Top 25 News and Notes–Week 9

Unbeaten Amherst becomes the fourth team to top the men’s poll this season, moving to the #1 spot for just the second time in poll history. Despite being the lone undefeated team in D3, Amherst still hasn’t convinced seven of the voters, as #1 votes were spread among four teams, including last week’s top team, UW-Stevens Point. Amherst puts their top ranking on the line Tuesday as they face 16-2 Rhode Island College in Providence.

The women’s poll also has a new #1 team, as Messiah advances to the top rung of the ladder for the first time since early (week 1) in the 2001-02 season. The Falcons leapfrogged the #2 Polar Bears, an action almost as rare in polling as it is in nature. Messiah grabbed 10 first-place votes to Bowdoin’s 9, helping them to a slim 4-point advantage atop the chart.

The members of University Athletic Association are well-accustomed to receiving the respect of their peers, as they are eight of the most highly-regarded research universities in the world. However, the well-worn adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist” certainly applies on the UAA campuses, where this week you’ll find eight top-25 basketball teams and two others in the “receiving votes” category. In St. Louis, both sleuths of Bears received first-place votes in this week’s polls. The Washington U. men’s team moved up to #7 this week, while the women’s team rejoined the top 25 at #11, putting an end to an 8-week streak of being unranked, something the Bears had never experienced before this season. Conference rivals Chicago (women #13, men #19) and NYU (women #18, men #25) also have both programs ranked this week, while the basketball teams at Rochester and Brandeis feature rankings for the women (#7 and #19, respectively) and voting support for the men.

Women: #25 Norwich enters the top 25 for the first time ever this week. The Cadets are 16-1, with their only loss at the hands of #2 Bowdoin, and are tied (in the loss column) atop the GNAC standings with #20 Emmanuel.
Men: The Hood College Blazers, winners of nine straight games, received votes for the first time in this week’s poll. The Blazers are 16-3 and hold a hearty three-game lead in the CAC.
Congratulations to the Cadets and Blazers!

Being the 10th poll of the season (preseason included), this is a big category this week.
Women: #8 DePauw is in the top 10 for the 20th straight week. Ninth-ranked Hope and #22 Baldwin-Wallace are each ranked for the 25th consecutive week; for #3 Calvin, this is the 10th straight ranked week. #19 Brandeis has now received votes in 50 consecutive polls. For #4 Southern Maine, the voting streak stands at 90 weeks, and Williams has been mentioned 25 weeks in a row. Among those receiving votes in 10 straight polls are #13 Chicago, #15 Wilmington, #18 NYU, #20 Emmanuel, and UW-Stevens Point.
Men: Sixth-ranked St. Thomas is a top 10 team for the tenth straight week. #4 Mississippi College is ranked for the 20th consecutive week; for #3 UW-Stevens Point and #14 Ohio Northern, the consecutive ranking streak stands at 10 weeks. #21 Puget Sound received voting support for the 50th consecutive week. #9 Hope and #10 Augustana each have been among the vote-getters for 25 straight polls. Teams that have appeared in ten consecutive voting lists include #3 UW-Stevens Point, #5 UW-Oshkosh, #11 Wash. U., #16 Aurora, #19 Chicago, #20 Johns Hopkins, #23 Bates, and unranked teams Rhode Island College, Wheaton (IL), and Rochester.

Women: Williams received votes in the poll, marking their 50th appearance on the voting list. UW-Stevens Point has received votes 90 times, Capital 80 times, and Hendrix 40 times. Seventh-ranked Rochester is a top 10 team for the 30th week. #16 Hardin-Simmons is ranked for the 110th time; #2 Bowdoin and #8 DePauw are ranked for the 90th time each; and #12 McMurry is in the top 25 for the 30th time.
Men: Second-ranked Wooster is in the top 25 for the 110th time, a record for the men’s poll. #19 Chicago is to be found in their 30th poll, and #20 Johns Hopkins is a ranked team for the 20th time. #14 Ohio Northern received votes for the 60th time. Lincoln and North Central are vote-getters for the 25th time, and Rhode Island College is in the voting for the 10th time.

High-Water Marks:
Women: Third-ranked Calvin, #14 Illinois Wesleyan, and debutante #25 Norwich are all at their highest-ever ranking this week. #6 Howard Payne tied their highest-ever ranking, set last week, snapping an eight-week string of new highs. #13 Chicago fell nine spots in the poll, ending their string of highest-ever rankings at seven consecutive weeks.
Men: #4 Mississippi College cracked the top 5 this week for the first time ever, and was joined in the high-water mark category by #16 Aurora.

Movers and Shakers:
Women: The biggest splash by far was made by Washington U., which beat two top-15 teams and soared from out of the poll to #11, gaining 326 points. This is the largest regular season single-week jump in the history of the poll, besting Muhlenberg’s 263-point gain in Week 6 of the 2001-02 season. #13 Chicago was defeated at home by both Wash U. and #18 NYU and tumbled 219 points and nine placements, the week’s largest drop.
Men: #21 Puget Sound also dropped two conference games, and as a consequence dropped eight places and 221 points. NWC rival #13 Whitworth also lost a conference game and shed 123 points and six places. The largest upward moves were made by Chicago, gaining 110 points and leaping into the poll at #19, eleventh-ranked Wittenberg (+99 points and 5 places), and #5 UW-Oshkosh (+94 points and 3 places.)