In our first look at the Open side of the rankings, we’ll see the aftermath of two notable tournaments: Stanford Invite and Tally Classic. Bids in the men’s competition are spread out far and wide, meaning nobody has a firm grip on ’em. After the first edition of the ranks, seven of the ten regions had snagged extra invites to the dance. Not the same seven or the same bid numbers, but still seven regions this time around and a lot of the bidholders were in action.
The second biggest mover in the top 25 is the most notable: Oregon Ego. That’s what happens when you win the biggest tournament of the year to date, with a 6-1 record including a decisive win over #1 Wisconsin, wins against #5 Carleton, #6 Arizona, and #12 Tufts, and their only loss coming by a point to Carleton. All in all, good enough for #2, just behind the Wisconsin team they beat at the Stanford Invite. The host team, Stanford Bloodthirsty, made a big 42 spot jump into the top 20 and a strength bid, based on some big wins after a quiet beginning of the season, and close losses to the Invite’s elite competition.
Three teams you might wonder about appear in the rankings: Eastern Michigan, Northern Iowa, and Simon Fraser. UNI stands on a 7-1 record with wins over Iowa, Missouri, Wash U, and a blowout of a hyped Iowa State squad, all from Huck Finn; their only loss is a one point 8-9 fall to Kansas there. EMU sits atop the Great Lakes undefeated from Cat Fight, but will be at Centex, where things could change quickly, but they are sitting in a nice spot. Simon Fraser, out of British Columbia, went undefeated, cruising on their way to winning PLU BBQ, including a 14-7 knockout versus Western Washington. Not sure the Clams will stay around or where they are playing next, so they’ll remain a bit of a mystery.
- AC (1): #3 North Carolina
- GL (1): #13 Eastern Michigan
- ME (1): #32 Connecticut
- NC (4): #1 Wisconsin, #5 Carleton, #8 Minnesota, #16 Northern Iowa
- NE (2): #6 Tufts, #9 Harvard
- NW (2): #2 Oregon, #19 Whitman
- OV (2): #4 Pittsburgh, #17 Ohio
- SC (2): #10 Texas, #14 Colorado
- SE (3): #7 Florida State, #11 Florida, #15 Central Florida
- SW (2): #12 Arizona, #18 Stanford
The Atlantic Coast, New England, and South Central lose bids while the North Central, Southeast, and Northwest take ’em. UC-Davis, Victoria, Texas A&M, Williams, UNC-Wilmington, and Princeton are all out. Connecticut, Whitman, Central Florida, Northern Iowa, Oregon, and Stanford are in. Things get a little wonky with it being so early (example: Oregon not being ranked previously) but they are settling in a bit.
Texas A&M and UNC-Wilmington are the two obvious losers here, with Dozen going 2-5 and the Seamen 3-4 at Stanford. The former did get a win over Central Florida and UNC-W took out Texas and Arizona, but all of those teams had tough weekends. Davis’s loss became Bloodthirsty’s gain, which is likely all the same to the Dogs on the bid front.
The only tournament of note this weekend is Centex, with enough teams in the mix to make an impact. Arizona and Texas will be in attendance (each with an autobid in a two bid region), as will Harvard, holding a strength bid from New England. The lone other bid is Eastern Michigan’s Great Lakes autobid. The top contenders from the field will be #22 Texas A&M, #25 Georgia Tech, and #28 Kansas. If any of these three can put together some wins and stay close with the highly ranked teams, things could get interesting. After that, Easterns is on the horizon.
I like this side of the #bidwatch, because it is exciting! Can Ohio hold onto a vital second bid for the Ohio Valley? Can the North Central be a four bid region again? Will the Northwest finish with only a pair? How many bids can a deep Southeast really hold? Will Texas A&M be able to earn the South Central a third bid? There are a lot of questions to answer as the Series dates approach, but the answers are slowly emerging.