Oregon & Kentucky Move Up in Post-Conference Championship National Team Rankings

Oregon & Kentucky Move Up in Post-Conference Championship National Team Rankings

NEW ORLEANS – NCAA Division I’s indoor track & field regular season is in the books, with the men’s and women’s National Team Computer Rankings telling the tale of two different national title chases that could go down March 13-14 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Top-10 Marks of the Weekend

Though the No. 1 Florida men took home the SEC team title in a rout, the rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday show that the Gators will have their hands full with defending national champion No. 2 Oregon. The Ducks bolstered their already stout distance corps for NCAAs en route to winning the MPSF title.

Meanwhile, Arkansas’ No. 1 women were even more impressive in winning the SEC Championships, beating No. 2 Florida by 44 points for the title – the biggest margin of victory since the Razorbacks topped the Gators by that same margin in 2000.

The Gators managed to make up the slightest bit of ground on the Razorbacks in the rankings thanks to some outstanding individual performances, but Arkansas remained the clear favorite over both Florida and No. 3 Georgia.

For more detailed breakdowns of the men’s and women’s rankings, keep reading below.

The chases for the men’s & women’s national titles will take one more pre-meet twist and turn next week, when the final National Team Computer Rankings are released taking into account only athletes entered into the championships.

Declarations for the NCAA Championships will be published Tuesday evening.

Note that while Florida’s and Arkansas’ national ranks reflected their conference championships performances, the National Team Computer Rankings are not designed to predict how teams would fare against one another in a smaller conference championship setting. Rather, the formula calculates which teams have the best opportunity to win the NCAA Championships in which far more teams are represented.

For a full breakdown of the process, click here.

Breaking Down the Latest Women’s Rankings

NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Poll Top 5 – Women

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

Remaining steadfast atop the women’s national team rankings were No. 1 Arkansas (186.11 team points), No. 2 Georgia (155.77) and No. 3 Florida (145.73). Each of the three got big season-best performances that moved the needle at the top of individual national event rankings – No. 2 Chrishuna Williams at 800 meters for Arkansas, No. 3 Tatiana Gusin in the high jump for Georgia and No. 10 Claudia Francis at 800 meters for Florida – all three’s team scores dipped ever so slightly.

Why was that? Because No. 4 Kentucky (129.84) – also from the SEC, giving the conference each of the top four teams in the nation – gained nearly 50 points to jump up five spots from a week ago.

The Wildcats benefitted tremendously from the return of SEC 60-meter hurdles champion Kendra Harrison and her collegiate-leading 7.92 in her first meet of the season that moved her to No. 6 on the all-time college performers list. Harrison and sprint-standout teammate Dezerea Bryant joined forces to move Kentucky’s 4×400 from No. 17 in the country to No. 4 for another huge boost.

Last year’s national runner-up and narrow Big 12 team champion Texas dropped a spot to No. 5, just ahead of the team that nearly took down the Longhorns this weekend: No. 6 Kansas State.

Defending national champion Oregon continued to slide in the rankings, falling two spots to No. 7. Also dropping were No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Baylor, both down a spot.

Rounding out the top 10 was Southern California, which improved two spots following its MPSF title.

Making the biggest strides of the weekend was 2014 cross country national champion No. 11 Michigan State. The Spartans improved an impressive 17 positions behind the second-fastest DMR of the season, featuring fifth-ranked miler Leah O’Connor. The senior ran 4:32.29 in the open mile to win by nine seconds at the Big Ten Championships, but was even more impressive as the anchor of the DMR, splitting a reported 4:25 on the 1600-meter leg to chase down Michigan for the win. MSU got another top-five distance performance from No. 4 Rachele Schulist at 3000 meters, also in a rout of 15 seconds.

Jumping six spots to check in just behind MSU at No. 12 was MSU – Mississippi State, that is. The Bulldogs benefitted from No. 3 hurdler Erica Bougard and No. 7 miler Rhianwedd Price.

