Arkansas Men, Texas Women Headline Preseason DI Indoor Team Rankings

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

January 13, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – Defending indoor men’s NCAA Champion Arkansas and the Texas women are the top-ranked teams in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Monday.

NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings Top 5: Men

1)North Central 2)St. Olaf 3)Washington (Mo.) 4)Middlebury 5)Williams
Arkansas
230.90pts
’13: 1st
Florida
177.79pts
’13: 2nd
Oregon
165.33pts
’13: 6th
Wisconsin
98.70pts
’13: 3rd
Texas A&M
97.85pts
’13: 4th
View Complete Men’s National Team Computer Rankings

Arkansas also started the 2013 season as the preseason computer favorites en route to snapping Florida’s streak of three consecutive NCAA Indoor team titles, and head coach Chris Bucknam’s squad will look to start a streak of its own in 2014.

Florida — champions from 2010 through 2012 — came in at No. 2, followed by Oregon at No. 3, Wisconsin at No. 4 and Texas A&M at No. 5.

NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings Top 5: Women

1)Johns Hopkins 2)Williams 3)Calvin 4)Middlebury 5)Wartburg
Texas
177.09pts
’13: 18th
Texas A&M
155.74pts
’13: 12th
Florida
146.62pts
’13: 13th
Oregon
126.09pts
’13: 1st
Georgia
96.86pts
’13: 10th
View Complete Women’s National Team Computer Rankings

Texas — led by new head coach Mario Sategna and boosted by several high-profile transfers including two-time defending outdoor 400 meters national champion Ashley Spencer — begins 2014 atop the rankings after finishing 18th at indoor NCAAs a year ago.

Four-time defending NCAA Indoor champion Oregon begins the season at No. 4. The Ducks registered No. 3 in the 2013 preseason edition of the rankings before ultimately stretching their current run of titles to four in a row.

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The Longhorns’ in-state rival Texas A&M checked in at No. 2, followed by Florida at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 and Georgia at No. 5.

A changing-of-the-guard of sorts may be foreshadowed by these rankings, as outside of Oregon, only 10th-place Georgia registered top-10 finishes at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year. Texas was 18th, Texas A&M was 12th and Florida was 13th.

The national team rankings will be complied by mathematical formulae based on national descending order lists and data taken from previous seasons. For the preseason ranking and early-season rankings, data will be taken from previous seasons as well as the current season.

The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points. A full description of the rankings can be found here.

The USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings should not be referred to as a “poll” as no voting occurs during the process.

Men’s Preseason Rankings

Active Men’s Indoor NCAA Champs

Curtis Beach, Duke
Heptathlon (2012)
Marquis Dendy, Florida
Long Jump (2013)
Andrew Irwin, Arkansas
Pole Vault (2012, 2013)
Lawi Lalang, Arizona
Mile (2013);
3000 Meters (2012, 2013);
5000 Meters (2012)
Kevin Lazas, Arkansas
Heptathlon (2013)
Eddie Lovett, Florida
60-Meter Hurdles (2013)
Nick Ross, Arizona
High Jump (2012)
Kendall Spencer, New Mexico
Long Jump (2012)

Led by a nation-best nine returning individual scorers from their 2013 NCAA Championships team, the Razorbacks are far and away the No. 1 team in the computer rankings. Arkansas accumulated 230.88 rankings points — more than 53 points ahead of No. 2 Florida.

Among those returners are two-time defending indoor pole vault champion Andrew Irwin — who appeared on the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman in the "also receiving votes" category — and defending heptathlon national champion Kevin Lazas.

Tomas Squella is also back as the nation’s top returning runner at 800 meters, with teammate Patrick Rono fourth in the same event. The long jump is similarly strong with Raymond Higgs and Jarrion Lawson second and third on the returners list, respectively.

Individual rankings include both the best marks of the 2013 indoor season and marks from the early part of the current 2014 season.

No. 2 Florida (second at 2013 NCAAs) registered a score of 177.79 rankings points behind seven total returning individual scorers from 2013, second-best in the nation.

A pair of The Bowerman Preseason Watch-Listers headline that group in defending long jump champion Marquis Dendy and Arman Hall, who blossomed during the 2013 outdoor season. Defending 60-meter hurdles champion Eddie Lovett also returns for the Gators.

Dendy is the top national returner in both the long jump and triple jump, while Hall gives the Gators three top-15 returners at 400 meters.

At No. 3 with 165.33 ranking points, Oregon (sixth at 2013 NCAAs) is without a top-ranked individual in any event but has a bevy of top-10 individuals in nearly every discipline on the track. Mike Berry (400 meters), Boru Guyota (800 meters), and Trevor Dunbar (5000 meters ) all checked in at No. 2 in their respective events, and the Ducks placed three returners among the top 10 in the mile, 3000 meters and 5000 meters. All that without taking into account 2013 cross country champion Edward Cheserek, who will be competing in his first collegiate track season.

