Florida Men Top Preseason Indoor Track & Field National Rankings

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

January 6, 2016   

NEW ORLEANS – Will the New Year bring with it a new NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field men’s team champion?

That question will ultimately be answered in just over two months at NCAAs in Birmingham, Alabama, but in the meantime the preseason edition of the National Team Computer Rankings suggests that Oregon’s two-year party might be at an end.

NCAA Division I National Team Rankings Top 5 – Men

1)Florida 2)Texas 3)Oregon 4)Texas A&M 5)Texas
Florida Texas Oregon Virginia Tech Alabama
141.12 pts 124.29 pts 98.75 pts 96.00 pts 77.67 pts
View Complete Men’s National Coaches’ Poll

Florida checked in at No. 1 for the second year in a row and third time in the past four years behind a well-rounded and deep corps of returners from last indoor season, followed by Texas at a program-best No. 2 and two-time reigning champ Oregon at No. 3.

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No. 4 Virginia Tech and No. 5 Alabama both achieved all-time high water marks for their respective programs to round out the top five.

Scores were determined by the USTFCCCA computers using preseason event rankings that include the top marks of the recent NCAA indoor track & field seasons by returning student-athletes and the top marks of the young 2016 campaign. Marks from the outdoor season are not included, nor are marks from incoming freshmen.

The closer an athlete is to the top of his or her event rankings, the more points he or she earns toward the team total. Points from all applicable athletes are added up to determine team scores.

The point system used in the rankings is not the same as the scoring system used for the NCAA Championships.

A full breakdown of the national rankings methodology can be found here.

The Breakdown

Change – and more importantly, how teams respond to it – is the big theme of the 2016 preseason.

Florida may enter the season at No. 1, but they still have to replace the point production of 2015 Bowerman Trophy-winning jumper Marquis Dendy and thrower Stipe Zunic. The two combined for three titles and 30 of the runner-up Gators’ 50 points. All told, they graduated 34 points from a year ago, including former NCAA 200-meter champ Dedric Dukes.

If quarter-miler Arman Hall can regain his phenomenal 2014 form and pair with 2015 400-meter standout Najee Glass and Nick Uruburu, the Gators are set to score big points in the indoor two-lapper and the 4×400 relay. Combine them with the 800-meter duo of Andres Arroyo and Ryan Schnulle, and the continued emergence of the next “Jumps U” standout in KeAndre Bates, and the Gators look strong in 2016.

Florida could not win the title last year as preseason favorites, but were able to accomplish that feat in both 2011 and 2012 as part of a Gator three-peat.

Texas was sixth a year ago, but with the men responsible for all 25 of their points returning alongside some key additions, the Longhorns could also be poised for a title run. Third is the best the program has ever finished, coming in back-to-back 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Former shot put champ Ryan Crouser is back for one final indoor season after a title-less 2015 campaign, while Senoj-Jay Givans, Texas A&M transfer Aldrich Bailey, Jr., and Zack Bilderback will be among those trying to fill the voids left in the national sprints scene by Andre De Grasse, Trayvon Bromell, Deon Lendore, Bralon Taplin and Vernon Norwood.

Both Florida and Texas checked in with nine athletes/relays ranked top-10 in their respective events, but Florida has the early edge with six top-three performers to the Longhorns’ three. Oregon, Virginia Tech, Alabama and Washington came in with six top-10 performers each. See the full breakdown here.

No. 3 isn’t an unfamiliar position for two-time defending national champion Oregon, as the Ducks were ranked no higher than third throughout the 2014 season before winning a second straight national title.

While multi-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek remains the cornerstone of the Oregon flock and a threat to score 20 points no matter the event combination, the formation alongside him will look much different in 2016. Those responsible for 41 of Oregon’s winning 74 points have moved on, including two-time NCAA champ Eric Jenkins and a formidable distance crew of Will Geoghegan, Johnny Gregorek, Parker Stinson, Daniel Winn and Colby Alexander.

Since the rankings only take into account marks during the indoor season, the Ducks may have some room for upward mobility if superstar hurdler Devon Allen returns after sitting out a full season with injury and underclassmen Marcus Chambers (400) and (mid-distance) continue the growth they showed with top-three finishes at NCAA Outdoors in 2015.

