The College Football Playoff Selection Committee's weekly rankings were a disaster for the body, raising chaos where none needed to reside. In the wake of Texas Christian's fall from the top four after sitting comfortably within the elite quartet in the penultimate release of the group's final rankings, brains exploded across the country trying to understand how things went sideways for the Horned Frogs despite the fact that Texas Christian played Iowa State to the tune of a 52-point drubbing the day prior to the Frogs' exclusion from the championship bracket. Recognizing the potential for disaster if it adopted this idea for basketball purposes, the NCAA eschewed releasing rankings or projected brackets prior to its hoops tournament, instead continuing its tradition of unveiling a bracket in a Selection Sunday event, capitalizing on the power of secrecy and uncertainty.
In what looks like a compromise between football's desire for the spotlight and basketball's clandestine approach, the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Committee has announced a regular season top 10 national ranking. This may or may not cause a ruckus, but it does highlight where the selection committee's head is at as conference tournaments come into focus. From the press release:
Using the selection criteria and results through games as of April 19, the University of Notre Dame is the top ranked team in the nation with a 9-1 record. They are followed by fellow Atlantic Coast Conference members University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (12-2) and Syracuse University (9-2) at second and third, respectively. Rounding out the top five are the University of Maryland, College Park (12-1), out of the Big Ten Conference, and the University of Denver (10-2) from the Big East Conference at fourth and fifth.
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"This was a useful exercise for the committee," said Heather Lyke, chair of the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee and Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Eastern Michigan University. "There is a lot of lacrosse still to be played so things may change, but this enabled us to have very similar conversations to the ones we will be having in two weeks on selection weekend. The parity in men’s lacrosse is significant and will make those selections challenging. The national committee would like to especially thank the Regional Advisory Committee members for their input regarding the rankings."
Here's the full top 10 according to people in charge of making your May interesting:
Some brief thoughts on this initial top 10:
- The top three are as expected. The order may change following the ACC Tournament, but most projections at this point in the season have aligned with the thought that Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Syracuse are the top three seeds in the bracket.
- The race for the last seeded position -- which permits a home game in the first round -- is interesting, especially considering that Albany owns a head-to-head victory against Yale. The Great Danes may need a team ahead of them to falter down the stretch if Albany is to move forward on the committee's board.
- The top 10 features teams that could be projected as conference champions from five conferences -- ACC, Big Ten, Big East, Ivy, and America East. With only eight at-large positions in the field this year, five of the eight at-large selections are presumably coming out of this top 10, leaving only three spots available for teams not highlighted in the committee's release. The committee held back some important information here, and that should keep a level of chatter going around what the full bracket may look like.