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VBM Super 16: After Nebraska, almost a complete rearrangement of top teams

Kentucky’s Brooklynn DeLeye attacks against Georgia. The Wildcats moved up three spots in this week’s poll/Tommy Quarles, UK Athletics

Nebraska once again got every first-place vote and is a dominant No. 1 in the Super 16 Media Poll.

After that, the only team that is in the same place as last week is No. 13 BYU.

Stanford moved up a spot to No. 2, trading places with Wisconsin, which fell out of the top two for the first time.

Louisville is up a spot to No. 4 and Oregon is up one to fifth. Penn State is back in at No. 15 and Kansas dropped out.

Rank, Team, Points (Last week)
1. Nebraska, 192 (1)
2. Stanford, 174 (3)
3. Wisconsin, 171 (2)
4. Louisville, 151 (5)
5. Oregon, 132 (6)
6. Pittsburgh, 130 (8)
7. Texas, 128 (4)
8. Kentucky, 96 (11)
9. Tennessee, 91 (10)
T-10. Arkansas, 71 (12)
T-10. Georgia Tech, 71 (7)
12. Washington State, 59 (9)
13. BYU, 41 (13)
14. Creighton, 37 (15)
15. Penn State, 25 (NR)
16. Arizona State, 23 (16)

First place votes: Nebraska received all 12
Also receiving votes:
Kansas, Purdue, Dayton, Florida State, Florida, Western Kentucky
Dropped out: Kansas

Previous VBM Super 16 Media Poll Results

Week 7: November 6
Week 6:  
October 30
Week 5: 
October 23
Week 4: 
October 16
Week 3: October 9
Week 2: October 2
Week 1: September 25

The voters

Emily Ehman @emilyehman) — Big Ten Network, ESPN analyst; former Northwestern DS
Ed Strong (@VBMagazine) — super Tweeter
Michella Chester (@michellachester) — THE volleyball voice of
Daniel Gillman (@DanielGillman/@SixRotations) — host of Six Rotations for the AVCA, Cal Poly play-by-play
Lincoln Arneal (@Lincoln_VB) — Nebraska beat writer for Huskers Illustrated and co-host of Volleyball State podcast
Sam Gore (@sambgore) — veteran broadcaster/studio host who does ESPN volleyball play-by-play, host of the Fifth Set during the NCAA Tournament
Mick Haley (@Michaelhaley6) — ESPN analyst, former national-championship coach at Texas and USC and 2000 Olympic coach
Dennis Punzel (@DennisPunzel) — Wisconsin beat writer for the Wisconsin State Journal, author of Point! Wisconsin
Abby Benton (@numberonevolleyball) — played at DII Catawba and DIII William Peace and has 48.6K Instagram followers and more than 90K on TikTok
Anne Marie Anderson (@AnneMAnderson, @annemarieandersontv) — Emmy Award winner, volleyball play-by-play veteran who works NCAA matches for the Pac-12 Network, Big Ten Network and ESPN; played at Hofstra, where she still ranks in the top 10 in blocks
Shelby Coppedge (@shelbycoppedge) — ESPN analyst, former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi DS
Lee Feinswog (@VBMagazine) — editor of

Voter comments

Benton: After Wisconsin and Texas both lost their matches, Stanford slides back up to the No. 2 spot. Oregon moves up as well for me because of their impressive play against Stanford. I only moved Wisconsin down one spot,which might be controversial, but I always thought that Penn State was ranked too low. Pitt and Kentucky are peaking at the right time and I’m very excited to watch them in the tourney.

Arneal: A Wisconsin loss means Stanford moves up a spot to my No. 2. Louisville and Texas also flip after the Longhorns got swept by Kansas State. To me, those teams plus Nebraska are in the driver’s seats for hosting regionals. Oregon is just outside that group but isn’t penalized for a five-set loss to Stanford. 

Pitt had one of the most impressive performances of the week sweeping Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Panthers could join the elite company when they host Louisville this weekend. Kentucky continues to be one of the hottest teams in the country and leads a loaded SEC. Penn State is also rounding into form and should challenge to host in the tournament. 

Haley: Exciting matches next week will help determine a lot, Oregon vs. Arizona State and Pitt vs. Louisville.

Punzel: My top 14 teams are all the same as last week with a few shuffling of positions. Texas from No. 4 to No. 7 was the biggest mover. I added BYU and Penn State back to my list with the last two spots, which tend to be the jinxed positions on my ballot each week. Soon enough this will all be settled on the court, more or less.

Ehman: Wisconsin dropped one spot — Stanford’s wins are better. Penn State also entered the chat at 13 for me. Texas dropped a few after the K-State loss. This is going to be a wild last two weeks…

Gilman: It’s anyone’s guess after the top 3, but I still feel good putting Wisconsin in there. Then it’s a crapshoot with a slew of talented teams who just can’t string wins together. This final few weeks will be all that matters though, with Louisville-Pitt this weekend and Wisconsin-Nebraska and Kentucky-Arkansas looming!

Chester: Debated moving Wisconsin below Stanford after they lost to Penn State, but the Cardinal picked up another top-10 win over Oregon, so I moved them into the 2 spot. Louisville moves up to No. 4 with Oregon and Texas each losing. Oregon drops a spot with its five-set loss to Stanford, Texas drops after losing to unranked K-State. Pitt moves up with big sweep of Georgia Tech, and Washington State moves down as well after losing to UCLA. I debated the order of Kentucky and Tennesee, but the Wildcats have been DOMINATING and the way they are playing right now gave them the edge.

Strong: To me, the four regional hosts seem pretty certain at this point: Nebraska, Wisconsin, Stanford, and whoever wins round 2 of Pittsburgh-Louisville. Wisconsin pretty easily holds the  No. 2 spot despite the loss at Penn State. Not going to give it to a Stanford team that also lost on the road to a similar caliber opponent (Arizona State) but in much worse fashion just a week ago. Wazzu has been really, really shaky over the last few weeks, narrowly escaping against USC to avoid their fifth loss in the past six matches. I’m probably still lower on Creighton than others are (15) but the Jays have been better over the past several weeks, even before Norah Sis got back from injury. Purdue narrowly takes the 16 spot, as their vast array of high-quality wins outweigh a handful of head-scratching losses. Fun fact: Purdue’s six top-25 RPI are tied for third in the country, behind only Nebraska (9) and Stanford (7). Also considered: Dayton, Florida, Kansas, Penn State.