These things are supposed to be easy: There are 63 Division I men's lacrosse teams; pick the best 20 and rank 'em. A funny things happens when you attempt to do that with at least four seconds of thought, though: These 63 Division I lacrosse teams want to make things as difficult as possible for that to happen.
Getting the top of the ballot together is pretty easy, and then it's just a kaleidoscope of vomit after the top six teams or so. The thing, as always, is to try and first get these teams into their proper tier and then to specifically slot clubs. Results matter more at this point in the season than early in the year, but there is bound to be differences in how results are valued (be it the most recent or results that are a little stale). This is what I'm going with this week:
- New this week: Duke. Dropped out this week: St. John's. I didn't necessarily want to drop the Red Storm out of the top 20 -- they are still of that caliber -- but it was either move St. John's or Colgate out of the ballot, and I went back and forth on which team to drop. Ultimately the Red Storm were muscled out, but they're as strong a number 21 as any. Given that college lacrosse is once again crazypants this season, the Johnnies will likely return if they continue to play well.
- I know that Princeton lost to Pennsylvania this week (hence the big move for the Quakers). So why didn't I drop the Tigers from last week? It's a function of a few things: (1) It's not like Princeton had their doors blown off by Pennsylvania; (2) Princeton still has a top 10-like resume at this juncture of the season despite reconstructing its defense and losing Forest Sonnenfeldt and Tucker Shanley for the season; and (3) The Tigers are the beneficiary of bonkers results happening around them. So, I kept Princeton where they were and kept moseying down the road.
- The movement for Penn State and Hofstra is driven in part from results this weekend and in part to adjust for under- an over-rating from last week. I feel comfortable with both slottings at this point.
- I probably still have Yale a little too low, but I'm just not ready to raise the Elis at this point. I think after this coming weekend I'll have a better read on the Bulldogs, but I recognize that I may be a little weak on Yale at this point.
I'm always willing to hear what you guys think. Have something to add or want to call me a moron in a few sentences? The comments are your launching pad.