News & ToursOctober 16, 2013

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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A couple quick hits:

  • Alabama, having started the fall season with two straight victories for the first time since 2006 and just the second time in history, remained the top squad. The Crimson Tide earned 17 of the 19 available first-place votes having won the Olympia Fields Invitational and the Jerry Pate National.

  • Georgia Tech, also a two-time winner already in 2013-14, stayed in the No. 2 spot, earning one first-place vote. California moved into the No. 3 position thanks to back-to-back victories at the St. Mary's and the Jack Nicklaus Invitationals. The Golden Bears claimed the other first-place vote.

  • Alabama and California compete in the same event for the first time this season at next week's Isleworth Collegiate (Oct. 20-22). Alabama and Georgia Tech compete in the same event next at the Puerto Rico Classic in February. The next—and only time during the 2013-14 regular season—that Alabama, Georgia Tech and California all compete in the same tournament is at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in March.

  • Three schools return to the top 25 after some time away. No. 12 Virginia Tech last appeared in the poll in November 2007. No. 15 UAB is back after an even longer absence, October 2007 marking the last time it was ranked. And No. 22 Baylor makes it into the poll for the first time since October 2008.

  • UCLA and Texas, while both still in the top 25, fell out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2010 and May 2011, respectively.

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Defending NCAA champion Barry, winners of its first two events in the 2013-14 college season, kept hold hold of the top spot in the latest Division II coaches' poll. The Buccaneers were victorious at the Brickyard Crossing and Guy Harvey Invitational to earn 16 of the 17 available first-place votes.

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Impressive starts by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Wittenberg have them sharing the top spot in the latest Division III coaches' poll. The Stags are two-for-two so far in the 2013-14 season, winning the Firestone Grill Cal Poly Invitational and the Embry Riddle Arizona Invitational, and earned eight first-place votes in the poll. The Tigers have finished no worse than third in four starts with a victory at the Gordin Classic and claimed four first-place votes. It's the first time there has been a tie at the top of the D-III poll since November 2007.

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A pair of victories to start the 2013-14 season, including a win at the NAIA Fall Preview, has Oklahoma City holding strong to the No. 1 spot in the latest NAIA coaches' poll. The Stars earned eight of the nine available first-place votes as they continue to pursue the goal of a fourth national title in five years.

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Central Alabama and South Mountain once again find themselves atop the latest NJCAA coaches' polls. Central Alabama is No. 1 among Division I schools, earning six of the available eight first-place votes, with No. 2 Odessa earning the other two votes. South Mountain heads the list for Division II, claiming five of six first-place votes. Walters State JC is No. 2 in the D-II polls with Owens earning the remaining first-place vote.

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