Florida & Oregon Men Enter NCAAs as Co-Favorites in Historically Close Team Race

Florida & Oregon Men Enter NCAAs as Co-Favorites in Historically Close Team Race

NEW ORLEANS – Hold on to your seats and tune into ESPN, folks. These NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships are going to be wild.

Florida and defending national champion Oregon will enter the Championships (June 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon) virtually tied atop the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Team Computer Rankings in what is projected to be the closest team race since the inception of the rankings in 2008.

NCAA Division I National Team Rankings Top 5 – Men

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

Fans can watch all of the drama unfold on ESPN’s numerous broadcast platforms throughout the Championships, with the winner of this historically suspenseful men’s team race decided in primetime on ESPN on Friday, June 12. Click here for more details.

The Gators – team champions in 2012 and 2013 (the latter in a tie with Texas A&M) – are technically the No. 1 team with a team rankings score of 313.87, but a razor-thin margin of less than one point separates them from Oregon at 313.08. The Ducks moved up two spots from a week ago.

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National PDFs
Top 25 | By Team | By Event
Top TFRRS Qualifiers
# of Top-10 Athletes by Team

NCAA Championships

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Entries Breakdown

Rankings History
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Division I Rankings Home

These rankings are based only on entries into the NCAA Championships, taking into consideration their top regular-season performances. The rankings formula (more here) does not equate to the NCAA Championships scoring system.

Not to be lost in the shuffle, no pre-NCAA No. 3 has ever been ranked closer to the top than Texas A&M (292.32), and No. 4 has ever been closer to the top than LSU (264.07). The Aggies will be looking to reclaim the NCAA title it split with Florida in 2013. Both were displaced one spot from a week ago to make room for Oregon.

Arkansas (226.30) rounded out the top five, just barely edging out No. 6 Southern California (223.40). The two swapped spots from a week ago, and will both be contenders to take one of the four team podium spots.

Back to Florida-Oregon: that’s a difference of just one quarter of one percent, surpassing the 0.46 percent margin in 2010 that separated eventual team champion Texas A&M from – you guessed it – No. 2 Florida. That projection would hold to form, as the Aggies edged Florida State and the Gators for the title, 55-54-53.

While Florida has the narrowest of advantages on paper, Oregon has the advantage in knowing it can take down the No. 1 Gators. The Ducks upset the top-ranked Gators just three months ago at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

The Ducks will also have the advantage in numbers, while Florida’s razor-thin edge at No. 1 is accompanied by a razor-thin margin of error. A nation-leading flock of 23 NCAA Championships entries will be competing in Oregon uniforms (likely multiple different Oregon uniforms) throughout the weekend, eight more than Texas A&M’s 15 and a full 10 better than Florida’s 13.

And this isn’t the same Oregon team that won the indoor title almost strictly off the basis of its powerful distance squad, either. Yes, the endurance crew is back in full force with defending 10,000-meter champion/5000-meter runner-up Edward Cheserek, two-time indoor champ Eric Jenkins and company comprising seven distance entries (5000, 10,000, steeplechase) and three more mid-distance entries (800 and 1500).

But the Ducks are also the only men’s squad in the country to qualify entries across the board in the sprints/hurdles, mid-distance, distance, relays, jumps, throws and combined events categories – and they qualified more than two in each, to boot.

Case in point: Oregon will once again be strong in the distances with a nation-leading four entries in the 5000 and three more in the 1500, but they are also one of just two teams with three decathletes (the other being Georgia).

Florida, meanwhile, is similarly well-balanced with entries in all those categories except the combined events. And they need each and every one of them to perform up to and/or exceed their seeding.

Of their 13 total entries, 10 are seeded in the top eight (eight athletes score points in each event at NCAAs) based on regular-season performances – including four top-seeds in defending champions Dedric Dukes (200 meters) and Marquis Dendy (long jump and triple jump). The Gators’ 4×400 relay is also the No. 1 seed.

Florida got nicked up at the NCAA East Preliminaries, however, losing long jumper KeAndre Bates (third nationally indoors), and sprinters Arman Hall (third at NCAA indoors in 2014 and outdoors in 2013), and Antwan Wright (eighth at 100 meters last year), while Oregon qualified every one of their top entries back home to Eugene.

Texas A&M also has 10 entries in scoring position entering the meet, compared to nine for LSU and eight for Oregon.

The Gators are no strangers to close team races. Their 18-point loss to Oregon a year ago snapped a streak of five years in which the team title was decided by two points or fewer – all of which featured Florida in contention.

