Newest NCAA DI Men’s National Poll Features Top-Five Swap
NEW ORLEANS – Three weeks down, two months to go. The season is young and a lot still can (and will) change in the NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Several of those changes emerged in the second regular-season edition of the men’s poll, including a big one very near the top of the rankings.
Defending national champion Syracuse – idle this past weekend – held onto its top spot and all 12 first-place votes, but there was some shuffling in the chase pack.
Northern Arizona edged past Oregon into the No. 2 spot, topping the Ducks in the points column by just one, 335-334. (Teams get 30 points for No. 1 in the rankings down to one point for No. 3).
Stanford and Colorado rounded out the top five, while Arkansas and Georgetown also held steady at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.
A trio of squads moved up one spot each to complete the top ten: No. 8 Eastern Kentucky, No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Wisconsin. Those three all advanced – as did seven other teams behind them – as No. 21 Washington free-fell 13 spots after a loss at its home Sundodger Invitational.
No. 23 NC State was the biggest mover of any top-25 team from last time, moving up four positions. Three other teams moved up three spots each: No. 13 Indiana, No. 14 Boise State, and No. 19 Portland.
New to the poll this week were No. 25 Columbia and No. 27 Washington State.
All of those top ten teams (except for Wisconsin) have one thing in common: none have yet debuted their low sticks so far, and none have been challenged. In other words, there’s still significant room for change.
Syracuse has yet to trot out top-10 national finishers Justyn Knight and Colin Bennie, but they will likely make an appearance this weekend at the Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational on Friday
If that proves true, they may also square off with a pair of top-20 Stanford studs who may also make their season debuts: Sean McGorty and Grant Fisher.
Also in action at Panorama Farms will be No. 11 Virginia and No. 12 BYU. The meet will be featured in the 2016 debut of the USTFCCCA National Results Wall, so stay tuned for more details.
Northern Arizona has yet to roll out its full lineup headed by two-time top-five NCAA finisher Futsum Zienasellassie, and they won’t any time soon; the Lumberjacks aren’t slated to compete again until the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on October 14.
The team displaced by NAU, Oregon, took a break from its training camp to make its opening salvo at its home Bill Dellinger Invitational. Running without Edward Cheserek but with three other scorers from last year’s fourth-place team, the Ducks topped in-state rival No. 19 Portland (which improved three spots), 28-29.
Colorado ran most of its top runners – either in uniform or unattached – at Colorado State a couple weeks ago, and will likely make a more proper debut at it shome Rocky Mountain Shootout to kick off October.
Despite getting an individual win from Alex George this past weekend in the Battle in Beantown, Arkansas hasn’t yet run its full roster. The full group, including the likes of Andrew Ronoh and Jack Bruce, should be in action on October 1 at their home Chile Pepper Festival.
Georgetown hasn’t yet debuted top-10 finisher Jonathan Green, nor has Eastern Kentucky run All-American Jamie Escriche, nor has Oklahoma State run Cerake Geberkidane, Sylvester Barus or Hassan Abdi.
Teams beyond the top-10 will have an excellent opportunity at the Roy Griak Invitational this weekend to boost their stock in the national poll and pick up potentially invaluable head-to-head wins for at-large qualifying purposes.
Expected to be in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on Saturday are No. 14 Boise State, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 Oklahoma, No. 19 Portland, No. 22 Furman, No. 24 Colorado State, No. 26 Southern Utah, No. 30 Michigan State and three vote-reeiving teams in Illinois, Iowa State and UCLA.
The USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll for DI ranks the top 30 teams in the country. Voting panel of 12 consists of nine regional representatives, plus three other members of the DI Executive Committee.
Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2016 Week #2 — September 20
|next poll: September 27|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Record^||Region (CR)||Conference||Cross Country Coach (Yr*)||
|1||Syracuse (12)||360||14-0||Northeast (1)||ACC||Chris Fox (12th)||
|2||Northern Arizona||335||3-0||Mountain (1)||Big Sky||Eric Heins (10th)||
|3||Oregon||334||6-0||West (1)||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (5th)||
|4||Stanford||323||—||West (2)||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (5th)||
|5||Colorado||313||—||Mountain (2)||Pac-12||Mark Wetmore (22nd)||
|6||Arkansas||296||11-2||South Central (1)||SEC||Chris Bucknam (9th)||
|7||Georgetown||277||10-4||Mid-Atlantic (1)||Big East||Brandon Bonsey (1st)||
|8||Eastern Kentucky||254||2-0||Southeast (1)||Ohio Valley||Rick Erdmann (38th)||
|9||Oklahoma State||242||—||Midwest (1)||Big 12||Dave Smith (11th)||
|10||Wisconsin||231||—||Great Lakes (2)||Big Ten||Mick Byrne (9th)||
|11||Virginia||204||—||Southeast (2)||ACC||Peter Watson (5th)||
|12||BYU||194||—||Mountain (4)||West Coast||Ed Eyestone (17th)||
|13||Indiana||193||4-0||Great Lakes (1)||Big Ten||Ron Helmer (10th)||
|14||Boise State||189||—||West (3)||Mountain West||Corey Ihmels (4th)||
|15||UTEP||166||—||Mountain (3)||Conference USA||Paul Ereng (14th)||
|15||Iona||166||3-5||Northeast (3)||Metro Atlantic||Ricardo Santos (9th)||
|17||Michigan||150||2-1||Great Lakes (3)||Big Ten||Kevin Sullivan (3rd)||
|18||Mississippi||132||—||South (1)||SEC||Ryan Vanhoy (4th)||
|19||Oklahoma||130||—||Midwest (2)||Big 12||Jim VanHootegem (4th)||
|19||Portland||130||4-2||West (4)||West Coast||Rob Conner (27th)||
|21||Washington||128||3-1||West (6)||Pac-12||Greg Metcalf (15th)||
|22||Furman||104||4-0||Southeast (4)||Southern||Robert Gary (5th)||
|23||NC State||82||—||Southeast (3)||ACC||Rollie Geiger (39th)||
|24||Colorado State||75||—||Mountain (6)||Mountain West||Art Siemers (5th)||
|25||Columbia||70||5-4||Northeast (2)||Ivy||Dan Ireland (3rd)||
|26||Southern Utah||68||—||Mountain (5)||Big Sky||Eric Houle (25th)||
|27||Washington State||66||4-0||West (5)||Pac-12||Wayne Phipps (3rd)||
|28||Tulsa||61||—||Midwest (3)||American||Steve Gulley (15th)||
|29||Penn||59||—||Mid-Atlantic (2)||Ivy||Steve Dolan (5th)||
|30||Michigan State||54||4-0||Great Lakes (4)||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (13th)||
|Others Receiving Votes: Providence 40, Dartmouth 30, Louisville 27, Florida State 25, Illinois 19, Texas 18, Iowa State 11, Princeton 8, UCLA 5, Virginia Tech 3, Villanova 3, Middle Tennessee 2, Texas A&M 2|
|Dropped out: No. 20 Providence, No. 28 Louisville|
|^ Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition of races 7500 meters or longer versus DI opponents starting September 9; records in () are results against ranked teams.|
|(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country), CR – Coaches’ Regional Ranking|