, June 8-11 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

PDFs: Top 25 | Full by Team | Event-by-Event
Previous Rankings | Rankings Guidelines & Rationale

2010 NCAA Scoring Breakdown

Men’s Rankings

For the second-straight year, the national men’s preseason rankings have the Gators at No. 1 and Texas A&M at No. 2.

Florida (410.01) comes into the outdoor season as national indoor champs for the second-straight time and carries that same impressive resume, with some added components, to the outdoor season. Among the bevy of potential scorers are national defending 100-meter champion Jeff Demps, jumpers Christian Taylor, Will Claye and Omar Craddock, sprinters Terrell Wilks and Tony McQuay, mid-distancer Dumisani Hlaselo, hurdler William Wynne, javelin thrower Adam Montague, and decathlete Gray Horn.

No. 2 Texas A&M (306.30) has won the national outdoor team title the last two years, doing so in 2010 by one point, 54-55, over the aforementioned Gators. Although top-scorer Curtis Mitchell will not return for his junior season, the Aggies will still have plenty of power in the sprints and jumps to take notice. Among the returners are short-sprinter Gerald Phiri, quartermilers Demetrius Pinder and Tabarie Henry, and the jumping trio of Julian Reid, Melvin Echard, and Tyron Stewart. In addition, A&M returns junior javelin thrower Sam Humphreys.

Texas Tech (266.31) was placed in the No. 3 spot to begin the season, coming off a 12th-place finish at last year’s outdoor national championships. The Red Raiders have top returners in Gil Roberts (400 meters), Omo Osaghae (110 hurdles), Bryce Brown (400 hurdles), Bryce Lamb (long and triple jumps), and Julian Wruck (discus). Florida State (218.53), at No. 4 has sprinters Maurice Mitchell, Brandon Byram, Charles Clark along with long jumper Ngoni Makusha among returners.

Among all conferences, the SEC has nine teams in the national top 25, including Florida, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Mississippi State, No. 13 Mississippi, No. 14 Arkansas, No. 18 Auburn, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 22 Alabama, and No. 23 Georgia.  The Big 12 stands second with the Pac-10 with six teams apiece in the beginning top 25. Add up all the team-ranking scores and the SEC and Big 12 have the best among the leagues with 1464.24 and 1387.32, respectively.

Women’s Rankings

Again, history has somewhat repeated itself as, for the second-straight year, the top three women’s preseason outdoor teams are No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 2 Oregon, and No. 3 LSU. Texas A&M’s women, like the school’s men, are back-to-back national outdoor champions.

The Aggies lost 20½ national-championship points to graduation as Porscha Lucas will not be in a Texas A&M uniform this year. Lucas was the national champ at 200 meters, runner-up at 100 meters, and was the second-leg of the Aggies’ 4×100 NCAA-champ squad. But, Texas A&M returns quartermiler Jessica Beard, hurdlers Gabby Mayo and Natasha Ruddock, sprinters Jeneba Tarmoh and Dominque Duncan, among others.

No. 2 Oregon was the national indoor team champs for the second-straight time in winning the crown two weeks ago. Oregon returns Brianne Theisen who has won two-straight NCAA heptathlon titles, Jordan Hasay who scored an indoor mile-3k national championship double a few days ago, distance strength in Anne Kesselring and Alex Kosenski, pole vaulter Melissa Gergel, and jumper Jamesha Youngblood.

LSU at No. 3 brings back Takeia Pinckney who was fourth in the NCAA outdoor meet a year ago in the 100 meters as a freshman, plus will have more sprint-scoring possibilities with Kenyanna Wilson, Semoy Hackett, and Kimberlyn Duncan. In addition, LSU returns half-miler Brittany Hall, hurdler Cassandra Tate, high jumper Brittani Carter, pole vaulter Rachel Laurent, and jumper Melissa Ogbourne.

At No. 4, Oklahoma returns 24 national-championship points from last outdoor season that came from then freshman and sophomore Karen Shump and Brittany Borman in the throws.

