Power Rankings: This week’s top 8
Monday, March 1, 2010
1.) Stanford - The Cardinal started the spring with a big win at the Hawaii-Hilo Invitational. This was their second team title of the 2009-10 season, and they have not finished outside the top 4 in any of their five events.
2.) Oklahoma State - You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. The Cowboys started the spring with a fifth-place showing in Hawaii and came in six shots behind Texas at the Puerto Rico Classic. I’m sure they will soon be No. 1 considering four of the starting five players are ranked inside Golfweek’s top 20.
3.) Texas - Perhaps the hottest team in the country. The ’Horns hooked 42 birdies in Puerto Rico, and coach John Fields could make a run with this team. Leading the charge are Cody Gribble, Dylan Frittelli and Bobby Hudson (that’s a freshman, sophomore and junior for those of you keeping track at home).
4.) Augusta State - The Jaguars, in my opinion, still get little respect. Well look out, because they will be the favorite at the Seahawk Intercollegiate March 1-2, and will have a chance to claim their second team title of the year.
5.) Washington - We used to knock them for coming on strong in the spring. Now, is the M.O. on the Huskies is they close out tournaments for trophies instead of runner-up finishes? They have three runner-up finishes so far this year.
6.) Florida - How does Buddy Alexander keep doing more with less? The Gators have definitely been one of the biggest surprises of the year after they lost Billy Horschel and Will Strickler to graduation.
7.) Texas A&M - The Aggies snuck in to match play at last year’s NCAA Championship, but will not need the same sneak attack this year. J.T. Higgins’ squad started the spring with a second-place finish at the John A. Burns Invitational, and will try to pick up its third ‘W’ of the year at the Southern Highlands March 12-14.
8.) Tennessee - Despite a 10th-place showing at the Battle of the Beach (where they were stuck traveling for over 30 hours and missed their practice round), the Vols have won twice this year. Hopefully they have better luck with their travel plans to Las Vegas for the Southern Highlands.
The next four:
1.) ASU - The Sun Devils are the real deal. They know how to win, and continue to dominate, no matter who is in the field. They also have four players ranked in Golfweek’s top 40.
2.) Purdue - The Boilermakers have only finished outside the top 5 once all year and that was at the NCAA Fall Preview, where they finished sixth.
3.) UCLA - The Bruins have too many second-place finishes (four) already, and started the spring with a T-4 at the Northrop Grumman. It’s time this team started figuring out how to get over the hump and close out a tournament with a victory.
4.) USC - As long as Jennifer Song and Lizette Salas are both in the line-up, the Trojans have a chance to win.
5.) Duke - Why does it seem like we are starting to forget about the most dominant women’s college program of the last decade?
6.) Auburn - Last year ended in heartbreak for the Tigers as they failed to make it out of regionals. This year, the team is trying to close out the regular season ranked No. 1. I need to see a couple wins first, though.
7.) Pepperdine - Two wins so far this year, but their 17th-place finish at the Preview was downright scary. After all, Landfall Country Club is the sight of this year’s NCAA Championship.
8.) Florida - Coming off a huge win at the Central District Invitational, the Gators are playing their tails off. This can’t be the same team as last year, can it?
The next four:
10.) Michigan State