College Rankings

COLLEGE: D-I Insiders Predict Conference Finishes

The Pitt Panthers are favored to top the ACC again in 2018

Photo by Michael Shroyer/Pitt Athletics

With less than four weeks to go before first serve, our Division I Insiders share how they think the conference races will shake down for the 2018 season.

AAC

1. Wichita State
2. SMU
3. Cincinnati
4. Temple
5. UCF
6. Tulsa
7. Houston
8. South Florida
9. East Carolina
10. UConn
11. Tulane
12. Memphis


ACC

1.  Pittsburgh
2.  Louisville
3.  Florida State
4.  Duke
5.  North Carolina
6.  Syracuse
7.  NC State
8.  Notre Dame
9.  Clemson
10.  Miami
11.  Georgia Tech
12. Wake Forest
13.  Virginia Tech
14.  Boston College
15.  Virginia

America East

1. Albany
2. New Hampshire 
3. Stony Brook
4. UMBC 
5. Binghamton 
6. Hartford
7. UMass Lowell 


ASUN

1. Lipscomb
2. Florida Gulf Coast University
3. Kennesaw State
4. Liberty
5. Jacksonville
6. North Florida
7. North Alabama
8. Stetson
9. New Jersey Institute of Technology

Atlantic 10

1. Virginia Commonwealth
2. Dayton
3. St. Louis
4. Duquesne
5. George Washington
6. Rhode Island
7. Fordham
8. La Salle
9. Davidson
10. George Mason


Big 12

1. Texas
2. Baylor
3. Iowa State
4. Kansas
5. TCU
6. Texas Tech
7. Kansas State
8. Oklahoma
9. West Virginia


Big East

1. Creighton
2. Marquette
3. Villanova
4. Butler
5. Seton Hall
6. Xavier
7. Providence
8. St. John’s
9. Georgetown
10. DePaul


Big Sky

1. Idaho
2. Northern Arizona
3. Sacramento State
4. Northern Colorado
5. Portland State
6. Idaho State
7. Weber State
8.  Eastern Washington
9.  Southern Utah
10.  Montana State
11.  Montana


Big South

1. High Point
2. Campbell
3. Radford
4. Winthrop
5. UNC Asheville
6. Presbyterian
7. Hampton
8. Gardner Webb
9. (tie) USC Upstate/Charleston Southern


B1G Ten

1. Nebraska
2. Wisconsin
3. Illinois
4. Penn State
5. Minnesota
6. Michigan
7. Purdue
8. Ohio State
9. Michigan State
10. Iowa
11. Indiana
12. Northwestern
13. Maryland
14. Rutgers

Big West

1. Hawaii
2. Cal Poly
3. UC Irvine
4. UC Santa Barbara
5. Long Beach State
6. Cal State Northridge
7. UC Davis
8. UC Riverside
9. Cal State Fullerton


CAA

1. College of Charleston
2. James Madison
3. Hofstra
4. Towson
5. UNC Wilmington
6. Elon
7. Northeastern
8. Delaware
9. William and Mary


Conference USA

1. Western Kentucky
2. Rice
3. Southern Mississippi
4. UTSA
5. North Texas
6. Florida Atlantic
7. Charlotte
8. Middle Tennessee State
9. Marshall
10. Florida International
11. UAB
12. UTEP
13. Louisiana Tech


Horizon

1. Cleveland State
2. Oakland
3. IUPUI
4. Northern Kentucky
5. Illinois Chicago
6. UW Milwaukee
7. UW Green Bay
8.  Wright State
9.  Youngstown State


Ivy League

1. Yale
2. Princeton
3. Cornell
4. Harvard
5. Columbia
6. Penn
7. Dartmouth
8. Brown

 

MEAC

1. Howard
2. Maryland Eastern Shore
3. Florida A&M
4. North Carolina A&T
5. Bethune Cookman
6. Morgan State
7. Coppin State
8. North Carolina Central
9. Delaware State
10. Savannah State
11. Norfolk State
12. South Carolina State

Metro Atlantic

1. Fairfield
2. Iona
3. Marist
4. Quinnipiac
5. Niagara
6. Siena
7. Rider
8. Canisius
9. Manhattan
10. St. Peter’s


Mid-American Conference

1.  Miami of Ohio
2.  Ohio University
3.  Ball St
4.  Bowling Green
5.  Western Michigan
6.  Central Michigan
7.  Buffalo
8.  Toledo
9.  Northern Illinois
10. Kent St
11. Eastern Michigan
12. Akron


Missouri Valley

1. Northern Iowa
2. Missouri State
3. Drake
4. Illinois State
5. Loyola Chicago
6. Valparaiso
7. Bradley
8. Indiana State
9. Southern Illinois
10. Evansville


Mountain West

1.  Colorado State
2.  Wyoming
3.  Boise State
4.  San Diego State
5.  Nevada
6.  Utah State
7.  New Mexico
8.  Fresno State
9.  San Jose State
10. UNLV
11. Air Force


Northeast Conference

1. Central Connecticut State
2. Long Island University
3. Robert Morris 
4. Bryant 
5. Sacred Heart
6. Saint Francis University (PA)
7. Saint Francis College (NY)
8. Fairleigh Dickinson 


Ohio Valley Conference

1. Murray State
2. Austin Peay
3. Southern Illinois Edwardsville
4. Eastern Kentucky
5. Belmont
6. Eastern Illinois
7. Morehead State
8. Southeast Missouri State
9. Jacksonville State
10. UT Martin
11. Tennessee Tech
12. Tennessee State

