Complete coverage: College golf preview
Monday, September 12, 2011
College golf is just a few short weeks away. To get you ready, Asher Wildman is breaking down the top 60 men's and women's teams from last year's Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Today, it's No. 1 on the board with the Oklahoma State men and USC women.
No. 1, Oklahoma State: Coach McGraw knows his team is talented, but he also knows he doesn’t have last year’s fire power. With Peter Uihlein leading the way atop the lineup, the question remains who claims the Nos. 2-5 spots. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 2, Georgia Tech: Some will think that Georgia Tech has a depleted roster, but that’s not the case. Two Yellow Jackets recruits (Ollie Schniederjans and Anders Albertson) enrolled a semester early to get more acclimated to life as a student-athlete. Both will be ready this fall, and should be able to provide instant productivity. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 3, UCLA: There is no doubt UCLA has one of the best 1-2 players in the country with Patrick Cantlay and Pontus Widegren. It’s unclear if the Bruins have enough of a supporting cast. Coach Freeman could go through several lineup changes until he gets a starting five that is ready week in and week out. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 4, Alabama: Alabama has had all summer to reflect on what happened at Karsten Creek. A new season has arrived and this team will have to move on. On paper, Alabama might be the best team in the country, but that won’t mean a thing if it falters at the most crucial time once again. Expect Alabama to make the top eight next summer at Riviera. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 5, Texas A&M: The Red Raiders have a solid 1-2 punch at the top with senior Jordan Russell, a U.S. Amateur semifinalist, and Cameron Peck, but after that, it becomes a bit of a mystery. Who will step up? COMPLETE STORY.
No. 6, Florida: Every time Florida is forecast to have a down year, Coach Alexander tends to produce an overachieving team. To exceed expectations this year, he’ll have to get stellar play from his freshmen. The Gators lack a dominant No. 1 man, but Tyler McCumber is capable with more consistency. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 7, Illinois: Mike Small has built a great program in Champagne, officially putting the Illini on the list of elite teams in college golf. The question this year will be how much Luke Guthrie will have to carry this team. Entering the fall, he doesn’t seem to have too much of a supporting cast. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 8, Augusta State: We will see how deep the Jaguars’ roster really is. Last year, the big four of Patrick Reed, Henrik Norlander, Carter Newman and Mitchell Krywulycz combined to play in 43 events, leaving only a handful of opportunities for others. Augusta State doesn’t have the big names any longer, giving their understudies the chance to take the spotlight. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 9, San Diego State: Winning multiple titles is an accomplishment for a college golf team. Winning seven times is darn near impossible. With three mature starters at the top of the lineup, Coach Donovan can sleep easy knowing he has positions 1-2-3 covered at each tournament. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 10, Georgia: Coach Haack realizes this year will be filled with youth and inexperience, but at the same time he thinks it will be fun to watch his young players develop. Georgia nearly won the NCAA Championship last year; this year, just getting there would be an accomplishment. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 11, LSU: With a roster that has four sophomores, three freshmen and only two seniors, LSU is about to go through a youth movement. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 12, Duke: Jamie Green has built Duke into a national-title contender again, with the Blue Devils losing in the semifinals at last year's NCAAs. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 13, Texas: Coach Fields believes the Longhorns can win any tournament they play this season and that his team is talented enough to win a national title. The talent and depth are there in Austin. It’s now time to see if the Longhorns can get it done. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 14, Auburn: The battle for the Southeastern Conference Championship may come down to in-state rivals Auburn and Alabama. And if you are competing for the SEC men’s crown, it’s safe to assume you’re contending for a national title as well. COMPLETE STORY
