USC Impresses During Regional Weekend; VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings (Week 17)

  0 Derek Johnson | December 11th, 2017 | ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Conference USA, Division I Mid-Major, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West, News, Pac 12, SEC, WCC

Just 16 teams in the VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings were in action in the Regionals, so there wasn’t a ton of shifting in this week’s edition. The biggest changes come in the top 10 with things getting sorted out at the Final Four this week. Outside of that top four though, the rankings should be set for the final poll.

Once again though, the Nittany Lions of Penn State stick at the top where they will look to become the National Champions this week.


  • 33-1 (19-1, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #1; Def. #22 Missouri (3-0), #11 Michigan State (3-0)
  • Upcoming Week: vs. #4 Nebraska, *vs. #3 Florida/#2 Stanford*
  • Go figure that Penn State would lose a set to Howard yet sweep Missouri and Michigan State en route to the Final Four. They’re the only team who didn’t play an unseeded opponent on their route, but they’ve been so good all season long – including two wins over Stanford – that they stay #1. They can avenge their lone loss now too, as they were swept in University Park by Nebraska earlier this season.


  • 30-3 (19-1, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #3; Def. #15 Wisconsin (3-1), #4 Texas (3-0)
  • Upcoming Week: vs. #3 Florida, *vs. #1 Penn State/#4 Nebraska*
  • The Cardinal jump over Florida heading into this week because the defending National Champions had a similar first match but pulverized their Elite Eight opponent in Texas. The combination of how they got through and last year’s experience means they should be the slight favorite in their Final Four match with Florida, so the Cardinal move to #2 in a week where everything will play itself out.


  • 29-1 (17-1, SEC)
  • Last Week: #2; Def. #14 UCLA (3-1), #9 USC (3-2)
  • Upcoming Week: vs. #2 Stanford, *vs. #1 Penn State/#4 Nebraska*
  • Not many teams swept the two Los Angeles schools when playing both in the same week this year, but Florida gets their name added to the list. It wasn’t so pretty against USC, as they trailed to match point in the fourth and were down 9-5 in the fifth. However, they stayed strong and came back for a victory and their first Final Four in 14 years.


  • 30-4 (19-1, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #5; Def. #16 Colorado (3-0), at #6 Kentucky (3-1)
  • Upcoming Week: vs. #1 Penn State, *vs. #3 Florida/#2 Stanford*
  • The Cornhuskers were thought of by many as more deserving for a top four seed to host, but were edged out by Kentucky. They proved on the court that may have been the case, as they swept Colorado and downed the Wildcats for a third consecutive Final Four appearance.


  • 27-3 (16-0, Big 12)
  • Last Week: #4; Def. #10 Utah (3-2); Lost at #3 Stanford (0-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Longhorns squeaked one out with a very solid Utah squad, but couldn’t defeat their Pac-12 counterpart Stanford Cardinal in a National Championship rematch. The question coming into the year was whether Chiaka Ogbogu‘s return would be the difference in taking down the Cardinal, but the answer was no as Texas struggled in serve receive. Still, another top five finish and Big 12 Championship for the Horns.


  • 29-4 (17-1, SEC)
  • Last Week: #6; Def. #8 BYU (3-2); Lost vs. #5 Nebraska (1-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Comeback ‘Cats earned another come from behind win over BYU and started to mount a comeback against Nebraska but couldn’t finish things off. It wasn’t the finish they would have liked, but they still reached new heights for the program in the Regional Final as well as a top four hosting seed after being co-SEC champions.


  • 25-10 (14-6, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #9; Def. #7 Minnesota (3-0); Lost at #2 Florida (2-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Maybe no one did more for their perception this week than USC. The Trojans started the season unranked but quickly vaulted into the VolleyMob Top 25 and stuck around the top 10 for a majority of the year. The AVCA wasn’t as bullish but USC gave us vindication with a surprising sweep of Minnesota before being match point away from upending Florida and reaching the Final Four.


  • 28-6 (15-5, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #7; Lost vs. #9 USC (0-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Minnesota was shocked in the Regional Semifinals as USC not just beat the Golden Gophers, but earned a sweep. Minnesota still featured one of the better offenses in the country this season though and end the year in the top 10 as they should bring plenty back for a big 2018 run.


  • 30-3 (17-1, WCC)
  • Last Week: #8; Lost at #6 Kentucky (2-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • For the second straight season, BYU had their host on the ropes in the Regional Semifinals. However, once again the Cougars were just edged out by strong competition. They should have a bright 2018 though as they finish this year in the top 10 ahead of a Utah team they defeated in five sets earlier on the road.


  • 24-10 (13-7, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #10; Lost vs. #4 Texas (2-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Utes were incredibly close to upsetting Texas and forcing a Pac-12 Regional Final with Stanford, but fell in extra points in the fifth set instead. The Utes still reached new heights on the year with their best ever Pac-12 finish as they slightly stay above Michigan State in proving a lot in a loss.


  • 24-9 (14-6, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #11; Def. #20 Illinois (3-1); Lost at #1 Penn State (0-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Michigan State’s underdog run finally came to an end, but they made it further than any other unseeded team before meeting the buzz-saw that is Penn State. Still, it was the first Regional Final for the Spartans since 1996, as the senior laden bunch had a phenomenal season that started with a bang in Big Ten play after a subtle non-conference slate.


