Trey’s MCLA Rankings — Week 2

Expect these rankings out every week on Tuesdays, the day before the league’s actual coaches’ poll is released. I give some explanations below for these teams — the +/- number is how much the team rose/fell from my poll last week, not the coaches poll.

  1. Grand Canyon (2–0) +2

2. Georgia Tech (4–0) +2

I went back and forth for a while on which of these teams deserved it more. On one hand, it would be great to see an SELC team in the #1 spot for the first time. But two wins over top-10 teams can’t be ignored, and GCU looks like it’s a team that should have been higher in everyone’s polls to begin with. However, don’t get me wrong, this is very nearly 1 and 1A.

3. Cal (5–0) +5

4. Cal Poly (5–1) -3

This comes down to the way in which Cal has been winning. The closest margin of victory in their five games was 7, which came against Chapman on Saturday. The deciding factor between Cal and CP was their common opponent: UC Santa Barbara. While both teams beat the Gauchos, Cal destroyed them by 8 goals while Poly only escaped with a one-goal win.

5. Oregon (4–0) +2

Oregon is another big early-season riser…but their ceiling past this point is limited. Their schedule looks a lot like Georgia Tech’s last year, with some tough opponents in the early goings and then coasting. For real, though — the Ducks don’t get another ranked opponent until Oregon State in the team’s finale.

6. Colorado State (2–1)

7. BYU (3–1) -2

This is another one that’s essentially a tie. I just like Colorado State’s loss to GCU a little more than BYU’s loss to UNLV. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Cougs had a massive win over Cal Poly…but the loss has to count for something too, and it’s a small knock for a team that was top 5 for me a week ago.

8. Oregon State (6–0) +1

9. Colorado (1–2) -7

Colorado was a tough one to peg. The reason for the fall being so significant was a combination of things. For one, I don’t see anyone in the top 8 who I consider Colorado to be better than, based on results that we’ve seen so far this year. For another, their losses in AZ weren’t narrow, close games. ASU led 8–2 at halftime; GCU led 11–5 after the third quarter. Not saying final scores don’t count for anything, but it was a team making a not-so-close game look closer thanks to some late-game consolation success.

10. Boston College (0–0) +1

11. Florida State (5–0) +1

12. Utah (3–0) +1

13. Arizona State (2–3) +1

ASU could have risen more, but again, had to justify lifting them over Utah, FSU, or BC (who hasn’t yet played a game). If they had swept the CO schools, this would be a different story. But the split means they shimmy just a little closer to the top 10.

14. Michigan State (3–0) +4

This is one of the big risers this week — the Spartans looked great in some tough matchups this weekend. Three games in four days is never an easy stretch, particularly when two of those are against ranked teams. But MSU disposed of Minnesota, Indiana, and Liberty, and that’s rightfully earned them a big boost in the polls.

15. UC Santa Barbara (3–2) -1

16. Chapman (2–3) -5

Chapman actually benefitted from a lack of teams rising up to take this spot. There wasn’t much more to it than that. The loss against Cal wasn’t just a loss, it was a blowout. 8–1 at halftime, a 12–5 final score. Don’t get me wrong, the team did rebound with a 17–7 throttling of Stanford on the road. But I didn’t have Stanford ranked to begin with, so I don’t know that it’s a win of note.

17. Liberty (1–1) —

18. UNLV (3–2) +7

The Rebels caught a lot of people by surprise with a close game against Utah, and then they showed that it wasn’t a fluke with an 8–6 win against BYU. Granted, they did follow that up with a 7-goal loss to Cal Poly, but look at the teams behind this one — who has a win as quality as the BYU one? Even more so, beyond the LaxCats, who has quality losses better than Poly and Utah?

19. Arizona (2–3) +1

20. Davenport (1–0) +1

21. Virginia Tech (3–1) -5

22. Minnesota (6–1) -3

Both of these teams made the notable falls on the back end of the ranks. VT had to fall after a loss to unranked South Carolina. The Hokies have no marquee wins yet, and one bad loss — but they will absolutely have a chance to turn that around going forward. Minnesota was arguably pretty high at 19 to begin with, but I had them pegged as CCLA favorites. MSU put a quick stop to that thought, but it was a close one-goal game. They’re a distant outsider in an intense race for the at-larges.

23. Texas (5–0) —

24. UConn (0–0) -2

25. New Hampshire (0–0) —

Keep in mind, please, that I am not a voter in the MCLA Coaches’ Poll, and this poll carries no weight or importance. It’s just what I would submit as a poll, and why, if I were a voter.

Follow me on Twitter @TreyLanthier or email me at treylanthier@gmail.com. Check out MCLA’s CrosseFire, a radio show and podcast dedicated to covering the entire league, only on LacrosseTalkRadio.com.