No. 15, Arkansas: Arkansas is experienced, deep and already knows how to win. If Thomas Sorensen is as good as coach Brad McMakin says, then the Razorbacks can be a dangerous team heading into the postseason. Look for Arkansas to be in the final eight at Riviera come June. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 16, Southern Cal: USC has lots of talent. Last year, the Trojans didn’t have a steady No. 1 they could rely on each week. This year, Anthony Paolucci could be that guy. If the incoming freshman is as good as advertised and becomes a top-25 force for the Trojans, expect to see USC win a few tournaments and compete for a national title. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 17, Iowa: The Hawkeyes have plenty of seniors, but are they talented enough to repeat their success from a year ago? On the outside, it appears Iowa may take a step backwards. But one thing Mark Hankins is known for is getting the most out of his players, so the Hawkeyes could be better than expected. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 18, Texas Tech: This seems to be a transition year for Texas Tech. Their top three players from last year are gone, and both Nils Floren (No. 21) and Matt Smith (No. 45) were top-50 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings a year ago. In the fall, the Red Raiders potentially could start three freshmen. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 19, California: If you were making a list of the top teams in the Pac-12, how long would it take until you wrote down Cal? There is no doubt how deep and talented the conference is, which could be the downfall of the Bears. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 20, Stanford: Last year, the Cardinal embodied the term, “That’s why you play the game.” On paper, Stanford arguably had one of the best teams in the country, but it was a squad that never got to contend for a national title. This year, expectations will be high once again, and perhaps with even bigger named golfers. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 21, Virginia: Virginia enters the season looking to get back to nationals. Over the past five years, Virginia may be one of the most overlooked programs in college golf and will look to get back on track with a new supporting cast surrounding No. 1 player Ben Kohles, who ended last season at No. 30 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 22, Oregon: Once again the Pac-12 may arguably be the most competitive and talented conference in college golf. Someone on Oregon needs to step up, and if it’s Eugene Wong, that could go a long way for the Ducks. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 23, Ohio State: It’s tough to see Ohio State repeating its success from a year ago. The Buckeyes don’t have a true No. 1 player in their lineup as the season begins, and that likely will hurt them in big tournaments. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 24, San Diego: San Diego will start the year with a revamped roster and a new coach to go along with it. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 25, Tennessee: If Tennessee gets off to a slow start again this fall, it may not be able to recover. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 26, Arizona State: If last year was the year the Sun Devils expected to contend for an NCAA Championship, this year may be a season they will be thrilled just to make it there. With a lineup that could included three or four freshmen starting, the Tim Mickelson era at ASU could get off to a slow start. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 27, Clemson: Clemson has the talent and potential to be a top-10 team. Corbin Mills has had a breakout summer, and if he can continue that type of play in college, he will be a candidate for first-team All-America honors. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 28, Oklahoma: The Sooners may have to take a slight step backward this season to lay a solid foundation for the years to come. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 29, Washington: Washington could have the best 1-2-3 combo of any team in the Pac-12 Conference – and perhaps the country. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 30, Wake Forest: Wake Forest has two of college golf’s best players in Evan Beck and Lee Bedford. Last season, the two standouts had little help from their teammates but that shouldn’t be a problem this year. Now the only thing to determine is who the fifth starter will be. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 31, N.C. State: N.C. State hovers around the top 30 most seasons, but can’t seem to make that next big jump into the top 25. If N.C. State can find a solid No. 3 player to post consistent scores, the ’Pack could vault up the rankings. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 32, Kent State: For the past four years, there was one constant for Kent State: John Hahn was in the lineup. After his graduation, the Golden Flashes are looking for someone to step in to the team’s No. 1 spot and keep the program going forward. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 33, Liberty: This may finally be the year that the Flames reach the NCAA Championship for the first time in the program’s history. Expectations are high in Lynchburg, Va. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 34, Michigan: With Lion Kim gone, someone on the Wolverines must step up and become a top-100 player. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 35, UCF: It’s clear that UCF has a go-to guy in Greg Eason, and senior Brad Schneider is a steady No. 2. What’s a little concerning is how wide open the next three roster spots are. If the two Lynn transfers can bring their success from the Division II level to Division I, then UCF could be a sleeper team this year. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 36, Pepperdine: Pepperdine’s biggest challenge will be finding someone to replace Andrew Putnam. For four years, Putnam was a consistent fixture in the lineup, but now that responsibility will fall upon senior Josh Anderson. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 37, Indiana: With all five starters returning, the Hoosiers should feel confident and comfortable to start the year. The depth is there and a regional bid is a sure thing, but the question will be if each returnee comes back with an improved individual game. COMPLETE STORY