Seven members of the Big 12 are in the women’s top 25 to lead all leagues, followed by the Pac-10 with six and SEC with four. In addition, the Big 12 leads the conference index with 1429.66 points, followed by the Pac-10 at 1180.78 and the SEC 992.39.

USTFCCCA

NCAA Division I

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings

2011 Preseason – March 23

next ranking: April 5, Week 1
Rank School Points 2010 FINAL
1 Florida 410.01 2
2 Texas A&M 306.30 1
3 Texas Tech 266.31 12
4 Florida State 218.53 8
5 LSU 193.41 6
6 Southern California 177.87 5
7 Stanford 170.32 8
8 Mississippi State 164.97 17
9 Nebraska 152.21 16
10 Minnesota 141.11
11 BYU 140.11 69
12 Oregon 129.10 3
13 Mississippi 122.56 45
14 Arkansas 122.04
15 Oklahoma 116.81 27
16 Virginia Tech 116.06 10
17 Texas 110.85 17
18 Auburn 102.00 37
19 Kansas State 101.64 37
20 South Carolina 100.21 11
21 Washington 94.08 15
22 Alabama 93.66 23
23 Georgia 91.41 40
24 UCLA 88.18 52
25 California 84.25 21
Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 1464.24 9
2 Big 12 1387.32 6
3 Pac-10 906.04 6
4 ACC 547.29 2
5 Big Ten 489.12 1
6 Mountain West 303.55 1
7 BIG EAST 241.38
8 Southland 191.04
9 Conference USA 128.13
10 Big South 122.42

USTFCCCA

NCAA Division I

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings

2011 Preseason – March 23

next ranking: April 5, Week 1
Rank School Points 2010 FINAL
1 Texas A&M 371.66 1
2 Oregon 310.44 2
3 LSU 309.27 6
4 Oklahoma 221.91 9
5 Southern California 214.43
6 Clemson 201.43 18
7 Texas 185.28 51
8 Florida State 168.54 20
9 Arkansas 149.86 15
10 Auburn 149.04 12
11 Arizona 141.63 13
12 Texas Tech 136.95 36
13 Stanford 131.37 14
14 Kansas 113.89 51
15 Tennessee 110.99 26
16 Arizona State 110.14 46
17 BYU 107.79 36
18 Miami (Fla.) 104.12 11
19 Penn State 100.67 4
20 SMU 100.43 51
21 Colorado 98.01 24
22 Washington State 93.11 41
23 Indiana 92.20 16
24 Baylor 87.84 20
25 Southern Illinois 87.67 9
Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference
Points
Top 25 Teams
1 Big 12
1429.66
7
2 Pac-10
1180.78
6
3 SEC
992.39
4
4 ACC
787.75
3
5 Big Ten
433.29
2
6 Conference USA
306.28
1
7 Mountain West
306.03
1
8 BIG EAST
305.24
9 Missouri Valley
153.58
1
10 Big West
132.95

 

 

About the Rankings
For more on the rankings and links to guideline and rationale information visit …
http://www.ustfccca.org/rankings/division-i-rankings

The purpose and methodology of the national team computer rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national-title race – not as a method to compare teams head-to-head.

The Regional Index is determined using a similar method as national rankings, but on a smaller scale, comparing teams versus others within the same region. The result is a ranking that showcases squads with better all-around team potential — a group makeup critical for conference or similar team-scored events. A team may achieve a better regional ranking than a counterpart that has a better national ranking. Historically, some teams are better national-championship teams than conference-championship teams, having a few elite athletes that score very well in a diverse environment where teams do not have entries in more than a few events. Some teams are better at conference championships or similar team-scored events where they enter, and are competitive, in many of the events.

How a team fares in a national championship, conference championship, or scored meet with only a couple or few teams (like a dual or triangular) can be very different, given the number of events, competition, scoring, and makeup of entries — thus the rationale behind each of the ranking systems. Similar arguments about team makeup and rankings can also be found in swimming & diving and wrestling as their sports also have a similar trichotomy when it comes to team theory.