2018 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 6
NEW ORLEANS – Conference champions dot the newest NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll after an exciting initiation to the 2018 postseason.
There were a number of changes to the most recent index, released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as 12 teams moved multiple spots in the positive direction after their efforts this past weekend.
The top-3 teams are still the same as they have been for a while now as No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 BYU and No. 3 Wisconsin headline the chart. All three of those programs won conference titles this past weekend as the Lumberjacks dominated the Big Sky Conference, the Cougars ran roughshod over the West Coast Conference and the Badgers flexed their muscle at the Big Ten Championships once again.
Portland and Stanford swapped spots from Week 5. The Pilots jumped from No. 5 to No. 4 after finishing runner-up to BYU at the WCC Championships. Portland was led by Nick Hauger, who won the individual title at the meet. The Cardinal dropped from No. 4 to No. 5 despite winning their second Pac-12 Conference crown in a row.
Notre Dame continued its meteoric rise through the National Coaches’ Poll. The Irish, who didn’t receive enough votes to be in the top-30 to begin the season, rocketed to No. 15 last week and is now ranked No. 10 following their victory at the ACC Championships. This is the best that Notre Dame has been ranked since Week 3 of the 2007 season (No. 7).
Air Force (No. 16 to No. 13), Colorado State (No. 17 to No. 14), Purdue (No. 18 to No. 15) and Eastern Kentucky (No. 19 to No. 16) all moved up three spots following their efforts this past weekend. The Falcons and Rams finished second and third, respectively, behind ninth-ranked Boise State at the Mountain West Championships, while the Boilermakers finished runner-up to Wisconsin at the Big Ten Championships. EKU captured its 12th title in the past 13 years in the Ohio Valley Conference and owns its best ranking since 2016.
Ole Miss jumped four spots between Week 5 and Week 6 thanks to a historic victory. The Rebels won their first SEC men’s cross country title this past weekend after they put five runners in the top-11. Ole Miss is now ranked No. 17 and is close to cracking the top-15 for just the 10th time in program history.
Furman and Oklahoma State both climbed multiple spots from Week 5. The Paladins are now ranked No. 20 after winning the Southern Conference title, while the Cowboys jumped two spots after a runner-up effort at the Big 12 Championships.
Washington State is the biggest gainer of the week after surging seven spots from No. 29 to No. 22. The Cougars finished fifth at the Pac-12 Championships and could fight their way back into the top-20 with a strong effort at the West Region Championships in two weeks.
There were two new additions to the top-30 as No. 26 NC State and No. 30 Tennessee joined the mix. This is the first time that the Volunteers have been ranked since 2005.
The next batch of National Coaches’ Polls will come out Monday, November 12 following Regional Championship Weekend and will serve as the Pre-Championship Index.