February 24, 2014

NCAA Division I Women's Composite Rankings

by Sean Burns | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Towson, which took a win over Georgetown this weekend at home, moves up to No. 13 in this week's composite poll of the three major rankings currently available. (John Strohsacker/LaxMagazine.com)

Our second edition of NCAA Division I women's composite rankings is up, with strong consensus among the top few teams, but a wide gulf between some rankings spots once you get into the second half.

Each week, we will publish an aggregate of the four major polls from Lacrosse Magazine, the ILWomen.com media poll, the IWLCA coaches poll and the LaxPower computer rankings. (Note: LaxPower rankings will be incorporated later this season, when its algorithm will provide a more accurate reading.)

NCAA Division I Women's Composite Rankings: February 24

1 North Carolina 1 1 1 1
2 Maryland 2 2 3 2.33
3 Syracuse 3 3 2 2.67
4 Northwestern 4 4 4 4
5 Florida 5 5 7 5.67
6 Duke 6 6 6 6
7 Loyola 7 7 5 6.33
8 Penn State 8 8 8 8
9 Boston College 10 9 10 9.67
10 Massachusetts 15 10 11 12
11 Virginia 14 16 9 13
12 Notre Dame 16 12 12 13.33
13 Towson 12 14 15 13.67
14 Georgetown 13 15 14 14
T-15 Penn 9 17 17 14.33
T-15 Stanford 11 19 13 14.33
17 Stony Brook 17 13 15 15
18 Navy 19 11 20 16.67
19 Denver 18 18 19
20 Princeton - 18 19 19.33
NR Louisville 20 - 20.66 
NR Johns Hopkins 20 20.66 

James Madison

- - 21
NR Ohio State 21
NR New Hampshire - 21
NR Connecticut 21
NR  Dartmouth 21

In our second look at the NCAA women's composite rankings (view last week's here to see how things have moved around), the teams at the top are pretty consistent once again. Each of the top eight teams are in the top eight for all three rankings, with some minor variation. But after that, things get a little dicey.

The first big abberation is with UMass, where the media and IWLCA rankings slot the Minutewomen at 10/11, but our Top 20 has them down at No. 15. Right after that is another 'two agree, one doesn't' situation — Virginia is 14/16 with LM and the Media, but the coaches poll has them all the way up at No. 9. The differences on these can be chalked up to how people view things in the early season. Massachusetts has looked good in all of its games but hasn't yet taken on a really tough opponent, so it's tough to slot where they fit. And Virginia has played well against some of the best teams in the country, but stand at 1-3 with only a win against Richmond to hang its hat.

We see similar spacing on some of the other teams here, like Stony Brook (17 LM, 13 media, 15 coaches), Penn (9, 17, 17) and Navy (19, 11, 20). In the case of the Seawolves, they have two dominating wins over lower-level foes and a one-goal loss to a Notre Dame team that is also tough to slot after a five-goal loss to Boston College last week. Penn has only played once, while Navy has yet to play any teams of note.

With a ton of big contests coming every week now that the season is going, we'll either see one of two things happen. 1) parity will lead to a situation where a lot of teams have beaten each other up and the polls will be all over the place depending on recent results, or 2) teams will settle into their schedules and we'll begin to see some of the outliers come back into the main statistical line. Either way, it'll be fun to see how things go.

(Methodology Note: Teams with a ( - ) were not assigned a number in that particular poll, either receiving votes or being left out altogether. In this case, those teams were assigned a '21' value for that ranking to use with their average to keep things fair since teams receiving votes are not given a numerical order)

Rankings Sources

Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division I Women's Top 20
Brine Division I Women's Media Top 20
IWLCA Division I Coaches Poll 

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