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Real Deal MCLA Poll — March 16

Our “Real Deal MCLA Poll” is created by former BYU player and coach, Jordan Harris; you can find all his musings on MCLA lacrosse on Twitter by following @JHLacrosse
For this week’s MCLA Poll I wanted to add a quick breakdown to help give a visual reference for how the season has played out for each team. I have broken down the following for each team:
Top 25 Wins — Based on the current MCLA poll. These change as the polls change. You shouldn’t get credit for beating the preseason #5 team that proved to be #20. On the flip side wins against an unranked team that proves to be a top 15 team should be counted as such.
Top 25 Losses — Same deal. I tend to not punish team much for top 5 (10?) losses, but I don’t reward them for close losses either. If you would like a more detailed breakdown of my thoughts on this topic check out this segment I did on the MCLA Off The Wing Podcast (segment starts at the 9:15 mark).
Unranked Wins — Helpful from a basic tally standpoint. I don’t give a ton of weight to these. These are simple to rack up with the right schedule and don’t tell us much.
Unranked Losses — Pray this is zero for your team. These hurt, although typically they don’t stick around long, as unranked teams with wins against top 15 teams usually end up ranked. Weighed heavily as a negative.
 

1. Chapman

Chapman Logo
No doubt on this one. Another huge win, this time over a scrappy CU team. With 2 top 5 overtime wins they might be the most battled-tested team in the league.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 4 (#3, #4, #15, #22)
Top 25 Losses: 0
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

2. Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Logo

Georgia Tech is very deserving of #2, but their resume is going to weaken over the course of the season. Michigan State and Virginia Tech will both be dropping in the next poll, and Liberty is likely still on the outside looking in at a sub-15 ranking.
They have 4 games total left in their regular season, and as of now none of them are against ranked opponents. They need to hope for the best from the teams they beat early, but as it stands right now they are in firm control of #2.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 4 (#7, #11, #16, #19)
Top 25 Losses: 0
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

3. BYU
BYU Lacrosse

A win is a win, and BYU had to gut it out Saturday against Arizona State. It looked like a game where BYU could have let it slip away multiple times, but they were able to continually rein the game back in and do enough to win. Goalie Matt Brandenburg had 20 saves against Chapman and 19 against ASU. He has been their MVP, but you can’t expect those types of games out of him all year.
Regardless of how it happened, BYU racked up their 3rd top 25 win and first top 10, but that will likely be short-lived as ASU will likely drop into the 11–15 range in this week’s poll.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 3 (#10, #17, #18)
Top 25 Losses: 1 (#1)
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

4. Colorado
Colorado Logo

Impressive that CU has yet to play an unranked team. They have two one-goal losses in games where they came charging back in the 4th quarter. What should scare the rest of the MCLA is how young CU’s team is. Paired with the best coach in the MCLA you can expect the Buffs will be on an upward trajectory all year.
We are seeing shades of Michigan with the CU 10-man ride. When playing controlled, settled offense the Buffs forced Chapman into a bunch of mistakes on the clear. 10-man rides are tough to perfect in practice (everyone clears differently), but you can see them gaining confidence in their ride each game. Something to watch out for, it was a hallmark of the Michigan dynasty.
I have them at 4, but in reality you could swap them with BYU and have a strong argument either way.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 4 (#5, #12, #17, #18)
Top 25 Losses: 2 (#1, #9)
Unranked Wins: 0
Unranked Losses: 0

5. Cal Poly
Cal Poly Logo

The Mustangs found themselves in a dog fight against #23 Minnesota, but they got it done. Good teams win close games, and they did what they needed to in order to get another Top 25 win. They deserve to stay in the top 5 this week. The game vs Sonoma State on March 26th is one to keep your eye on.
With ASU dropping this week they will be without a top 10 win, similar to BYU.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 3 (#10, #21, #23)
Top 25 Losses: 1 (#9)
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

6. Boston College
Boston College Logo

Another team that hasn’t played a team outside the Top 25. They had a much deserved week off after the brutal Arizona trip. Their next big test will be UConn, who just knocked off Virginia Tech. They have a few weeks to prepare with a game vs Rhode Island in between. I expect they will stay right around here for the next few weeks barring any majors upsets ahead of them.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 3 (#9, #10, #19)
Top 25 Losses: 2(#2, #5)
Unranked Wins: 0
Unranked Losses: 0

7. Oregon
Oregon Logo

With a week off they bump up 1 spot as Arizona drops. It’s a tenuous 7. Chapman might be their last shot at a top 10 win for the season. Getting a win at home against the Panthers would be a perfect segue into PNCLL conference play. A loss means they need to run the table to stay in at-large contention.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 1 (#8)
Top 25 Losses: 1 (#3)
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