No. 38, Chattanooga: With five starters back, including a strong No. 1 in Stephan Jaeger, Chattanooga should be set for a postseason run. The Mocs are experienced and still young with three sophomores who gained valuable experience last year. COMPLETE STORY
No. 39, TCU: TCU enters the season with some uncertainty at the back end of its starting lineup. Also, TCU must replace Tom Hoge, a key part of the Horned Frogs success the past couple of years. COMPLETE STORY
No. 40, East Carolina: This season, ECU once again will probably be a team that goes relatively unnoticed by the college golf world as it climbs the rankings. But make no mistake, even with so much attention going to in-state rivals such as Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest, the Pirates may be the second- or third-best team in the state this year. COMPLETE STORY
No. 41, North Texas: North Texas isn’t quite back to its glory days – the school won four consecutive national championships from 1949 to ’52 – but the team has made major strides the past two seasons. COMPLETE STORY
No. 42, Baylor: With four starters back, there is no reason the Bears shouldn’t make a 15th consecutive trip to regionals. At times, this team shows flashes of greatness; the next step is consistency. COMPLETE STORY
No. 43, Virginia Tech: The college golf world will know real quick where Virginia Tech will stand in the fall. Tech will have one of the nation’s toughest fall schedules and will be challenged each week, starting at the Northern Intercollegiate at Rich Harvest Farms, followed by trips to the VCU Shootout, Brickyard Intercollegiate, Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate and UNCG Bridgestone Intercollegiate. COMPLETE STORY
No. 44, Florida State: Florida State was too talented to have the kind of season it had last season. The odds of that happening again in Tallahassee are low. COMPLETE STORY
No. 45, Oregon State: On paper, Oregon State may have one of the most-difficult schedules in the country. That could either be a good thing – and earn them a high ranking – or a dangerous one, because of the .500 rule. COMPLETE STORY
No. 46, Northwestern: The biggest problem Northwestern will have this year is trying to replace David Lipsky, who played in every tournament for the Wildcats over the past four years. COMPLETE STORY
No. 47, Kennesaw State: With four starters returning, including Jeff Karlsson, this is a make-or-break season for the Owls, who no longer would surprise if they made a run at nationals. COMPLETE STORY
No. 48, UC Davis: Behind Matt Hansen, UC Davis could continue to surprise a few teams if the back end of the lineup continues to progress. COMPLETE STORY
No. 49, Missouri: Missouri enters this fall with something they may not be too used to: expectations. After just missing a chance to play at nationals last season, the Tigers look to improve upon their ranking with one of the game’s biggest hidden gems. COMPLETE STORY
No. 50, UNLV: UNLV has a strong core atop its lineup, but the back end is the big question entering the fall season. Several players will have the chance to emerge for the Rebels, and it might come down to who has the hot hand on any given week in practice. COMPLETE STORY
No. 51, SMU: This could be a tough season for SMU. Coach Gregory knows how to win, but even a great coach needs top talent to earn victories. COMPLETE STORY
No. 52, Middle Tennessee State: The three fall events will be a measuring stick, and a good start is need to prevent worries about the .500 rule from creeping into the Blue Raiders’ minds. COMPLETE STORY
No. 53, New Mexico State: Though the Aggies return a veteran lineup from yet another WAC champion, they are a team in transition. COMPLETE STORY
No. 54, UNC-Wilmington: UNCW enters this season with a big part of its recent success missing. Josh Brock graduated, which means the Seahawks’ new No. 1 might be Payne McLeod, last season’s CAA Freshman of the Year. COMPLETE STORY
No. 55, Tulsa: One advantage Tulsa has this year is experience. All five players in Brogden’s expected lineup played all 13 tournaments together last year. Having five returning starters is usually a good thing. COMPLETE STORY
No. 56, North Florida: Expectations will again be high for a team that is typically overlooked in the Sunshine State. UNF plays an extremely competitive schedule and isn’t afraid to face anyone. COMPLETE STORY
No. 57, Charlotte: On paper, there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t win a seventh consecutive A-10 Championship. COMPLETE STORY
No. 58, Notre Dame: The stage seemed set for Notre Dame to make a splash in the second half of the season, but the Irish finished 12th at the Schenkel Invitational and eighth at LSU. They did win the Big East Championship, but failed to advance out of NCAA regionals. COMPLETE STORY
No. 59, Purdue: The Boilermakers were a combined 88-58-5 a year ago, including victories at the Purdue Midwest Shootout, Butler Spring Invitational, and Boilermaker Invitational. Can they build on the success? COMPLETE STORY
