Duke Tops Face-Off Yearbook Preseason Rankings


It's getting to be that time of year.

Face-Off Yearbook, an arm of Inside Lacrosse, hit digital newsstands on Friday -- if you're looking for the annual in a tangible medium this year I have heartbreaking news for you: your fingers aren't going to get full of dastardly ink as Inside Lacrosse chose to publish the magazine in a digitally-only format for this upcoming season -- and Duke sits in the pole position:

The defending national champion Duke Blue Devils are the No. 1 team in the country heading into the 2014 season, taking the top spot in the 2014 Face-Off Yearbook.

The Face-Off Yearbook rankings are a subjective ranking agreed upon by the whole IL staff. They're a consensus built from an analysis of last year's results, graduated and returning players, new additions and other offseason events that have impacted each team since the end of 2013.The Blue Devils were also picked as the preseason favorite by Division I lacrosse coaches.

According to this press release from Lehigh, this is how the top 25 of the Face-Off Yearbook rankings shook out (as well as how the coaches voted):

1. Duke (1) 14. Johns Hopkins (9)
2. Syracuse (3) 15. Bucknell (16)
3. North Carolina (2) 16. St. John's (20)
4. Notre Dame (6) 17. Cornell (13)
5. Denver (4) 18. Villanova (18)
6. Maryland (5) 19. Loyola (12)
7. Ohio State (11) 20. Towson (21)
8. Penn State (8) 21. Lehigh (17)
9. Virginia (14) 22. Drexel (22)
10. Yale (7) 23. Air Force (NR)
11. Pennsylvania (19) 24. Massachusetts (23)
12. Albany (15) 25. Fairfield (NR)
13. Princeton (10)

Ranked by Coaches, not ranked in Face-Off Yearbook: No. 24 Hofstra, No. 25 Georgetown. To compare these preseason rankings to the fall rankings published on College Crosse, this is your link to destiny.

The biggest ranking delta between the coaches tally and the Face-Off Yearbook rankings belongs to Pennsylvania: The eight-position difference just edged out Loyola's seven-position variance. (Interestingly, looking at the coaches projections, the Face-Off Yearbook rankings, and the College Crosse fall top 20, it's Princeton that holds the largest standard deviation -- 3.7417 -- between its placement in the three runs (Pennsylvania came in closely behind in terms of largest standard deviation). I think at this point it's safe to say that nobody has a clear picture on the Quakers for the upcoming spring.)

What do you guys think? Like what you're seeing or do you want to throw rotten cabbage at your computer screen?

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