Final Computer Rankings: Hosts Arkansas Women Favored For First-Ever Indoor Team Title

Final Computer Rankings: Hosts Arkansas Women Favored For First-Ever Indoor Team Title

NEW ORLEANS – Astonishingly, the SEC – arguably the nation’s best conference in women’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field – has only won one indoor national team championship in the last nine years. Oregon has taken the last five, and Tennessee‘s win in 2009 was preceded by a trio of titles from Arizona State and Texas.

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That pattern looks to come to an end at this weekend’s NCAA Division I Indoor Championships, March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as the SEC has the top four teams in the final computer rankings of the 2015 indoor season.

The rankings were compiled and released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday. Though very few national qualifiers competed last weekend and the qualifying window ended last weekend, these rankings differ from last week’s in that they only account for actual entries into the national meet.

Arkansas stayed at No. 1, trailed by conference rivals No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Kentucky, and No. 4 Georgia.

At No. 5, Texas is projected to be the first non-SEC team; the defending champion Oregon women are ranked sixth.

About that word "projected." These rankings are not a form chart projection of how many points each team will score at nationals. But the algorithm is a more holistic projection of the teams’ finishing order, taking into account not just where athletes are on the national list, but the likelihood of each athlete finishing in scoring territory.

It’s not foolproof – three of the last five women’s national champions were ranked No. 1 in the final pre-championship computations. For a full breakdown of the rankings process, click here.

Arkansas athletes will have the home track (and runway/ring/cage) advantage as the championships return to Fayetteville after a year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If Arkansas does deliver on its ranking and wins a national title, it would be a historic one. The Razorbacks have won twenty men’s indoor titles, but zero women’s.

The gap between the descending order lists and the declarations for nationals explains Florida and Kentucky each moving up one spot each at former No. 2 Georgia’s expense. Bulldog phenom Kendell Williams was tipped for serious points in the high jump and long jump, but only declared in the pentathlon.

NCAA Division I National Team Rankings Top 5 – Women

1)Arkansas 2)Florida 3)Oregon 4)Iowa State 5)Oregon
Arkansas Florida Kentucky Georgia Texas
View Complete Women’s National Team Rankings

Unlike in the men’s team battle, the teams vying for podium spots will be competing directly against each other in a zero-sum fight for points. Four of the top five teams–everybody except for Georgia–have athletes entered in the 400.

That’s where Texas could make up the most ground, and where the SEC teams will be boxing each other out for single-digit points. Courtney Okolo, Kendell Baisden, and Ashley Spencer of Texas are second, fourth, and eighth on the entry list, but Okolo and Spencer have won the last three NCAA outdoor 400s.

The field events–particularly the triple jump and pentathlon–will go an extremely long way towards determining the national champion.

In the triple jump, Georgia has national leader Keturah Orji, Florida has second-ranked Ciarra Brewer, Arkansas has third-ranked Tamara Myers, and Kentucky has eighth-ranked Sha’Keela Saunders.

The pentathlon features Williams (the national leader and record holder), three Arkansas athletes (No. 6 Alex Gochenour and Nos. T13 Leigha Brown and Taliyah Brooks) and Florida’s eighth-ranked Brittany Harrell.

In addition to the relative yeoman’s work of scratching out mid-pack points, each team with title hopes is going to rely on at least one superstar.

Razorback Dominique Scott, Gator Kyra Jefferson, Wildcat Kendra Harrison, Bulldogs Williams, Orji, and Leontia Kallenou, and the Longhorn 4×400 all have the best marks in their respective events and are favorites for national titles. Those events in which they’re ranked No. 1: Scott in the 3k, Jefferson in the 200, Harrison in the 60-meter hurdles, Williams in the pentathlon, Orji in the triple jump, and Kallenou in the high jump.

Elsewhere in the rankings, No. 23 Arizona State was the only team to join the top twenty-five. The Sun Devils’s seven-spot jump was the biggest rise in the women’s rankings.

The NCAA championships begin Friday, March 13, and will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Here’s the full schedule of events.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2015 Week #7 — March 9 (pre-championships)

next ranking: final, NCAA Championships, March 13-14
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Arkansas 180.89 SEC Lance Harter (25th) 1
2 Florida 147.52 SEC Mike Holloway (8th) 3
3 Kentucky 138.01 SEC Edrick Floreal (3rd) 4
4 Georgia 137.37 SEC Wayne Norton (16th) 2
5 Texas 129.08 Big 12 Mario Sategna (2nd) 5
6 Oregon 119.69 MPSF Robert Johnson (3rd) 7
7 Texas A&M 94.79 SEC Pat Henry (11th) 8
8 Kansas State 89.07 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (23rd) 6
9 Baylor 78.95 Big 12 Todd Harbour (10th) 9
10 Southern California 71.46 MPSF Caryl Smith Gilbert (2nd) 10
11 Michigan State 68.80 Big Ten Walt Drenth (9th) 11
12 Mississippi State 62.42 SEC Steve Dudley (5th) 12
13 Georgetown 54.18 Big East Patrick Henner (8th) 13
14 Wisconsin 53.12 Big Ten Mick Byrne (2nd) 14
15 LSU 50.22 SEC Dennis Shaver (11th) 20
16 Clemson 48.11 ACC Mark Elliott (2nd) 15
17 Providence 47.96 Big East Ray Treacy (31st) 19
18 Akron 47.37 Mid-American Dennis Mitchell (20th) 16
19 Missouri 46.74 SEC Brett Halter (5th) 18
20 Southern Illinois 45.08 Missouri Valley Connie Price-Smith (14th) 17
21 Florida State 38.67 ACC Bob Braman (12th) 22
22 Texas Tech 37.52 Big 12 Wes Kittley (16th) 23
23 Arizona State 35.81 MPSF Greg Kraft (19th) 30
24 Stanford 33.90 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (3rd) 21
25 Notre Dame 33.78 ACC Alan Turner (1st) 25
dropped out: No. 24 Iona
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 934.94 8
2 Big 12 376.80 4
3 MPSF 317.58 4
4 Big Ten 271.00 2
5 ACC 264.45 3
6 Big East 134.49 2
7 Mid-American 72.90 1
8 Missouri Valley 49.61 1
9 Mountain West 37.36
10 Summit League 32.04

 

Women’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points
Great Lakes Ohio State 304.14
Mid-Atlantic Penn State 501.44
Midwest Kansas State 354.58
Mountain Texas Tech 385.08
Northeast Harvard 282.28
South Florida 420.79
South Central Arkansas 622.52
Southeast Kentucky 391.89
West Oregon 434.10
View All Regional Rankings

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field

2015 Rankings Calendar
Weeks National TFRIRegional TFRIConfernce TFRI#EventSquad KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 1/6
MEN | WOMEN
Week 1Mon 1/26
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 1/26
MEN | WOMEN
Week 2Mon 2/2
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 2/2
MEN | WOMEN
Week 3Mon 2/9
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 2/9
MEN | WOMEN
Week 4Mon 2/16
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 2/16
MEN | WOMEN
Week 5Mon 2/23
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 2/23
MEN | WOMEN
Week 6Mon 3/2
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 3/2
MEN | WOMEN
Week 7Mon 3/9
MEN | WOMEN
FINAL ResultsSat 3/14
MEN | WOMEN
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

>> NATIONAL TFRI
MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

>> REGIONAL TFRI
MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

>> CONFERNCE TFRI
MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years

>> #EVENTSQUAD
MEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years
WOMEN: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | All Years