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Acrosse the Lacrosse Polls: May 27, 2014

The final media poll is out and Duke stands alone at the top.

Rob Carr

The final media poll of the year is out -- the coaches poll does not release a year-end run -- and Duke, the 2014 national champion, is unsurprisingly at the top of the poll. The Blue Devils earned 400 points and all 20 first-place votes to sit atop the hierarchy while Notre Dame (377 points), Denver (361), Maryland (334), and Loyola (292) rounded out the top five. No teams entered or exited the poll this week.

More interesting than the final rankings is a look at how the preseason media poll and College Crosse's preseason ballot compared to the final poll. There are always hits and misses, but just how well did the aggregated preseason poll and College Crosse's stupid brain predict the future? Here's a table that provides some detail:

Duke 1. 1. 1.
Notre Dame 2. 5. 6. +3 +4
Denver 3. 4. 5. +1 +2
Maryland 4. 6. 12. +2 +8
Loyola 5. 16. 16. +11 +11
Johns Hopkins 6. 13. 14. +7 +8
Albany 7. 11. 15. +4 +8
Syracuse 8. 2. 3. -6 -5
Drexel 9. N/R 20. +12 +11
North Carolina 10. 3. 2. -7 -8
Virginia 11. 8. 7. -3 -4
Bryant 12. N/R N/R +9 +9
Pennsylvania 13. 15. 13. +2
Cornell 14. 18. 19. +4 +5
Harvard 15. N/R N/R +6 +6
Hofstra 16. N/R N/R +5 +5
Yale 17. 12. 10. -5 -7
Air Force 18. N/R N/R +3 +3
Lehigh 19. 19. 18. -1
Fairfield 20. N/R N/R +1 +1

Army, Siena, Penn State, Richmond, and Ohio State also received votes in the final media poll.

Some brief notes on this:

  • All in all the preseason media poll did a decent job at projecting the season. The average miss rate for teams that finished the year ranked in the top 20 is about 4.5 positions. That isn't miserable. The only team that the media poll really missed out on was Loyola (the Drexel miss was big, but a decent argument can be made that Drexel finishing the year as the ninth-ranked team is a little aggressive).
  • The media poll's seventh, ninth, 10th, 14th, 17th, and 20th ranked teams in the preseason -- Penn State, Ohio State, Princeton, Bucknell, St. John's, and Villanova -- did not make an appearance in the final polls. When those teams are added to the table, the average miss rate jumps to about 5.5 positions. That's the danger zone, as the tiering of teams often falls into five-position chunks (although, the top five -- as noted -- pretty much hit its marks).
  • My personal miss rate was terrible: About 6.5 positions (including teams that did not finish the year in the top 20). Leaning heavily on Princeton and Bucknell were killers, as well as having concerns about Albany's defense and Maryland's youth. What sucks is that, in the notes to my preseason ballot, I pretty much lay out all the reasons I could be wrong and most of those reasons came to fruition. Way to go, dummy.