A few college golf facts to keep in mind

Megan McChrystal of LSU

As the college golf season winds down, I thought I would throw out some interesting facts to look over as the season winds down.

Men

Only two teams still have not lost more than ten head-to-head matches this year. Oklahoma State has a record of 115-7-2 and Alabama’s is 98-8-0. Against teams from the top 25, the two schools are a combined 82-12-1.

Despite strong seasons by both Iowa and San Diego State, the jury is still out on how competitive these teams can be during postseason play. Ninth-ranked San Diego State does have a winning record against top 25 teams (14-6) as does 14th-ranked Iowa (6-3), however, the two schools have picked up a vast majority of their wins against teams ranked from 51-100. San Diego State has a record of 110-11-0 and of those 110 wins, 85 of them have come over teams ranked 51 or higher. Iowa which has a head-to-head record of 63-7 has picked up only 16 wins against top-50 teams in the country. That means 47 wins have come from teams ranked No. 51 and up.

If there was one team in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings in dire need of a tournament victory, it was No. 31 USC. Entering the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the Trojans had an overall record of 45-46-2. With a 14-stroke victory over San Diego State, USC picked up 12 needed W’s and give themselves some breathing room with regards to the .500 rule.

Now, USC has a record of 57-46-2.

In the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, six teams have failed to earn a head-to-head win against a team from the top 25. They are; Indiana, North Texas, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Tulsa and Kennesaw State. The schools are a combined 0-54 against top-25 teams, and that could be a troubling stat when those teams find out who they may be facing at regionals this year.

Northwestern is now the team sweating over its record, which now stands at 53-56-1 after a ninth place showing at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The Wildcats are currently ranked 56th in the country and have one regular season event left on the schedule before playing in the Big Ten Conference Championship.

Women

The highest-ranked team in women’s golf with a losing record is South Carolina at 64-79-5. With a ranking of 37, the Gamecocks will be a lock for postseason despite the record. There are three other teams in women’s golf ranked inside the top 50 with losing records and they are San Diego State (43), Denver (45) and Oklahoma State (46).

USC is the only team in the country that doesn’t have double-digit losses this year. The Trojans will enter the Pac-10 Conference Championship with an overall record of 116-9-1, and that includes having the seventh-toughest schedule in the country. Losing less than 10 times is impressive and that accomplishment would be even more astonishing if the team wins the Pac-10 crown later this week. Also, I just want to mention that Alabama only lost ten times and UCLA was defeated 12 times head-to-head in the regular season.

Second-ranked individual player Megan McChrystal has had a great season for the LSU Tigers. Prior to a T-58 at the Liz Murphey, McChrystal had zero finishes outside the top 10 this season.

Top-ranked Marta Silva, however, has had only one finish outside the top 10 and that was a T-14 at the Mason Rudolph. One thing that may come back to hurt Silva though is when her WD from the Kinderlou Forest Challenge. Either way, the player-of-the-year race in women’s golf is a great one.

The Pac-10 Conference has eight teams ranked inside the top 50 of the Golfweek rankings. Five teams are ranked inside the top 10: UCLA, USC, Cal, Arizona and Arizona State. The other three teams with high rankings are Stanford (28), Oregon (35) and Washington (42). If Oregon State, which is ranked 81st right now, can play well at conference then the Pac-10 could have nine teams make regionals.

Washington State, which is ranked No. 126, will most likely be the lone team from the conference left out of postseason play.

With all the attention going to Pac-10 teams, don’t forget about teams from the SEC. With ten teams in the top 50 of the rankings, they will be the one conference best represented in the postseason. Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss and 55th-ranked Kentucky will be locks for a trip to the post season. That means 11 out of the 12 conference teams will have a chance to win a national title this year. The one team that will likely be left out of the dance is 103rd-ranked Mississippi State.

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