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Alabama finishes regular season No. 1 in Golf World/Nike Golf men's coaches' poll ... but is that a good thing?

By Ryan Herrington

As was the case for the USC women last week, with the Alabama men finishing first in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf men's Division I coaches' poll, they joined rare company in  claiming the No. 1 spot in every edition of the 2013-14 ranking. Four times since 2001-02 has a men's school swept the poll in every edition for a given school year: Clemson in 2002-03, Georgia in 2005-06 and Oklahoma State in 2009-10 and in 2010-11.

Yet also like the Trojans, the Crimson Tide must be wary of resting on its past accolades. Only one of the four other men's teams that have been wire-to-wire No. 1s has then gone on to win the NCAA title (Clemson in 2003).

Indeed, being the No. 1 team in the final Golf World/Nike Golf spring poll is not necessarily the best bit of mojo to take into the NCAA postseason. Just twice since 2001-02 has the No. 1 ranked team in the final spring poll actually won the NCAA title: Clemson in 2003 and Texas in 2012.

YEAR Final No. 1 NCAA champion
2002 Georgia Tech Minnesota
2003 Clemson Clemson
2004 Florida California
2005 Oklahoma State Georgia
2006 Georgia Oklahoma State
2007 Georgia Stanford
2008 Alabama UCLA
2009 Georgia Texas A&M
2010 Oklahoma State Augusta State
2011 Oklahoma State Augusta State
2012 Texas Texas
2013 California Alabama

It's not quite the fabled Wrong Ron Balicki curse, but don't say we didn't warn you Alabama fans.

At any rate, here's how the final D-I poll of the 2012-13 season shakes out:

Moving on to Division II ... Barry University, earning 15 of the 16 available first-place votes, enters next week's NCAA Championship as the top rated team in the latest men's coaches' poll. The Buccaneers have won five of their last six starts this spring as they attempt to defending their national title from 2013.

USC-Aiken held on to its No. 2 ranking in the latest poll with CSU-Monterey Bay remaining in the No. 3 spot. Nova Southeastern and Lynn round out the top five. Lynn received the one other first-place vote.

Mesa CC, fresh off its victory at the Region I Championship, jumped into the No. 1 spot of the latest NJCAA D-II men's coaches' poll. The Thunderbirds were one of five schools to earn first-place votes after defeating previously top-ranked South Mountain. They now get set to play in the National Championship May 20-23.

Other schools to earn first-place votes are: No. 2 Walters JC, No. 3 Tyler JC, No. 4 South Mountain and Owens, which was tied for No. 7 in the

poll-men-NJCAA-0519-275.jpg There were no Division III, NAIA or NJCAA Division I polls this time since all three of these divisions are currently holding their national championship.

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News & Tours

It's the right time for Alabama to be playing like the No. 1 ranked men's team in the country

By Ryan Herrington

A lot was made at the end of the fall about defending NCAA men's champion Alabama winning all four of its starts in the first half of the 2013-14 schedule. Crimson Tide coach Jay Seawell accepted the praise his team deservedly was receiving, but did so cautiously. For all the great things said about the squad's perfect fall, Seawell knew that it would be easily forgotten if the team's results in the spring semester waned.

With the fields for NCAA Regionals set to be named on Monday, Seawell and the Crimson Tide can take pride in knowing that the team doesn't seemed to have peaked too early. Three more victories in the spring, including an impressive 16-stroke triumph at the SEC Championship with senior Bobby Wyatt setting a school-record with a 18-under 192 total at Sea Island C.C. to claim medalist honors, have Alabama looking like fairly formidable as it gets ready to try to defend its national championship in the coming weeks.

Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll voters obvious remain impressed. In the latest poll, the Crimson Tide earned all 19 available first-place votes to be the unanimous No. 1.

poll-men-d1-0505-518.jpgA few tidbits from this week's Division I poll:

* No new school moved into the top 25. It's the first time in 2013-14 that there had been no teams jumping in or out of the poll and it's the first time it has happened in a mid-season poll since spring 2011.

* It was the 79th time in 111 polls since Golf World resumed its coaches' poll in 2001-02 that Alabama ranks in the top 25. That ranks them No. 10 alone among all programs. Here's a look at the top 10 list.

School, Top-25 appearances
Georgia Tech, 111
Georgia, 110
USC, 107
Oklahoma State, 106
UCLA, 103
Florida, 102
Texas, 97
Clemson, 91
Washington, 85
Alabama, 79


poll-men-d2-0505-250.jpgBarry University held on firmly to the No. 1 spot in the latest Division II men’s coaches’ poll, earning all 16 first-place votes. The Buccaneers claimed their school-record sixth team title of the 2013-14 season when they repeated as Sunshine State Conference champions. They now prepare to play in next week’s NCAA Regional in hopes of defending their 2013 NCAA crown.

