While last week was known for parity and chaos, this week was more unassuming and less noteworthy. There weren’t a ton of upsets or top 25 matches to shake the rankings. Still, a bit of movement occurred throughout as we now head into conference play which should add a whole new element. As for now, BYU remains number one to kick off the week four list.
1. BYU COUGARS
- 10-0 (0-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won vs. #25 Utah (3-0), at Weber State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Pacific, vs. Saint Mary’s
- BYU remained steady as the top team in the country with a pair of sweeps, including a quick one of in-state rival Utah. They’ve got a real chance of finishing the regular season unbeaten as they head into the WCC this week.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 8-1 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won vs. #4 Texas (3-0), at #4 Texas (3-1)
- Next Week: at California, vs. Arizona
- The Cardinal took care of Texas twice and were really impressive in doing so. That makes them a continued firm choice at number two as now they look to defend their Pac-12 title.
3. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 7-1 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Won at #17 Marquette (3-0), vs/n Illinois State (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Ohio State, vs. Rutgers
- With all of the movement last week, Wisconsin staid put at three for the time being. They showed why this week, with a dominant sweep on the road against in-state foe Marquette to round out the top three.
4. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 11-0 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #6; Won vs. (RV) Northern Iowa (3-0), Lipscomb (3-0), #14 Creighton (3-1)
- Next Week: at Purdue, at Indiana
- The Fighting Illini put on quite the performance in the non-conference, going unbeaten with some impressive wins. On that list includes three over then-ranked opponents (two currently in the top 15) and a couple more against teams on the cusp.
5. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 9-1 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Won vs. Central Michigan (3-0), New Mexico (3-1), Missouri State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Michigan, vs. Michigan State
- It’s now a nine-match winning streak for the Huskers as they head into Big Ten play. It will truly be a challenge for such a young team, but they’ve clearly shown in the non-conference that they have all of the talent you could ask for.
6. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 5-3 (0-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #4; Lost at #2 Stanford (0-3), vs. #2 Stanford (1-3)
- Next Week: at Kansas State
- Texas could quite match Stanford, but two losses to the Cardinal isn’t a back-breaker. They have just a one match week to open up the Big 12, but it’s going to be very tricky playing at one of the tougher league road environments in a solid Kansas State team.
7. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 9-1 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Won at Howard (3-0), vs/n Buffalo (3-0), at American (3-1)
- Next Week: at Minnesota, at Ohio State
- A strong 9-1 start to the season, but not a ton of ranked matches. Now the Nittany Lions are about to get very much tested in the Big Ten, and it comes right at them in week one. We will see the barometer for this team in their Big Ten opener.
8. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 6-2 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #8; Won vs. Green Bay (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Penn State, vs. Maryland
- The Golden Gophers were supposed to play a top 25 ranked Kansas State team, but had to cancel the match due to unsafe playing conditions. It’s a shame, because now Minnesota heads into Big Ten play still without a ranked win, but they’ll have plenty of opportunities ahead.
9. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 11-0 (0-0, ACC)
- Last Week: #9; Won vs/n College of Charleston (3-1), at Coastal Carolina (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Virginia, at Virginia Tech
- The Panthers finished the non-conference unbeaten, and in a league where no other team is ranked, it’s not unthinkable that they could finish the regular season that way. Still, there are a lot of tough matches to trip up in, and Pitt will be looking to defend their ACC crown more so than going undefeated.
10. USC TROJANS
- 8-3 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #10; Lost vs/n Louisiana (3-0), at #24 San Diego (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. UCLA, at Colorado
- The Trojans bucked their tough trend of losing three of five with a pair of victories heading into Pac-12 play. The one over San Diego gave them their fifth win over an opponent that was ranked at the time of play too.
11. FLORIDA GATORS
- 9-3 (0-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #11; Won at Florida State (3-1), vs. Jacksonville (3-1), FIU (3-0), Army (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Ole Miss, vs. Mississippi State
- The Gators have now won five straight after the upset loss to Northern Arizona. They’ll carry the SEC flag headed into league play but there could be more parity this year than the past two.
12. BAYLOR BEARS
- 8-3 (0-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #12; Win at UTSA (3-2), vs. Virginia Tech (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Texas Tech, at Iowa State
- The Bears almost had another big letdown against UTSA one week after falling to UTRGV. Still, they got over the hump and then swept Virginia Tech. Now comes the real test as they look to contend for a Big 12 title.
13. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 8-4 (0-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #14; Won vs/n Lipscomb (3-0), vs/n (RV) Northern Iowa (3-0); Lost at #6 Illinois (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. DePaul, vs. Marquette
- The Bluejays did lose a match, but it was very close on the road against a really good Illinois team. They also won all six other sets, so move up a spot headed into Big East play with a huge clash against Marquette to come.
14. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 8-2 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #13; Won at Boise State (3-0), vs/n CSUN (3-0), vs/n Sacramento State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Washington State, at Oregon State
- The Huskies earned three straight sweeps against lesser competition and now head into Pac-12 action in the top 15. They’ll have a couple of ranked opponents to welcome them into it.
