Big Top-10 Jump for UCLA Men Among the Many Changes in the Division I XC National Polls

Courtesy: Dennis Young, USTFCCCA

October 7, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS—The two biggest changes in the men’s NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), came courtesy of two storied basketball programs.

National Poll PDFs: Week 4 Top 30 Summary | Week-by-Week 2014 | Week-by-Week All Time
Regional Rankings: Week 4 Summary
Division I XC Rankings and Polls Central

NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Men

1)Colorado 2)Oregon) 3)Northern Arizona 4)Oklahoma State 5)Portland
Colorado Oregon Northern Arizona Oklahoma State Portland
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Michigan 2)Michigan State 3)Oregon 4)Georgetown 5)Georgetown
Michigan Michigan State Oregon Georgetown Arkansas
View Complete Women’s National Coaches Poll

UCLA shot up eleven spots into a tie for ninth with Wisconsin following a near-upset of now-No. 3 Northern Arizona at the inaugural Washington Invitational. The Bruins finished just 10 points behind the 2013 national runners-up, 62-72, after coming within two points with just a kilometer left in the race. This is the Bruins’ best ranking since at least 1997.

Indiana, meanwhile, tumbled sixteen spots to No. 23 —the biggest single-week move by a men’s team this year. The Hoosiers, who finished eighth and lost to a split Villanova squad,  suffered a similar dip in the National Coaches’ Poll a year ago, dropping from 12th to 24th before ultimately winning the Big Ten and finishing eighth at NCAAs

The inaugural Seattle meet also had smaller reverberations higher up in the poll – which is the final edition prior to the annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational/Pre-National Invitational weekend.

Northern Arizona dropped to No. 3 after a lack of depth nearly led to that upset loss at the hands of UCLA. Lumberjack transfer Tyler Byrne finished 35th as NAU’s No. 5 runner, six places lower than he placed at NCAAs last November.

Taking NAU’s spot at No. 2 was Oregon, which is in the top two of the poll for the first time since week five of its national runner-up 2009 season. While most of Oregon’s squad was off after winning two weeks ago at Boston College, the Ducks debuted several key runners – Tanguy Pepiot and Jeremy Elkaim – at Willamette and hinted at even greater potential with their top recruit Blake Haney finishing runner-up unattached.

Meets that weren’t in the upper left corner of the country also shook up the men’s poll. After winning Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational over nine other nationally ranked teams, Michigan climbed to No. 11, eight spots better than last week. No. 18 Florida State was rewarded with a six-spot jump for beating five teams ranked ahead of them at Notre Dame.

That’s the first time in the top 20 for FSU this season; that’s also true for No. 19 Eastern Kentucky and No. 20 Oklahoma after strong runs at Louisville and Washington, respectively. For Oklahoma, this is the first top-10 appearance since a string of top-10 NCAA finishes from 2010 through 2012.

The association polling archives only date back to the late Clinton years; currently, the 1998 season is the first group of polls in the database. Two men’s teams in this week’s poll achieved their highest ranking since at least then: No. 6 Syracuse and No. 26 Furman.

***

While every women’s team from No. 4 to 24 (except for No. 10 Virginia) changed places, the pollsters mostly made minor tweaks to last week’s rankings. Nineteen of the twenty moves were of three ranks or less; the lone exception is No. 21 Villanova, which fell eight spots after a seventh-place finish at Washington.

Michigan, Michigan State, and Oregon stay steady at the top three spots in the poll and received all twelve first-place votes between them. The two peninsular rivals were idle, while the Ducks impressed with a seven-point victory at Washington. Michigan and Oregon will likely face off at Pre-Nationals in two weeks; that’s the lone top-three showdown on the docket before championship season starts in November.

No. 4 Georgetown climbed a spot for finishing as the top American team at Paul Short over now-No. 9 Florida State despite sitting three of its top runners, and No. 5 Arkansas improved two ranks after winning its home Chile Pepper Festival. Those two squads jumped over new No. 6 Stanford, which finished a narrow runner-up to Oregon at Washington.

For the third time this year, No. 16 Boise State is at its highest ranking ever. The Broncos were actually idle this past weekend and were the beneficiary of shakeups across the nation.

For the first time this season, No. 28 Notre Dame and No. 30 BYU are ranked. They join the poll after finishing third and fourth, respectively, at ND on Friday afternoon. The Irish home meet was also responsible for bringing No. 29 NC State back into the poll after a one-week absence.

Notably absent from this week’s poll is 2013 NCAA third-place Butler, which dropped out of the top 30 into the "receiving votes" category just one week after it fell to No. 29 following a disappointing Roy Griak performance. Of the top three teams from a year ago, only defending national champion Providence remains in the rankings (though it dropped three spots to No. 23), while runner-up Arizona has not yet received national votes in 2014.