No. 60, Ole Miss: The Rebels finished eighth at the SEC Championship, then saw their season end with a 10th-place NCAA regional finish. Will they improve in 2011-12? COMPLETE STORY
No. 1, USC: Once again, this year should be a battle between crosstown rivals USC and UCLA if the Trojans’ roster stays intact. Last year, both teams battled for the No. 1 ranking each week. Expect much of the same this year. If USC hopes to win another national title, it needs instant contributions from its incoming freshmen. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 2, UCLA: It’s not unimaginable to see all five starters finish in the top 25 in the rankings this year. There is no doubt UCLA is loaded with depth and top talent. No matter what tournament UCLA enters, the Bruins will be the favorite. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 3, Alabama: Alabama has shown it can play great during the regular season, but it remains a mystery why the team heads south at the finals. Once again, ’Bama enters the year highly favored. If the deep Crimson Tide doesn’t compete for a national championship, or finish in the top five, it might be the biggest disappointment of the year. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 4, Purdue: Purdue is known to be a school that develops young talent. That’s the challenge this year. Inexperienced players get their time to be starters. If they contribute, then Purdue can be a team battling for a spot in the top 10. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 5, LSU: Don't be so quick to dismiss the Tigers without Megan McChrystal. They still have Austin Ernst, the 2011 NCAA champ, and they'll be a contender in the tough SEC. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 6, California: The headlined rivalry in California over the years has been between L.A. rivals UCLA and USC. This year it may be a battle of Bears, as in Bruins vs. Golden. Cal has a great senior class that will have one more shot at a national title before graduating. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 7, Virginia: Virginia has been strong the past few seasons, but this year’s squad may take a step back. The roster has some holes to fill, and it will take Lewellen some experimentation to determine who her starting five will be come the postseason. Expect several different lineups during the fall and maybe part of the spring, too. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 8, Duke: As talented as Duke was a year ago, it’s a mystery how it failed to reach nationals. There is no way the Devils can miss for a second consecutive year. It also seems unlikely they go another whole year without winning a title. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 9, Arizona: Even with a strong nucleus coming back, the Wildcats still have to face Pac-12 powers UCLA, USC and California on a regular basis, making it tough to tally a lot of tournament titles. Arizona is a good team, but it has had problems beating its top conference rivals. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 10, Tennessee: Tennessee’s problem the last few years hasn’t been a lack of talent. It’s that they can’t put together a string of solid performances in a row. Pavon says she will do whatever it takes to get this team to play at a more consistent level. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 11, Arizona State: Even though it will start three sophomores along with senior Giulia Molinaro, ASU remains a relatively experienced team. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 12, North Carolina: At times last season, the Tar Heels resembled a top-5 team; other times, not so much. Will they turn the corner this season and be more consistent? COMPLETE STORY.
No. 13, Arkansas: There are plenty of players who can contribute, but the jury is out if they can all go low at the same time. The Razorbacks are built for the future, but the present isn’t bad either: This is a team that makes it to nationals. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 14, Wake Forest: Wake may have missed the boat when it comes to being a national-title contender. For the past three seasons, Wake frequently was mentioned as a team on the rise, but now the cupboard is quite bare. COMPLETE STORY
No. 15, Auburn: Despite not having a big-name star, Auburn has quality and depth. All five projected starters are top-150-type players and will be counted on for this team to succeed. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 16, Michigan State: The Spartans have a sour taste in their mouths after the way last season ended. Caroline Powers is one of the best players in college golf. What Michigan State needs to do this year is find serviceable players at the Nos. 4 and 5 positions. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 17, Vanderbilt: It all comes down to Marina Alex. If the senior is back to playing like she did as a sophomore, Vandy could make some noise in the postseason. However, if she struggles like she did last season, when she posted only two top 10s, the Commodores could be in trouble. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 18, Florida: Florida enters the season with few questions, which is a good thing when competing in the loaded Southeastern Conference. The Gators have four returning starters, including Andrea Watts, who really started to blossom late last season. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 19, Georgia: Last season, the Bulldogs failed to win a tournament, and they once again will have one of the nation’s toughest schedules. With the elite teams Georgia faces on a regular basis, it’s tough to say the Bulldogs will post a team victory this year, either. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 20, Pepperdine: Pepperdine will begin the fall with a limited roster of only six players. That means the Waves must avoid injuries and also that at least one, if not both, incoming freshmen (Alina Ching and Somin Lee) will see significant playing time. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 21, Iowa State: The biggest weakness for Iowa State will be a lack of experience at the back of its rotation. Their three returning starters all had solid seasons a year ago, but the Nos. 4 and 5 spots will be question marks to start the fall. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 22, Texas: Texas is improving, but is still a bit away from becoming a top-15 team. Madison Pressel is a talented player, but without an individual victory, is not a proven star just yet. She will need to notch some wins for her and the Longhorns to climb the rankings. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 23, Tulane: Tulane is not just a one-year wonder mid-major team. For the past three years, Tulane has impressed and should do so again this season. You can pretty much mark down the Conference USA Championship after last year’s stunning third-place finish, and, barring another late-season swoon, the Green Wave should be one of the 24 teams that make it to the NCAA Championship this year. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 24, Texas A&M: There are high expectations in College Station this season, as Texas A&M is a contender for the Big 12 Conference Championship. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 25, Notre Dame: The Irish’s top player is gone, and the roster is thin. With a lack of depth, their biggest concern is avoiding injuries and getting consistent contributions from all five players. COMPLETE COVERAGE.
No. 26, UC Davis: Some may say this team overachieved last season, but the truth is, the Aggies were a talented bunch. Demi Runas is a solid player and a strong No. 1, and Amy Simanton has the talent and ability to be a top 75 player. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 27, Oklahoma: Oklahoma will have depth and be an interesting team to watch this fall. Expect Drouin to tinker with the lineup throughout the fall, then settle on one for the spring and postseason. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 28, Stanford: With a strong nucleus and above average supporting cast, Stanford needs to notch some victories before it can be considered a top-10 team. However, this is a young and talented Cardinal team headed in the right direction. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 29, Florida State: The top three spots are secure with talent and experience. It’s the Seminoles’ last two spots that could be interchangeable during the season. If incoming freshman Laure Castelain can play as well as she did this summer in Europe, then FSU will have a deep first four. COMPLETE STORY.
No.30, Ohio State: Despite making it to the NCAA Championship last season, this team still is not a national contender, and there is no guarantee the Oiho State freshmen will have an immediate impact. OSU should be better than last season, but by how much remains to be seen. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 31, Chattanooga: This season might be tough in Chattanooga because the lineup lacks a proven No. 1 player and contains plenty of additional question marks beyond that. The Mocs should make regionals once again, but a trip to nationals would seem to be a reach. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 32, South Carolina: Senior Katie Burnett will provide leadership, but what will determine how quickly – and how far – this team rises is the development of the younger players. If they continue to improve their games, then the Gamecocks will climb the rankings and return to the NCAA finals. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 33, TCU: Traditionally, the Horned Frogs are a team that peaks late in the season, but with three freshman maybe a new attitude is on the horizon. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 34, Oregon: Oregon may be facing a bit of a rebuilding year. The Ducks start the season without all-time scoring leader Kendra Little. Now the focus will be on the top returnee, senior Ashley Edwards, who will have to play like a No. 1 for this team to get back to the NCAA Championship. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 35, Kent State: With three experienced seniors, Kent State shouldn’t have trouble holding its own in bigger events. But for the Flashes to make a splash and earn a trip to nationals, they have to turn in four good scores per round, not just two or three like last season. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 36, Colorado: Some people may be surprised with how well Colorado does this year. The addition of Alex Stewart from Purdue should make a huge difference, as the Buffs now have a reliable top three. COMPLETE STORY.