No. 4 Wisconsin (third at 2013 NCAAs) draws its preseason strength from five returning scorers in the distance races and multi-events. Japheth Cato returns as the national runner-up in the heptathlon — one of just two men in collegiate history to score more than 6000 points twice in one season (Ashton Eaton, Oregon, 2010) –and Zach Ziemek is the fifth-best returner in the nation. Olympian Mo Ahmed (3000 and 5000 meters) and Austin Mudd (800 meters and the mile) are both top-10 returners, also.

With two returning scorers from the 2013 championships, Texas A&M rounds out the top five. Deon Lendore is the nation’s fastest returner at 400 meters, and Wayne Davis II was the national runner-up in the 60-meter hurdles. Both Lendore and Davis are members of the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman.

No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 9 Minnesota and No. 19 Oklahoma State round out the top 10.

The Big Ten notched four top-10 teams, to the SEC’s three, but with seven total in the top 25 the SEC has the advantage over the Big Ten and the MPSF with five each.

Women’s Preseason Rankings

Active Women’s Indoor NCAA Champs

Natalia Bartnovskaya, Kansas
Pole Vault (2013)
Erica Bougard, Miss. State
Heptathlon (2013)
Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth
3000 Meters (2013);
5000 Meters (2013)
Diamond Dixon, Kansas
400 Meters (2012)

With a nation-best five returning scorers from the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, the Longhorns start the season No. 1 with a rankings score of 177.09, just 22 points ahead of in-state rival Texas A&M at No. 2.

With the transfer of top-ranked 400 meters returner Spencer to Austin, the Longhorns now have four returners ranked among the Division’s top 10 along with No. 7 Brianna Nelson, No. 8 Courtney Okolo and No. 9 Danielle Dowie.

Texas’ roster also includes Shanay Briscoe (No. 2 high jump), Morgan Snow (No. 3 60 hurdles), and Christy Udoh (No. 4 200 meters).

The Aggies rankings score of 155.74 is fueled by three returning scorers in the sprints and jumps. Ashton Purvis is the nation’s top returner at 200 meters, followed by The Bowerman Preseason Watch-Lister Kamaria Brown at No. 2 and Ashley Collier at No. 5.

Collier is also ranked No. 2 at 60 meters — joined by Jennifer Madu at No. 8 — while Brown is third at 400 meters. Jumper LaQue Moen Davis is also the nation’s third-best returner in both the long jump and the triple jump.

Not far behind is No. 3 Florida at 146.61, led by second-ranked triple jump returner Ciarra Brewer and third-ranked mile returner Cory McGee — a member of the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman. McGee is joined in the mile by ninth-ranked returner Agata Strausa.

Robin Reynolds has already notched a mark this year that puts her third on the long jump list (including returning marks from 2013) and Taylor Burke is fourth on the high jump list. On the track, Ebony Eutsey returns at No. 6 at 400 meters, while Clemson transfer Bridgette Owens returns at No. 7 in the 60 hurdles.

Four-time defending champion No. 4 Oregon checked in with 126.09 ranking points. The Ducks are led by top returning 800 meters runner Laura Roesler and second-ranked Phyllis Francis at 400 meters — both of whom are members of the Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman. Roesler is also joined by Illinois transfer Samantha Murphy, who is No. 2 on the 800 meters list. Sprinter Jenna Prandini is No. 3 at 60 meters.

Led by No. 1 returning pole vaulter Morgann Leleux, No. 2 long jumper Chanice Porter, No. 2 pentathlete Lucie Ondraschkova and No. 4 shot putter Hilenn James, Georgia rounded out the top five with 96.86 rankings points. Leleux received votes on the Preseason The Bowerman Watch List.

Completing the top 10 were No. 6 Kentucky, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Stanford and No. 10 Kansas.

With nearly a third of the top 25 belonging to its membership — eight teams, to be precise — the SEC led the way in terms of conferences. The MPSF was represented by four teams, while the Big East had three.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2014 Preseason — January 13

next ranking: January 28
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2013 FINAL
1 Arkansas 230.90 SEC Chris Bucknam (6th) 1
2 Florida 177.79 SEC Mike Holloway (12th) 2
3 Oregon 165.33 MPSF Robert Johnson (2nd) 6
4 Wisconsin 98.70 Big Ten Mick Byrne (1st) 3
5 Texas A&M 97.85 SEC Pat Henry (10th) 4
6 Penn State 83.28 Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (8th) 9
7 Florida State 76.59 ACC Bob Braman (11th) 18
8 Nebraska 66.94 Big Ten Gary Pepin (31st) 32
9 Minnesota 54.78 Big Ten Steve Plasencia (6th) 12
10 Oklahoma State 54.07 Big 12 Dave Smith (6th) 8
11 Mississippi State 50.29 Independent (DI) Steve Dudley (4th) 12
12 Illinois 50.11 Big Ten Mike Turk (5th) 49
13 Georgia 46.63 SEC Wayne Norton (15th) 18
14 Colorado 41.90 MPSF Mark Wetmore (19th) NR
15 Texas 41.80 Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st) 23
16 Mississippi 41.01 SEC Brian O’Neal (2nd) 23
17 Arizona 39.69 MPSF Fred Harvey (12th) 6
18 Baylor 39.05 Big 12 Todd Harbour (9th) 32
19 Virginia Tech 39.02 ACC Dave Cianelli (13th) 9
20 Stanford 38.56 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (2nd) 30
21 Arizona State 36.44 MPSF Greg Kraft (18th) 16
22 UTEP 35.64 Conference USA Mika Laaksonen (5th) 47
23 Princeton 35.09 Ivy Fred Samara (37th) 21
24 Alabama 34.05 SEC Dan Waters (3rd) 32
25 LSU 33.50 SEC Dennis Shaver (10th) 15

