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: Ohio State, Towson, and Marist. Dropped out this week: Fairfield, Richmond, and Loyola. Also seriously considered: Loyola, Harvard, Navy, and Fairfield (in no particular order). It's been an incredibly difficult year to try and determine the back of the ballot, but the end of the year yields a pretty reasonable final portion of the run. Who knew? There's probably some debate on 19 and 20, but those teams are kind of uneven to begin with and haven't exactly developed a bulletproof ranking resume.
- IMPORTANT POINT: None of this impacts the NCAA Tournament selection committee, or at least the NCAA Tournament selection committee should not be influenced by this ballot or other ballots that create the media poll. The media poll and the selection committee's process have different purposes, and one exercise does not influence the other. Any argument that starts or ends with "But [TEAM X] is [POSITION IN THE POLL]!" does not matter to the selection committee, nor does "But [TEAM Y] was [TOURNAMENT POSITION]!" matter to me. There are different requirements inherent in each situation.
- Denver: I gave the Pioneers a lil' push. It was recognition of the way that Denver dismantled Georgetown in the second half of the Big East Tournament final.
- 12-20: There was a lot of movement there, but most of it is attributable to increasing the positions of Johns Hopkins and Princeton. Everything else ordered behind the Jays and Tigers -- the exception being giving Colgate a push ahead of Georgetown -- and getting Ohio State, Towson, and Marist into the ballot. Stony Brook was recalibrated backwards the same way that Hopkins and Princeton were thrust forward. Based on what I'm seeing in some advanced rating models, these rankings seem to align pretty well to the output from those systems.