On Monday we saw the first Maverik Media Poll drop and it’s full of all kinds of crazy stuff. Here are the key takeaways from this weekend’s action and how the ranking gurus reacted.
1. Carolina wins, drops farther than Loyola
UNC barely eeked out an overtime win over Furman, just a week after the Paladins got handled by Vermont, causing them to fall from 9 to 14. Meanwhile, Loyola lost in OT to Virginia in another classic and only fell from 10 to 12. Rutgers and Notre Dame both also dropped after wins that could have been prettier. This may come as a surprise to those who know me as a Carolina fan but I actually agree with this. Carolina looked shaky against a team they should have beat by a lot. Meanwhile, Loyola fought hard in the best matchup of the season so far. This is something you’d never see in college football but in our sport the analysts actually watch the games and aren’t afraid to correct their preseason misjudgments.
2. Four teams receive first place votes
This is so great. Duke took the top spot but Maryland, Denver and Albany each received at least one vote for first. You could make a case for any of these teams. Maryland looked convincing against Navy with young guys stepping up all over the field, including Bubba Fairman’s hat trick. Denver looked strong against Air Force and Albany makes its much-anticipated debut on Saturday at Syracuse, which is sure to be a doozy. Duke is firing on all cylinders with Justin Guterding is averaging 9 points a game after being snubbed from the USILA POY watch list. But Duke has frontloaded their schedule with some gimmes, probably to kill the narrative that they start slow every year.
Hey Quint, what has Duke’s schedule looked like so far?
3. Villanova cracks the rankings
We at QuickStick are Villanova/John Kluh believers. They should have been ranked in preseason but this week they got the nod. They edged out Penn State by a goal on the first weekend in a shootout. This weekend will be a tough matchup going up against Yale, followed by Hofstra, who are not to be slept on. While they might not win both, a battle-tested team with veteran talent is not something you want to see in May. Look out for the Wildcats this year.
Bonus: Bucknell receives votes!
The Bison are 2-0 after taking down Bryant in a thriller. Facilitator extraordinaire Will Sands continues to put up big numbers for a Bucknell offense that can score in bunches. While they didn’t crack the top 20 this week, they’ve got a good shot if they can pull off another road win at Richmond on Saturday (which we may be attending/snapchatting, stay tuned).
We’ve got a big slate this week capped off by Duke-Denver on Friday. College lacrosse season, what a time to be alive.