  • 26-7 (16-2, Big East)
  • Last Week: #12; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Creighton had maybe the toughest first round pod, and suffered a negative result from it as after downing Coastal Carolina they were upended by Michigan State. It was almost a reverse of last year, when Creighton was the unseeded team making an Elite Eight run after upending their second round host. Still, it was a great season for the BlueJays who won another Big East title and earned a top 10 seed but had a rough draw.


  • 25-8 (14-6, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #13; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Huskies pushed in front 2-1 in sets over Illinois after dropping the first, as it looked like Washington was in control. However, they couldn’t handle the Illinois block and attack and fell behind in a fifth set as they were the highest seed losing. Still, it was a great finish to the season as Washington suffered through injury all season long and still finished second in the Pac-12.


  • 22-10 (11-9, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #15; Lost at #3 Stanford (1-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Badgers struggled to gain separation in a difficult Big Ten slate, but the team was extremely young this season. They couldn’t overcome Stanford in the Sweet 16 either, but showed plenty of strong flashes in keeping close and winning the first set as this season will be a great learning experience for a Wisconsin team that should start next season in the top 10.


  • 21-11 (12-8, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #14; Lost at #2 Florida (1-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Bruins won the first set with Florida, but couldn’t overcome the Gators in any of the other sets. It was a strong finish for the Bruins though who were looking like a team that wouldn’t host until they ended Pac-12 play positively. Considering the mass of losses they had last season, this year should be a nice springboard to 2018.


  • 24-10 (12-8, Pac-12)
  • Last Week: #16; Lost vs. #5 Nebraska (0-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Buffaloes were swept by former Big 12 foe Nebraska, but they don’t drop below Baylor in the rankings because they are just a week of sweeping the Bears in Waco. It wasn’t the finish they would have liked in getting beaten quickly, but it was still a strong run to a Sweet 16 in a memorable year.


  • 24-7 (13-3, Big 12)
  • Last Week: #17; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Baylor couldn’t reach their first Sweet 16 after they got to host their first pod in program history. It was unfortunate for them as Katie Staiger could only play one set and take three swings, but it was still an amazing season for the Bears breaking program records even with the health of their All-American in question.


  • 25-5 (17-1, WCC)
  • Last Week: #18; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • We had San Diego as one of the top 16 teams heading into the NCAA Tournament, but they didn’t host with an RPI that conflicted that. That may have been their downfall, although they didn’t have to travel too far, but it’d be easy to say that a five-set road loss to the 10-seed could have been different in the Jenny Craig Pavillion. Still, San Diego showed that they were for real as co-WCC champions, but they just fall short of the Sweet 16.


  • 23-10 (12-8, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #19; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Boilermakers also showed how good they were in a loss as they were just edged out in an incredibly close four-setter to Utah. They also took down a solid mid-major in High Point before falling short in the second round. Their overall season showed they are one of the top non-Sweet 16 teams, as they stay in the top 20 ahead of a surprise Sweet 16 team that they swept on the road.


  • 23-11 (12-8, Big Ten)
  • Last Week: #20; Lost vs. #11 Michigan State (1-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Fighting Illini bowed out after a surprise run to the Sweet 16 and couldn’t overcome Big Ten foe Michigan State. Still, it was a strong year for Illinois after missing the NCAA Tournament last season and looking like a team with a bright future in 2017.


  • 22-7 (11-5, Big 12)
  • Last Week: #21; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Iowa State was indeed the host and 14th ranked team by the NCAA Tournament committee, but they were actually ranked lower than Wisconsin in our rankings. Sure enough they fell at home to the Badgers to end their season in the second round after a tough draw. Still, it was a strong season for Iowa State who just robotically seems to put up top three finish after finish in the Big 12.


  • 22-12 (13-5, SEC)
  • Last Week: #22; Lost at #1 Penn State (0-3)
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Missouri’s Cinderella run came to a close this past week as they were downed in straight sets by the top seeded Penn State Nittany Lions. They stay ahead of Kansas though, who they downed in the NCAA First Round as they end the season ranked in the top 25.


  • 22-8 (11-5, Big 12)
  • Last Week: #23; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Jayhawks end of season collapse came to a conclusion with a five-set loss to Border War rival Missouri in five sets. However, they fared better than Wichita State and overall still had big wins over the course of the season, but for whatever reason couldn’t finish the job as they were in the top 10 just three weeks ago.


  • 27-3 (16-0, Big West)
  • Last Week: #24; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • The Mustangs dispatched Denver relatively quickly and looked like a stern challenge for UCLA early after taking the first set 28-26. However, they couldn’t finish the job and suffered the tough loss. They still should have a bright 2018, as they end their season ranked just ahead of fellow mid-major Wichita State – who they took down in the non-con.


  • 29-4 (20-0, AAC)
  • Last Week: #25; None
  • Upcoming Week: None
  • Wichita State couldn’t take care of their home court advantage and fell to Missouri in the second round. Still, it was a great season for the Shockers who went unbeaten in their first AAC go around and earned their first ever national seed and ability to host.

On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:

Western Kentucky (31-4)

Missouri State (28-6)

Northern Iowa (27-9)

Oregon (18-12)

Colorado State (29-4)

Michigan (21-12)

Louisville (24-7)

Pittsburgh (26-7)

Miami (FL) (22-6)

NC State (21-12)

Others who Dropped Out:


Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)

Previous Polls:

Week 16 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 15 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 14 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 13 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 12 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 11 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 10 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 9 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 8 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 7 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 6 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 5 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 4 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 3 VolleyMob Top 25

Week 2 VolleyMob Top 25

Preseason Top 25 (Week 1)

Leave a Reply


Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!