Following the action in week 10 of the season, we see a bit of shifting in the top 10, but the biggest movement came after that in the middle region of the rankings. The largest benefactor in that regard was Kentucky, who’s Halloween victory over SEC foe Florida jumped them back into the top dozen. We start off at the top once again with still unbeaten BYU:
1. BYU COUGARS
- 23-0 (13-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won vs. San Diego (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Santa Clara, vs. San Francisco
- Last season, BYU won at San Diego then suffered their only league loss in playing at home to the Toreros. This time, although they were pushed, they won in four. There was one incredible rally that wound up on SportsCenter’s Top 10 with a host of blocks that showed this team’s spirit as they remain #1.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 22-1 (13-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won vs. (RV) Colorado (3-2), vs. (RV) Utah (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Oregon, vs. Oregon State
- The Cardinal escaped a home meeting with Colorado in which they almost blew an 0-2 lead in sets. Still, they came out on top and added a sweep of Utah to their week. Oregon should be a nice challenge at home this week.
3. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 20-2 (14-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Won at #5 Wisconsin (3-1), vs. Michigan State (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Indiana, vs. Purdue
- It looks like a certainty that Minnesota will win the Big Ten outright at this point. After a four-set win at Wisconsin, winning four of six would suffice in that regard. Of course, they’ll look for more as they try to cement a top four seed for the NCAA Tournament too.
4. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 22-3 (11-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Won at Ohio State (3-1), at Maryland (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Rutgers, vs. Penn State
- You can count seven straight wins now for Illinois. Penn State sits as one of two ranked meetings left, and if they can win out they’ll be right in the mix – and with a strong RPI in good position – to host in the Sweet 16/Elite 8.
5. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 19-5 (10-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #6; Lost at #8 Nebraska (2-3); Won at Iowa (3-0)
- Next Week: at Northwestern, at Illinois
- The Nittany Lions lost their second straight in falling in five again, but they beat Nebraska earlier in the year making it a split. They rebounded with a sweep at Iowa though and with Wisconsin falling twice and the fact that they are ahead of the Badgers and Huskers in the Big Ten race, they actually slide to 5 kind of by default.
6. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 16-6 (9-5, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Lost vs. #3 Minnesota (1-3), vs. #15 Michigan (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. Purdue, vs. Indiana
- It was a tough week for the Badgers, who fell twice. Neither is that huge of a loss considering it was top 15 competition, but it pretty much eliminates any chance of Wisconsin earning a top four seed. Still, while the separation of them to the top four or five gets wider, they stay ahead of Texas and Nebraska, who they both beat head-to-head and have similar resumes in other regards.
7. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 18-6 (9-5, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #8; Won vs. #6 Penn State (3-2), vs. Rutgers (3-0)
- Next Week: at Iowa, at Michigan
- The Huskers rebounded nicely from a stretch with four losses in five tries, as they took down Penn State in five. That leaps them over Texas, but on overall resume they fail to jump over the Badgers or Nittany Lions – partially because of league standings (and Wisconsin owns the tiebreaker).
8. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 15-4 (10-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #7; Won vs. TCU (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Kansas State, vs. Kansas
- The Longhorns continue to roll since losing to Kansas earlier in the year, and they will have a chance at getting a top four seed. They’ll be ready to strike for revenge this week with the Jayhawks coming to Austin as they can clinch at least a share of the league title this week.
9. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 22-4 (14-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #9; Won at St. John’s (3-0), at Seton Hall (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Georgetown, vs. Villanova
- 10 of Creighton’s 14 Big East victories have come in sweep fashion, including both this past week. They’re well on their way to a league title and a spot hosting in the NCAA Tournament.
10. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 25-1 (13-1, ACC)
- Last Week: #10; Won at Georgia Tech (3-0), at Clemson (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Duke
- For the first time coming off of a loss, Pittsburgh responded by winning twice as they started up a new winning streak. Now comes a real test, as they host Duke, the same team that defeated them in four back on October 28.
11. USC TROJANS
- 18-7 (10-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #11; Won at #13 Oregon (3-0), at Oregon State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Washington, vs. Washington State
- The Trojans were swept at home by Oregon a few weeks back, but now they evened it out with a road sweep of the Ducks for their ninth ranked win. It’s not out of the question that with an RPI of 7 before the week that they are in contention for a top four hosting spot if they win out.
12. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 18-4 (12-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #17; Won vs. #12 Florida (3-0), at Ole Miss (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Mississippi State, vs. Alabama
- Kentucky got their big win over Florida in the lone meeting for the two this season. That gives them a two match lead in the league. They’ll look to solidify the race at home this week before three straight on the road.
13. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 19-6 (8-6, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #15; Lost at Indiana (3-1); Won at #5 Wisconsin (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Maryland, vs. Nebraska
- Michigan was all of the sudden upended by a pesky Indiana team, but got a huge victory – and their best of the season by far – in winning at Wisconsin. So they rise a tad, but avoid an even bigger jump up the rankings due to their upset loss.
14. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 21-4 (10-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #16; Won vs. Michigan State (3-1), vs. Indiana (3-2)
- Next Week: at Wisconsin, at Minnesota
- Purdue followed up a week that had a win at Penn State with two more victories, including one over an underrated Indiana bunch that just upended Michigan. Even a split week would be nice for what is ahead, as their final stretch kicks in with even Nebraska and Illinois on the ledger down the road.
15. OREGON DUCKS
- 16-8 (9-5, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #13; Lost vs. #11 USC (0-3); Won vs. #23 UCLA (3-1)
- Next Week: at Stanford, at Cal
- Oregon couldn’t win both matches this year against USC, and were swept at home. They did bounce back in downing UCLA in four, so they only slide a couple of spots in the rankings. Now comes the question if they can be the first to knock off Stanford, but they also can’t forget about a pesky Cal bunch on the road.
16. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 18-6 (9-5, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #14; Lost vs. #25 Arizona (2-3); Won vs. Arizona State (3-0)
- Next Week: at UCLA, at USC
- Four straight victories were halted at home by Arizona. Losing in five though to a ranked team isn’t too bad, and they rebounded in a sweep against Arizona State as they stick around the top quadrant of the Pac-12.
17. FLORIDA GATORS
- 20-5 (11-2, SEC)
- Last Week: #12; Lost at #17 Kentucky (0-3); Won vs. Arkansas (3-1)
- Next Week: at Auburn
- The Gators have lost all three of their matches to teams ranked in the VM Top 25 at the time of play since their lone win over one in the season’s first match. Their latest puts them in a tough spot to win the SEC, as they were swept by Kentucky.
18. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 21-2 (11-1, Big West)
- Last Week: #18; Won vs. UC Irvine (3-0), at UC Santa Barbara (3-0)
- Next Week: at UC Davis, at UC Irvine
- The Mustangs got back to their winning ways in taking down a pair of fellow in-state teams. They’ll look to win out for a Big West championship and still hopes of hosting in the NCAA Tournament.
19. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 22-5 (10-2, Big East)
- Last Week: #19; Won at Villanova (3-1), at Georgetown (3-0)
- Next Week: at Butler, at Xavier
- The Golden Eagles have won three straight since their second loss to Creighton. It’ll be tough to hope that the Bluejays fall twice and they can earn a share of the title, but they may get another crack at it in the postseason tournament.
20. TENNESSEE LADY VOLS
- 20-5 (11-2, SEC)
- Last Week: #20; Won at Ole Miss (3-1), vs. Texas A&M (3-1)
- Next Week: at Mississippi State
- The Volunteers got their fifth consecutive win in taking down Ole Miss before making it six in a row with a win at home against Texas A&M. They’ve got a legit shot at getting second in the SEC now with Florida also sitting on two league losses.
21. UCF GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- 22-3 (13-0, AAC)
- Last Week: #22; Won at UConn (3-0), at Temple (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Cincinnati, vs. East Carolina
- The wins keep coming for UCF. Make it 13-0 in the AAC and 19 in a row overall since they fell to Florida after a win over USC. The return visit from Cincinnati, who they defeated on the road in five, should be a doozy in determining the league title and a chance for UCF to nearly cement a hosting spot.
22. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 15-9 (7-7, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #24; Won vs. Arizona State (3-1), vs. #25 Arizona (3-1)
- Next Week: at USC, at UCLA
- The five straight loss streak finally ended for Washington, who even found a way to turn things into a winning streak. It was quite important with their tough schedule to close the final three weeks.
23. ARIZONA WILDCATS
- 18-8 (7-7, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #25; Won at #14 Washington State (3-2); Lost at #24 Washington (1-3)
- Next Week: at Utah, at Colorado
- Arizona moves up two spots despite a split week due to a few other results for other schools and also who they played. The loss was to Washington on the road, while the other ranked team they played resulted in a really good win at Washington State.
24. MISSOURI TIGERS
- 20-5 (10-3, SEC)
- Last Week: #21; Lost at South Carolina (2-3)
- Next Week: at Auburn, vs. Georgia
- The Tigers had eight straight wins snapped in a road contest to South Carolina. Still, losing in five at a tough South Carolina bunch isn’t the end of the world, so for the time being they hold onto a spot in the VM Top 25 – although they do drop.
25. UCLA BRUINS
- 12-9 (7-7, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #23; Won at Oregon State (3-2); Lost at #13 Oregon (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. Washington State, vs. Washington
- The Bruins continue to go back and forth this season. Fortunately for them, they at least earned a victory at Oregon State to avoid falling a bit. They’re a bad three or four match stretch from becoming a bubble team, so any wins they can grab will help.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Stephen F. Austin (27-2)
South Carolina (17-6)
Northern Iowa (19-8)
Texas State (23-6)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
VolleyMob Week 10
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