I know all of my avid readers were bummed out last week when I didn’t have an official article, but 8 hours of live blogging will take it out of you and I need to recover. I’ve been a little bummed at how most of my teams have started their season but after watching March Madness, I believe that anything can happen! With some hard work and a lot of hard work, YOU CAN BEAT GOOD TEAMS. I’m looking at you Sewanee vs. Pomona and Rhodes vs. Emory. You got this. Anyways without any more blabbering lets get this thing rolling!
Reg AS Power Rankings – Now we as a group always do our national power rankings, so I thought it would be fun to break down the teams I’m supposed to be covering and produce a mini power ranking of my own. I will admit, I did get a little help from D3Tree because you can count on him to provide knowledge on teams that you might never have heard of.
1) Skidmore – Did Skidmore win any of their matches over Spring Break? No. Did they claw tooth and nail? Absolutely. I really enjoyed watching the Thoroughbreds compete and scare some of the elite teams in the country. Skidmore went into the Stag Hen outmatched and proved that they can still hang with the best of them and even pull an upset on the right day. Skidmore has earned this top spot and don’t be surprised to see them in the Sweet 16 come tournament time. Yes that means they will beat RPI because RPI is not very good this year…
2) Sewanee – The Tigers are my sweet surprise of the season and I have very much enjoyed covering them. Schober is having another strong season and Carro is shaping up to be quite the player. They have only lost 2 matches on the season to a pretty good Mary Washington and a very good Redlands team. They have also picked up notable wins over NC Wes, Stevens, Swarthmore and W&L. Unfortunately those first 3 wins aren’t as hype worthy as we originally thought, however as an up and coming team, those are the matches that you need to win. Good job Sewanee, keep doing you.
3) W&L – Next up is the Generals who have pretty much performed as expected. Their notable wins have come against Swarthmore and CNU, and they also have lost a few close matches to the very solid squads of Johns Hopkins and Sewanee. However they got absolutely beat down by Mary Washington (and Virginia but that doesn’t need to be discussed). Someone explain that one to me? They did rebound nicely by picking up the 5-4 win over CNU, but still this team has some question marks surrounding them mid season.
4) CNU – I think out of all the teams on this list, this is the team that I would least like to be on. They just came off a heartbreaking weekend where they lost 4-5 to 2 teams that they were probably the favorite in the matchup. This really has become a lackluster season for the Captains, but the good news is that they can still salvage it! Beat UMW in the CAC tournament and go dancing and you will have found the buckets to bail the water out of the ship. Beat UMW, Hopkins and win the conference tournament then you plug all the holes and turn the ship in the right direction. You can do it CNU!
4) NC Wesleyan – NC Wes got a very big jump in my rankings after this past weekend. I have
them tied with CNU purely because of the fact that the match was unbelievably close and could have gone either way, but regardless, kudos to the Battling Bishops for really battling in their gritty 5-4 win. I was unimpressed with this team that showed potential this fall, but my faith has been restored in NC Wesleyan. Unfortunately their schedule the rest of the season isn’t contusive to making big moves. If I were the Bishops, I’d have that W&L circled because if they can win that and bring momentum into NCAAs.
6) Rhodes – Oh how I want the Lynx to keep this upward trend. This is one of my favorite young teams in the country and I think a couple years of solid recruiting and hard work could do miraculous things for this team. I feel like they are on the verge of something beautiful and they just need a few more pieces to complete this puzzle. I was very encouraged by their 5-4 win over Wheaton and I wish them all the best as their season continues to progress. If I were Sewanee, I would not sleep on this team because they can be dangerous if underestimated.
7) Stevens – I don’t even know where to begin. I tried to be optimistic when I first started covering this team, but I think it’s time to be realistic. These are not the Ducks of seasons past and the Ducks of season present simply cannot bring in the results. The loss of 3 starters has really hurt the Ducks, and I don’t think they are going to be able to recover this season. They have a few more chances to build some momentum heading into the post season, but the Ducks really need to buckle down and dig deep to gut out any significant wins the rest of the year.
8) Haverford – Haverford is one of those teams that should be better than they actually are, but doesn’t quite have the fight that it takes to push them into the top 40. Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore have overshadowed the Black Squirrels of the Centennial Conference over the years and I don’t see that changing any time soon. But who really knows, a couple good recruiting classes and a boost in morale can go a long way.
9) Methodist – Methodist has only lost one match on the season, but that was an 0-8 drubbing delivered to them by none other than NC Wesleyan. I was told by D3Tree that they have a pretty good team and should be placed here, so if you have a problem with the rankings from here on out, blame him.
10) Birmingham Southern – Birmingham Southern beat Rhodes last year, but I don’t see that happening again. They only lost one senior, so in theory they should be around the same level, but I just think with the season that Rhodes has had, they might not be able to fend off the leaping Lynx. They were thumped 0-9 by Trinity and have beaten a couple of teams that aren’t covered and that’s pretty much the extent of what I know.
11) F&M – The diplomats are 1-3 on the season with close losses to somewhat decent teams in RPI and Hobart. Seeing as how they are also in the Centennial conference, the best they can hope to achieve is a 4th place finish. But hey, they beat Mary Washington last season and stranger things have happened.
12) Oglethorpe – The Stormy Petrels have had a rough go at things since CJ Antonio graduated. They’ve lost to some pretty bad teams and the season doesn’t seem to be looking up too much.
13) VA Wesleyan – Why am I covering this team? I don’t know. Tree has informed me that they were gouched 1-8 by Goucher. Who is Goucher? Exactly. This is why they’re DFL on this list and I haven’t really mentioned them thus far this season. C’mon man, maybe next year.
Notable Matches – Now that we’ve had our power ranking fun, I’m going to briefly highlight some important upcoming matches this next week.
3/21 Sewanee vs. Pomona – Pomona is certainly weaker this year, but not that weak. As much as I would like the Tigers to pull the upset, I have a hard time seeing it happening. Hey, it is #MarchMadness, but I’m going with Pomona 6-3.
3/25 CNU vs. Mary Washington – This match will most likely be a look into the CAC finals later this season. As previously mentioned, CNU hasn’t looked to hot as of late and Mary Wash is just consistently good. I’m going with the Eagles 6-3.
3/25 Skidmore vs. RPI – This match probably isn’t as important as I’m making it, but conference rival matches always get a little heated. RPI could catch fire and stun Skidmore or Skidmore could absolutely roll. I’m going with the latter, Skid Kids take
3/25 W&L vs. CMU – CMU is a very good team this year and I really just don’t see W&L having the firepower to take out the Tartans. Maybe if half the Tartans oversleep and miss the bus to the match, but even then, it might not be that close. I’ll go with CMU 9-0.
3/26 Stevens vs. Swarthmore – The battle for the best of the worst happens in Swarthmore. Both have struggled mightily this season so a win for either of these teams would be huge. This match is such a toss up that I’m not even going to make a pick, however, the final score will be 5-4.
That was a lot of writing so I’m just going to leave it at that. Do you disagree with my power rankings? Do you disagree with my match predictions? Let me know! Leave a comment below, tweet at me @D3RegASouth or shoot me an email at D3RegionalASouth@gmail.com! Hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time. RegASouth out!