The most notable change in this week’s VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings is that a new team sits on top of the rankings. That would be the Penn State Nittany Lions, who slide up a spot after the previous number one team, Florida, suffered their first loss of the season.
Beyond that, as per usual the middle of the rankings saw some shuffling. At this point in the season a combination of resume, eye test, injuries and conference performance are all factored into the equation, with overall resume still the top dog.
1. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 17-1 (7-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #2; Def. #10 Michigan State (3-1), (RV) Michigan (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at #23 Purdue, at Indiana
- Penn State takes over the top spot in the VolleyMob rankings for the first time after Florida suffered their first loss. It was a pretty darn good week for the Nittany Lions too, who took out a top-10 team and then swept another solid team in Michigan, who was on the cusp. They’ll be in Indiana for a pair of matches this week as they look to maintain their top spot for awhile.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 15-2 (8-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #3; Def. at #18 UCLA (3-1), at #12 USC (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #15 Washington, vs. Washington State
- The Cardinal continue to stay unbeaten in Pac-12 play as they won a pair during a tricky road swing in Los Angeles by downing UCLA and USC in four sets each. Still, their only losses came to Penn State as this week they’ll be back home but the area of teams they play won’t be much easier as they face Washington and Washington State.
3. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 17-2 (6-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Def. #19 Purdue (3-0), Iowa (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Ohio State, vs. #12 Wisconsin
- Minnesota continues to pick up their play after back-to-back losses early in the conference season as they remain a match back of the Big Ten lead. It was six sets played, six set victories this week, as the Golden Gophers will look to avoid a trap game at Ohio State before meeting Wisconsin later.
4. FLORIDA GATORS
- 14-1 (6-1, SEC)
- Last Week: #1; Def. at Ole Miss (3-0); Lost vs. #9 Kentucky (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: at Alabama, at Auburn
- The Gators had their first setback of the 2017 season but should feel no remorse for a 14-0 start. They drop to four behind their still overall strong resume (such as a win over Texas earlier) as they still have only fallen just once now. The Gators will visit Lexington in a few weeks for revenge and a chance to move back up – not just the VolleyMob Rankings but the SEC standings as well.
5. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 14-2 (6-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #6; Def. at #8 Kansas (3-2), vs. #22 Iowa State (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma
- It’d be hard to have a better week than the Longhorns, who started off with a comeback five-set victory in Lawrence over Kansas. Beyond that big victory for the Big 12 title race, they also swept the other team they lost to in Big 12 play last year as Iowa State was their second top-25 win for the week.
6. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 16-2 (7-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #9; Def. Texas A&M (3-0), at #1 Florida (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Tennessee
- The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the country as they have won 11 in a row. They added to it this week with a sweep of Texas A&M and the big one in downing #1 Florida in Gainesville. They also rank in the top five of the RPI and played a difficult non-conference to pair with their strong SEC start.
7. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 14-4 (7-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Lost at #14 Wisconsin (1-3); Def. at #19 Purdue (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Northwestern, vs. Illinois
- The Cornhuskers were the top team in the Big Ten but received their first loss of the conference season in Madison this weekend to push them into a tie. They’ll look to build up more wins now with two home matches against unranked teams.
8. BYU COUGARS
- 19-1 (8-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #7; Def. Portland (3-0), Gonzaga (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Pepperdine, at Loyola Marymount
- BYU continues to rack up victories in West Coast Conference play as they look to coast their way into hosting the first two rounds and could even have an outside chance at a top four ranking. That all rides on them winning out though as they look for help in others falling around them too.
9. KANSAS JAYHAWKS
- 16-3 (5-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #8; Lost vs. #6 Texas (2-3)
- Upcoming Week: at #17 Baylor
- It’s hard to fault Kansas too much for losing in five sets to Texas – not to mention that Kansas led 2-1 in sets and had a set point opportunity in a fifth that went to extra points. The Jayhawks win over Kentucky also looks even better now although they do still drop a spot.
10. UTAH UTES
- 16-3 (7-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #11; Def. at Arizona (3-1), at Arizona State (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #18 UCLA, vs. #13 USC
- Utah continues to stay on a roll as its now five straight for the Utes including the last four on the road. All three of their losses this season came in five sets to ranked opponents, including BYU and Kentucky. They’ve got another opportunity to solidify their resume this week with ranked meetings against the L.A. schools.
11. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
- 13-4 (6-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #10; Lost at #2 Penn State (1-3); Def. at Rutgers (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. (RV) Michigan, at Maryland
- Michigan State did come up short in one of their matches as they lost to Penn State. Hard to fault a team too much though for losing a competitive match on the road against the now number one ranked team, so for the moment Michigan State stays right around the top 10.
12. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 13-4 (4-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #14; Def. #4 Nebraska (3-1), Indiana (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Maryland, at #3 Minnesota
- Wisconsin was 2-4 in Big Ten play coming into the week, so beyond earning a top five victory they also had a huge week in terms of the conference standings getting back to .500. They’ll hope that sends them on a big winning streak, but they will be tested heavily this week on the road.
