Another Monday, another VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings. Not a ton of shuffling overall in this week’s edition, mainly at the top of the rankings. In fact, the top nine in this week’s rankings stayed the same. It would have been a lot more too if not for some late Sunday action.
Once again the Big Ten and Pac-12 lead the way with the most teams in these rankings, while the SEC and Big 12 each put a pair into the top 10. Without further ado, we start our list where we began last week with Penn State on top.
1. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 19-1 (9-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #1; Def. at #23 Purdue (3-1), at Indiana (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #12 Wisconsin, at (RV) Illinois
- After taking over the top spot in the VolleyMob rankings for the first time last week, Penn State is set on holding down their spot for awhile as they downed a ranked opponent on the road before defeating another Indiana school. An even tougher week looms, as Penn State looks to maintain the high expectations of being number one.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 17-2 (10-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Def. #15 Washington (3-2), Washington State (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Arizona State, at Arizona
- Another unbeaten week for the Cardinal, who are now at 10-0 in conference play. Moving forward, they get two of the bottom teams in the Pac-12 in the Arizona schools, making it look like Stanford should get to a perfect dozen. After that though, the schedule ramps up with potentially five ranked teams in the final eight matches.
3. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 19-2 (8-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Def. at Ohio State (3-0), #12 Wisconsin (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. (RV) Illinois, at Rutgers
- Since starting 1-2 in Big Ten play, the Golden Gophers have collected seven straight wins to establish themselves as one of the top contenders in the conference. They furthered that this week with a win over Wisconsin, giving them a sweep of the Badgers this season.
4. FLORIDA GATORS
- 16-1 (8-1, SEC)
- Last Week: #4; Def. at Alabama (3-0), at Auburn (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. South Carolina, at Mississippi State
- Florida defeated the two schools in Alabama to bounce back from last week’s loss to Kentucky. Now, it’s a big week ahead for Florida to stay right on Kentucky’s heels as they will play Kentucky the following week in Lexington.
5. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 16-2 (8-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #5; Def. at Texas Tech (3-0), at Oklahoma (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: vs. West Virginia
- The Longhorns stayed undefeated in Big 12 action with a pair of road wins against bottom half teams in the conference. It’s just a one-match week for Texas this week, as they face a West Virginia team that took them to five sets in the first meeting.
6. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 17-2 (8-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #6; Def. Tennessee (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at LSU, at Texas A&M
- The Wildcats had a one match week and took care of business with Tennessee on Sunday to stay unbeaten in SEC play. The Gators are coming to town after this week, but first Kentucky will have to keep their minds on two tough road matches in the conference on this week’s slate.
7. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 16-4 (9-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Def. Northwestern (3-0), (RV) Illinois (3-1)
- Upcoming Week: at #10 Michigan State, at Michigan
- Nebraska bounced back further from their first conference loss as now they’ve won three straight matches, including the two this week. A difficult road week comes now though as they will take on the two Michigan schools with large implications on the Big Ten standings.
8. BYU COUGARS
- 21-1 (10-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #7; Def. at Pepperdine (3-0), at Loyola Marymount (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #22 San Diego
- BYU earned a sweep then slid by Loyola Marymount in five, but not much to complain about in two conference road wins. The conference title could very well come down to this one-match week, as BYU can mount a two-match (or more) lead on everyone in the conference if they can down the Toreros for the second time this season.
9. KANSAS JAYHAWKS
- 18-3 (7-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #9; Def. at #17 Baylor (3-0), vs. Texas Tech (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Oklahoma, at #23 Iowa State
- The Jayhawks responded extremely well to a five-set loss to Texas the week before, as they dominated matches with a ranked Baylor team and an underrated Texas Tech bunch. A road meeting with Iowa State club comes this week though, as Kansas will look for another ranked victory in Big 12 play.
10. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
- 15-4 (8-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #11; Def. (RV) Michigan (3-1), at Maryland (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #7 Nebraska, vs. Iowa
- At the halfway point of the Big Ten season, Michigan State has established they are here to stay around the top of the standings. Two more wins this week continued that, as now they get a big opportunity at home to down Nebraska at the top of the conference.
11. UTAH UTES
- 17-4 (8-2, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #10; Def. #18 UCLA (3-1); Lost vs. #13 USC (2-3)
- Upcoming Week: at #16 Oregon, at (RV) Oregon State
- Utah started the week with a big win over UCLA, but just couldn’t close things out against USC in a five-set home loss. That makes all four of the Utes losses in five sets too, as still they hold an overall strong resume and don’t fall too far. A trip to Oregon looms this week for a ranked matchup with a team that Utah lost in five sets to at home before another road match with an Oregon State team on fire right now.
12. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 14-5 (5-5, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #12; Def. at Maryland (3-0); Lost at #3 Minnesota (1-3)
- Upcoming Week: at #1 Penn State, vs. Northwestern
- The Badgers did lose at Minnesota, but they aren’t penalized too much for a road loss against a top five opponent. It hasn’t been the best start to Big Ten season, but the second half schedule is a bit easier, although they do have Penn State twice with the first coming this week.
13. USC TROJANS
- 15-6 (7-3, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #13; Lost at (RV) Colorado (0-3); Def. at #10 Utah (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: at #15 Washington, at Washington State
- USC continues to drop the occasional match to lesser ranked teams but poach the top-end competition as they did this week with a loss to unranked Colorado before a five-set road win at #10 Utah. Another of those top teams they beat was Washington a few weeks back, as the return trip comes this week to Seattle.
14. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 16-5 (9-1, Big East)
- Last Week: #14; Def. St. John’s (3-1), Seton Hall (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Providence, at Providence
- Creighton earned a pair of wins as they continue to counteract their lone loss in conference play. They’ve got an interesting schedule this week with two games against Providence back-to-back on the road, as they look to stay in first of the Big East.
15. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 15-5 (5-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #15; Lost at #2 Stanford (2-3); Def. at California (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #13 USC, vs. #17 UCLA
- Washington’s week started with a loss at #2 Stanford, but they led 2-1 in sets and would go on to lose a close five-setter. What’s great news though is setter Bailey Tanner returned in the match after missing several weeks due to injury. They then earned a sweep at Cal as an opportunity to get revenge on USC and take down the Los Angeles schools comes this week.
16. OREGON DUCKS
- 13-5 (6-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #16; Def. Arizona (3-2), Arizona State (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: vs. #11 Utah, vs. #25 Colorado
- The Ducks faced the two Arizona schools for the week and came up with a pair of wins to boost their Pac-12 record that had been up-and-down to that point. Now they look to explode ahead and make a push toward the top of the standings with a big week ahead against two solid teams in Eugene.
17. UCLA BRUINS
- 13-6 (6-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #18; Lost at #10 Utah (1-3); Def. at (RV) Colorado (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: at Washington State, at #15 Washington
- UCLA fell at Utah, but not much shame in doing that in Salt Lake City. They rebounded in going East by downing Colorado in five sets and now have a big road week ahead with a pair of matches in Washington.
18. BAYLOR BEARS
- 16-5 (6-2, Big 12)
- Last Week: #17; Lost vs. #9 Kansas (0-3)
- Upcoming Week: at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma
- Baylor had a big opportunity in front of them with hosting #9 Kansas, but just didn’t have it on the night as they were swept by the Jayhawks. They’ve had time off now for two road matches this week as they look to stick around the top of the Big 12 standings.
19. NORTHERN IOWA PANTHERS
- 20-5 (10-1, MVC)
- Last Week: #19; Def. Drake (3-0), Loyola (3-0), Valparaiso (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: at Illinois State, at Bradley
- Northern Iowa had the rare three-match week during conference play and didn’t disappoint with a trio of wins. They were tested by Valparaiso, but still came out on top, as they did against a very good Drake squad. Two road matches represent this week’s schedule.
20. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 19-2 (9-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #20; Def. Cal State Northridge (3-0), Long Beach State (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at UC Irvine, vs. Hawaii
- Cal Poly will have their undefeated Big West schedule mightily tested this week with a road meeting against UC Irvine, a one-loss team in the conference, and then the big one with Hawaii. Those matches could be big in determining the conference champion, as a pair of wins would put Cal Poly a 2+ match lead in the standings.
21. COLORADO STATE RAMS
- 20-2 (10-0, MWC)
- Last Week: #21; at UNLV (3-0), at New Mexico (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: vs. Wyoming, vs. Air Force
- The Rams continue their domination of the Mountain West, although it took five sets to get by New Mexico. The resume has dropped a bit with their best wins, Florida State and Michigan, struggling now, but the Rams just keep winning.
22. SAN DIEGO TOREROS
- 16-4 (9-1, WCC)
- Last Week: #22; Def. at Loyola Marymount (3-0), at Pepperdine (3-2)
- Upcoming Week: at #8 BYU
- San Diego made it through two road matches with a pair of wins as they were able to set aside looking ahead to a match with BYU this week. Now that week is here for the only match San Diego has this week as they look to get revenge on the Cougars for an earlier loss and move into a tie in the WCC standings.
23. IOWA STATE CYCLONES
- 14-4 (5-3, Big 12)
- Last Week: #24; Def. West Virginia (3-1), vs. TCU (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at Kansas State, vs. #9 Kansas
- Iowa State broke the trend of one win, one loss weeks with a pair of home victories over West Virginia and TCU. That sets them up for a big week as they go for a three match winning streak at Kansas State before hosting Kansas, a team they lost to in five sets after leading 2-0 in the first meeting.
24. WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS
- 18-3 (10-0, AAC)
- Last Week: #25; Def. Cincinnati (3-0), East Carolina (3-0)
- Upcoming Week: at UCF, at South Florida
- Wichita State made it a perfect 10-0 start to AAC play in their first season as a member of the league as they have only dropped three sets compared to 30 sets won in conference play. They will look to continue that dominance this week with a pair of matches in Florida.
25. COLORADO BUFFALOES
- 15-6 (5-5, Pac-12)
- Last Week: RV; Def. #13 USC (3-0); Lost vs. #18 UCLA (2-3)
- Upcoming Week: at #16 Oregon, at (RV) Oregon State
- Colorado re-emerges into the top 25 after a ranked victory in a sweep of USC followed by a competitive five-set loss to UCLA that went to extra points in the fifth. Another big week looms with road meetings against a ranked Oregon team and a solid Oregon State squad.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Purdue (16-5)* (23)
Western Kentucky (23-2)
Missouri State (18-5)
Notre Dame (16-5)
Oregon State (15-7)
NC State (14-7)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
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