PAC-12

1. Stanford
2. Colorado
3. USC
4. UCLA
5. Washington State
6. Oregon
7. Arizona
8. Utah
9. Washington
10. Arizona State
11. Oregon State
12. CAL


Patriot

1. American
2. Navy
3. Colgate
4. Lehigh
5. Army
6. Bucknell 
7. Loyola
8. Holy Cross
9. Lafayette 

SEC

1. Kentucky
2. Florida
3. Missouri
4. Georgia
5. LSU
6. Auburn
7. South Carolina
8. Tennessee
9. Arkansas
10. Texas A&M
11. Ole Miss
12. Alabama
13. Mississippi State


Southern

1. Wofford
2. Furman
3. East Tennessee State
4. Samford
5. Chattanooga
6. UNC Greensboro
7. Mercer
8. Western Carolina
9. The Citadel


Southland

1. Stephen F Austin
2. Central Arkansas
3. Houston Baptist
4. Northwestern State
5. Texas A&M Corpus Christi
6.  Sam Houston State
7. Abilene Christian
8.  McNeese State 
9.  New Orleans
10. Incarnate Word
11. Nicholls State
12. Southeastern Louisiana
13. Lamar


Sun Belt

1. Texas State
2. Arkansas State
3. Coastal Carolina
4. Louisiana–Lafayette
5. Troy
6. Appalachian State
7. University of Texas Arlington
8. South Alabama
9. Georgia State
10. Georgia Southern
11. Louisiana-Monroe
12. Arkansas-Little Rock


SWAC

1. Alabama State
2. Texas Southern
3. University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
4. Alabama A&M
5. Southern
6. Prairie View A&M
7. Grambling State
8. Jackson State
9. Mississippi Valley State
10. Alcorn State


The Summit League

1. North Dakota
2. Denver
3. Nebraska–Omaha
4. Purdue Fort Wayne
5. Oral Roberts
6. South Dakota
7. North Dakota State
8. South Dakota State
9. Western Illinois

WAC

1.  New Mexico State
2. Cal State Bakersfield
3. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
4. Utah Valley
5. Grand Canyon
6. UMKC
7. Seattle
8. Chicago State
9. Cal Baptist


WCC

1. BYU
2. San Diego
3. Loyola Marymount
4. Santa Clara
5. Pepperdine
6. Gonzaga
7. Portland
8. Pacific
9. St. Mary’s
10. San Francisco

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Ed Strong

    July 31, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Most of these I can get behind. But

    1: You completely forgot about South Florida.
    2: Minnesota at #5 (or better) in the country seems more likely than #5 in the Big Ten. Penn State lost too much talent. Illinois is very good, but #3 in the B1G is a stretch. Wisconsin is defensible.
    3: Washington at 9th in the Pac-12? What? I get that there’s a lot of turnover. But UW has finished in at least a tie for 2nd several years in a row. That streak’s probably going to end, but 9th? Behind WSU, Utah without Adora Anae, rebuilding Arizona, and finally…
    4: What on earth is Colorado doing at 2nd in the Pac-12? A team on the rise? Sure! But USC’s better, as is UCLA. Oregon probably is. Heck, Washington may be, too. CU wasn’t even a host last year; jumping them all the way to 2nd in the #1 conference (by RPI) is a massive stretch that I would be willing to bet a large amount of money against.

  2. Ed Strong

    July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Oh, one more.

    Cal Baptist isn’t going to finish last in the WAC. They went 29-1 in DII last year. Yeah, they’re transitioning, and they lost a lot in the Witt twins. But they’ll be ahead of Chicago State, at least. I’m thinking 6th, but anywhere from 3rd to 8th seems possible.

  3. Ed Strong

    July 31, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Hey, found another problem. Evansville got left off the MVC list, just like South Florida in the AAC. You really should have a proofreader.

  4. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    July 31, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Evansville was my transcription error, thanks for the catch.
    You didn’t see South Florida? Always at No. 7.

    So I guess we’re even on the proofreader stuff, huh?

  5. Ed Strong

    July 31, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Whoops, I guess it was Tulsa that you forgot.

  6. rogersmh

    July 31, 2018 at 9:29 am

    This is very well done….happy to see everyone included.

  7. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    July 31, 2018 at 9:44 am

    My Insider omitted Tulsa and I’m not yet experienced enough in this realm to catch it. Thanks for the catch again! I appreciate someone passionate enough to pore over this! As soon as I hear back, I will back the adjustment.

  8. John Tawa

    John Tawa

    July 31, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Updated to have Tulsa sixth in the AAC. Again thanks for catching it!

  9. Shawty

    Shawty

    July 31, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Wow, Notre Dame at 8th, despite having the No. 17 recruiting class. Even bottom dwelling Syracuse is ranked ahead of the Irish. Yikes.

  10. Ed Strong

    July 31, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Shawty – I’m not sold on it, either. 6th (above Cuse and UNC) would be my guess. But losing McLaughlin to retirement hurts *a lot*. I say that as a Washington fan who knows firsthand how big of an impact he has. There’s a good reason why the Irish have gone from completely irrelevant to making the tourney in just a few years.

  11. Shawty

    Shawty

    July 31, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Ed Strong, that’s about where I’d put ’em. But hey, it’s better to be underrated and overperform than the other way around.

  12. Brian Edwards

    July 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    UNC is in a good position at 4 or 5. Regardless of the turnover, they bring in 3 stud transfers in Wine, Atherton, and Tontai and boast the #8 recruiting class in the nation. They are going to surprise some people. Syracuse returns everyone from a vastly improved team last year. I don’t get why FSU is so high or even Duke.

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