Arkansas & Oregon Men Neck-and-Neck Ahead of Crowded DI National Team Race
Apparently such small margins aren’t exclusive to the individual events.
In the overall race for the men’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field team title, top-ranked Arkansas is virtually tied with two-time defending national champion Oregon atop the penultimate edition of the National Team Computer Rankings announced Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The NCAA Championships, which these rankings are designed to prognosticate, will be held March 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Razorbacks checked in at No. 1 with 123.47 points, less than half a point ahead of the Ducks at No. 2 with 123.02 points. The two programs have combined to win the past three NCAA team titles, with Arkansas’ crown in 2013 preceding two-in-a-row for the Ducks.
The Razorbacks, despite winning the SEC title, lost some ground in the ranking-points department while Oregon got a big boost from Devon Allen assuming a share of the national lead in the 60-meter hurdles.
Also crucial for the Ducks was getting their DMR team through to the NCAA Championships with fractions of a second to spare; Oregon’s squad finished the season 12th nationally, with only 12 quartets advancing to Birmingham.
Though the regular season has officially come to a close ahead of the national championships, there’s still room for moving and shaking as NCAA entries become known.
These current rankings take into account the entire body of work from the regular season, regardless of athletes’ intended events at the NCAA Championships. Official entries will be announced Tuesday evening, and a pre-Championships edition of the National Team Computer Rankings – taking into account only those entries – will be announced Monday, March 7.
It’s not just the Hogs and Ducks in contention for the title, nor are they alone in championship pedigree. In fact, the top six teams in these rankings – Arkansas, Oregon, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 LSU and No. 6 Tennessee – have combined to win 29 of the past 32 national team titles.
While any of those teams could ultimately challenge for the national title, it’s clear that even the race for the team podium – top four in the team standings – will be even more cutthroat.
The SEC trio of Texas A&M (103.27), Florida (102.33) and LSU (99.81) have tangled in heated 4×400 relays on the national stage in recent years, and the stakes could be even higher in that meet-finale event this year – if the rankings hold to form, at least one of them will find themselves off the podium.
TAMU rose two spots from last week, while Florida bounced back from a devastating No. 1-to-No. 10 fall a couple weeks ago. LSU dropped two spots.
The Gators surged back up the rankings thanks to the reemergences of Arman Hall and Najee Glass. The duo is ranked sixth and eighth at 400 meters, while Hall is also No. 4 at 200 meters and No. 10 at 60. Andres Arroyo also provided a big boost, nearly defeating collegiate 800-meter leader Donavan Brazier of TExas A&M to move up to No. 3 on the national leaderboard.
No. 6 Tennessee (87.36) and No. 7 Texas (86.80) find themselves in yet another close team race with aspirations for the podium, while Washington (69.34) got a historically fast mile from Izaic Yorks to move up four spots to No. 8.
No. 9 Georgia (67.97) and No. 10 Southern California (61.40) rounded out the top 10.
Conference weekend was kind to teams out West. In addition to Washington’s top-10 move, No. 24 Arizona jumped 27 spots from a week ago, while No. 20 UCLA climbed 11 and No. 15 Stanford moved up four notches.
Men’s Indoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings (Top 25)
2016 Week #6 — February 29
|next ranking: March 7 (pre-championship)|
|Rank||Institution||Points||Conference||Head Coach (Yr)||Last Week|
|1||Arkansas||123.47||SEC||Chris Bucknam (8th)||1|
|2||Oregon||123.02||MPSF||Robert Johnson (4th)||2|
|3||Texas A&M||103.27||SEC||Pat Henry (12th)||5|
|4||Florida||102.33||SEC||Mike Holloway (14th)||10|
|5||LSU||99.81||SEC||Dennis Shaver (12th)||3|
|6||Tennessee||87.36||SEC||Beth Alford-Sullivan (2nd)||4|
|7||Texas||86.80||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||6|
|8||Washington||69.34||MPSF||Greg Metcalf (14th)||12|
|9||Georgia||67.97||SEC||Petros Kyprianou (1st)||8|
|10||Southern California||61.40||MPSF||Caryl Smith Gilbert (3rd)||9|
|11||Texas Tech||53.14||Big 12||Wes Kittley (17th)||7|
|12||Virginia Tech||52.71||ACC||Dave Cianelli (15th)||11|
|13||Purdue||48.56||Big Ten||Rolando Greene (4th)||15|
|14||Syracuse||46.93||ACC||Chris Fox (11th)||14|
|15||Stanford||46.36||MPSF||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||19|
|16||Oklahoma State||44.05||Big 12||Dave Smith (8th)||16|
|17||Penn State||43.67||Big Ten||John Gondak (2nd)||17|
|18||NC State||42.08||ACC||Rollie Geiger (32nd)||18|
|19||UCLA||40.51||MPSF||Mike Maynard (7th)||31|
|20||Air Force||40.41||Mountain West||Ralph Lindeman (27th)||21|
|21||Southeastern Louisiana||40.35||Southland||Sean Brady (14th)||13|
|22||Southern Illinois||39.19||Missouri Valley||Kathleen Raske (1st)||24|
|23||TCU||38.27||Big 12||Darryl Anderson (12th)||22|
|24||Minnesota||37.97||Big Ten||Steve Plasencia (8th)||25|
|25||Arizona||37.18||MPSF||Fred Harvey (14th)||51|
|Dropped out: No. 20 Tulsa, No. 23 Virginia|
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|Rank||Conference||Points||Top 25 Teams|
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