This is where things start to get difficult. About a third of the season is complete and the profiles of teams is starting to focus. Complicating matters are results that -- if the game was played 100 times -- don't seem to make sense. Synthesizing these aspects of understanding creates issues in identifying not only the tiers in which teams fall, but also the specific slotting of teams. I am filled with woe.
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: St. Johns, Hofstra, and Colgate. Dropped out this week: Bucknell, Lehigh, and Ohio State. There are 16 to 17 teams that likely deserve a ranking based on their production so far this season and the wins they've generated. After that? The piles are the same size, the only difference is the smell. Teams that were considered for the last three positions this week were the three listed -- St. John's, Hofstra, and Colgate -- along with (in no particular order): Bellarmine (the Knights are a somewhat soft 3-0); Fairfield (this week's loss to Hofstra was eye-opening); Ohio State (the Buckeyes have played a murderous slate despite having a 1-3 record); Villanova (the loss to Delaware cancels out the win over Drexel); Bucknell (things have gone sideways); and Lehigh (where's the offense?). These team's profiles are incomplete at this point, and that's what makes filling out the bottom of the ballot so difficult: Nobody is without issues.
- Loyola: I gave the 'Hounds another big swing this week. Outside of the Terrapins, I'm not sure that there's a team playing better than Loyola right now. I considered moving the Greyhounds higher, but I exercised some patience with Duke and North Carolina.
- You could shuffle positions two through eight and I'd probably be fine with whatever the final order was. I stared at those slottings for a while and went with this. If those teams played in a 100-game rumble tomorrow, I honestly don't know how the records would shake out.
- Princeton still has top 10 potential, but I definitely set their first waypoint far too high. The Tigers' ranking should normalize eventually, but the Tigers are preparing for a difficult date against the Tar Heels this coming Friday.
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.