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November 28, 2023
October 2, 2023
Week two had the same result as the first at the top of the VolleyballMag.com Super 16 Media Poll: Wisconsin edged Nebraska by one point for the No. 1 spot.
But there was quite a bit of movement inside the top 16, although no one dropped out. Most significantly, Washington State moved up two spots to No. 4 and Texas is up two spots to No. 8.
Rank, Team, Points (Last week)
1. Wisconsin, 186 (1)
2. Nebraska, 185 (2)
3. Stanford, 168 (3)
4. Washington State, 156 (6)
5. Oregon, 132 (7)
6. Florida, 119 (4)
7. Louisville, 113 (5)
8. Texas, 112 (10)
9. Pittsburgh, 98 (9)
10. Tennessee, 80 (11)
11. BYU, 77 (8)
12. Georgia Tech, 61 (12)
13. Arkansas, 57 (14)
14. Penn State, 48 (15)
15. Creighton, 18 (16)
16. Minnesota, 12 (13)
Also receiving votes: Kansas, Arizona State, NC State
Emily Ehman @emilyehman) — Big Ten Network, ESPN analyst; former Northwestern DS
Ed Strong — VolleyballMag.com super Tweeter @VBMagazine
Michella Chester (@michellachester) — THE volleyball voice of NCAA.com
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
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
Fran Flory (@LSUCoachFran) — ESPN+ analyst, national champion at Texas, winningest coach in LSU history, AVCA Hall of Famer
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
Abby Benton (@numberonevolleyball) — played at DII Catawba and DIII William Peace and has 48.6K Instagram followers and more than 90K on TikTok
Lee Feinswog (VBMagazine) — editor of VolleyballMag.com
Gillman: The Big Ten is shaping up to be another Wisconsin and Nebraska head over heels above. Penn State earned their way in, as did Kansas with a strong weekend of wins vs. Houston. Washington State continues to be the story of the season, as they have a very strong chance to be a regional seed. Start to learn how to say Jehlarova.
Punzel: The top two seem easy enough, with Wisconsin at No. 1 and Nebraska at 2 and those two will get a chance to clarify that order in three weeks and again a month later. After that there are a lot of conflicting data, although Stanford, Washington State and Oregon could sort things out in coming weeks. Or further confuse the issue. I might be the high person on Arkansas at No. 7 but I really like that team. I’m reasonably comfortable that my top 14 belong in the top 14, although the order is something of a whim. The last two could be filled by any of a dozen teams but this week I went with Creighton and Arizona State, with minimal conviction.
Arneal: While the top three remain the same, a couple of Sunday losses mix up the top 10. After falling to Louisville during the opening weekend, Washington State has been on a tear and topped three other teams in my top 10, now including Oregon. The Ducks remain at No. 5 because of the quality of the loss. I debated dropping Louisville behind Pitt and Tennessee, but losing to NC State is likely an aberration and they have some good wins. BYU takes a hit after two losses to Texas as the Longhorns reenter the Top 10. Playing so many five-set matches caught up with Florida. They are dropping too many sets for their talent level. Creighton and Kansas recovered from losses a week ago to crack my rankings.
Gore: Why did I agree to do this?! WOW, what a week of twists and turns in trying to rank the Top 16! My top three teams were the easiest to rank: Wisconsin, Nebraska and Stanford. However 4-16 were incredibly challenging! Strength of schedule means so much in this sport. At this point in the season, we are trying to determine who would deserve to host first/second rounds (top 16). So WHO you play, and how you do against them, matters more than a team’s record. Also, how are the teams doing that upset you, as well as how are the teams doing that you beat? That’s how I went about deciding on my top 16 this week. I’ve never wanted to see the RPI so bad in my life! 🙂
Ehman: I have Nebraska at No. 1 because I think they have a slightly better resume than Wisconsin (Stanford four-set win trumps Wisconsin’s five-set over Florida without Stucky) and Nebraska proved last weekend they could win tough conference games on the road (I also tend to lean to the better ball control team). Louisville/Oregon/Florida/Washington State were insanely hard to place. I ended up weighting Louisville’s NC State loss heavier than Washington State and Oregon’s losses (all good losses) despite the head-to-head win over Wash State. Florida comes in at No. 7 below them all for me because losing the glue of their team (Stucky) just knocks them down a peg — as played out last weekend losing to A&M.
Strong: Had a chance to watch the Ducks in person this weekend and not as impressed as I was when I watched them on TV, but I can’t really drop them much because they at least looked better than Florida and Louisville did. On a week where so many top 10s lost, Pitt pushed their sweep streak to seven matches emphatically, leapfrogging Georgia Tech, who struggled to put away Wake Forest (and the loss to UGA is not aging well). Every team I had in the low double-digits last week impressed (Pitt, Texas, Tenn, Penn State), but none more than Arkansas, who absolutely trounced a ranked Auburn squad. Tennessee ends up sliding backward a bit despite a good week simply because teams around them were even better. A lot easier time coming up with No. 16 this time after having to think this over a lot last time: it’s definitely Kansas. Arizona State, UCF, Purdue, USC, and Minnesota all reasonably close, but the Jayhawks clearly get the final spot with that strong series sweep of Houston.
Haley: Nebraska deserves the No. 1 ranking as they have played a tough schedule and remain undefeated. Stanford’s wins over Texas, Louisville, Minnesota and OSU, diminish the losses to Nebraska and Florida earns them the No. 2. Wisconsin’s body of work is a tad weak with their only big win over Florida ( when Stuckey sustained her injury) and that drops them to third. Washington State has been doing work, defeating Texas, BYU, Oregon and Baylor, losing only to Louisville, and that bumps the to fourth. Texas athleticism’s and the setters’ continued improvement is why they are fifth.
Benton: There were a lot of crazy matches in the last week. Florida and Louisville dropping matches against unranked teams is sure to move them down. However, it’s a matter of how much that can be hard to tell. Regardless of schedule strength, Tennessee’s only loss being to Wisconsin in five sets is very impressive. Stanford at Washington State will be an interesting match, and essentially any match in the SEC could go either way at this point.