Texas A&M Men Move Up in Active DI National Rankings
NOTE: The first regional rankings of 2016 were also released this week.
NEW ORLEANS – This past weekend was just the third full slate of NCAA DI indoor track & field competition in the New Year, but already the race for the men’s national team title is tightening up.
Preseason favorite Florida remained atop the first regular-season National Team Computer Rankings released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), but the crowd of teams in hot pursuit runs at least five deep with NCAAs in Birmingham, Alabama, now less than two months away..
No. 2 Texas fell off the pace a bit, but their in-state rival Texas A&M used strong early-season results – particularly a historic, collegiate-leading 800 meters from frosh phenom Donavan Brazier – to catapult six spots to No. 3 in the rankings.
Virginia Tech, whose latest home meet fell victim to Winter Storm Jonas, remained steady at No. 4, while the two-time defending national champion Oregon Ducks dropped two spots to No. 5. Oregon has yet to debut its full squad in 2016.
Those five teams – along with No. 6 LSU – have all established themselves as early contenders for the national team title and the four spots on the team podium. Florida holds an early advantage at 138.12 team ranking points, while Texas (108.64), Texas A&M (100.73), Va Tech (94.55), Oregon (93.85) and LSU (92.66) are all separated by fewer than 20 points.
The USTFCCCA Rankings’ methodology does not correlate directly with the NCAA Championships scoring system. Points are designated using the USTFCCCA individual rankings, which take into account both the top previous-season marks from top returners and the best performances of 2016. Previous-season data is removed following the third-regular season set of rankings.
A pair of SEC teams followed Texas A&M’s lead and made significant jumps into the top-10. LSU improved eight positions from the preseason behind collegiate leaders Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (200 meters) and Jordan Moore (60 hurdles), while No. 8 Tennessee climbed seven spots behind sprinter Christian Coleman.
No. 7 Georgia, No. 9 Washington and No. 10 TCU rounded out the top 10. Both Georgia and Washington slipped one spot each, while TCU dropped two.
No top-25 team made bigger strides in the early goings of 2016 than No. 18 Southern California, which improved 93 spots from the preseason. The Trojans made the top-25 behind national top-10 efforts from high jumper Randall Cunningham, triple jumper Eric Sloan and shot putter Nicholas Ponzio.
The other big gainer of early January was No. 20 Portland, who followed 3000-meter and 5000-meter collegiate leader William Kincaid to a 24-position jump.
The full rankings can be found below.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Week #1 — January 25
|next ranking: February 1|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Florida||138.12||SEC||Mike Holloway (14th)||1|
|2||Texas||108.64||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||2|
|3||Texas A&M||100.73||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||9|
|4||Virginia Tech||94.55||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||4|
|5||Oregon||93.85||MPSF||Robert Johnson (4th)||3|
|6||LSU||92.66||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||14|
|7||Georgia||74.28||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||6|
|8||Tennessee||73.77||SEC||Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd)||15|
|9||Washington||67.55||MPSF||Greg Metcalf (14th)||8|
|10||TCU||65.86||Big 12||Darryl Anderson (12th)||7|
|11||Arkansas||65.66||SEC||Chris Bucknam (8th)||10|
|12||Colorado||62.99||MPSF||Mark Wetmore (21st)||12|
|13||Nebraska||62.28||Big Ten||Gary Pepin (33rd)||11|
|14||Stanford||60.79||MPSF||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||13|
|15||Texas Tech||54.95||Big 12||Wes Kittley (17th)||17|
|16||Oklahoma State||53.92||Big 12||Dave Smith (8th)||16|
|17||Alabama||53.51||SEC||Dan Waters (5th)||5|
|18||Southern California||48.02||MPSF||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||111|
|19||Virginia||45.69||ACC||Bryan Fetzer (5th)||18|
|20||Portland||45.51||West Coast||Rob Conner (26th)||44|
|21||Penn State||40.57||Big Ten||John Gondak (2nd)||21|
|22||Kent State||37.54||Mid-American||Bill Lawson (11th)||28|
|23||Georgetown||37.50||Big East||Michael Smith (1st)||22|
|24||Kansas State||36.29||Big 12||Cliff Rovelto (24th)||20|
|25||Purdue||33.96||Big Ten||Rolando Greene (4th)||24|
|Dropped out: No. 19 South Carolina, No. 23 Tulsa, No. 25 Houston|
|View All Teams Beyond the Top 25|
|Men’s Conference Index Top 10|
|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
|Men’s Regional Index Leaders|
|South Central||Texas A&M||473.04|
|View All Regional Rankings|