Defending NCAA champion Alabama held on to the No. 2 spot in the poll, earning the remaining two first-place votes. The Crimson Tide are the No. 1 seed in the East Regional and have won five titles this season as well, including the SEC crown.
Duke, the ACC champion and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Central Regional, remained ranked third with Oklahoma and UCLA rounding out the top five.
The votes were already in, and USC had comfortable maintained its spot atop the latest Golf World/WGCA Division I coaches' poll—unbeknownst however to the women of Troy.
Yet as if there was going to be any confusion, the Trojans' 21-stroke victory over Arizona Tuesday at the San Diego State Farms Invitational only reaffirmed the voters' belief. It was USC's third win in a row and the fourth in the last five starts.
Junior Sophia Popov claimed medalist honors, winning her fifth career tournament to tie the school's all-time career victory mark with Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid. Four other USC golfers also posted top-10 individual finishes: Annie Park (third), Doris Chen (T-4), Kyung Kim (T-4) and Rachel Morris (T-10).
This is the first year that USC has three or more consecutive wins since the team closed out the 2008 season with four straight titles, including the NCAA championship. No doubt the folks in Los Angeles are hoping for a similar result come next month.
Here's a look at the overall top 25:
At first blush, the fact the USC women remain atop the latest Golf World/WGCA women's Division I coaches' poll doesn't seem all that noteworthy. Sure, the Trojans' recent come-from-behind victory over UCLA at the Bruin Wave Invitational make them the logical pick among voters, their mid-season addition of Annie Park giving an already talented roster of Sophia Popov, Doris Chen, Kyung Kim and Rachel Morris a reliable No. 5 (or better, depending on how everybody is playing).
However, what's notable about USC's No. 1 ranking is that it's the ninth time since Golf World resumed the poll in 2001-02 that the Trojans have claimed the top spot, pulling them out of a tie with Auburn as the fourth most decorate program in the poll's history. Only three schools have been ranked No. 1 more often than USC—Duke, which has claimed the honor 41 times (in 99 editions of the poll); UCLA, top-ranked on 20 occasions; and Arizona State, numero uno 12 times.
Do the the voters in the Golf World/WGCA women's Division I coaches poll have a crystal ball?
While ballots had to be turned in last Friday for the first spring poll of the 2012-13 season, five days before the end of the rain-shortened Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate would conclude, the 80 percent of the coaches seemed to know that USC was going to be victorious at English Turn G&CC, winning a playoff over crosstown rival UCLA.
Twenty of the 25 voters selected the Trojans No. 1, allowing the Pac-12 power to remain atop the Golf World poll even before recording arguably their most impressive victory of the season.
Somebody's turkey is going to taste a little extra tender tomorrow.
In the final Golf World/WGCA women's coaches' polls, USC, Nova Southeastern and Methodist retain the top spots for Division I, II and III respectively.
The Trojans appealed to those who like quality over quantity, finishing no worse than third in all three of their fall starts and claiming the team title at the Stanford Intercollegiate to close out the fall.
The Sharks and Monarch had three wins in four starts, looking like the same dominant teams that claimed NCAA titles last fall.
Here's a look at all three polls.
It's the first time USC has been No. 1 in the poll since May 2007.
Four different schools achieved their highest ranking since Golf World resumed the poll in 2001-02: No. 3 Washington, T-8 Oklahoma, No. 11 UC Davis and No. 12 N.C. State.
Some other interesting tidbit include ...
Lots of changes in the second edition of the Division I women's coaches poll, starting with a new name. Incorporating the coaches' association's new title (Women's Golf Coaches Association), this is the first edition of the Golf World/WGCA women's coaches' poll.
Meanwhile, there's also a new No. 1 team in the land.
Duke's runner-up finish at the Cougar Classic helped propel the Blue Devils into the top spot despite receiving only two of the 29 available first-place votes.
Indeed, voters appeared to be torn between what teams have done thus far in a limited number of starts in the 2012-13 season and the potential that schools have when looking at the players on team rosters. So it is that nine different schools received first-place votes, more than in any poll since Golf World resumed them in 2001-02.
It's the 40th time overall that Duke has
Fresh off its first ever NCAA women's golf title, Alabama enters the 2012-13 season as the No. 1 team in the Golf World/NGCA Division I women's preseason coaches' poll. The Crimson Tide won four times in a year ago and return All-Americans Stephanie Meadow (the Ladies British Amateur champion) and Jennifer Kirby from the squad that claimed the NCAA title for Hall of Fame coach Mic Potter. The team earned 19 of the 27 first-place votes and hold the top spot in the Golf World poll for the first time since March 2011.
UCLA, with six first-place votes, claimed the No. 2 spot in the poll. The Bruins were the top ranked team in every Golf World poll in 2011-12 only to finish in eighth place at the NCAA Championship. Still, the program brings back All-Americans in Lee Lopez, Tiffany Lua and Erynne Lee.
USC, which lost to Alabama by one stroke at nationals, finds itself in the No. 3 spot, followed by Pac-12 foe Arizona State. Rounding out the top five is Duke, led by NCAA player of the year Lindy Duncan.