This poll features the Skyd staff rankings of the top 20 open college teams in the nation heading into the regular season. Check below for some insight into our rankings.
1. Pittsburgh En Sabah Nur
2010’s Semifinalist is returning virtually everybody, including 5th years Chris Brenenborg and Eddie Peters. This group has improved round-by-round at each of the past few College Championships. The only team who scared CUT two years ago. Dangerous and athletic, this team seems to be the one team everyone is worried about. Their history of falling when it counts could be the only thing standing between them and a Nationals title. If they’re going to win it all, this is the year.
2T. Carleton CUT
Runner-up last year, returning loads of talent downfield, and they’ll certainly be poised for another run at the title. But Pitt gets the edge because it’s going to take a bit of time to adjust for the loss of experienced handlers Sam Kanner, Adam Fagin, Adrian Chow, Luke Powers.
2T. Colorado Mamabird
This is the exact same team as last year and they have no freshman on the roster. None. You’re only as good as your worst player and this team may have more collective experience than any other. A strong pre-season bodes well for the regular season.
4. Florida Gators
Losing Brodie Smith and Chris Gibson is a big deal, but nobody is as cognizant of what they need to do to return to the top. The Gators are likely to spread the workload out a bit more, and given their recent tactical success, don’t be surprised if they find a way to make it work.
5. Minnesota Grey Duck
Minnesota had a strong year last year with a Championships run, and gained a lot of experience. Look for them to finish at the top of whatever the new Central Region will be called. Look for Chris Demet and Danny Miesen to throw it and Dan Hoff to rip it down.
6. Wisconsin Hodags
Never count out the baby blue. Last year was rebuilding and this year looks to be too, but with some heavy new talent and one of the best coaches in the business, Wisconsin looks to remain strong.
9. Cornell Buds
Strong showing at the Championships in ’10 and rumors of a 6’7″ deep player. If they all play D half as well as Deepak Bapat, it won’t matter how fast you are, you won’t have room to take a first step.
10. Oregon Ego
Losing both Eli Janin and Eli Friedman hurts, but last year going into nationals, Ego was as dominant as their women counterparts. The big question is, can the O line recover its former lethality which lead to huge wins in 2010.
14. UBC Thunderbirds
Fighters to the end. Last year they had a perfect regular season, and lost for the first time in the game to go to Championships. This year they add John Norris, one of the best throwers in the game, fresh off a Club Championships run with Furious George, and face a region without Cal, Stanford, and UCSC.