Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact. Don't overreact.
In the interest of transparency, here's how I voted in the Inside Lacrosse media poll this week. Some brief explanations follow the ballot.
- New this week: Drexel. Dropped out this week: St. John's. The back of the ballot is a mess. Teams that were seriously considered for ranking but didn't make the cut: St. John's and Fairfield. The Johnnies are top 20-quality, but they suffered the fate of losing while teams behind them didn't lose. I'm open to moving St. John's back in if some combination of the back five put in an uneven effort next week and the Red Storm look solid against Siena. Drexel was in my preseason top 20 and have lost to Virginia by a bucket and flexed their muscles late against Albany. The Dragons earned a big bump for those two efforts, but a critical eye will be trained on Drexel this weekend when they play Villanova.
- The ballot is more volatile than I'd like and it's attributable to a handful of moves: (1) Maryland earned a huge rise due to their thumping of Syracuse (I wouldn't be shocked if the Terps earn first-place votes this week); (2) The Irish were pushed back a bit; (3) Syracuse takes a blow for getting blown out at home; (4) I gave Loyola a push (more on that in a second); (5) Drexel's reappearance caused some collateral movement; (6) Albany's drop carried impact; and (7) Massachusetts earned a small pop. All other movement was attributable to these seven moves. Taking seven swings in week two is out of character for me, but they felt like reasonable moves based on results and preseason expectations.
- Loyola: I don't know. I can already hear the screaming about Loyola coming in behind Penn State despite beating Penn State in overtime last week. Look: You need to remove the transitive property from your head melon; it just doesn't work. I've moved the 'Hounds up six positions from my preseason ballot and am still willing to push Loyola higher depending on how things shake out in the coming weeks. There is something that I really like about the Greyhounds, though: They've shown well in their three games and their opponents have played solid competition. They are top 10-quality, I just don't know where in the top 10.
- The approach taken for any ballot involves first putting teams in tiers (1-5, 6-10, etc.) and then moving teams within those tiers. I feel pretty good about the tiering (there are some outliers, though), but the specific rankings in those tiers is fluid. The aggregated ballots from all of the voters will smooth this out, but the specific placements aren't concrete. So, if you're looking at this ballot and pissed to the gills, just ask yourself whether a team is in the right tier before busting a gasket on specific placement.
- I see you, Lehigh, and I need to see something impressive against Loyola next weekend. I'm similarly losing some steam on Bucknell, but am willing to exercise some patience with the Bison.
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.