College Men

Ringler's 2012 NCAA Championship primer

Jordan Spieth left Texas despite no guaranteed starts on the PGA Tour.
Jordan Spieth left Texas despite no guaranteed starts on the PGA Tour. ( Tracy Wilcox )

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A look at the 2012 NCAA Division 1 Men's Championship, held May 29-June 3 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.:

• • •

Field of 30

The NCAA Championship field, in order of Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking:

  • 1. Texas
  • 2. Alabama
  • 3. UCLA
  • 4. USC
  • 5. Auburn
  • 6. California
  • 7. Oregon
  • 8. Stanford
  • 10. Texas AM
  • 11. Washington
  • 13. North Florida
  • 14. San Diego State
  • 16. Kent State
  • 17. Virginia
  • 18. Florida
  • 19. Florida State
  • 22. Central Florida
  • 24. Georgia
  • 26. Iowa
  • 28. Oklahoma
  • 29. Liberty
  • 31. Illinois
  • 32. Chattanooga
  • 33. Alabama-Birmingham
  • 35. East Carolina
  • 39. TCU
  • 40. Memphis
  • 48. Virginia Tech
  • 49. Lamar
  • 55. Tulsa

• • •

Ringler’s Fab 5

1. Texas: The Longhorns have to be the favorite, having been ranked No. 1 all season. Texas has three players ranked in the top 20.

2. Alabama: The Crimson Tide, along with perhaps California, may be the team with the most momentum.

3. UCLA: The Bruins have only one win this season, but have quietly been one of college golf’s most consistent teams.

4. California: The Golden Bears have the fewest head-to-head losses (13) in college golf and are peaking at the right time.

5. Washington: This is the time of the year this program gets noticed. The Husky magic seems to be alive and ready for a run at Riviera.

• • •


Lamar is an obvious choice. The Cardinals, who finished fourth at the East Regional, were the only double-digit seed to qualify for nationals and do not have any players ranked in the top 100.

• • •


Chattanooga’s winning the South Central Regional might have raised a few eyebrows. Not mine. The Mocs have shown glimpses this season of a team that could stick around at Riviera. With the Southern Conference Championship its only previous win, the Mocs were something of a regular-season disappointment. This team is better than its ranking.

• • •

Number crunching

Conference USA was the big winner at regionals. Five league teams – Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida, East Carolina, Memphis and Tulsa – advanced. Only the Pac-12 had more teams, with six. The SEC had four, and the ACC and Big 12 each had three.

Talk about your power conferences. The Pac-12 won three of the six regionals, and its six teams at the NCAA finals (UCLA, USC, Cal, Oregon, Stanford, Washington) are ranked in the top 11 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

• With Oklahoma State’s streak of 65 consecutive NCAA Championships now over, who has the longest current streak? The answer: Florida, with 12.

The top 20 players in Golfweek’s individual rankings all will be at Riviera. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.