USC-Aiken remained No. 2 in the latest poll after defending its title at the Peach Belt Conference Championship. CSU-Monterey Bay moved up one spot to No. 3, swapping places with No. 4 Lynn. Chico State rounded out the top five.

No new schools moved into the top 10. Two programs jumped into the top 25: No. 22 Hawaii-Hilo and No. 25 Indianapolis.

poll-men-d3-0505-250.jpgAfter successfully winning the CCIW title for a third straight year, Illinois Wesleyan remained the top team in the latest Division III coaches’ poll. The Titans earned 12 of the 17 available first-place votes as they now get set to try to win the NCAA D-III title for the first time in school history later this month.

Oglethorpe remained the No. 2 team in the latest poll, with Redlands holding on to its No. 3 spot. Wittenberg and Methodist rounded out the top five.

Besides Illinois Wesleyan, five other schools all earned one first-place vote: No. 3 Redlands, No. 4 Wittenberg, No. 5 Methodist and La Verne and St. John Fisher, both tied for No. 7.

poll-men-naia-0505-250.jpgOklahoma City maintained its spot atop the latest NAIA coaches' poll. The Stars earned four of the eight available first-place votes having won five tournament titles during the 2013-14 season. They are trying to claim their fourth NAIA national title in five years later this month.

William Woods and Wayland Baptist each earned two first-place votes as the schools clocked in at No. 2 and No. 3 in the latest poll. Coastal Georgia and Texas Wesleyan round out the top five.

One new school moved into the top 10: No. 10 Faulkner. One new program also entered the top 25: No. 22 Bethany (Kan.).

poll-men-njcaa-0505-250.jpgMcLennan and South Mountain find themselves holding the No. 1 spot in the latest  NJCAA Division I and Division II coaches’ polls.

McLennan returned to the top spot in the D-I ranking, garnering six of the nine available first-place votes after outpacing previously No. 1 Odessa at the NJCAA District 2 Championship. Odessa fell just one spot, to No. 2, in the latest ranking and still earned two first-place votes.

South Mountain claimed five of the seven available first-place votes in the D-II poll as the Cougars eye their four NJCAA national title in five years later this month.

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News & Tours

No end to the roll the Alabama men are on in the Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll

By Ryan Herrington

If surprise is what you're looking for from this edition of the Golf World/Nike Golf men's Division I college coaches' poll, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. Alabama sitting in the top spot is the farthest thing from surprising, having held the No. 1 ranking all season.

The Crimson Tide got back to their winning ways with a victory at the Mason Rudolph Championship earlier this month. It was Alabama's sixth tournament triumph in nine starts this season as the squad prepares to defend the SEC title it has won the last two seasons and see if they can also make it back-to-back victories at the NCAA Championship.

Suffice it to say, there wasn't a whole lot of movement within the top 25 overall as teams settle in for conference championship season:

poll-men-d1-0421-518.jpgA few tidbits from the latest D-I poll:

* Oklahoma State picked up the other first-place vote and moved into the No. 2 spot in the ranking. The Cowboys have four victories in 2013-14 and have finished no worse than fourth in their 10 starts as they too prepare for their conference championship.

* Alabama found its way into the top five of the Golf World poll for the 51st time since the poll was reinstated in 2001-02. That's the third most top-five appearances of any men's program. The only two programs to have been in the top five more often are Oklahoma State (77) and Georgia (56). UCLA is now alone in fourth place at 50.

* Vanderbilt finished second to Alabama at the Mason Rudolph, its home tournament. The finish, coupled with a victory the previous week at the Talis Park Challenge helped the Commodores move into the No. 14 spot in the latest poll, the highest the school has been ranked since the polls resumed.

poll-men-d2-0421-250.jpgBarry University remained the unanimous choice for the No. 1 ranking in the latest Division II men’s coaches’ poll. The Buccaneers earned all 16 first-place votes as won their fifth tournament of the 2013-14 season at their home event at the end of last month. After voting closed, they also managed to win their conference championship as they prepared for the NCAA post-season in which they hope to defend their national title.
USC-Aiken moved from No. 5 to No. 2 in the most recent poll, with Lynn, CSU-Monterey Bay and Chico State rounding out the top five.

poll-men-d3-0421-250.jpgIllinois Wesleyan held on to the top ranking in the latest Division III coaches’ poll. The Titans have two victories and a runner-up finish to show for their play thus far in the spring semester as they claimed nine of the 14 available first-place votes. The squad begins the postseason this week with its conference championship.
Jumping one place into the No. 2 spot in the poll is Oglethorpe. The Stormy Petrels prepare for their conference championship after winning two of four stroke-play events this spring and four overall in the 2013-14 season.

