The latest week of action caused some shifting from near the top of the Big Ten along with some teams near the top of their league – like Pittsburgh, Cal Poly, Marquette, etc. Those results help created some moving in this week’s rankings, although the top three continue to carve out a comfortable spot:
1. BYU COUGARS
- 22-0 (12-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won at Portland (3-0), at Gonzaga (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. San Diego
- BYU has lost one set in 12 WCC matches so far; that means they have won 36 of 37 sets. They’ve been dominant and continue to show why they’re number one. The only team to take a set gets them in Provo this week – a place where San Diego earned a win last year.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 20-1 (12-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won at #11 USC (3-0), at #19 UCLA (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. (RV) Colorado, vs. (RV) Utah
- The Cardinal earned a sweep of USC in L.A. before doubling down at UCLA. It doesn’t seem likely that Colorado or Utah this week can throw a wrench in the plans of the Cardinal in rolling through the Pac-12.
3. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 18-2 (12-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Won at Michigan State (3-0), at #14 Michigan (3-0)
- Next Week: at #5 Wisconsin, vs. Michigan State
- Winning all six sets in the state of Michigan was pretty impressive for Minnesota, but now comes maybe their toughest task left in playing at Wisconsin. If they win twice again it’ll feel like a near certainty that they will win the Big Ten.
4. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 20-3 (9-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Won vs. Maryland (3-0), at #7 Nebraska (3-1)
- Next Week: at Ohio State, at Maryland
- The Fighting Illini are rolling now with five straight wins after a lull with three losses in four tries. Besides that stint, Illinois has won every match this year and is now 8-3 in total against VolleyMob ranked competition (at the time of play).
5. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 16-4 (9-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #6; Won at #14 Michigan (3-2), at Michigan State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. #3 Minnesota, vs. #15 Michigan
- Wisconsin edged by Michigan before sweeping through Michigan State, and now can make one last stand for the Big Ten crown. It’ll be tough for Minnesota to even drop three losses, but regardless they’d have to win on Wednesday. At the very least it’d be critical for their hosting chances in getting that four seed.
6. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 18-4 (9-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Won vs. Indiana (3-0), vs. #21 Purdue (2-3)
- Next Week: at #8 Nebraska, at Iowa
- Things are now really tough on Penn State to try to win the Big Ten, but they’ve still got chances to finish second. It’s a brutal final eight matches though, with four straight on the road and Minnesota/Wisconsin to end the regular season.
7. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 14-4 (9-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #9; Won at Iowa State (3-0), vs. Oklahoma (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. TCU
- Ever since losing to Kansas and squeaking by Oklahoma, Texas has looked renewed, winning all nine sets of action. They’ve got three more home matches coming in a row starting with TCU, a team who took them to five in Fort Worth.
8. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 16-6 (7-5, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Won at Ohio State (3-1); Lost vs. #5 Illinois (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. #6 Penn State, vs. Rutgers
- The Huskers have now dropped four of their last five matches, causing them to go from top five to on the outskirts of the top 10. Still, the losses are all to top six teams currently. They get one of those who they can get revenge for a loss against in Penn State at home this week.
9. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 20-4 (12-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #10; Won at #15 Marquette (3-1), at DePaul (3-0)
- Next Week: at St. John’s, at Seton Hall
- Now that Creighton disposed of Marquette for a second time, they look ready to roll to another Big East title and a hosting spot in the NCAA Tournament.
10. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 23-1 (11-1, ACC)
- Last Week: #8; Won at Wake Forest (3-0); Lost at Duke (1-3)
- Next Week: at Georgia Tech, at Clemson
- Pitt earned a road sweep of Wake Forest and just when it seemed like Pitt would roll through the season unbeaten, they were upended by Duke on the road. Adding to the first loss was the fact that their two best wins – Cal Poly and Washington – are falling.
11. USC TROJANS
- 16-7 (8-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #11; Lost vs. #2 Stanford (0-3); Won vs. California (3-1)
- Next Week: at #13 Oregon, at Oregon State
- In a week with many falling, USC’s split week isn’t too bad. Their loss comes to a team that no one has slowed in Pac-12 play, and they beat a Cal team that suddenly has NCAA Tournament hopes. For now, their head-to-head win at Florida along with their eight ranked victories keeps them ahead of the Gators.
12. FLORIDA GATORS
- 19-4 (10-1, SEC)
- Last Week: #13; Won at Mississippi State (3-0)
- Next Week: at #17 Kentucky, vs. Arkansas
- The biggest match for Florida left comes on Halloween, as an SEC title is potentially on the line against Kentucky. With an RPI that was at 16 last week too, it’s critical for their chances at hosting in the first and second rounds.
13. OREGON DUCKS
- 15-7 (8-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #16; Won at Arizona State (3-0), at #22 Arizona (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. #11 USC, vs. #23 UCLA
- The Ducks last ‘lull’ came when they lost at home to ASU and Arizona in the same week. Since, they’ve won six of eight and now got revenge for that week of play as they are still tied for second in the Pac-12.
14. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 17-5 (8-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #17; Won at (RV) Utah (3-0), at (RV) Colorado (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. #24 Arizona, vs. Arizona State
- The Cougars, just like Oregon, are now tied for second in the Pac-12. They’ve even been able to impress with Taylor Mims injured. Sneakily too, they’re 6-3 in matches against VM Top 25 competition at the time of play.
15. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 18-5 (7-5, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #14; Lost vs. #6 Wisconsin (2-3), vs. #3 Minnesota (0-3)
- Next Week: at Indiana, at #5 Wisconsin
- The Wolverines two losses in a vacuum aren’t a big deal – to top 10 foes – but they did lose twice so slide just a tad among some other shuffling. They’ll look to finally grab one of those top 10 wins this week in Madison.
16. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 19-4 (8-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #21; Won at Rutgers (3-1), at #4 Penn State (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Michigan State, vs. Indiana
- The Boilermakers stunned Penn State after falling down 0-2 on the road to earn the huge victory. They’ve got a murderer’s row coming up of at Wisconsin, at Minnesota and vs. Nebraska, so this week will be critical to rack up some wins.
17. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 16-4 (10-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #18; Won at Georgia (3-0), vs. South Carolina (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. #12 Florida, at Ole Miss
- The Wildcats remain the lone unbeaten in the SEC and have been rolling through most of the competition. Now comes the real test though in hosting Florida, where they can really put their foot down on the league title race.
18. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 19-2 (9-1, Big West)
- Last Week: #12; Lost at Hawaii (2-3)
- Next Week: vs. UC Irvine, at UC Santa Barbara
- Cal Poly was upended by Hawaii, which isn’t a huge deal on the road in five sets, but the Rainbow Wahine haven’t been as strong this year and followed it up with a loss to UCSB. On the bright side, that other match keeps them in first of the Big West.
19. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 20-5 (10-2, Big East)
- Last Week: #15; Lost vs. #10 Creighton (1-3); Won vs. Providence (3-0)
- Next Week: at Villanova, at Georgetown
- Marquette missed their chance to come even with Creighton atop the Big East. Still, if they can win out they’ll have a chance at hosting in the NCAA Tournament which would be a big deal.
20. TENNESSEE LADY VOLS
- 18-5 (9-2, SEC)
- Last Week: #23; Won vs. South Carolina (3-0), at Georgia (3-2)
- Next Week: at Ole Miss, vs. Texas A&M
- Still the only two losses for the Lady Vols in SEC play have come to Kentucky, although that was almost changed at Georgia. That match was a win though and starts off a string of five of six on the road.
21. MISSOURI TIGERS
- 20-4 (10-2, SEC)
- Last Week: #24; Won vs. LSU (3-0), vs. Texas A&M (3-2)
- Next Week: at South Carolina
- Make it eight straight victories for the Tigers now following two more this past week. If they can keep it up, they may emerge as a legit hosting candidate.
22. UCF GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- 20-3 (11-0, AAC)
- Last Week: #25; Won vs. Houston (3-2), vs. SMU (3-1)
- Next Week: at UConn, at Temple
- It wasn’t pretty to start the week against a lower-tier Houston bunch, but UCF got the win and followed it up with another over SMU. With a top 10 RPI last week, winning out seems to make them a lock for hosting in the first/second round.
23. UCLA BRUINS
- 11-8 (6-6, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #19; Lost vs. California (0-3), vs. #2 Stanford (0-3)
- Next Week: at Oregon State, at #13 Oregon
- UCLA has now dropped nine straight sets right after they got a win vs. Arizona and then at Washington. It may be a lingering issue, or just what happens in the Pac-12, but UCLA barely holds onto a spot in the top 25.
24. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 13-9 (5-7, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #20; Lost at (RV) Utah (0-3), at (RV) Colorado (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. Arizona State, vs. #25 Arizona
- Washington has fallen apart now in Pac-12 play with five consecutive losses and is hanging on by a thread to a spot in the top 25. They’ll have a chance to rebound at home this week.
25. ARIZONA WILDCATS
- 17-7 (6-6, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #22; Won vs. Oregon State (3-0); Lost vs. #16 Oregon (1-3)
- Next Week: at #14 Washington State, at #24 Washington
- The Wildcats lost head-to-head with UCLA and Washington, so stick right behind them right now with other things being similar in resume. They can change that this week in a challenging slate in the northwest.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Northern Iowa (18-7)
Texas State (22-5)
Stephen F. Austin (25-2)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
VolleyMob Week 9
VolleyMob Week 8
VolleyMob Week 7
VolleyMob Week 6
VolleyMob Week 5
VolleyMob Week 4
VolleyMob Week 3
VolleyMob Week 2
VolleyMob Week 1
VolleyMob Week 0/Preseason