13. USC TROJANS
- 14-5 (6-2, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #12; Def. California (3-1); Lost vs. #3 Stanford (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: at (RV) Colorado, at #10 Utah
- The Trojans fell for the second time in Pac-12 play as they had a few opportunities to force a fifth but just missed out and lost to Stanford at home. A big road test of a week looms as they will head east toward the Rocky Mountains.
14. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 14-5 (7-1, Big East)
- Last Week: #16; Def. Butler (3-2), Xavier (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. St. John’s, vs. Seton Hall
- The Blue Jays have won three consecutive matches since falling to Marquette as they will need to keep the winning going to stay on the right side of the first/second round hosting bubble. The return meeting with Marquette comes in a few weeks, but for now they will face St. John’s and Seton Hall at home.
15. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 15-4 (5-3, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #13; Def. #15 Oregon (3-2); Lost vs. Oregon State (2-3)
- Upcoming Week: at #2 Stanford, at California
- Washington’s stud setter Bailey Tanner continues to miss time with injury as the question becomes how long will she be out. If she comes back, Washington looks to be a much better team but for now the Huskies drop a bit in the rankings with a five-set loss to Oregon State – although they didn’t drop as far with a big win over Oregon.
16. OREGON DUCKS
- 11-5 (4-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #15; Lost at #13 Washington (2-3); Def. at (RV) Washington State (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona State
- Oregon suffered one five-set loss at Washington before winning in five at Washington State for another split week. That’s been the theme thus far for Oregon who will look to shake it with two of the bottom feeders in the conference coming to town.
17. BAYLOR BEARS
- 16-4 (6-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #20; Def. at Kansas State (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #9 Kansas
- The Bears continue to roll as they’ve won 11 of their last 12 matches with just a loss to Texas in between. That streak started with a five-setter against BYU in Honolulu as now they will battle with Kansas for second place in the Big 12.
18. UCLA BRUINS
- 12-5 (5-3, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #18; Lost vs. #3 Stanford (1-3); Def. California (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at #10 Utah, at (RV) Colorado
- UCLA did fall to Stanford but played a competitive match before sweeping California. They now start a four-match road trip starting with Utah and Colorado as they will be looking for a big week ahead before heading up to Washington.
19. NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS
- 17-5 (7-1, MVC)
- Last Week: #17; Def. Southern Illinois (3-0); Lost vs. Missouri State (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Drake, vs. Loyola
- The Panthers suffered their first conference setback as they fell at home to the preseason MVC pick Missouri State. They still have a great overall resume but will need to likely win out for their best chance at hosting in the first/second round and win the conference title.
20. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 17-2 (7-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #23; Def. at UC Santa Barbara (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Cal State Northridge, vs. Long Beach State
- The Mustangs continue to rack up victories in the Big West as they move on from a road win at Hawaii. They may have an outside shot at hosting in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament but they will need to keep winning with matches at home this week.
21. COLORADO STATE RAMS
- 18-2 (8-0, MWC)
- Last Week: #21; vs. San Jose State (3-0), vs. Nevada (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at UNLV, at New Mexico
- The Rams continue the streak of non-Power Five conference schools ranked in the bottom half of the top 25 as they are the class of the Mountain West. Wins at Florida State and over Michigan are fading now, but they continue to dominate lesser competition.
22. SAN DIEGO TOREROS
- 14-4 (7-1, WCC)
- Last Week: #24; Def. Gonzaga (3-0), Portland (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Loyola Marymount, at Pepperdine
- The Toreros have won four straight since a loss to BYU as they look to continue the positive results until they get their second crack at the Cougars. They’ll be on the road twice this week with upper-level teams in the conference in Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.
23. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 15-4 (5-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #19; Def. Lost at #5 Minnesota (0-3), vs. #4 Nebraska (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #1 Penn State, vs. Rutgers
- Purdue got off to a 5-1 Big Ten start, but suffered a setback with a pair of losses. However, they both came to top five opponents, so the Boilermakers aren’t penalized too much in their overall resume. They get a chance to score that huge Big Ten win this week with Penn State before meeting conference bottom-dweller Rutgers.
24. IOWA STATE CYCLONES
- 12-4 (3-3, Big 12)
- Last Week: #22; Def. Kansas State (3-0); Lost at #6 Texas (0-3)
- Upcoming Week: vs. West Virginia, vs. TCU
- Iowa State is off to an up-and-down Big 12 start, but their three losses came to the top of the conference in Texas, Kansas and Baylor. With those out of the way, they’ll look to balloon their win total starting this week with home matches against West Virginia and TCU.
25. WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS
- 16-3 (8-0, AAC)
- Last Week: #25; Def. vs. SMU (3-1), vs. Tulsa (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Cincinnati, vs. East Carolina
- The Shockers add to the tally of another mid-major in the rankings as they earned a big win this week against last year’s AAC champion SMU. It’s been smooth sailing thus far in their inaugural AAC season with an 8-0 record thus far which they will look to add to this week at home.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Western Kentucky (21-2)
Missouri State (16-5)
Notre Dame (14-5)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)