While Michigan State was the Big Ten team making the biggest splash in the national rankings, the Spartans did not win the conference meet (they finished tied for fifth with Nebraska). The conference title went to Ohio State, which rightfully moved up three positions to sit atop the Great Lakes Regional ranking to finish the season. Conference championships weekend did not produce any more new No. 1 teams in the final edition of the regional rankings.

Breaking Down the Latest Men’s Rankings

NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Poll Top 5 – Men

1)Florida 2)Oregon 3)Arkansas 4)Texas A&M 5)Iowa State
Florida Oregon Arkansas Texas A&M Texas
View Complete Men’s National Coaches’ Poll

In winning the SEC title, 114-89, over No. 3 Arkansas, the No. 1 Florida Gators got a big boost by the return of Arman Hall into the fold. A two-time individual All-American indoors last year, the junior moved to No. 8 on the open 400 meters list. His performance was enough to boost UF up 5.56 points for a team total of 188.29.

That improvement kept the Gators out of a virtual tie with No. 2 Oregon, which jumped up nearly 40 points behind its distance runners at the MPSF Championships. With a collegiate-leading 9:27.02 distance medley relay – the fifth-fastest all-conditions in collegiate history – and a fourth-ranked effort at 3000 meters by Jeramy Elkaim, the Ducks checked in this week at 182.90.

The rest of the top five remained the same with only minor changes to their point totals: No. 3 Arkansas (124.95 points), No. 4 Texas A&M (116.42) and Big 12 Champ No. 5 Texas (86.74).

In fact, the only move among the top 12 teams was a trade at the No.7 and No. 8 spots with Georgia moving ahead of LSU.

From No. 13 through No. 25, however, only one team remained stationary (No. 18 Baylor). The biggest beneficiary of the conference championship weekend was No. 21 Arizona State. The Sun Devils moved up a whopping 50 spots thanks to defending outdoor high jump national champion Bryan McBride hitting his stride indoors to move to No. 4 nationally while also taking the No. 10 spot in long jump.

Also making significant moves were No. 16 Illinois (up 15 spots), No. 13 Nebraska (up nine spots) and two-time defending cross country national champion No. 22 Colorado (up six).

There was only one change at the top of the final regional rankings of the season, as Michigan took over at No. 1 in the Great Lakes from MAC champion Akron.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2015 Week #6 — March 2

next ranking: March 9 (pre-Championships)
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Florida 188.29 SEC Mike Holloway (13th) 1
2 Oregon 182.90 MPSF Robert Johnson (3rd) 2
3 Arkansas 124.95 SEC Chris Bucknam (7th) 3
4 Texas A&M 116.42 SEC Pat Henry (11th) 4
5 Texas 86.74 Big 12 Mario Sategna (2nd) 5
6 Georgia 80.70 SEC Wayne Norton (16th) 7
7 LSU 78.25 SEC Dennis Shaver (11th) 6
8 Virginia Tech 78.14 ACC Dave Cianelli (14th) 8
9 Penn State 69.32 Big Ten John Gondak (1st) 9
10 Texas Tech 68.05 Big 12 Wes Kittley (16th) 10
11 Alabama 59.93 SEC Dan Waters (4th) 11
12 Oklahoma State 58.98 Big 12 Dave Smith (7th) 12
13 Nebraska 58.22 Big Ten Gary Pepin (32nd) 22
14 Tennessee 51.31 SEC Beth Alford-Sullivan (1st) 13
15 Kansas State 49.48 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (23rd) 17
16 Illinois 41.68 Big Ten Mike Turk (6th) 31
17 TCU 41.60 Big 12 Darryl Anderson (11th) 14
18 Baylor 40.07 Big 12 Todd Harbour (10th) 18
19 Southern California 37.72 Independent Caryl Smith Gilbert (2nd) 23
20 South Carolina 36.13 SEC Curtis Frye (19th) 21
21 Arizona State 35.99 MPSF Greg Kraft (19th) 71
22 Colorado 35.57 MPSF Mark Wetmore (20th) 28
23 Georgetown 34.90 Big East Patrick Henner (8th) 20
24 Washington 33.36 MPSF Greg Metcalf (13th) 25
25 Akron 31.73 Mid-American Dennis Mitchell (20th) 16
dropped out: No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 19 Florida State, No. 24 Iowa State
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 797.57 8
2 Big 12 383.52 6
3 MPSF 357.69 4
4 Big Ten 303.38 3
5 ACC 237.51 1
6 Big East 104.55 1
7 Mid-American 102.79 1
8 American 69.93
9 Conference USA 59.62
10 Independent (DI) 57.26 1

