Arkansas Men, Clemson Women Headline the 2013 DI Preseason Projections

Courtesy: Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

January 8, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – Both the Florida men’s and the Oregon women’s indoor track and field teams enter the 2013 season having won three consecutive NCAA Division I Championships, but neither enters as the top-ranked team in the nation. According to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) preseason computer projections, which are based largely on the top returners from each school and early performances from this season, the Arkansas men and Clemson women are projected to usurp the long-reigning Gators and Ducks, who start at number two and three in their respective rankings.

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Arkansas is the preseason favorite for the first time since the USTFCCCA preseason projections began in 2008. The Razorbacks are heavy favorites, holding a 219.90-119.52 advantage over Florida. Three of the five men’s teams that have been tapped as the preseason number one went on to win the national championship later that season.

The Tigers’ presence atop the women’s projection with 150.90 points halts Oregon’s historic run of dominance, snapping the Ducks’ 20-poll streak as the top team in the nation. Oregon’s streak is the longest span in the history of the USTFCCCA rankings. Kansas enters the season second with 147.20 points and Oregon is third with 146.75.

The Razorbacks start ahead of the Gators after Florida and Arkansas finished first and second, respectively, at the 2012 Indoor Championships by a score of 52-47. The finish was the slimmest margin of victory since the 2008 championships – hosted by Arkansas – when Arizona State edged Florida State, 44-41.

Arkansas holds a clear advantage in terms of returning scorers from the 2012 championships, however, with all of their points returning, including 2012 NCAA indoor pole vault champion sophomore Andrew Irwin and second-ranked at 200m Akheem Gauntlett, and just one spot on its national championship 4x400m relay team to replace.

The Gators return just 19 of their 52 points from a year ago, including triple jump champ Omar Craddock. National 400 meters champion, Olympic 4x400m relay Silver Medalist and 2012 Bowerman finalist Tony McQuay, as well as 60 meters champion Jeff Demps, will not return for Florida for their senior seasons. Florida will seek to become just the second program to win at least four indoor titles in a row, and would join Arkansas which has two such streaks (1984-1995 and 1997-2000).

On the women’s side, both Clemson and the Kansas Jayhawks return all of their scorers from the 2012 Indoor Championships. The Tigers finished tied for fifth with 24 points in 2012, but will field the top two returning hurdlers in the nation in senior Brianna Rollins and junior Bridgette Owens. Senior Marlena Wesh is the second-ranked returner in the 400 meters.

The Jayhawks return defending NCAA DI champions Diamond Dixon in the 400 and Andrea Geubelle in the triple jump. Geubelle is also ranked fourth among all returners in the long jump.

Oregon, which topped Kansas 49-30 at the 2012 championships, will seek to become just the second women’s program in NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field history to win at least four consecutive national championships. Only LSU has accomplished the feat, taking five straight crowns from 1993-97.

Among the key returners for Oregon are 2012 60 meters dash champion sophomore English Gardner, mid-distance senior Anne Kesserling and senior distance runner Jordan Hasay, all of whom finished in the top-ten in multiple events at the 2012 indoor championships. Most notably absent will be three-time NCAA pentathlon champion and Bowerman finalist Brianne Thiesen, the only non-returning scorer.

The SEC placed the largest number of teams in both the men’s and women’s preseason projections, with seven and six, respectively. Five teams from the Pac-12 appear in each of the two rankings.

The first regular rankings will be released January 22. The 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 8-9.

Here’s a look at how the top-ranked preseason indoor teams have fared at the NCAA Championships:

MEN

Preseason No. 1

NCAA Finish

NCAA Champ

Preseason Rank

2008

Florida State

2nd

Arizona State

19th

2009

Oregon

1st

Oregon

1st

2010

Florida State

12th

Florida

2nd

2011

Florida

1st

Florida

1st

2012

Florida

1st

Florida

1st

2013

Arkansas

???

???

???

 

WOMEN

Preseason No. 1

NCAA Finish

NCAA Champ

Preseason Rank

2008

LSU

2nd

Arizona State

2nd

2009

Texas A&M

2nd

Tennessee

2nd

2010

Texas A&M

5th

Oregon

2nd

2011

Oregon

1st

Oregon

1st

2012

Oregon

1st

Oregon

1st

2013

Clemson

???

???

???