Florida, however, is in somewhat uncharted territory in that they’ve never entered the NCAA Championships at No. 1 since the current rankings system began in 2008. They won titles in 2012 and 2013 as the No. 6 and No. 4 teams in these final rankings, respectively.

The biggest beneficiaries of the Prelims weekend? No. 16 Ohio State moved up 17 spots from a week ago, while UT-Arlington joined the top-25 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season with a nine-spot improvement to No. 25.

Also making significant moves were No. 8 Virginia up five spots to tie its all-time best rank from earlier this season, and No. 11 Illinois moving up seven to its highest rank in program history. The school posted back-to-back 11th and 12th-place finishes at NCAAs in 2012 and 2011, but had never been ranked higher than No. 14.

See the full rankings below.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2015 Week #9 — June 1 (pre-finals)

next ranking: FINAL, NCAA Championships results
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) Last Week
1 Florida 313.87 SEC Mike Holloway (13th) 1
2 Oregon 313.08 Pac-12 Robert Johnson (3rd) 4
3 Texas A&M 293.32 SEC Pat Henry (11th) 2
4 LSU 264.07 SEC Dennis Shaver (11th) 3
5 Arkansas 226.30 SEC Chris Bucknam (7th) 6
6 Southern California 223.40 Pac-12 Caryl Smith Gilbert (2nd) 5
7 Georgia 164.99 SEC Wayne Norton (16th) 7
8 Virginia 163.87 ACC Bryan Fetzer (4th) 13
9 Florida State 149.01 ACC Bob Braman (12th) 10
10 Mississippi State 134.42 SEC Steve Dudley (5th) 8
11 Illinois 134.28 Big Ten Mike Turk (6th) 18
12 Texas 129.62 Big 12 Mario Sategna (2nd) 9
13 Texas Tech 119.11 Big 12 Wes Kittley (16th) 12
14 Baylor 111.71 Big 12 Todd Harbour (10th) 14
15 Penn State 111.56 Big Ten John Gondak (1st) 15
16 Ohio State 103.95 Big Ten Karen Dennis (1st) 33
17 Tennessee 97.67 SEC Beth Alford-Sullivan (1st) 23
18 BYU 96.73 Independent (DI) Ed Eyestone (2nd) 19
19 Alabama 94.85 SEC Dan Waters (4th) 11
20 Oklahoma State 92.27 Big 12 Dave Smith (7th) 20
21 Clemson 89.65 ACC Mark Elliott (2nd) 17
22 Syracuse 84.11 ACC Chris Fox (10th) 24
23 Kansas State 78.27 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (23rd) 22
24 Stanford 75.29 Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (3rd) 21
25 UT Arlington 70.83 Sun Belt John Sauerhage (19th) 34
dropped out: No. 16 South Carolina, No. 25 Villanova
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 1995.35 9
2 Pac-12 918.03 3
3 Big 12 768.38 5
4 ACC 725.97 4
5 Big Ten 569.35 2
6 Conference USA 215.50
7 Mid-American 192.56
8 Sun Belt 175.34
9 American 166.45
10 Ivy 112.64

 

Men’s Regional Index Leaders (FINAL)
Region Institution Points Last Week
Great Lakes Indiana 634.41 1
Mid-Atlantic Princeton 786.17 1
Midwest Illinois 639.80 2
Mountain BYU 881.02 2
Northeast Connecticut 671.45 2
South Florida 778.23 1
South Central Texas A&M 918.08 1
Southeast Virginia 571.84 1
West Oregon 1038.72 1
View All Regional Rankings

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field

2015 Rankings Calendar
Weeks National TFRIRegional TFRIConfernce TFRI#EventSquad KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 3/24
MEN | WOMEN
Week 1Mon 4/6
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 4/6
MEN | WOMEN
Week 2Mon 4/13
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 4/13
MEN | WOMEN
Week 3Mon 4/20
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 4/20
MEN | WOMEN
Week 4Mon 4/27
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 4/27
MEN | WOMEN
Week 5Mon 5/4
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 5/4
MEN | WOMEN
Week 6Mon 5/11
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 5/11
MEN | WOMEN
Week 7Mon 5/18
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 5/18
MEN | WOMEN
Week 8Tue 5/26
MEN | WOMEN
Week 9Mon 6/1
MEN | WOMEN
FINAL ResultsSat 6/13
MEN | WOMEN
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

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