The MCLA released its first in-season update to the coaches poll, and with most clubs having at least a handful of on-field results to go on, the rankings are the perfect fuel for debate.
UC Santa Barbara (6-0) jumped two spots from No. 6 to No. 4 after a strong start that includes wins over four ranked teams — Stanford, Cal Poly, Sonoma State and California — as well as Georgia, the defending SELC champion.
Chapman (0-2) dropped three spots from No. 5 to No. 8 after opening the season last weekend at the Coaches vs. Cancer event in Palm Desert with losses to No. 2 Colorado and to Boston College, which was No. 10 in the preseason and has climbed all the way to No. 5. Next up for the Panthers? No. 9 Grand Canyon on Friday and No. 3 Arizona State on Sunday. No cupcakes in the early going for Chapman.
Colorado State, Colorado and Arizona State remain atop the rankings in the same order as the preseason poll, but some voters juggled the top three. Colorado State received only 16 first-place votes after having 21 in the preseason. Colorado picked up a bunch of those, and ASU grabbed a couple.
Cal Poly was the biggest SoCal mover, climbing from No. 18 to No. 13 after its 3-1 start (with the loss being a close one — 6-5 — at Santa Barbara). Even so, Cal Poly coach Marc Lea noted the inconsistency in early season polls:
@The_MCLA Granted, early season polls are tough. But not sure how NE is unbeaten and 7 slots below a team they beat (on game 3 in 3 days).
— Marc Lea (@Marc_A_Lea) February 25, 2014
Northeastern is 3-0 with a win over Georgia Tech and is ranked No. 23, same as its preseason ranking. Georgia Tech is 4-2, with losses to Boston College (no harm there) and Northeastern, and is ranked No. 16 — four spots above its preseason ranking. Some voters must not be paying attention.
The same could be said in regards to local teams in the Division II poll. Concordia (0-3) opened at No. 6 in the preseason, lost its first three games — albeit all to Division I teams — but fell only to No. 11. To be honest, that high preseason ranking was strictly on reputation. It’s pretty clear voters either didn’t know about or didn’t take into account the club’s December coaching change and the departure of a number of key players from the roster.
Three spots below Concordia at No. 14 is Cal State Fullerton (2-0), which climbed one spot from its preseason position. The Titans play USC on Wednesday night at Royal High School in Simi Valley.