 

Men’s Regional Index Leaders
Region Institution Points Last Week
Great Lakes Michigan 297.43 3
Mid-Atlantic Penn State 378.52 1
Midwest Nebraska 306.00 1
Mountain Texas Tech 394.26 1
Northeast Cornell 266.81 1
South Florida 459.13 1
South Central Texas A&M 436.33 1
Southeast Virginia Tech 299.14 1
West Oregon 553.11 1
View All Regional Rankings

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2015 Week #6 — March 2

next ranking: March 9 (pre-Championships)
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Arkansas 186.11 SEC Lance Harter (25th) 1
2 Georgia 155.77 SEC Wayne Norton (16th) 2
3 Florida 145.73 SEC Mike Holloway (8th) 3
4 Kentucky 129.84 SEC Edrick Floreal (3rd) 9
5 Texas 125.87 Big 12 Mario Sategna (2nd) 4
6 Kansas State 105.34 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (23rd) 6
7 Oregon 105.20 MPSF Robert Johnson (3rd) 5
8 Texas A&M 94.37 SEC Pat Henry (11th) 7
9 Baylor 71.27 Big 12 Todd Harbour (10th) 8
10 Southern California 71.17 MPSF Caryl Smith Gilbert (2nd) 12
11 Michigan State 66.92 Big Ten Walt Drenth (9th) 28
12 Mississippi State 57.35 SEC Steve Dudley (5th) 18
13 Georgetown 55.50 Big East Patrick Henner (8th) 10
14 Wisconsin 51.49 Big Ten Mick Byrne (2nd) 11
15 Clemson 49.04 ACC Mark Elliott (2nd) 15
16 Akron 48.31 Mid-American Dennis Mitchell (20th) 14
17 Southern Illinois 45.91 Missouri Valley Connie Price-Smith (14th) 13
18 Missouri 45.42 SEC Brett Halter (5th) 20
19 Providence 45.28 Big East Ray Treacy (31st) 19
20 LSU 44.74 SEC Dennis Shaver (11th) 21
21 Stanford 43.48 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (3rd) 16
22 Florida State 40.84 ACC Bob Braman (12th) 22
23 Texas Tech 37.88 Big 12 Wes Kittley (16th) 17
24 Iona 36.60 Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (7th) 23
25 Notre Dame 34.65 ACC Alan Turner (1st) 24
dropped out: No. 25 New Mexico
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Women’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 952.41 8
2 Big 12 384.37 4
3 MPSF 307.71 3
4 Big Ten 281.62 2
5 ACC 278.41 3
6 Big East 130.34 2
7 Mid-American 75.69 1
8 Missouri Valley 51.96 1
9 Mountain West 44.18
10 Metro Atlantic 36.60 1

 

Women’s Regional Index Leaders
Region Institution Points Last Week
Great Lakes Ohio State 304.14 4
Mid-Atlantic Penn State 501.44 1
Midwest Kansas State 354.58 1
Mountain Texas Tech 385.08 1
Northeast Harvard 282.28 1
South Florida 420.79 1
South Central Arkansas 622.52 1
Southeast Kentucky 391.89 1
West Oregon 434.10 1
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
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Mon 1/26
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Week 2Mon 2/2
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Mon 2/2
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Week 3Mon 2/9
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Mon 2/9
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Week 4Mon 2/16
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Mon 2/16
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Week 5Mon 2/23
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Mon 2/23
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Week 6Mon 3/2
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Mon 3/2
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Week 7Mon 3/9
MEN | WOMEN
FINAL ResultsSat 3/14
MEN | WOMEN
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