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 720.43 7
2 Big Ten 464.94 5
3 MPSF 392.59 5
4 ACC 222.55 2
5 Big 12 217.64 3
6 Conference USA 85.84 1
7 Ivy 72.79 1
8 Mid-American 64.69
9 Sun Belt 55.99
10 Mountain West 55.45

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2014 Preseason — January 13

next ranking: January 28
Rank School Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2013 FINAL
1 Texas 177.09 Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st) 18
2 Texas A&M 155.74 SEC Pat Henry (10th) 12
3 Florida 146.62 SEC Mike Holloway (7th) 13
4 Oregon 126.09 MPSF Robert Johnson (2nd) 1
5 Georgia 96.86 SEC Wayne Norton (15th) 10
6 Kentucky 93.45 SEC Edrick Floreal (2nd) 20
7 Arkansas 93.32 SEC Lance Harter (24th) 4
8 LSU 77.68 SEC Dennis Shaver (10th) 3
9 Stanford 76.68 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (2nd) NR
10 Kansas 66.89 Big 12 Stanley Redwine (14th) 2
11 South Carolina 55.99 SEC Curtis Frye (18th) 31
12 Providence 55.71 Big East Ray Treacy (30th) NR
13 Michigan 53.95 Big Ten James Henry (29th) 15
14 Dartmouth 50.55 Ivy Sandra Ford-Centonze (22nd) 11
15 Mississippi State 50.06 SEC Steve Dudley (4th) 20
16 Kent State 48.78 Mid-American Bill Lawson (9th) 25
17 Purdue 46.83 Big Ten Rolando Greene (2nd) NR
18 Georgetown 43.10 Big East Patrick Henner (7th) 35
19 Florida State 42.81 ACC Bob Braman (11th) 15
20 Washington 41.88 MPSF Greg Metcalf (12th) NR
21 Maryland 39.23 ACC Andrew Valvom (11th) NR
22 Villanova 38.45 Big East Gina Procaccio (14th) 25
23 Arizona State 38.39 MPSF Greg Kraft (18th) 7
24 Harvard 38.30 Ivy Jason Saretsky (8th) 40
25 Akron 37.92 Mid-American Dennis Mitchell (19th) NR

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 852.59 8
2 Big 12 398.56 2
3 MPSF 382.78 4
4 ACC 240.99 2
5 Big Ten 213.96 2
6 Big East 147.60 3
7 Ivy 103.27 2
8 Mid-American 89.09 2
9 Mountain West 53.29
10 Conference USA 50.23

 

Recent History of Preseason Favorites

Though each season is different, Arkansas’ men find themselves in line with a recent trend of success for preseason No. 1 men’s teams. When the Razorbacks won their indoor title last season as the preseason favorites, they were the third consecutive preseason No. 1  to win the national title and the fourth in the past five seasons.

Only Florida State’s preseason favored teams in 2008 and 2012 have failed to win the title after checking in at No. 1 in the first poll of the season since 2008.

Recent History of Men’s Preseason No. 1 Teams

YEAR Preseason
No. 1
NCAA
Finish
NCAA
Champion
Preseason
Rank
2013 Arkansas 1 Arkansas 1
2012 Florida 1 Florida 1
2011 Florida 1 Florida 1
2010 Florida State 12 Florida 2
2009 Oregon 1 Oregon 1
2008 Florida State 2 Arizona State 19

 

Women’s preseason favorites, on the other hand, haven’t fared as well as their male counterparts as of late, with just as many winning the title (two) as finishing off the podium at NCAA indoors (top four teams make the podium).

Should Texas win the title, it would become the third team in the past four years to accomplish the feat, but also just the third in the past six years. Oregon did it in 2011 and 2012.

Or the Longhorns could go the way of Clemson in 2013 or Texas A&M in 2010, who finished sixth and fifth, respectively, following preseason favorite status.

In fact, teams ranked second in the preseason have had just as good of fortunes at the NCAA Championships as their top-ranked foes, with Oregon winning its first of four-in-a-row in 2010 and Arizona State winning its second of two-straight in 2008.

Recent History of Women’s Preseason No. 1 Teams

YEAR Preseason
No. 1
NCAA
Finish
NCAA
Champion
Preseason
Rank
2013 Clemson 6 Oregon 3
2012 Oregon 1 Oregon 1
2011 Oregon 1 Oregon 1
2010 Texas A&M 5 Oregon 2
2009 Texas A&M 2 Tennessee 4
2008 LSU 4 Arizona State 2