The third regional rankings are out. These are the last rankings we’ll see before selections are made.
Region VIII (Week 2 rank)
1 (1). Wisconsin-Oshkosh
2 (2). Wisconsin-Whitewater
3 (3). North Park
4 (5). Washington-St. Louis
5 (6). Mount St. Joseph
6 (4). Transylvania
7 (7). Wisconsin-Stevens Point
My order: UWO; UWW; MSJ; NPU; Transy; WashU; Platteville.
Region IX (Week 2 rank)
1 (1). Northwestern
2 (3). Gustavus Adolphus
3 (2). Cornell
4 (5). St. Olaf
5 (4). Saint Benedict
6 (6). St. Catherine
7 (NR). Nebraska Wesleyan
Dropped out: No. 7 Dubuque
My order: UNW; Cornell; Gustavus; Olaf; CSB; St. Kate’s; Augsburg.
Top four in other regions
I: Wesleyan (Conn.); Middlebury; Tufts; Colby.
II: Springfield; MIT; Babson; Coast Guard.
III: Ithaca; Cortland; New Paltz; Rochester.
IV: NYU; Stockton; Kean; Stevens.
V: Juniata; Johns Hopkins; Salisbury; Gettysburg.
VI: Emory; Mary Washington; Berry; Christopher Newport.
VII: Hope; Calvin; Carnegie Mellon; Otterbein.
X: Trinity (Texas); Claremont-Mudd-Scripps; La Verne; Colorado College.
Most importantly, I think any debate we could have would be around personal opinions rather than questions of process. That’s a credit to the committees over the past couple of years. Quite frankly, consistency and logic has not always been evident. The sport is better off when rankings reactions are “Oh, I see what they did there” instead of “What is happening?”
However, there is a philosophical debate to be had regarding the seventh spot in Region VIII. Each week I have thought Platteville earned that spot over Stevens Point. Stevens Point profiles better nationally, so Platteville would “block” Stevens Point from getting into the NCAA field sooner (or at all) when compared against all regions.
My way of thinking is to put teams into the regional positions they’ve earned. There is no debate if you think Stevens Point is without-question the more deserving team than Platteville for the seventh spot. There are paths where that argument is viable. It’s close to me, but I think Platteville’s win over Stevens Point tips the scales toward Platteville.
The good debate, as I see it, is whether the committee’s goal should be to rank with an eye toward getting as many regional teams into the national field or to rank according to regional comparisons that could lead to so-called “blockers” or perhaps mere “delayers” at the time of NCAA selections.
This situation comes up yearly and weekly. Last…