poll-men-naia-0421-250.jpgOklahoma City reclaimed its spot atop the latest NAIA coaches’ poll. The Stars earned three of nine first-place votes to move from the No. 2 spot in the last poll thanks to victories at the Battle at Primm and the Oklahoma Baptist Spring Invitational, lifting their season-long win total to five.
Previously No. 1 Wayland Baptist dropped just one spot and claimed two first-place votes. The Pioneers finished runner-up to Oklahoma City at the Battle at Primm and were sixth at the Bash at The Beach.

poll-men-njcaa-0421-250.jpgOdessa and South Mountain claimed the top spots in the latest NJCAA Division I and Division II polls, respectively. Odessa moved up from No. 2 in the previous D-I poll while South Mountain retained its No. 1 ranking in D-II, earning five of the seven available first-place votes.
McLennan, the previous No. 1 ranked team in D-I fell to No. 3 with Midland filling the No. 2 spot.

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News & Tours

Where does your team rank in the latest men's college golf coaches' poll?

By Ryan Herrington

Who says the Alabama streak is over?

OK, perhaps the Crimson Tide's run of consecutive victories in tournaments came to an end earlier this month at 11 straight, but the school's hold on the No. 1 ranking in the Golf World/Nike Golf men's Division I coaches' poll continues for a sixth consecutive ranking.

Men-DI-0331-440.jpgSome additional tidbits from the latest D-I poll:

* This is the 18th straight poll, dating back to April 2012, that Alabama has been ranked in the top five. The only school with a current longer active streak is No. 2 California, which has been inside the top five the past 19 rankings. (Georgia holds the all-time mark for consecutive times in the top five at 47, dating from March 2004 to September 2009.)

* This is the 32nd straight poll, dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season, that Alabama has been ranked in the top 10, the longest active streak of any school. The all-time mark here is held by Oklahoma State at 74 (March 2003 to October 2011). 

* Having won three straight events this spring, Houston jumped from No. 16 to No. 7 in the latest poll. It's the highest the Cougars have been ranked in the top 10 in the Golf World poll since it was restarted in 2001-02 and the first time they've cracked the top 10.

* Kent State fell out of the top 25 for the first time since October 2011.

Men-DII-0331-235.jpgBarry University, winners of four team titles to date in the 2013-14 season, held on to the top spot in the latest Division II poll. The Buccaneers earned 18 of the 19 available first-place votes having finished no worse than second in any event since during the spring campaign as they aim to defend their NCAA title.

Lynn University remain No. 2 in the ranking, with CSU-Monterey Bay, Chico State and USC-Aiken rounding out the top five. No. 6 Central Missouri was the only other squad to receive a first-place vote.

Men-DIII-0331-235.jpgA shake-up in the Division III men's college coaches' poll saw Illinois Wesleyan to the No. 1 spot in the latest rankings. The Titans were bolstered by a victory in their spring opener, the Jekyll Island Intercollegiate, where they beat a field of 30 teams to claim their second team title of the 2013-14 season. Illinois Wesleyan earned seven of the the available 16 first-place votes as the squad moved up from its No. 8 ranking in the first spring poll.

Jumping to No. 2 was Redlands, which also earned seven first-place votes, after sharing the team title at the Las Vegas Desert Classic against a field of mostly Division II foes. It was the Bulldogs' third victory of the season.

Rounding out the top five were Oglethorpe, Guilford and St. John Fisher, which claimed a first-place vote. No. 6 Wittenberg, the top-ranked program in the first poll of the spring, earned the other first-place ballot.

Men-NAIA-0331.235.jpgFive victories in seven starts during the 2013-14 campaign have vaulted Wayland Baptist into the top spot in the latest NAIA poll. The Pioneers had been ranked No. 2 in the previous spring poll only to swapped spots with Oklahoma City after beating them in successive starts at the Shootout in San Antonio and the UST Mamiya Texas Intercollegiate. Wayland Baptist claimed seven of eight available first-place votes.

Men-NJCAA-0331-235.jpgMcLennan and South Mountain sit atop the latest NJCAA Division I and II men's college coaches' polls, respectively.

The Highlanders were victorious earlier this month at the Jacksonville Invitational, helping them earn four of the seven available first-place votes in the D-I ranking. Odessa, No. 1 in the previous poll, dropped a spot to No. 2 but earned two first-place votes with No. 3 Faulkner State earn the lone remaining vote.

The Cougars grabbed five of six available first-place votes in the D-II ranking after winning the Mesa Thunderbird Classic earlier this month by 10 strokes over third-ranked Mesa CC. No. 2 Walters State JC received the only other first-place vote.

