Just looking at the Top 10 and the big differences are Ithaca (Ricky’s #10 team and my #24), Pacific Lutheran (Ricky has them unranked while I have them at 8) and Ohio Northern (Ricky has them unranked while I have them at 10).
Ithaca looked really strong during their NCAA Tournament run and only suffered moderate losses due to senior graduation so it’s quite possible they will gravitate more towards 10 than 24. They play a really strong schedule so they certainly are in a position to prove it this year.
I probably like Pacific Lutheran more than I should but I don’t think my #8 ranking is that high. While I agree they may not get a lot of AVCA love this year, I think they will be one of the Top 15 teams in the nation.
I liked Ohio Northern last year and they don’t lose a lot to graduation going into 2018. Not sure why Ricky doesn’t have them in the Top 25. He either knows something I don’t or his senility is getting worse.
Bonus team: St. Thomas
Ricky has the Tommies at #11 while they don’t appear in my rankings or in my Next 12. I wasn’t very high on St. Thomas last year and they lost a lot to graduation. With a good recruiting class and underclassmen stepping up, they could certainly be in the Top 25. Again, I chalk this up to Ricky knowing that school much better than I do.
And, just because…here is our combined Top 10 using the AVCA method of points:
- Emory (1 first place vote) – 49 points
- Colorado College (1) – 48
- Washington-St. Louis – 46
- Calvin – 44
- Wittenberg – 42
- Gustavus Adolphus – 38
- Johnson & Wales (RI) – 37
- Chicago – 31
- Juniata – 29
- Illinois Wesleyan – 28