 

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2013 Preseason — January 8

next ranking: January 22
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2012 FINAL
1 Arkansas 219.90 SEC Chris Bucknam (5th) 2
2 Florida 119.52 SEC Mike Holloway (11th) 1
3 Texas 103.66 Big 12 Bubba Thornton (18th) 7
4 Texas A&M 98.35 SEC Pat Henry (9th) 8
5 Oregon 93.44 Pac-12 Robert Johnson (1st) 35
6 Arizona State 92.26 Pac-12 Greg Kraft (17th) 4
7 Indiana 77.93 Big Ten Ron Helmer (6th) 6
8 Minnesota 76.67 Big Ten Steve Plasencia (5th) 18
9 Arizona 75.41 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (11th) 3
10 LSU 72.65 SEC Dennis Shaver (9th) 5
11 Auburn 70.55 SEC Ralph Spry (16th) 35
12 Wisconsin 64.11 Big Ten Ed Nuttycombe (29th) 26
13 BYU 55.68 West Coast Mark Robison (13th) 14
14 Virginia Tech 51.88 ACC Dave Cianelli (12th) 8
15 Stanford 48.52 Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (1st) 11
16 Florida State 48.50 ACC Bob Braman (10th) 8
17 NC State 47.42 ACC Rollie Geiger (29th) 45
18 Penn State 47.21 Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (7th) 26
19 UCLA 47.08 Pac-12 Mike Maynard (4th) 45
20 Mississippi State 46.30 SEC Steve Dudley (3rd) 22
21 Northern Arizona 42.49 Big Sky Eric Heins (6th) 35
22 Kansas State 41.76 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (21st) 44
23 Mississippi 41.07 SEC Brian O’Neal (1st) 56
24 Oklahoma 39.16 Big 12 Martin Smith (8th) 52
25 Pittsburgh 38.91 Big East Alonzo Webb (11th) 26

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 717.73 7
2 Pac-12 420.18 5
3 Big Ten 385.09 4
4 Big 12 262.62 3
5 ACC 201.38 3
6 Big East 89.11 1
7 Mountain West 86.91
8 WAC 64.48
9 West Coast 55.68 1
10 Conference USA 53.23

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2013 Preseason — January 8

next ranking: January 22
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2012 FINAL
1 Clemson 150.90 ACC Shawn Cobey (1st) 5
2 Kansas 147.20 Big 12 Stanley Redwine (13th) 2
3 Oregon 146.75 Pac-12 Robert Johnson (1st) 1
4 LSU 124.98 SEC Dennis Shaver (9th) 3
5 Florida 114.99 SEC Mike Holloway (6th) 9
6 Texas A&M 112.36 SEC Pat Henry (9th) 5
7 Arkansas 112.17 SEC Lance Harter (23rd) 5
8 Iowa State 76.31 Big 12 Corey Ihmels (6th) 10
9 California 70.74 Pac-12 Tony Sandoval (21st) 15
10 Washington 69.48 Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (11th) 23
11 UCF 69.26 Conference USA Caryl Smith Gilbert (6th) 8
12 Arizona 63.32 Pac-12 Fred Harvey (11th) 11
13 Stanford 56.24 Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (1st) 13
14 Texas 52.75 Big 12 Rose Brimmer (1st) 4
15 Baylor 47.54 Big 12 Todd Harbour (8th) 16
16 Wisconsin 46.44 Big Ten Jim Stintzi (9th) 21
17 Georgia 46.02 SEC Wayne Norton (14th) 28
18 Indiana State 44.58 Missouri Valley Angie Martin (3rd) 34
19 Michigan 44.17 Big Ten James Henry (28th) 61
20 San Diego State 38.39 Mountain West Shelia Burrell (4th) 48
21 Nebraska 36.45 Big Ten Gary Pepin (33rd) 55
22 Illinois 35.25 Big Ten Tonja Buford-Bailey (5th) 48
23 Michigan State 35.11 Big Ten Walt Drenth (7th) 23
24 Auburn 34.28 SEC Ralph Spry (16th) 48
25 Illinois State 32.50 Missouri Valley Elvis Forde (10th) 18

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 672.56 6
2 Pac-12 483.25 5
3 Big 12 442.34 4
4 ACC 247.71 1
5 Big Ten 236.33 5
6 Big East 143.10
7 Missouri Valley 107.35 2
8 Conference USA 103.21 1
9 Sun Belt 53.61
10 Ivy 48.47