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News & Tours

Can anyone top the Alabama men? Not in the first spring college poll

By Ryan Herrington

It took me a couple glances to make sure I wasn't seeing things. No, that number on Golfstat was right. The Alabama men had shot a 45-under 819 to win the Puerto Rico Classic on Tuesday, beating a hard charging Georgia Tech squad by four strokes.

And so running totals added another number:

Starts in 2013-14: 4 5

Wins in 2013-14: 4 5

Consecutive victories since the spring: 10 11

Starts until talk of being the greatest college team of all-time surfaces in earnest: 2 1

My favorite stat of all was the fact that in the Crimson Tide's four victories last fall, the team shot a combined 32 under par.

All this information only affirmed the results of the first spring edition of the Golf World/Nike Golf men's Division I coaches' poll -- voting closed Feb. 21 before the tournament began -- in which Alabama retained the No. 1 ranking, earning 18 of 19 first-place votes.

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News & Tours

Final fall men's college coaches' polls

I was trying to figure out what to write for the intro of this post when I realized the feeling of deja vu that's come over me this fall compared to a year ago means I could pretty much lift what I wrote for this post last year and it should apply. And so ...

Alabama's California's dominance in the fall, winning or sharing the team title in all four five of its starts, made the Crimson Tide Golden Bears the easy choice as the No. 1 team in the final Golf World/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll. Jay Seawell's Steve Desimone's squad claimed all 22 21 first-place votes to be the unanimous choice to close out the first half of the 2012-13 season.

Joining Bama Cal as the top team in the land are Barry Nova Southeastern, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Oglethorpe, Wayland Baptist Texas Wesleyan, Odessa and South Mountain, each squad earning the No. 1 ranking in the Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA D-I and D-II polls. Wayland Baptist and Odessa are Texas Wesleyan is the only new school to sit atop the ranking in any of the polls.

For a look at all the schools in the final fall rankings ...
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News & Tours

Tide keeps rising in men's college ranking

By Ryan Herrington

There's a couple things that might stand out to you when you see the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I men's coaches' poll.

1) The usual suspects hold the top spots.

2) An awful lot of schools have already won tournaments this fall.

The second item is what makes the first one more palatable to me. The level of play in the men's college game has been impressive through the first two months of the season, with 13 of different schools having won tournaments. Now, maybe they are the traditional programs we've come to expect claim space in the top 25, but that so many of them have proven capable of winning speaks well to the potential for a competitive spring campaign.

Or Alabama and California might just keep winning and make this a two-team race for a title.

With that ... off to the top 25 for Division I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA.

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News & Tours

Alabama men roll again in coaches' poll

By Ryan Herrington

Alabama, victorious in its 2013-14 season opener at Olympia Fields, kept hold of the top spot in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll. The defending NCAA champions won their seventh straight event dating back to last spring when they claimed the Fighting Illini Invitational title by 18 strokes. The Crimson Tide earned 16 of the 21 available first-place votes.

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News & Tours

Alabama men No. 1 in preseason poll

By Ryan Herrington

Defending NCAA champion Alabama starts its title defense as the No. 1 ranked team in the Golf World/Nike Golf 2013-14 preseason men's Division I coaches' poll. The Crimson Tide claimed the school's first national championship in any men's sport outside of football last June when they defeated Illinois in the championship match at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course.

Three of the five starters (Cory Whitsett, Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax) from that squad, which won its last six tournaments, return, as Alabama earned 10 of the available 20 first-place votes to claim the top spot in the preseason poll for the second consecutive year.

No. 2 in the poll is California, a semifinalist at last year's NCAA Championship and winners of 11 tournament titles in 2012-13. The Golden Bears earned nine first-place votes and are led by college player of the year Michael Kim as well as fellow U.S. Walker Cup player Michael Weaver and All-Americans Brandon Hagy and Joel Stalter.

Texas claimed the No. 3 spot, earning the remaining first place vote. The Longhorns reach match played at last year's NCAAs and have talented freshmen Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall ready to jump into the lineup.

Rounding out the top five are Georgia Tech and Washington.

Men's D-I preseason 1-10.jpgMen's D-I preseason 11-20.jpg21-25 Men's D-I preseason.jpgMen's D-I also receiving preseason.jpg

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News & Tours

Cal: No. 1 with a bullseye

By Ryan Herrington

There is no truth to the rumor that by the time you stop reading this, the California men will have won another title.

The Golden Bears' winning ways (10 titles/12 starts) in 2012-13 will make this a year to remember regardless of their postseason showing. Of course, should they hold form and win an NCAA title, the number of memories will increase exponentially, not to mention the number of comparisons to the game's all-time great programs.

Here's a look at the Division I top 25 as we enter NCAA men's regionals week.

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