8. Colorado State
Colorado State Logo

CSU completed a nice Northern California swing with a big win against Sonoma State today. If you have never played at Sonoma, don’t underestimate how hard it is to win there. They have one of the better home field advantages in the MCLA. They get UCSB and Arizona State at home next. Two wins solidifies them as a top 10 team and puts together a very nice resume with 5 top 25 wins.
They have yet to beat an elite team, but their chances have been limited so far. Conference play in the RMLC this year is going to be fun.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 3(#9, #15, #18)
Top 25 Losses: 2 (#5, #12)
Unranked Wins: 1
Unranked Losses: 0

9. Arizona
Arizona Logo

Oof. For a team that had been stringing together a great resume, losing to UNLV is surprising to say the least. Arizona has been looking for offensive consistency for a few years, and it looked like early on they had figured it out. They notched only 6 goals against a team that was giving up 12.5 GPG heading into the game. They blew their cushion in 1 game. They have a slate of must wins the rest of the way starting with a Boise State team that has proved a much tougher out than UNLV for better teams.
The cries of Arizona riding on the benefits of back to back games are only going to get louder. Time for statement game for the Wildcats.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 3 (#7, #8, #22)
Top 25 Losses: 1 (#3)
Unranked Wins: 0
Unranked Losses: 1 (UNLV)

10. Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Logo

Week off. They drop a spot after CSU’s win over Sonoma. Boise State is up next for them before heading into their SLC conference schedule. This is an up and down team that will need to be up to beat Boise.
The fight for #2 in the SLC this year is wide open.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 2 (#3, #6)
Top 25 Losses: 3 (#7, #8, #22)
Unranked Wins: 0
Unranked Losses: 0

11. Utah Valley
logo

UVU is the most egregiously under ranked team in the league. Please someone formulate an argument why Liberty is ranked above UVU. Tweet me and let me know your thinking. I’ve looked at this every way and I don’t see any way UVU isn’t 10 spots under ranked. They will likely gain their second top 25 win as UNLV jumps back in this week.
The Wolverines play a New Hampshire team that has proven to be sneaky good in the past and is a complete unknown this year. Tune in here for the game. I will be on the call for the Wolverines. Looking forward to a great one.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 1(#9)
Top 25 Losses: 2 (#1, #5)
Unranked Wins: 3
Unranked Losses: 0

12. Stanford
Stanford Logo

A big win over Nevada was expected. Stanford has a chance to make a huge leap with a win in their next game against Chapman. Stanford is one of the few remaining top 15 teams that we just have no idea how good they are. A win against Chapman would be a signature win that would likely carry them into the top 10.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 2 (#9, #21)
Top 25 Losses: 1 (#14)
Unranked Wins: 5
Unranked Losses: 0

13. Arizona State
Arizona State Logo

Arizona State’s schedule is not doing them any favors right now. Ideally they could bank some 10–25 wins early on and establish a solid foundation, but they have run the gauntlet against #3, #4, #6, all three losses. This team isn’t as nearly as bad as their record, but I don’t think that should change where they are ranked. You rank results, not potential.
Moving forward I wouldn’t count the Sun Devils out of almost any game. The glaring weakness against BYU was their shooting. They took 37 shots and walked away with 7 goals. As I mentioned earlier Brandenburg was outstanding for the Cougars in cage, but the opportunities were there. Some better shooting and they have a top 5 win. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. They are off to the hardest road trip in the MCLA, Colorado and Colorado State. 2–0 would do wonders, but 1–1 is a necessity.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 1 (#14)
Top 25 Losses: 3 (#3, #4, #6)
Unranked Wins: 1
Unranked Losses: 0

14. UCSB
ucsb logo

Two losses to Cal Poly and Stanford early made it look like UCSB might repeat last year, a disappointing season without a tournament bid. Since those two losses they have started to turn the corner, beating a talented Sonoma State team and the soon-to-be ranked UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Like ASU, they are headed to Colorado for 2 top 10 games vs CU and CSU. This is a great chance for them to jump up into top 10. Given the depth of the SLC, that needs to be UCSB’s target to feel safe about a potential AL bid.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 1 (#15)
Top 25 Losses: 2(#6, #13)
Unranked Wins: 4
Unranked Losses: 0

15. Oregon State
Oregon State Logo

A win vs Montana this week doesn’t tell us anything new about the Beavers this year. They need to be Stanford’s biggest fans against Chapman. A win for the Cardinal against the Panthers solidifies Stanford as a top 10 team and gives more credibility to OSU’s early season win. A loss there likely drops Stanford and costs the Beavers their only top 15 win.
Breakdown
Top 25 Wins: 1 (#13)
Top 25 Losses: 2 (#10, #15)
Unranked Wins: 3
Unranked Losses: 0
Just a bit outside: Sonoma State, Liberty, Florida State, Connecticut, Boise State

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