No. 37, Northwestern: Northwestern has been three deep for the last couple of years, but should have solid fourth and fifth contributors at each tournament, thanks to a strong freshman class. Northwestern is real close to taking a giant step forward. A top-25 ranking would not be a surprise. COMPLETE STORY
No. 38, Louisville: This could be a long season for Louisville, which is likely to drop in the rankings – perhaps out of the top 50 or 60. The lack of depth will be an issue and a trip to the postseason seems unlikely. COMPLETE STORY
No. 39, Minnesota: Minnesota basically will be starting from scratch this fall. The team graduated four seniors last year – their top four starters. The only returning starter from last year’s NCAA Championship is sophomore Banchalee Theinthong, who finished the season No. 322 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. COMPLETE STORY
No. 40, Washington: How Washington does this year will depend on its freshmen and how quickly they adjust to college competition. If the Huskies’ rookies come in and take control of the lineup like their coach thinks they can, then this could be the start of something special in Seattle. COMPLETE STORY
No. 41, Coastal Carolina: The team returns four of five starters from last season, and the only one they lost was Alicia Grier, the No. 5 player. COMPLETE STORY
No. 42, Ole Miss: This might be the Rebels’ best chance to make their first NCAA Championship appearance. Ole Miss has three seniors who have played in every tournament since their freshman year. COMPLETE STORY
No. 43, Denver women: It’s hard to see Denver take a big leap up the rankings unless their incoming freshman make an instant impact. Melissa Martin will be a steady scorer for the Pioneers, but the team still lacks a true No. 1. COMPLETE STORY
No. 44, Oklahoma State: The first thing new coach Alan Bratton must do is continue his players’ development. Last season, the team was starting three freshman at the end of the year, and for the Cowgirls to be successful, they need to continue to improve their individual games. COMPLETE STORY
No. 45, San Diego State: The next coach will have his or her hands full. The Aztecs do not have a lot of depth and lack talent at the top of the lineup. COMPLETE STORY
No. 46, Tulsa: Returning everyone from a team that made it to the regionals a year ago is a good thing. To add to that mix another strong player who is back from injury is a great thing. COMPLETE STORY
No. 47, Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have a solid 1-2 punch at the top, but a whole lot of questions after that. COMPLETE STORY
No. 48, Wisconsin: The Badgers return four starters but lack a No. 1 in the lineup. Who will step up? COMPLETE STORY
No. 49, UNLV: Entering the fall, UNLV has only two returning starters. Three newcomers are coming in and expected to make an instant impact. COMPLETE STORY
No. 50, East Carolina: ECU slowly has climbed the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. This year, the Pirates hope to contend with Tulane for a Conference USA championship. However, this team has too many questions starting the season. COMPLETE STORY
No. 51, North Texas: With this year’s tougher schedule, expect a few struggles early until the Mean Green settles in and sees what it takes to defeat top teams. COMPLETE STORY
No. 52, Florida International: Injuries hit FIU hard at the wrong time last season, affecting its postseason chances. But a lot of the talent is back, so expect the Golden Panthers to return to regionals. COMPLETE STORY
No. 53, Augusta State: The Jaguars have all five starters back, and the most important piece to the young nucleus is sophomore Casey Kennedy, who finished last season at No. 149 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, a list her coach expects to climb. COMPLETE STORY
No. 54, New Mexico: If a new No. 1 emerges and all five players take a step forward, then the Lobos can get return to the top 30; otherwise, this team is staying put or improving its numbers only slightly. COMPLETE STORY
No. 55, UTSA: Entering the program’s seventh season, the Roadrunners will try to accomplish another first: a trip to the NCAA Championship. All five starters are back, and the Roadrunners should only get better with another year of experience and confidence after last season’s run. COMPLETE STORY
No. 56, BYU: BYU makes the jump from the Mountain West to the West Coast Conference this season and will try to put an end to Pepperdine’s dominance in the conference. COMPLETE STORY
No. 57, N.C. State: N.C. State has questions up and down its lineup. With three incoming freshman that may be able to crack the starting five, the Wolfpack could be a very young squad in the fall. COMPLETE STORY
No. 58, Kentucky: Of all the teams to make it to the postseason last season, Kentucky was the biggest head-scratcher. Despite finishing the season ranked 58th, the Wildcats had an overall record of 51-123. COMPLETE STORY
No. 59, Long Beach State: After a solid season in which Long Beach State won the Folino Invitational and posted five other top-5 finishes, the 49ers were left out of postseason play. How do things look for 2011-12? COMPLETE STORY
No. 60, Furman: Furman compiled an overall record of 59-77-2 last season, but only eight of those head-to-head victories came against teams ranked in the top 50. What does 2011-12 look like for the team? COMPLETE STORY
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