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Massachusetts Picked to Win 2013 CAA Title

Where did the coaches slot everyone else? And who's the preseason player of the year?

THUNDERDOME! doesn't necessarily have "favorites"; rather, THUNDERDOME! has "least likely to be drawn and quartered." That's what happens when a league throws seven teams together with dangerous weapons and a thirst for blood and the only relief -- sweet relief! -- is survival because it's preferable to death. The combatant that THUNDERDOME!'s coaches believe to bleed the least in 2013? Massachusetts, but the Minutemen's presumed fighting capability wasn't unanimous (of course). To the press release!

Massachusetts, which captured its first CAA men's lacrosse championship a year ago, has been picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association title again in 2013 according to a vote of the league's head lacrosse coaches.

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The CAA boasts three of its seven squads in the Preseason United States States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Top-20, as Massachusetts (12), Penn State (15) and Hofstra (20) were ranked earlier this week. Drexel and Delaware received votes in the USILA preseason poll.

Here's how the actual voting shook out among the conference's fancy gym teachers:

1. Massachusetts -- 35 (5)
2. Penn State -- 31 (2)
T-3. Drexel -- 22
T-3. Hofstra -- 22
5. Delaware -- 16
6. Towson -- 15
7. St. Joseph's -- 6

Some brief notes on the polling:

  • It was unanimous that St. Joseph's will finish at the bottom of the league. I do not believe, however, that the coaches think that the Hawks will definitely have a winless THUNDERDOME! campaign. If any of them do, they're itching for a tire iron against the back of their head.
  • If I'm doing the math correctly in this cockamamie voting scheme, and I could be wrong, Massachusetts took home five first-place votes (30 points) and one second place vote (5 points). Who's the non-restricted voter than put Penn State on top of the Minutemen in the total tabulation (it couldn't be Greg Cannella or Jeff Tambroni, if my assumptions are correct)? That gentleman deserves a Fresca for his independence.
  • Heavy voting bunching between Drexel and Hofstra isn't surprising. In fact, it's kind of hauntingly beautiful.
  • It's a little surprising to see that Delaware and Towson didn't earn enough up-votes to cloud the middle of the voting even more. There is a defined gap in their tier to where Drexel and Hofstra are, and while that is understandable, I'm not sure that the Blue Hens and Tigers are six votes -- which isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but whatever -- away from the Dragons or Pride. Both have deeper issues than Drexel and Hofstra, but those issues aren't significantly unmanageable; both have potential to drive ahead of their conference mates that finished the preseason voting tied for third.

With respect to individual recognitions, Will Manny took home preseason player of the year honors. 13 players -- including Manny -- were named to the league's preseason all-conference team, with Penn State -- Jack Forster (A), Nick Dolik (M), Kessler Brown (LSM), and The Blonde Satan (G) -- and Massachusetts -- Will Manny (A), Colin Fleming (M), Ryan Hollenbaugh (D), and Jake Smith (D) -- leading the way with four selections each.

For more on THUNDERDOME!, check out College Crosse's outlook on the league. For more on Penn State athletics, check out SB Nation's site dedicated to the Nittany Lions -- Black Shoe Diaries.