Indoor NCAA Champs Florida, Oregon Start Outdoor Season as Top-Ranked Squads

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

March 22, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – The men of Florida and the women of Oregon will begin the 2012 outdoor track & field season as the top team in the country according to the National Team Computer Rankings posted by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Both squads are coming off the indoor season where they claimed respective NCAA Championships for the third-straight year.

Florida is the preseason men’s outdoor favorite for the third-straight year while Oregon is the outdoor preseason favorite for the first time in the five years in which preseason computer rankings have been used. The women’s preseason No. 1 has went on to win the last four national titles.

National Ranking PDFs: Top 25 | Full by Team | Event-by-Event | Week-by-Week
Regional Index: (returns April 3)
Previous Rankings

Texas A&M is the three-time defending championship team on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Aggies open at No. 6 and No. 7 in the men’s and women’s rankings, respectively.

Preseason national team rankings are calculated using data from previous seasons as a base of evaluation. Marks gained in the early part of this season will supersede previous-year marks if they are superior.

Florida’s men finished third at the 2011 outdoor championships with 53 points, just two behind Texas A&M (55) and one behind runner-up and Florida State (54). The Gators lost jumping extraordinaire Christian Taylor and Will Claye to the professional ranks, but return several national scorers including quartermiler Tony McQuay, sprinter Jeff Demps, decathlete Gray Horn, and national indoor triple jump champ Omar Craddock.

For No. 2 Florida State, the Seminoles lost 2011 winner of The Bowerman Ngoni Makusha to the pros, but keep Maurice Mitchell for the 2012 campaign. Mitchell won the 200 meters at last year’s outdoor championship and was third in the 100.

On the women’s side, Oregon placed second at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championship with 45 points, just four behind Texas A&M’s 49.

The Ducks return three-time indoor pentathlon champion Brianne Theisen for her senior campaign and will also lean heavily on distance standouts Jordan Hasay, Anne Kesselring, and Becky Friday – among others. Oregon also has been effective in the sprints as English Gardner won the indoor 60-meter crown.

LSU is ranked second in the women’s rankings and third on the men’s side to start the season. The Tiger women will have several in the mix in the sprints, hurdles, and relays.

Among conferences, the SEC leads all leagues with 1287.71 ranking points and seven teams in the nation’s top 25 to start the season. The Big 12 is currently the top women’s conference with 1261.75 ranking points and also seven teams in the top 25.

The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa, and hosted by Drake University. Preliminary rounds will be conducted May 24-26 in Austin, Texas (West site) and Jacksonville, Fla. (East site).

Outdoor Preseason Rankings in Past Years:

MEN Preseason No. 1 NCAA Finish NCAA Champ Preseason Rank
2008 Florida State 1st Florida State 1st
2009 Texas A&M 1st Texas A&M 1st
2010 Florida 2nd Texas A&M 2nd
2011 Florida 3rd Texas A&M 2nd
2012 Florida ??? ??? ???
WOMEN Preseason No. 1 NCAA Finish NCAA Champ Preseason Rank
2008 LSU 1st LSU 1st
2009 Texas A&M 1st Texas A&M 1st
2010 Texas A&M 1st Texas A&M 1st
2011 Texas A&M 1st Texas A&M 1st
2012 Oregon ??? ??? ???

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)