The NCAA Championships will be held Saturday, November 22, in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2014 Week #4 — October 7

next poll: October 21
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Colorado (12) 360 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (20th)
1
2 Oregon 341 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (3rd)
3
3 Northern Arizona 334 Mountain Big Sky Eric Heins (8th)
2
4 Oklahoma State 327 Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (9th)
4
5 Portland 290 West West Coast Rob Conner (25th)
5
6 Syracuse 283 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (10th)
8
7 Stanford 282 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (3rd)
6
8 Villanova 262 Mid-Atlantic Big East Marcus O’Sullivan (15th)
9
9 UCLA 252 West Pac-12 Mike Maynard (6th)
20
9 Wisconsin 252 Great Lakes Big Ten Mick Byrne (7th)
11
11 Michigan 240 Great Lakes Big Ten Kevin Sullivan (1st)
19
12 BYU 227 Mountain West Coast Ed Eyestone (15th)
10
13 Providence 222 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (31st)
12
14 Iona 208 Northeast Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (7th)
13
15 Virginia 204 Southeast ACC Peter Watson (3rd)
13
16 New Mexico 194 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (8th)
15
17 Arkansas 169 South Central SEC Chris Bucknam (7th)
17
18 Florida State 156 South ACC Bob Braman (15th)
24
19 Eastern Kentucky 143 Southeast Ohio Valley Rick Erdmann (36th)
23
20 Oklahoma 131 Midwest Big 12 Jason Dunn (2nd)
26
21 Southern Utah 122 Mountain Big Sky Eric Houle (23rd)
22
22 Colorado State 101 Mountain Mountain West Art Siemers (3rd)
25
23 Indiana 75 Great Lakes Big Ten Ron Helmer (8th)
7
24 Princeton 66 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Jason Vigilante (3rd)
20
25 Washington 55 West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (13th)
28
26 Furman 53 Southeast Southern Robert Gary (3rd)
29
27 Minnesota 50 Midwest Big Ten Steve Plasencia (19th)
27
28 NC State 46 Southeast ACC Rollie Geiger (37th)
16
29 Tulsa 41 Midwest American Steve Gulley (13th)
18
30 Texas 22 South Central Big 12 Mario Sategna (2nd)
RV
Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State 19, Georgetown 18, Iowa State 17, Virginia Tech 8, Auburn 8, Penn State 1, Dartmouth 1
Dropped Out: No. 30 Michigan State
(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country)

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2014 Week #4 — October 7

next poll: October 21
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Michigan (8) 355 Great Lakes Big Ten Mike McGuire (23rd)
1
2 Michigan State (3) 347 Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (11th)
2
3 Oregon (1) 331 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (3rd)
3
4 Georgetown 321 Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (3rd)
5
5 Arkansas 304 South Central SEC Lance Harter (25th)
7
6 Stanford 298 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (3rd)
4
7 Colorado 280 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (20th)
8
8 Iowa State 274 Midwest Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (2nd)
9
9 Florida State 271 South ACC Karen Harvey (8th)
6
10 Virginia 257 Southeast ACC Todd Morgan (3rd)
10
11 New Mexico 246 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (8th)
12
12 Syracuse 221 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (10th)
11
13 North Carolina 197 Southeast ACC Mark VanAlstyne (3rd)
14
14 Washington 191 West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (13th)
15
15 Wisconsin 188 Great Lakes Big Ten Mick Byrne (1st)
16
16 Boise State 175 West Mountain West Corey Ihmels (2nd)
17
17 Boston College 151 Northeast ACC Randy Thomas (23rd)
18
18 Oklahoma State 131 Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (6th)
19
19 William and Mary 119 Southeast Colonial Natalie Hall (1st)
22
20 West Virginia 116 Mid-Atlantic Big 12 Sean Cleary (8th)
23
21 Villanova 115 Mid-Atlantic Big East Gina Procaccio (15th)
13
22 Baylor 97 South Central Big 12 Todd Harbour (15th)
24
23 Providence 91 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (31st)
20
24 Dartmouth 86 Northeast Ivy Courtney Jaworski (1st)
21
25 Arizona State 75 West Pac-12 Luis Quintana (1st)
25
26 Minnesota 70 Midwest Big Ten Sarah Hopkins (2nd)
26
27 Vanderbilt 60 South SEC Steve Keith (9th)
27
28 Notre Dame 48 Great Lakes ACC Matt Sparks (1st)
NR
29 NC State 45 Southeast ACC Laurie Henes (9th)
RV
30 BYU 33 Mountain West Coast Patrick Shane (33rd)
RV
Others Receiving Votes: UCLA 21, Virginia Tech 17, Iona 12, Northern Arizona 11, Penn State 11, Butler 7, Ohio State 2, Portland 2, New Hampshire 1
Dropped Out: No. 28 Virginia Tech, No. 29 Butler, No. 30 Penn State
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)