By RYAN HERRINGTON
So much for looking mortal. When California finished third at the Arizona Intercollegiate, the first time the team hadn't claimed at least a share of a title during the 2012-13 season, many wondered if this would cause the team to sputter with the momentum from the fall semester gone.
Yet with a third-straight victory at the John Burns Intercollegiate last week, and by a whopping 27 strokes, the Golden Bears easily managed to retain their spot atop the first Golf World/Nike Golf Division I men's coaches' poll. Steve Desimone's squad earned 21 of the 23 available first-place votes.
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Alabama, fresh off its third straight win at the Puerto Rico Classic, moved into the No. 2 spot, claiming the two remaining first-place votes. UCLA, winner at the Amer Ari Invitational to start the spring, rose to No. 3 in the poll.
The biggest move came from TCU, which jumped from unranked at the close of the fall to No. 14 in the first spring poll. The Horned Frogs finished second at the Arizona Intercollegiate the first of four spring tournaments they've already played. Their best showing was a victory at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate this past weekend.
Fresh off its win at the Matlock Collegiate Classic to open the spring, Barry jumped to the top of the first Division II coaches' poll of the spring. The Buccaneers claimed six of 17 first-place votes to take over the No. 1 spot for the second time in the 2012-13 season.
Previous No. 1 Nova Southeastern dropped to No. 2 after finishing fifth in its spring opener, the Saint Leo Invitational. The Sharks still scored nine first-place votes.
USC-Aiken remained in the No. 3 spot, with Florida Southern and Abilene Christian rounding out the top five.
Oglethorpe opened the spring season with a victory in a dual match with Emory, and remains the top-ranked program in the first men's Division III coaches' poll of the spring. The Stormy Petrels claimed two team titles in four fall tournament starts, helping them earn 11 of the 16 available first-place votes in the poll.
Holding their spots at No. 2 and 3 in the poll are Methodist, which claimed three first-place votes, and Saint John's (Minn.) Flip flopping positions at No. 4 and 5 were Texas-Tyler and Nebraska Wesleyan.
Texas Wesleyan, with eight of the 10 available first-place votes, held on to the No. 1 ranking in the first NAIA coaches' poll of the spring. After winning three events in the fall, the rams opened the spring season with a second place finish at the Claude Jacobs Invitational.
Holding their spots at No. 2 and 3 in the poll are Oklahoma City, which received one first-place vote, and CSU-San Marcos. Bellevue at No. 4 and Lee at No. 5 rounded out the top five.
The Wranglers appropriately enough, won their spring opener, the Wrangler earlier this month to help them claim all eight first-place votes in the D-I ranking. The Cougars have already claimed two spring titles, helping them claim the six available first-place votes in the D-II poll.