Stanford Rockets Back Up NCAA DI Men’s National Poll

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

November 3, 2015   

NEW ORLEANS – Postseason cross country has finally arrived. NCAA Division I conference championships are in the books as teams revealed their true colors – and, in one instance, its full scoring line-up – with the stakes raised, for better or for worse.

Either way, the outcomes of league meets significantly impacted the penultimate edition of the men’s National Coaches’ Poll, which was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The final National Coaches’ Polls will be announced Monday, November 16, following regional championships action on Friday, November 13.

The enigma surrounding Stanford – the preseason No. 2 that fell all the way to No. 23 – has been officially unraveled, while another preseason contender in Wisconsin continues to have its 2015 campaign unspooled in quite the opposite manner.

National PDFs: Top 30 Summary | Week-by-Week 2015 | Week-by-Week All Time
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NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Men

1)Colorado 2)Oregon 3)Syracuse) 4)Syracuse) 5)Villanova
Colorado Syracuse BYU Stanford Michigan
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

Stanford jumped all the way up to No. 4 – a 19-spot improvement from the last poll – after a narrow runner-up showing to two-time defending national champion and unanimous No. 1 Colorado, 46-57, in the deep and powerful Pac-12 Conference.

The Cardinal had been ranked No. 4 in the country before an underwhelming performance with an incomplete roster at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational dropped then into the 20s. The roster that earned Stanford the preseason No. 2 rank ran in completion for the first time on Friday as Sean McGorty was joined by Joe Rosa, Grant Fisher, Garrett Sweatt and Jim Rosa.

With the Stanford lineup finally running in approximately its final form, the Cardinal upset former No. 3 Oregon at the Pac-12, 57-83. Consequently, the Ducks dropped four spots to No. 7 – despite getting an unprecedented third consecutive individual Pac-12 title from Edward Cheserek.

By Conference

Teams Conference
5 Pac-12
4 Big Ten
3 Big East
3 Mountain West
2 Big 12
2 Ivy
1 West Coast
1 American
1 Conference USA
1 Metro Atlantic
1 Ohio Valley
1 Southern
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

Ahead of Stanford, Colorado regained its unanimous No. 1 status after the Buffaloes shored up their depth issues with an exceptional run from frosh John Dressel. Dressel had been a distant fifth-runner for CU at Pre-Nats, but came through as their No. 2 on Friday.

ACC champion Syracuse remained No. 2 behind its terrific top three in Justyn Knight, Colin Bennie and Martin Hehir – though not without some potential depth issues of its own – while decisive West Coach Conference champ BYU moved up one position to No. 3 in Oregon’s stead.

This is the highest rank for BYU since midway through the 2012 season.

Big Ten champion Michigan rounded out the top five.

Speaking of the Bi g Ten: on the opposite end of the spectrum, Wisconsin – previously ranked No. 4 in the country earlier this season – finished eighth at the Big Ten Championships to continue a 2015 season so disappointing that the Badgers’ historic 43-consecutive NCAA Championships appearances streak is in mortal danger.

UW dropped out of the poll completely with zero national votes, marking the first time since at least 1998 (the first full year of polling results in the USTFCCCA archives) that the Badgers have been absent from the top-30.

Oklahoma State – the team with which Wisconsin started the season tied at No. 4 – stayed at No. 6 after winning the Big 12 title, followed by No. 7 Oregon, SEC champion No. 8 Arkansas, MAAC champion No. 9 Iona and ACC runner-up No. 10 NC State.

By Region

Teams Region
5 West
5 Southeast
5 Midwest
5 Mountain
4 Northeast
3 Mid-Atlantic
2 Great Lakes
1 South Central
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

The No. 10 Wolfpack moved up two spots for its first top-10 appearance since midway through 2011. NC State ultimately finished 10th that season.

Beyond Stanford, no men’s team made a bigger statement this weekend than No. 19 Illinois, which shed its “also receiving votes” label it carried for the past two weeks with a close runner-up finish to No. 5 Michigan at the Big Ten Championships.

This is the highest rank recorded in the USTFCCCA archives (1995 to present) for the Illini, with their only two prior appearances being a pair of No. 30 marks early in 2013.