2012 Preseason — March 22

next ranking: April 3
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2011 FINAL
1 Florida 273.50 SEC Mike Holloway (10th) 3
2 Florida State 261.88 ACC Bob Braman (9th) 2
3 LSU 232.63 SEC Dennis Shaver (8th) 4
4 Texas Tech 225.30 Big 12 Wes Kittley (13th) 9
5 Arkansas 222.28 SEC Chris Bucknam (4th) 10
6 Texas A&M 204.01 Big 12 Pat Henry (8th) 1
7 Texas 183.06 Big 12 Bubba Thornton (17th) 12
8 Indiana 162.12 Big Ten Ron Helmer (5th) 20
9 Georgia 157.89 SEC Wayne Norton (13th) 54
10 Virginia Tech 157.60 ACC Dave Cianelli (11th) 5
11 Arizona 156.80 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (10th) 7
12 Baylor 143.09 Big 12 Todd Harbour (7th) 32
13 Southern California 138.04 Pac-12 Ron Allice (18th) 12
14 Mississippi State 136.67 SEC Steve Dudley (2nd) 20
15 Nebraska 135.59 Big Ten Gary Pepin (29th) 38
16 Oregon 134.63 Pac-12 Vin Lananna (7th) 10
17 Stanford 124.11 Pac-12 Edrick Floreal (7th) 6
18 Iowa 119.62 Big Ten Larry Wieczorek (16th) 46
19 Wisconsin 107.79 Big Ten Ed Nuttycombe (28th) NR
20 Arizona State 107.50 Pac-12 Greg Kraft (16th) 25
21 Mississippi 98.75 SEC Joe Walker (28th) 19
22 Princeton 97.99 Ivy Fred Samara (35th) 32
23 Oklahoma 93.90 Big 12 Martin Smith (7th) 20
24 Auburn 92.77 SEC Ralph Spry (15th) NR
25 Ohio State 83.22 Big Ten Robert Gary (6th) NR

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 1287.71 7
2 Big 12 1085.74 5
3 Pac-12 884.33 5
4 Big Ten 883.64 5
5 ACC 648.29 2
6 Big East 173.12
7 Southland 160.96
8 Mountain West 157.23
9 Ivy 141.19 1
10 MEAC 127.85

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)

2012 Preseason — March 22

next ranking: April 3
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2011 FINAL
1 Oregon 354.70 Pac-12 Vin Lananna (7th) 2
2 LSU 291.71 SEC Dennis Shaver (8th) 3
3 Southern California 279.91 Pac-12 Ron Allice (18th) 6
4 Clemson 264.83 ACC Lawrence Johnson (4th) 7
5 Arkansas 221.81 SEC Lance Harter (22nd) 14
6 Oklahoma 201.41 Big 12 Martin Smith (7th) 4
7 Texas A&M 197.31 Big 12 Pat Henry (8th) 1
8 Texas 186.89 Big 12 Bev Kearney (20th) 8
9 Texas Tech 167.80 Big 12 Wes Kittley (13th) 54
10 Kansas 159.21 Big 12 Stanley Redwine (12th) 23
11 Florida 155.72 SEC Mike Holloway (5th) 34
12 UCF 134.46 Conference USA Caryl Smith Gilbert (5th) 17
13 Baylor 131.66 Big 12 Todd Harbour (7th) 38
14 Tennessee 127.20 SEC J.J. Clark (11th) 11
15 Auburn 117.66 SEC Ralph Spry (15th) 14
16 Georgia 115.82 SEC Wayne Norton (13th) 40
17 Arizona State 115.50 Pac-12 Greg Kraft (16th) 19
18 Arizona 111.74 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (10th) 5
19 Kansas State 110.72 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (20th) 13
20 Nebraska 100.74 Big Ten Gary Pepin (32nd) 32
21 Stanford 99.72 Pac-12 Edrick Floreal (7th) 8
22 Southern Miss 83.57 Conference USA Kevin Stephen (5th) 10
23 UTEP 80.32 Conference USA Mika Laaksonen (3rd) NR
24 West Virginia 78.38 Big East Sean Cleary (5th) 20
25 Florida State 78.09 ACC Bob Braman (9th) 20

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 Big 12 1261.75 7
2 Pac-12 1227.12 5
3 SEC 1168.77 6
4 ACC 574.64 2
5 Big Ten 501.43 1
6 Conference USA 442.62 3
7 Big East 390.08 1
8 Mountain West 226.15
9 Missouri Valley 151.18
10 WAC 105.30

 

 

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.