Stocks Rising In NCAA DI National Coaches’ Polls

NEW ORLEANS – It’s the calm before the storm.

Following a whirlwind of action over the past few weeks, most of the top teams in NCAA Division I took a breather. That allowed those coaches who are tasked with doing weekly Regional Rankings and the ensuing National Coaches’ Polls to do the same.

QUICK LINKS: National Coaches’ Polls Week 4 – Men’s | Women’s

Don’t think for a second that the collegiate cross country season is slowing down – not by a long shot. One look at the calendar reveals two of the biggest meets of the regular season coming up this weekend: the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Weis-Crockett Invitational in Stillwater, Oklahoma, home of the 2022 NCAA DI Championships on Saturday, November 19.

Let’s take a closer look at those National Coaches’ Polls, though.

Here are some programs that have really shook up the national landscape.

Men

BYU

Preseason Rank: No. 4
Current Rank: No. 1

This one is probably self-explanatory.

BYU ended Northern Arizona’s 11-week streak atop the National Coaches’ Poll in Week 3 after beating their rival – and six other top-10 programs – at the Cowboy Jamboree on September 24. The Cougars amassed 75 points on the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course, 26 fewer than then-No. 3 Stanford and 35 fewer than the Lumberjacks. That sent BYU to the top of the chart in Week 4.

Next up: Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational (October 14)

Syracuse

Preseason Rank: No. 21
Current Rank: No. 9

Talk about a turnaround.

Syracuse hadn’t been ranked among the top-10 programs since 2018, but reemerged in Week 3 and improved one spot to No. 9 in Week 4. The Orange began their season to back-to-back wins at the Harry Lang Invitational and the PSU Spiked Shoe Invitational before posting an eighth-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree. A different athlete has led Syracuse’s charge each time.

Next up: Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational (October 14)

Tennessee

Preseason Rank: No. 30
Current Rank: No. 15

Tennessee had a lot of hype entering the 2022 season.

Pollsters got anxious, dropping the Volunteers from No. 30 in the preseason to the Land of Receiving Votes in Week 2 and Week 3. Well, Tennessee answered by passing its first test with flying colors at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. The Volunteers finished a game runner-up to meet champion Notre Dame and skyrocketed to No. 15, its best rank since at least 2009.

Next up: SEC Cross Country Championships (October 28)

Women

Northern Arizona

Preseason Rank: No. 22
Current Rank: No. 4

Raise your hand if you saw this coming.

Northern Arizona launched itself into the national conversation with a runner-up finish at the Cowboy Jamboree. The Lumberjacks were the only team with all five scoring athletes in the top-30 (they added a sixth for good measure), but couldn’t overcome Oklahoma State’s top-end depth (four in the top-15). NAU has two standouts in Elise Stearns and Annika Reiss.

Next up: Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational (October 14)

Syracuse

Preseason Rank: RV
Current Rank: No. 15

You’re not seeing double.

Syracuse landed in the top-15 thanks to a sixth-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree. The Orange, who won convincingly at both the Harry Lang Invitational and the PSU Spiked Shoe Invitational previously, was a clear sixth and nearly took down then-No. 5 Stanford. Time will tell if Syracuse makes just its third trip to NCAAs since 2016, but it’s on the right track.

Next up: Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational (October 14)

California Baptist

Preseason Rank: RV
Current Rank: No. 19

California Baptist has been making some noise.

The Lancers, who had not been ranked among the top-30 teams in the nation until 2019, hit a program best No. 21 in Week 3 and then jumped two spots to No. 19 in Week 4. CBU is riding a wave of momentum after posting a runner-up finish at the Roy Griak Invitational on September 23. The Lancers were the only team with four scored athletes in the top-25 of the race.

Next up: Weis-Crockett Invitational (October 15)