Before finishing 28th at the NCAA Championships, Virginia Tech spent half of last season ranked top-10 in the nation. The computers project that trend to continue in 2016 with the Hokies checking in at an all-time best No. 4. Distance runner Thomas Curtin will play a big role in the success of Va Tech, as will miler Patrick Joseph, triple jumper Manuel Ziegler and thrower Tomas Kruzliak.

The Hokies finished a program-best eighth at NCAAs in 2012.

Ten years before that, No. 5 Alabama notched its all-time best showing with a runner-up finish in 2002. Led by a trio of jumps contenders in Justin Fondren, Jeremiah Green and Cameron Hudson – who is also a dual-threat in the sprints – 800-meter standout Alex Amankwah, and strong relays, the Crimson Tide scored their first top-10 rank in program history, though they did finish sixth at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

Combined event prowess propelled Georgia to No. 6, followed by the sprints-heavy No. 7 TCU and the distance/pole vault corps at No. 8 Washington.

No. 9 Texas A&M – down to its lowest rank since a No. 12 showing in the 2012 preseason – and No. 10 Nebraska rounded out the top 10.

Arkansas, the 2013 National Champion, checked in at No. 11.

The next set of rankings will be released Monday, January 25th.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

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

2016 Preseason — January 6

next ranking: MONDAY, January 25
Rank Institution Points Conference Head Coach (Yr) 2015 FINAL
1 Florida 141.21 SEC Mike Holloway (14th) 2
2 Texas 125.39 Big 12 Mario Sategna (3rd) 6
3 Oregon 98.93 MPSF Robert Johnson (4th) 1
4 Virginia Tech 96.00 ACC Dave Cianelli (15th) 28
5 Alabama 78.77 SEC Dan Waters (5th) 38
6 Georgia 74.23 SEC Petros Kyprianou (1st) 15
7 TCU 71.28 Big 12 Darryl Anderson (12th) 7
8 Washington 71.27 MPSF Greg Metcalf (14th) 38
9 Texas A&M 70.07 SEC Pat Henry (12th) 4
10 Arkansas 69.75 SEC Chris Bucknam (8th) 3
11 Nebraska 69.17 Big Ten Gary Pepin (33rd) 13
12 Colorado 66.50 MPSF Mark Wetmore (21st) 28
13 Stanford 62.85 MPSF Chris Miltenberg (4th) NR
14 LSU 58.75 SEC Dennis Shaver (12th) 7
15 Tennessee 57.68 SEC Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd) 17
16 Oklahoma State 57.27 Big 12 Dave Smith (8th) 13
17 Texas Tech 54.16 Big 12 Wes Kittley (17th) 5
18 Virginia 46.12 ACC Bryan Fetzer (5th) 23
19 South Carolina 45.48 SEC Curtis Frye (20th) NR
20 Kansas State 43.19 Big 12 Cliff Rovelto (24th) NR
21 Penn State 38.72 Big Ten John Gondak (2nd) 12
22 Georgetown 38.07 Big East Michael Smith (1st) 22
23 Tulsa 36.78 American Steve Gulley (14th) 18
24 Purdue 36.47 Big Ten Rolando Greene (4th) 31
25 Houston 32.34 American Leroy Burrell (18th) NR
View All Teams Beyond the Top 25

 

Men’s Conference Index Top 10
Rank Conference Points Top 25 Teams
1 SEC 632.14 8
2 Big 12 388.49 5
3 MPSF 350.56 4
4 Big Ten 322.10 3
5 ACC 292.55 2
6 American 114.80 2
7 Big East 87.34 1
8 Mid-American 66.27
9 Mountain West 59.54
10 Missouri Valley 48.84

 

Men’s Regional Index Leaders
Region Institution Points
Great Lakes (starts January 25)
Mid-Atlantic (starts January 25)
Midwest (starts January 25)
Mountain (starts January 25)
Northeast (starts January 25)
South (starts January 25)
South Central (starts January 25)
Southeast (starts January 25)
West (starts January 25)
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