DI Men’s National Coaches’ Poll Shuffles in Week Three
The collegiate cross country season shifts into another gear this weekend with more than two-thirds of the nationally ranked teams in action!
Many of them are at Notre Dame or Washington on Friday, or Louisville or Princeton on Saturday – and you can follow along LIVE with all of them on the USTFCCCA National Results Wall!
NEW ORLEANS – The status quo remained in place at the top of the NCAA Division I men’s cross country National Coaches’ Poll announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
But from No. 11 on down? It turned from status quo to anything goes.
The first weekend of countable action for NCAA Championships at-large qualifying produced a number of big shifts in the third National Coaches’ Poll of the regular season. Seven teams moved four or more spots in either direction, and an additional two teams hopped into the top-30 for the first time this season.
Little changed among the top 10 teams as only No. 3 Syracuse, No. 6 Oklahoma State (down one spot) and No. 9 Virginia were in action. Oregon and Oklahoma State swapped spots at Nos. 5 and 6.
The top 10 gets its chance to shine this weekend, however, as unanimous No. 1 Colorado hosts its Rocky Mountain Shootout; No. 2 Stanford and No. 5 Oregon meet at the Washington Invitational; No. 4 Wisconsin competes at the Greater Louisville Classic with Big Ten rival No. 10 Michigan; No. 7 Villanova is at Lehigh’s Paul Short Run; and No. 8 Iona is split between Louisville and Lehigh.
The meets at Washington and Louisville will be covered live on the USTFCCCA National Results Wall, as will the Notre Dame Invitational and Princeton Inter-Regional Invitational.
Making the biggest leap up the poll based on last weekend’s action was No. 16 Michigan State, which improved nine spots from a week ago after a surprising team title at the Roy Griak Invitational. The Spartans – running without former All-American Caleb Rhynard, who was fourth at Griak a year ago – with four runners in the top-15, led by seventh- and eighth-place efforts from TJ Carey and Ryan Robinson.
The No. 16 billing for MSU is the program’s best since head coach Walt Drenth took over in 2004 (17th in week seven of 2014) and is the best for the program overall since 2002.
Michigan State wasn’t alone in making significant leaps up the ranks. Formerly unranked No. 21 Oklahoma joined the top 30 after a strong runner-up showing at Virginia’s Panorama Farms Invitational behind a 3-4 finish from Brandon Doughty and Jacob Burcham.
An idle No. 22 Iowa State squad moved up four spots, followed by another new team in No. 23 Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds finished runners-up at Roy Griak.
Roy Griak was also responsible for the placement of teams No. 25 and No. 26. California moved up four to No. 25 with a third-place finish at 94 points, just ahead of No. 26 Colorado State at 96. The Rams dropped four spots from a week ago after entering as the meet’s top-ranked team, despite a 1-2 individual finish from Jefferson Abbey and Jerrell Mock.
Closing out the top 30 was a trio of tumblers. No. 28 Eastern Kentucky dropped eight spots from a week ago, No. 29 North Carolina fell six, and No. 30 Northern Arizona free-fell 19 spots after last week’s news that Futsum Zienasellassie and Nathan Weitz are redshirting in 2015.
The last time NAU was ranked so low? A No. 30 rank in 2006, the year before current head coach Eric Heins took over. The Lumberjacks have been in the top 10 at NCAAs in all but one year since and on the podium in all but three.
Expect another shakeup this weekend as 22 of the top-30 teams are in action, along with 12 vote-receiving teams.
Saturday’s Greater Louisville Classic – the site of the NCAA Championships on November 21 – will draw six top-30 teams plus five more receiving votes.
Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational will feature six top-30 teams, including No. 17 New Mexico and No. 18 Arizona State, and another team receiving votes.
A top-15 showdown is on tap at the Washington Invitational on Friday as No. 5 Oregon meets up with No. 11 UCLA and No. 12 BYU, as well as a retooled Portland team that took third at NCAAs a year ago.
Princeton is also hosting a significant competition on Saturday, with a trio of top-30 teams led by No. 19 Indiana.
Fans can follow along with all those meets and more live on the USTFCCCA National Results Wall.
It all leads up to the NCAA Championships on November 21 at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2015 Week #3 — September 29
|next poll: October 6|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Record||Region||Conference||Cross Country Coach (Yr*)||
|1||Colorado (12)||360||—||Mountain||Pac-12||Mark Wetmore (21st)||
|2||Stanford||343||10-0||West||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||
|3||Syracuse||338||20-0||Northeast||ACC||Chris Fox (11th)||
|4||Wisconsin||313||—||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Mick Byrne (8th)||
|5||Oregon||296||—||West||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (4th)||
|6||Oklahoma State||294||5-0||Midwest||Big 12||Dave Smith (10th)||
|7||Villanova||293||—||Mid-Atlantic||Big East||Marcus O’Sullivan (16th)||
|8||Iona||275||—||Northeast||Metro Atlantic||Ricardo Santos (8th)||
|9||Virginia||263||15-0||Southeast||ACC||Peter Watson (4th)||
|10||Michigan||261||—||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Kevin Sullivan (2nd)||
|11||UCLA||237||—||West||Pac-12||Mike Maynard (7th)||
|12||BYU||211||—||Mountain||West Coast||Ed Eyestone (16th)||
|13||Mississippi||208||—||South||SEC||Ryan Vanhoy (3rd)||
|14||Georgetown||182||—||Mid-Atlantic||Big East||Michael Smith (1st)||
|15||Arkansas||160||—||South Central||SEC||Chris Bucknam (8th)||
|16||Michigan State||150||21-0||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (12th)||
|17||New Mexico||145||—||Mountain||Mountain West||Joe Franklin (9th)||
|18||Arizona State||116||—||West||Pac-12||Luis Quintana (15th)||
|19||Indiana||112||—||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Ron Helmer (9th)||
|20||Furman||105||13-2||Southeast||Southern||Robert Gary (4th)||
|21||Oklahoma||97||14-1||Midwest||Big 12||Jason Dunn (3rd)||
|22||Iowa State||93||—||Midwest||Big 12||Martin Smith (3rd)||
|23||Southern Utah||91||20-1||Mountain||Big Sky||Eric Houle (24th)||
|24||Providence||81||—||Northeast||Big East||Ray Treacy (32nd)||
|25||California||79||19-2||West||Pac-12||Tony Sandoval (24th)||
|26||Colorado State||66||18-3||Mountain||Mountain West||Art Siemers (4th)||
|27||NC State||59||—||Southeast||ACC||Rollie Geiger (38th)||
|28||Eastern Kentucky||57||10-5||Southeast||Ohio Valley||Rick Erdmann (37th)||
|29||North Carolina||48||—||Southeast||ACC||Mark VanAlstyne (4th)||
|30||Northern Arizona||42||3-2||Mountain||Big Sky||Eric Heins (9th)||
|Others Receiving Votes: Texas 36, Washington 34, Portland 32, UTEP 28, Florida State 22, Eastern Michigan 13, Louisville 10, Penn State 8, Virginia Tech 8, Georgia 6, Georgia 6, Tulsa 6, Minnesota 1, Dartmouth 1, Kentucky 1|
|Dropped Out: No. 26 Florida State, No. 28 Washington|
|Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition versus DI opponents starting September 25|
|(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country)|