Lacrosse the Internet: December 23, 2013

A discussion of underrated teams, how folks talk, and more.

This is obviously your favorite site, but other people actually write important stuff sometimes. Now is that sometimes.

A Full Pint

Staff Debate: Underrated Team in Preseason Rankings
Consensus decision-making has its benefits, but it often draws attacks in the ranking of teams. There are a handful of ways this occurs -- (1) attacks aimed at individuals that deviate from the consensus; and (2) attacks initiated from individuals that participate in the consensus -- but regardless of the method, arguing about how and where teams are ranked remains a flashpoint for discussion. I'm not immune from this -- most of Monday on this site during the regular season is dedicated to dissecting the media and coaches polls -- but even that creates a level of discomfort. Concepts of underrated and overrated are somewhat nebulous; much of it is built on inherently personal attributions of value, and that can vary from person to person, oftentimes in dramatic ways.

Which makes the recent staff debate from Inside Lacrosse kind of interesting: Five teams -- Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Princeton, Albany, and Bucknell -- were illustrated as potentially underrated clubs entering the 2014 season, but I'm fairly neutral on much of these positions. The only two opinions that I'd disagree with are that Hopkins and Albany are potentially underrated. With respect to the Jays, I could actually make a decent argument that Hopkins is potentially overrated in Face-Off Yearbook (14th) (I slotted the Blue Jays in the same position in my fall rankings): Hopkins is filling lots of holes this coming spring and struggled through 2013 when the program was expected to excel. With respect to Albany, the offense is as potent as any in the nation, but there are still a lot of questions about the Great Danes' defense and what the team's ceiling is going to be if that unit doesn't come together. But it's not out of the question that either Albany or Hopkins could accelerate their momentum this year, leaving their preseason assumptions in the dust.

It's December: There is a world of discovery available to almost the whole of Division I lacrosse. Anything can happen.

How Y'all, Youse, and You Guys Talk
People always tell me that I talk funny. (It's my official position that it's all you idiots that speak weird and that I'm the only normal one on the planet.) I grew up in Southeastern Connecticut and developed a fairly noticeable Rhode Island accent through my formative years. I then spent four years in Central New York, picking up language that shouldn't exist. And now, after three years, I've picked up hints of a New York City speech pattern that has rendered my personal dialect a gigantic mess. I don't fit anywhere into this New York Times map, but I do know that I don't have any of that dastardly Bawlmerese coming from my tongue.

Flights

Syracuse lacrosse receives 2014 praise, but it’s early
There’s a lot to like about the 2014 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team, and preseason praise is being heaped on the Orange, but let's temper the expectations a little bit.

2014 Face-Off Yearbook: Patriot League Rankings, Outlook
"If this team should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?"

2014 Face-Off Yearbook: NEC Rankings, Outlook
It's a new look for the NEC this season with St. Joseph's and Hobart in the fold. There's some depth to the league that hasn't existed in the past.

#BestOfLax: Bellarmine's Ward Breaks Through
Here's the best part of Ward's effort last season: He didn't even start the Knights' season opener against Robert Morris.

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