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Lacrosse Is Coming: College Crosse 2017 Preseason Rankings.

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Let’s the banter begin!!

Eastern Ukraine Votes On Independence Referendum Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

AND WE’RE OFF!! The race to FOXBORO, Massachusetts for the Big BBQ 2017 has officially started with IL’s Top 20 Face-Off rankings. Chris did a CLASSY job of sorting out all the IL rankings here, which I encourage you all to check out if you haven’t done so already.

Preseason rankings are always difficult. In the end they are just guesses, but the People want banter and you gotta give the People what they want. Below are our preseason rankings. I’ll continue to update this post as everyone’s votes come in.

College Crosse Preseason Rankings

Ranking Inside Lacrosse Safe Fekadu Chris Jastrzembski Adam Epstein Jake Nazar
Ranking Inside Lacrosse Safe Fekadu Chris Jastrzembski Adam Epstein Jake Nazar
1 Denver North Carolina North Carolina Denver North Carolina
2 North Carolina Maryland Denver North Carolina Denver
3 Maryland Loyola Loyola Loyola Maryland
4 Notre Dame Denver Maryland Yale Loyola
5 Loyola Yale Yale Maryland Yale
6 Yale Brown Notre Dame Brown Albany
7 Syracuse Navy Syracuse Notre Dame Johns Hopkins
8 Duke Towson Duke Towson Notre Dame
9 Navy Syracuse Johns Hopkins Syracuse Syracuse
10 Brown Albany Towson Johns Hopkins Towson
11 Towson Air Force Brown Virginia Duke
12 Johns Hopkins Notre Dame Navy Albany Navy
13 Albany Marquette Penn State Navy Brown
14 Virginia Johns Hopkins Albany Duke Rutgers
15 Richmond Duke Virginia Penn State Penn State
16 Penn State Rutgers Richmond Fairfield Virginia
17 Fairfield Quinnipiac Marquette Marquette Air Force
18 Air Force Penn State Air Force Villanova Marquette
19 Rutgers Villanova Rutgers Richmond Fairfield
20 Marquette Richmond Villanova Rutgers Richmond

College Crosse Preseason Rankings.

Ranking Inside Lacrosse Ryan McDonnell Jason Myers Marisa Ingemi Joe Keegan
Ranking Inside Lacrosse Ryan McDonnell Jason Myers Marisa Ingemi Joe Keegan
1 Denver North Carolina Denver North Carolina Denver
2 North Carolina Denver Maryland Denver Maryland
3 Maryland Maryland Syracuse Loyola North Carolina
4 Notre Dame Yale North Carolina Maryland Loyola
5 Loyola Loyola Loyola Syracuse Syracuse
6 Yale Navy Yale Yale Johns Hopkins
7 Syracuse Syracuse Albany Navy Navy
8 Duke Notre Dame Johns Hopkins Notre Dame Yale
9 Navy Duke Navy Towson Notre Dame
10 Brown Towson Notre Dame Hopkins Towson
11 Towson Johns Hopkins Brown Albany Virginia
12 Johns Hopkins Brown Towson Brown Penn State
13 Albany Albany Air Force Air Force Duke
14 Virginia Penn State Virginia Rutgers Brown
15 Richmond Virginia Penn State Penn State Rutgers
16 Penn State Richmond Rutgers Duke Albany
17 Fairfield Marquette Marquette Virginia Villanova
18 Air Force Air Force St. Joseph's Marquette Richmond
19 Rutgers Rutgers Duke Villanova Air Force
20 Marquette Fairfield Richmond Boston University Marquette

Hopefully after the holidays people can share some of their thoughts about their picks in their own posts. Here are some of my initial takes on the upcoming season.

  • UNC at #1.

I don’t know if it’s a Hot Take or not, but I believe if you won the title last year, you get to start things off at #1. Obviously players graduate/transfer and teams have to change/replenish their lineups, but in my poll the defending champ gets the courtesy to start out at number 1.

  • Everyone else

I probably gave a little too much weight to how teams finished last season, but I trusted the Force when I chose my teams, so I feel good about what I picked.

  • 2017’s going to be a fun year.

I have a feeling we’re going to have an entertaining (and at times chaotic) 2017 season. Lacrosse has grown significantly in the last 20 years and continues to grow at a considerable pace. As the pool of gifted players increases, and the number of D1 schools stays relatively stagnant, we’re starting to see more and more elite players at non-traditional power schools (Loyola & Pat Spencer, Rutgers & Adam Charalambides, and the Thompsons & Connor Fields at Albany, are good examples), which has helped to even the playing field in division 1.

Indeed, we saw a wave of success stories last year: Waaaaaaaaaagner went from 8 wins in the previous five seasons to 6-9 in 2016; Rutgers had an historic year; Marquette earned a home game in the tournament in only their 4th year of existence; Quinnipiac had its best season since 2001; and Air Force took their 15-game win streak to Notre Dame for their first tournament appearance in program history.

The large increase in the number of good high school lacrosse players has helped to change the competitive balance on the college level, and I think we’re in store for an even more unpredictable season than we had last year.

  • No ACC AQ.

There’s no ACC automatic qualifier in 2017. The conference’s grace period since falling below the requisite six teams necessary to officially be a conference, ended last season. The conference has yet to find a replacement for Maryland leaving to go to the Big Ten two years ago.

Despite not having an AQ, the ACC should be fine on Selection Sunday in May. However, the conference did see a considerable increase in the number of non-conference losses last season (Duke, North Carolina, and UVA all had four regular season non-conference losses in 2016, the conference had three non-conference losses combined in 2015); things could get very interesting if this trend continues or increases in 2017.

That’s it for now. I’ll update the graph as everyone else sends in their results. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.