15. UCLA BRUINS
- 5-2 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #15; Won at LBSU (3-1)
- Next Week: at USC, at Utah
- It was a short week for the Bruins, who after a four-set win are still searching for their first sweep of the season. Overall they’ve impressed though with the tough Pac-12 slate starting off on the road.
16. OREGON DUCKS
- 7-3 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #16; Won at Hawaii (3-0), (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Oregon State, vs. Washington State
- Oregon escaped on the road against a solid Hawaii team in five and with a sweep, so they’ve now won seven of their last eight matches. They’ll look to stay hot as they open up Pac-12 action with ranked opponents.
17. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 9-3 (0-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #17; Lost vs. #3 Wisconsin (0-3); Won vs. Tulsa (3-0), Illinois State (3-0)
- Next Week: at Providence, at Creighton
- The Golden Eagles couldn’t take out their in-state foe, but have put together an impressive non-conference. Now comes the question if they truly can knock off Creighton from the top of the Big East, which they’ll have a good answer to as early as this week.
18. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 10-1 (0-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #19; Won vs/n Mississippi State (3-0), vs/n Wichita State (3-1), at North Texas (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. UC Davis, at CS Fullerton, at UC Riverside
- The Mustangs have a chance at hosting in the NCAA Tournament first couple of rounds after what they did in the non-conference. They’ll still need to take care of business and roll in Big West play, which starts this week.
19. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 11-0 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #20; Win vs. Notre Dame (3-0), at Notre Dame (3-1)
- Next Week: at Nebraska, at Iowa
- Michigan rounded out non-conference play unbeaten, but didn’t play any ranked opponents. Their closest competition to it, Colorado State, was on the cusp at the time, but no team they’ve beaten are even in that classification yet. So we will see who the real Michigan is this week.
20. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 11-0 (0-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #21; Win vs/n Southern Miss (3-2), at (RV) Alabama (3-0), vs. South Alabama (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Illinois, vs. Northwestern
- The Boilermakers are unbeaten heading into Big Ten action, but their closest win to a ranked one was this past week over Alabama. Now they’ll be plenty tested starting with a top five opponent in Illinois.
21. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 9-1 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #18; Win vs/n Northern Illinois (3-0), at Western Kentucky (3-1); Lost vs/n ETSU (2-3)
- Next Week: at Washington, at Oregon
- Washington State was so close to ending non-conference play unbeaten, but fell in five to a solid ETSU squad – who has beaten Duke and Tennessee as well. They’ll look to rebound with a tough opening week.
22. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 6-4 (0-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #22; Won at Louisville (3-0), vs. Chattanooga (3-0)
- Next Week: at Tennessee
- The Wildcats now look to start fresh in SEC play after a rough go of things – compared to expectations – in non-conference. That could be the best thing for them as it’s a new season of sorts.
23. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
- 10-1 (0-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #23; Won at UMKC (3-0), vs/n Green Bay (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Texas, at Oklahoma
- Kansas State didn’t get to test themselves against Minnesota as the match was cancelled, but a 10-1 record in the non-conference speaks for itself. Instead, a barometer for them will be against Texas at home this week.
24. OREGON STATE BEAVERS
- 9-2 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: RV; Won vs/n UTEP (3-0), at SDSU (3-1), at #24 San Diego (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Seattle, at Oregon, vs. Washington
- The Beavers got another five-set win over a ranked opponent in downing San Diego – after upending Iowa State earlier this season. They’ll start Pac-12 play ranked because of it.
25. UTAH UTES
- 8-3 (0-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #25; Lost at #1 BYU (0-3); Won vs. Utah Valley (3-1)
- Next Week: at Colorado, vs. UCLA
- The Utes aren’t penalized for losing on the road against the number one team in the country and will start Pac-12 play ranked. A match with a team on their heels in Colorado starts things off.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
San Diego* (3-6) (#24)
Iowa State (7-6)
Northern Iowa (6-6)
South Carolina (8-1)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
VolleyMob Week 3
VolleyMob Week 2
VolleyMob Week 1
VolleyMob Week 0/Preseason
How is UCLA over Cal Poly with only 5 wins, and their two losses – both to Cal Poly
That’s whack. What is that based on? Some sort of sports pundit hubris that intimates deeper knowledge than what the score board told them. Twice!!! And Baylor loses last night and Utah loses and PSU loses (ok, I’ll give ’em that one). Bet Marquette beats Creighton. At least they knew enough to drop by beloved Toreros out of the top 25.
Aren’t rankings based on what has happened and not based on what is going to happen? Like how do you predict Baylor losing at home to Tech? These came out Monday. UCLA was probably a mistake but also had that big Baylor win, which looks worse now, so I’m sure it’ll change.
Yeah like the comment above, not sure how our rankings are supposed to predict what will happen. We view resume and what has happened.
That said, UCLA over Cal Poly seems like a mistake. That Baylor win and one at San Diego were a better duo of wins then UCLA twice at home for a minute but have since fallen, so as of now next week’s should reflect those changes.
At the end of the day, rankings are fun but these have no effect on what a team does and what will happen in season. Love the conversation though!