Women’s Bidwatch: The End Is Nigh

The #bidwatch is nearly over. On Wednesday, USAU released the preliminary final rankings for the 2013 regular season. There is no competition left that will impact these rankings or the bid picture. Yet, everything isn’t settled…

Top 25

4-3-WomensRankings

The big item here is the disappearance of Florida State. They were in the #19 spot in the last rankings – just a tiny margin between them and Northeastern for the last strength bid – and now are no longer an eligible team. Considering they had 26 games on the year, it is very likely to be a roster issue, and a visit to their scorereporter page shows only one verified tournament (UPDATE: only one tournament – Florida Winter Classic – is no longer verified and FSU will appear in Friday’s rankings). Not only was Florida State in a position to possibly take a bid, but their lack of a ranking hurts Northeastern, who has a 10-6 win over them factoring in for them.

Northeastern Valkyrie falls out of the bid picture, going from #17 to #20 and getting jumped for their New England strength bid. Not only did they lose their win over FSU, but they were victimized by another good win being devalued. Michigan is in, from what we know, the same situation as the Seminole Ladies, and the Valkyries have a W vs. Michigan too. Plus, two of the teams that jumped them – North Carolina and UNC-Wilmington – have a loss to Michigan (note: UNC-W is 1-1 against Michigan, but their loss was by a far larger margin). (UPDATE: Michigan’s results have recently been validated) Most of the rest of the country is probably breathing a sigh of relief that New England, more topheavy with D-III talent than D-I, is not snagging a second bid.

There were other moves in the rankings that didn’t impact the bid situation. Washington was jumped by Iowa State. Georgia fell four spots from #10 to #14. Similarly, Virginia and Santa Barbara move above Wisconsin. Bowdoin continues to be undefeated following Garden State, but falls due to strength of competition, though they will likely end up D-III. UNC-Wilmington makes their move from #20 to #16, the second to last bid spot, while Stanford drops one spot to #17, the bid threshold. North Carolina, despite losing two points on their rating, moves up to #18. Should Florida State and/or Michigan’s results be reinstated, the bid situation could change.

#Bidwatch

I’ll list the total number of bids, list every team that is holding a bid, and italicize the autobid team, to give you a more complete picture:

  • AC (2): #11 Virginia, #16 UNC-Wilmington
  • GL (1): #25 Valparaiso
  • ME (1): #50 Ottawa
  • NE (1): #3 Tufts
  • NC (5): #2 Carleton, #6 Iowa, #7 Iowa State, #10 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin
  • NW (4): #1 Oregon, #5 British Columbia, #8 Washington, #9 Victoria
  • OV (1): #4 Ohio State
  • SC (1): #21 Colorado
  • SE (2): #14 Georgia, #15 Central Florida
  • SW (2): #12 UC-Santa Barbara, #17 Stanford

The only bid movement is, as previously mentioned, one from the New England Region to the Atlantic Coast Region. Many analysts believe this is appropriate, as the Atlantic Coast has three strong teams in Virginia, North Carolina, and UNC-Wilmington vs. Tufts, Northeastern, and Dartmouth from New England. Since three regions have a top team outside of the top 20, the bid threshold is the #17 spot, where Stanford is. Central Florida and UNC-Wilmington are above that and North Carolina and Sonoma State are behind that. Florida State is the last team that would factor in.

If Florida State’s results are validated, that would benefit Northeastern, who has a win over them. However, their ratings on their own are probably not enough to be above Stanford. If Michigan’s results are reinstated, however, it serves to benefit not only Northeastern, but Florida State (who has a 13-7 victory over Flywheel) as well. North Carolina and UNC-Wilmington has their aforementioned losses to Michigan. In this scenario, it might revert back to Northeastern vs. Florida State for the final bid, leaving the AC back on the outside.

As I’m writing this, Florida State and Michigan’s results have partially filled in as validated. There are a few teams scattered about that are still missing results, such as Wash U and NC State, which have small effects on the ratings and rankings. However, those effects could come into play when we are talking about a few points difference. Florida State’s Florida Winter Classic results are not yet validated, which would severely hurt their chance at the last bid (multiple games against top 20 teams UCF and Georgia) and teams that have beaten them.

Without really knowing how the math will work out, we can operate with this bid picture, but stayed tuned. Nervous teams on the bubble will be waiting anxiously for USAU to reveal what the final numbers say.

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