Illinois was one of two Big Ten schools new to the top-30 this week, joined by No. 26 Minnesota – the third-place team at the conference meet. The Golden Gophers shared the No. 26 rank in a tie with OVC champion Eastern Kentucky and Oklahoma. The Sooners returned after a one-poll hiatus.

Also making multi-position gains this past weekend were No. 17 Washington (up three positions), Mountain West champion No. 21 Air Force (up five), No. 22 Villanova (up three), No. 23 Penn (up six), and No. 25 Colorado State (up five).

Penn’s rank improves on its program-best mark from the previous poll, while Air Force is at its highest point since early in the 2005 season.

Going multiple positions the opposite direction were No. 12 Virginia (down 12), SoCon champ No. 13 Furman (down three), No. 20 UCLA (down five), No. 24 Boise State (down eight), No. 26 Eastern Kentucky (down four) and No. 29 Providence (down five) – not to mention the droppers-out in in Michigan State, California and Wisconsin.

The 2015 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held Saturday, November 21, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.



Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2015 Week #6 — November 3 (pre-regional)

next poll: MONDAY, November 16
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Overall (vs Ranked) Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Colorado (12) 360 50-0 (12-0) Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (21st)
2 Syracuse 345 69-0 (20-0) Northeast ACC Chris Fox (11th)
3 BYU 325 50-3 (19-3) Mountain West Coast Ed Eyestone (16th)
4 Stanford 321 41-22 (8-18) West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (4th)
5 Michigan 307 66-3 (20-3) Great Lakes Big Ten Kevin Sullivan (2nd)
6 Oklahoma State 302 35-0 (1-0) Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (10th)
7 Oregon 288 56-3 (14-3) West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (4th)
8 Arkansas 273 64-2 (7-2) South Central SEC Chris Bucknam (8th)
9 Iona 268 61-4 (16-4) Northeast Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (8th)
10 NC State 246 60-8 (15-8) Southeast ACC Rollie Geiger (38th)
11 UTEP 236 67-3 (8-3) Mountain Conference USA Paul Ereng (13th)
12 Virginia 230 59-5 (18-5) Southeast ACC Peter Watson (4th)
13 Furman 223 56-7 (13-7) Southeast Southern Robert Gary (4th)
14 Tulsa 208 48-8 (10-8) Midwest American Steve Gulley (14th)
15 Georgetown 189 62-4 (7-4) Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (1st)
16 Columbia 166 50-12 (9-9) Northeast Ivy Dan Ireland (2nd)
17 Washington 155 33-20 (7-19) West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (14th)
18 Virginia Tech 153 74-16 (4-9) Southeast ACC Ben Thomas (15th)
19 Illinois 130 65-24 (5-18) Midwest Big Ten Jake Stewart (4th)
20 UCLA 112 39-15 (11-15) West Pac-12 Mike Maynard (7th)
21 Air Force 109 47-11 (5-10) Mountain Mountain West Ryan Cole (2nd)
22 Villanova 103 40-3 (1-3) Mid-Atlantic Big East Marcus O’Sullivan (16th)
23 Penn 86 33-11 (1-4) Mid-Atlantic Ivy Steve Dolan (4th)
24 Boise State 83 45-17 (7-14) West Mountain West Corey Ihmels (3rd)
25 Colorado State 60 73-14 (5-10) Mountain Mountain West Art Siemers (4th)
26 Minnesota 59 43-29 (2-11) Midwest Big Ten Steve Plasencia (20th)
26 Eastern Kentucky 59 58-23 (5-18) Southeast Ohio Valley Rick Erdmann (37th)
26 Oklahoma 59 35-23 (2-19) Midwest Big 12 Jason Dunn (3rd)
29 Providence 48 55-27 (4-17) Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (32nd)
30 Indiana 35 37-18 (5-17) Great Lakes Big Ten Ron Helmer (9th)
Others Receiving Votes: Michigan State 17, Texas 7, Southern Utah 5, Florida State 4, UC Santa Barbara 3, Texas A&M 3, Portland 3, Yale 2, Eastern Michigan 1, Cornell 1, Navy 1
Dropped Out: No. 19 Michigan State, No. 21 California, No. 27 Wisconsin
Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition versus DI opponents starting September 25; records in () are results against ranked teams.
(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country)