By IVES GALARCEP
The number of unbeaten teams in the nation disappeared to zero last week, with all three top teams in the SBI College Soccer Top 25 suffering their first losses of the season.
California, Washington and Notre Dame remain at the top of the latest rankings by virtue of having built up enough of a cushion on the trailing pack at the top, but teams like Akron and UCLA are closing fast as we reach the final month of the regular season.
UCLA handed Washington their first loss of the season, and will look to climb even more with a win against California this weekend. The Bruins started the year as the top team in the SBI Top 25, and will challenge to regain that spot.
Virginia returns to the top 25 after their upset win vs. Notre Dame. The Cavaliers have rattled off an 11-match unbeaten streak to break back into the rankings.
Here is the SBI College Soccer Top 25 for Nov. 1st:
SBI COLLEGE SOCCER TOP 25
1- CALIFORNIA (10-1-2)
2- WASHINGTON (10-1-4)
3- NOTRE DAME (8-1-5)
4- AKRON (12-3-1)
5- UCLA (8-3-4)
6- GEORGETOWN (12-3-1)
7- WAKE FOREST (8-3-5)
8- MARYLAND (8-3-5)
9- LOUISVILLE (11-3-2)
10- UCONN (8-2-5)
11- PENN STATE (11-3-1)
12- COASTAL CAROLINA (12-3)
13- NEW MEXICO (9-4-2)
14- UAB (11-3-1)
15- WISCONSIN (11-3-2)
16- MILWAUKEE (12-2-2)
17- VIRGINIA (8-3-4)
18- NORTHWESTERN (9-4-3)
19- ILLINOIS- CHICAGO (13-3)
20- UCSB (11-4-1)
21- MICHIGAN STATE (8-3-3)
22- MARQUETTE (9-4-2)
23- OLD DOMINION (9-3-1)
24- ELON (12-4-1)
25- CAL-STATE NORTHRIDGE (12-3-1)
Furman (10-3-2), William & Mary (8-4-1), Delaware (12-4), Saint Louis (9-4-2), North Carolina (6-4-5), UMBC (12-1-1), Creighton (7-5-2), Providence (9-3-2), VCU (7-4-2), Dayton (10-1-2), Clemson (9-4-2), UC-Irvine (8-4-3).
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Who do you see being ranked too highly? Who do you feel isn’t getting enough respect?
Share your thoughts below.
I’m an Akron fan and unfortunately you are correct. Anyone who has watched them play knows they dont belong in the top 10
Complete list of teams I take issue with (teams that are displaced 10 spots or more from where I’d have them):
Akron, Wisconsin, and UMBC, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UIC, Elon.
Take the first two one at a time, and then talk about the last four as a group.
Let me know the last time Akron won a game by more than one goal. Moreover, before you compare their streak of one-goal wins to another team, look at how horrible the bottom of their schedule is. I understand Akron plays a different style of soccer than many other teams, but a +9 goal differential against their schedule is not #4 in the country type stuff by any measure. Caleb Porter is gone, and so is the swag from that team.
Wisconsin, I don’t know. Their schedule is pretty bad. They have wins (at home) against Marquette and Michigan State, and that’s cool, but everything else about their record is excessively underwhelming. Otherwise you’ve got a few losses and a draw against middling competition, a 4-3 win against Indiana (lol!), and a 2-0 win at USF. Whatever. I’m just upset about how bad the Big 10 is this year.
Now the last four teams can be talked about collectively, because I again want to focus on UMBC. I know their schedule isn’t that strong at the top. But they haven’t played nearly as many “gimme games” as Coastal has been afforded. So when Coastal drops a game to Elon, what do you do but move Elon into the rankings? But Elon has some pretty good wins this year, some good tough end competition, I guess that fits somehow. Let’s look at Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s top-end schedule. Their first game of the year, they beat Marquette at home… otherwise… loss @UIC, drew Wisconsin at home. Schedule is close to Coastal’s bottom-end competition otherwise. Already mentioned Wisco, so maybe UIC is that good? They’ve played four games against top-100 (100! out of 200+!) competition! All of them at home, 2-2 record, -1GD in those games. Zuh?
I understand folks will have different opinions than me (particularly when it comes to Akron), because that’s inevitable, but there needs to be some consistency elsewhere. Are you honestly saying that because UMBC hasn’t lost 1-0 and won 1-0 against, say, Wake Forest and Michigan State, they’re not top-25 material? The RPI is just awful, but there’s a reason UMBC is 12-1-2 and top-ten in RPI while Army is 12-1-1 and #55. Army’s opponents are legitimately bad. UMBC’s opponents are transparently bad… or teams that you might not expect to be that good but actually are somewhat decent.
And now I’ve spent 15 minutes writing 400+ words about a college soccer poll with no meaning. Heart u Ives.
And I know this isn’t your fault having released these days ago, but having Coastal in your top 25 is now a lost cause following what might be the biggest upset of the year tonight: a UNC Asheville team that hadn’t beaten a team better than the bottom 10% of Div I all year, 1-0 over CCU.
If that is the case, (IMO) you need to axe Elon, and you need to really debate what exactly the merits of having UW-Milwaukee and UIC ahead of UMBC are.
Just one man’s opinion, though…
Woo, ODU! Go Monarchs!
Go UW. Dawgs are tearing it up this year with Darwin Jones. And then he’s going to tear it up in MLS for the Sounders. WOOF!