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College: Pre-Season Top 50 Rankings, Stud or Dud?

There were way more duds in our Pre-Season Rankings than we care to admit, but one of two studs proved to be placing Minnesota at No. 7, the Gophers’ postseason seeding.

(Courtesy of Minnesota Athletics)

The college season hasn’t quite ended, with the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight on tap Friday and Saturday.

Back in August we released our Pre-Season Top 50 National Rankings. We thought it would be a good idea to check to see which programs are still alive. And where we were a stud or a dud. A fair warning, mainly to myself, this could get ugly.

Top 50 Pre-Season Rankings

  1. Texas (final regular-season ranking – 5)
  2. Stanford (4)
  3. North Carolina (48)
  4. Penn State (1)
  5. Nebraska (3)
  6. Washington (8)
  7. Minnesota (9)
  8. Creighton (26)
  9. Kansas (18)
  10. UCLA (15)

Stud or dud? There were obvious picks like Stanford, Texas, Penn State, Minnesota and Nebraska, so can’t take much credit. Injuries took apart any chance North Carolina had this season. The Tar Heels didn’t make the field of 64. Washington, Creighton and Kansas didn’t make the sweet 16, while UCLA was hardly the third-best team in the Pac-12 this fall. Nebraska is the No. 5 overall seed, so that turned out to be spot on, as did Minnesota at No. 7. The next-closest to being a stud was with Stanford, which is the No. 3 overall seed.  It leaves 10 percent not making the field at all and 30 percent out before the Sweet 16. So even though we hit 20 percent on the head, having a total of 40 percent missing means the Top 10 was a HUGE dud. It should be the easiest to get right and only 60 percent is still standing. That’s a D, dang near an F. Even by our final regular-season rankings, only six of the 10 made it the Top 10.  

  1. Florida (2)
  2. Wisconsin (11)
  3. Oregon (22)
  4. Kentucky (6)
  5. Utah (13)
  6. Michigan State (10)
  7. Ohio State (34)
  8. Michigan (20)
  9. BYU (7)
  10. USC (14)

Stud or dud? The only real dud in this group turned out to be Ohio State, which lost Taylor Hughes and wasn’t ever the same. While Ohio State didn’t make the tourney, and Michigan and Oregon out before the Sweet 16, everyone else is still alive. And based on our rankings, we didn’t have the Wolverines making the Sweet 16. For that matter, same for USC and BYU. But we did have USC and BYU winning first-round matches, and same for Oregon and Michigan. In the end, Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State didn’t not go as far as initially ranked, and USC and BYU went further. That’s 50 percent miss, 50 percent hit. Overall, that’s more dudly than studly, especially when only 40 percent finished ranked between Nos. 11-20. 

  1. Hawaii (27)
  2. Purdue (21)
  3. Arizona (n/r)
  4. Illinois (19)
  5. Washington State (35)
  6. Florida State (42)
  7. Baylor (17)
  8. San Diego (12)
  9. Missouri (40)
  10. Iowa State (24)

Stud or dud? Based on the Pre-Season rankings, everyone in this group should have at least made the second round. Arizona didn’t make the field of 64 to start with, so that’s a big miss. Florida State and Washington State played each other in the first round, so that was tough luck in that regard. Florida State lost, so that was another miss. Hawaii was the other miss, which had to play Illinois, so more bad luck in that sense. In all, three schools didn’t get as far as ranked. Again, that’s a 70 percent success rate for teams alive. But it’s skewed because Missouri and Illinois reached the Sweet 16. That’s makes it 50 percent miss, 50 percent hit. That counts as a dud. Plus, only three of the teams ended between Nos. 21-30. 

  1. Iowa (32)
  2. Colorado State (25)
  3. Kansas State (n/r)
  4. Colorado (16)
  5. Texas A&M (n/r)
  6. Boise State (n/r)
  7. Western Kentucky (43)
  8. Wichita State (28)
  9. Dayton (n/r)
  10. Marquette (36)

Stud or dud? I wish we could just skip over this one. Ouch. Iowa didn’t make the field. Colorado State is a hit, since the Rams made the second round. KState a miss. Colorado, by virtue of making the Sweet 16, a miss. Texas A&M missed. Boise State missed. Western Kentucky won its first round, making for another miss. Same for Wichita State. Dayton didn’t make it. Marquette was a hit, since the Golden Bears made the tourney but lost in the first round. That’s two hits, eight misses. In addition, only Iowa and Marquette are still ranked between Nos. 31-40, while four from this group didn’t even finish in the Top 50. I don’t even need to say it. What a dud!!

  1. Pitt (33)
  2. TCU (n/r)
  3. Missouri State (30)
  4. Coastal Carolina (n/r)
  5. Maryland (38)
  6. Cal Poly (23)
  7. SMU (n/r)
  8. Duke (47)
  9. Notre Dame (46)
  10. Cincinnati (n/r)

Stud or dud? Hopes of ending on a high note aren’t promising. Pitt made it to the second round, so that’s technically a miss. TCU didn’t make it. Neither did Maryland, SMU, Duke or Cincinnati. Cal Poly made the second round, another miss. The only hits were Missouri State, Coastal Carolina and Notre Dame. A slight improvement from 20 percent, but only up to 30. The rankings weren’t any better. Four teams missed out of the Top 50 completely, while only Duke and Notre Dame finished between Nos. 41-50. Yikes. Dud.



  1. mrbilly55

    December 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Can’t say my predictions were any better.

    The only early prediction I made that is holding up was that Rettke would be a huge stud right from her freshman year. I predict she’ll be national freshman of the year, and maybe All-American second team. It still depends a lot on the next few days. If Sun or Samedy play lights out and TX and/or MN make the Final Four, that could tilt things for F-POY.

  2. Chris Tobolski

    December 7, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Totally agree regarding Rettke and FOY.

  3. bllewis2010

    December 11, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Looking ahead, just think how the landscape changes next year even more. You can definitely bet Wisconsin and Minnesota will make it farther than this last year and be very good. UNC should be fully healed and be back to the national stage and top 25 with the returning players and new incoming class. UCLA is very young and will feature a great group of aging players. PSU, Kansas, Texas, and Washington all lose major contributors, so it will be interesting to see where they go.

  4. Chris Tobolski

    December 11, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I’m working on something similar now, and yes a lot will change next season.

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