USA Ultimate just released the preliminary end-of-the-regular-season rankings. Since last week, USAU has matched up each team’s roster for each regular season tournament with that team’s registrar-certified roster. If a player isn’t on the final roster, the team could have their results wiped out for a tournament or for their entire season.
The top 20 teams are pretty much in the same place they were last week, with one huge exception.
It appears that Sonoma State (#6 last week) failed the roster comparison for their first two tournaments. With only 8 sanctioned games, they won’t be included in the final rankings. As a result, the Southwest is down to 4 bids, while the North Central picks up a fourth bid.
This shouldn’t have that much of an effect on Sonoma State. They still get to compete in the College Series, and they are probably the favorite to win a four-bid region. The team that this hurts most is #14 Stanford.
Stanford has earned a strength bid for the Southwest. They are pretty clearly one of the top 20 teams in the country. But now they are the 5th-best team in a four-bid region. Stanford is winless this year against Sonoma State, #6 California, #8 UCSB, and #11 UCLA. Now, unless they finish above one of those teams at Regionals, they won’t be going to Nationals. Whatever happens at Southwest Regionals, one of the top 15 teams in the country won’t be making the trip to Boulder.
The Southwest’s loss is the North Central’s gain, as #18 Carleton moved into position to claim the last strength bid. The North Central also has the highest ranked team not to earn a strength bid, as Minnesota moved up to #19 after rolling through the Chicago Invite.
A few other notes:
- #16 UNC-Wilmington had their results from their first two tournaments thrown out. Combined with a 13-0 loss to Virginia in a consolation game, I thought they might drop out of a strength bid spot. Right now, they’re hanging on to that bid.
- #20 Penn State didn’t play Sunday of the Keystone Classic. A couple big wins might have been enough for them to earn the Ohio Valley Region a second bid.
- #2 Oregon seems to have stumbled into a solution for their Corvegas Problem. Oregon failed the roster comparison, so their result from Corvegas aren’t included in their rating.*
*I’m not calling shenanigans. I’m sure Fugue has better things to worry about than whether they’re #2 or #3 in the rankings.
Upon digging a little we found out that Sonoma State is currently working to submit the appropriate paperwork to USAU. They were told that it would take a minimum of 24 hours for it to get cleared by the registrar, but are doing their best to get the information to USAU by the deadline, 12 PM Mountain time tomorrow. This would mean that the SW bids would be returned to 5, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. In essence, a team member who left the school in February was on the rosters for Santa Barbara Invite and Pres Day, invalidating those games, meaning that Sonoma State did not have enough games to qualify for rankings.
Maggie Ruden, Sonoma State Captain: “This situation hit us completely unexpectedly and we worked very hard to get the proof to USAU as soon as humanly possible. Last year, D’Vine was one spot away from making Nationals so we understand the impact the 5th bid would have for whoever gets 5th at SW Regionals. The Southwest has played so well this season, and we have EARNED that 5th bid. We are doing everything possible to make that happen, and it looks like everything is gonna work out the way we planned.”
It looks like all Sonoma State’s games are now valid. Nothing is final until USAU re-runs the rankings, but it appears the Southwest will have 5 bids, and the North Central will be down to 3. UNC-Wilmington also got some games added back in. I think it’s very unlikely, but there’s a chance Carleton jumps UNC-Wilmington for the last strength bid.
And Oregon’s Corvegas results are back too. As far as I can see, there’s not a single top 20 team with any roster issues. I’m guessing we see a top 5 of Washington, Iowa State, Oregon, Michigan, and British Columbia, with Sonoma State at #6.
I just heard from Oregon about their Corvegas roster. Short story – it wasn’t Oregon’s fault that their roster was invalid in the first place, and Oregon contacted USAU to get the games included even though they knew including the games would hurt their ranking.