In the opening week of conference play there weren’t a ton of upsets or heavyweight matchups, but we did get a few. That led to not a ton of shakeup in the top 10, with Penn State the lone team falling out. After that though, the rankings saw jump jostling around. Two teams still remain undefeated too, with Pittsburgh moving up a spot and BYU continuing to occupy the top spot.
1. BYU COUGARS
- 12-0 (2-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won vs. Pacific (3-0), Saint Mary’s (3-0)
- Next Week: at Pepperdine, vs. Gonzaga, vs. Portland
- BYU has now won four straight matches in sweep form, taking down a really solid Saint Mary’s team in the process. A longer week awaits this week with some pesky opponents.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 10-1 (2-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won at California (3-0), vs. Arizona (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. #17 UCLA, vs. #9 USC
- The Cardinal got league action kicked off the right way with a sweep and then a four-set victory over Arizona. Even tougher opponents grace their schedule this week with the L.A. schools, notably a top 10 USC squad.
3. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 9-1 (2-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Won vs. Ohio State (3-0), Rutgers (3-0)
- Next Week: at #7 Minnesota, at #20 Purdue
- The Badgers were solid to open up Big Ten play, but were jumped by Illinois for overall resume. This week that could change with their tough road slate, as overall they’ll get plenty of chances in the Big Ten to earn top-notch victories.
4. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 13-0 (2-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Won at #20 Purdue (3-1), at Indiana (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. #24 Iowa, vs. #5 Nebraska
- Illinois earned their fourth ranked victory of the season, but almost had a let-down against Indiana. Still, they survived and remain undefeated. Not only does Nebraska sit ahead this week, but a potential trap game against a solid Iowa bunch shouldn’t be looked past.
5. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 11-1 (2-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Won vs. #19 Michigan (3-1), Michigan State (3-1)
- Next Week: at Northwestern, at #4 Illinois
- The Huskers started off well with wins over the Michigan schools. Now they’ll head to the state of Illinois with a trap game against Northwestern before a top five showdown with an experienced Illinois team that will be very contrasting to what Nebraska has.
6. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 6-3 (1-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #6; Won at #23 Kansas State (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. #18 Baylor, at West Virginia
- The Longhorns were pushed to five playing in Manhattan for the third straight year, but came out on top. They’ll get to try and fend off arguably their biggest conference threat next at home before traveling to Morgantown.
7. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 8-2 (2-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #8; Won vs. #7 Penn State (3-0), Maryland (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. #3 Wisconsin, at Indiana
- The Golden Gophers got their first ranked win in sweeping Penn State before doing the same to a solid Maryland squad. A meeting at home with Wisconsin could set an early tone in the Big Ten race, while going to Indiana after that won’t be too easy either.
8. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 13-0 (2-0, ACC)
- Last Week: #9; Won vs. Virginia (3-0), at Virginia Tech (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Miami (FL), vs. Florida State
- A perfect start to ACC action keeps Pittsburgh from their first loss. Now they’re home for five matches in a row, as they look to build up capital in the ACC race.
9. USC TROJANS
- 10-3 (2-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #10; Won vs. #15 UCLA (3-0), at (RV) Colorado (3-2)
- Next Week: at #2 Stanford, at California
- The Trojans were mighty impressive against UCLA in their Pac-12 opener and had to work a bit more for their second win at Colorado, but still got it. They’ve now got eight wins against teams either ranked or on the cusp at the time of play from the VolleyMob Top 25.
10. FLORIDA GATORS
- 11-3 (2-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #11; Won vs. Ole Miss (3-0), Mississippi State (3-0)
- Next Week: at LSU, at (RV) Alabama
- Florida started out SEC play on the right foot and swept an Ole Miss team that had a solid non-conference. Then they took out another team from the state. They’ll head to the road for the first time as they move on to the edge of the top 10.
11. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 10-4 (2-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #13; Won vs. DePaul (3-0), #17 Marquette (3-0)
- Next Week: at Butler, at Xavier
- The Bluejays are looking to retain their Big East crown, which they’ve held every year since joining the league. With Marquette at their heels to open things up, they showed them why the league runs through Omaha in picking up a solid victory.
12. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 9-3 (0-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Lost at #8 Minnesota (0-3), at Ohio State (1-3)
- Next Week: at Michigan State, at #16 Michigan
- The Nittany Lions were swept by Minnesota, but it was on the road and each set was close. Then they lost on the road to Ohio State with two close final sets. The schedule makers did the Nittany Lions no favors by giving a young team four road matches to start league play, but regardless they’ll need to start winning some of these matches.
13. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 10-2 (2-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #14; Won vs. #21 Washington State (3-2), at #24 Oregon State (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. #23 Colorado, vs. (RV) Utah
- The Huskies were challenged by a comeback from in-state foe Washington State, but fended them off in five sets. They then took that same five-set magic to down Oregon State, as it wasn’t a perfect week in terms of play, but considering the opponent, a perfect week in terms of record is more than enough.
14. OREGON DUCKS
- 9-3 (2-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #16; Won vs. (RV) Oregon State (3-1), #21 Washington State (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona State
- Oregon has now won nine of their last 10, including three against ranked opponents. They sit at #14 now in the rankings, but if they continue this trend will be a top 10 team in no time.
15. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 13-1 (3-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #18; Won vs. UC Davis (3-0), at CS Fullerton (3-0), at UC Riverside (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. CSUN, vs. LBSU
- The Mustangs have now swept their last four opponents and are rolling into Big West play. If they can keep racking up victories, there’s a great chance that they’ll be hosting in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
16. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 12-1 (1-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #19; Lost at #5 Nebraska (1-3); Won at (RV) Iowa (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Rutgers, vs. #12 Penn State
- The Wolverines couldn’t upend Nebraska on the road, but were very competitive in the match. Then, they won at an Iowa team who looks to be an NCAA Tournament team and is now ranked. A home match with Penn State should be a good barometer check of where they are.
17. UCLA BRUINS
- 6-3 (1-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #15; Lost at #10 USC (0-3); Won at #25 Utah (3-1)
- Next Week: at #2 Stanford, at California
- The Bruins had a bad showing playing against rival USC, but they rebounded nicely on the road against a solid Utah bunch. They drop below Cap Poly, but stick around in the top 20.
18. BAYLOR BEARS
- 9-4 (1-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #12; Loss vs. Texas Tech (1-3); Won at (RV) Iowa State (3-2)
- Next Week: at #6 Texas, vs. Oklahoma
- The Bears continue to struggle with some let-down matches, but then win big ones the other way. That puts them behind the eight ball in the Big 12 race, but they can fetch it back this week if they can upend Texas on the road.
19. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 10-4 (1-1, Big East)
- Last Week: #17; Won at Providence (3-0); Lost at #13 Creighton (0-3)
- Next Week: vs. Georgetown, vs. Villanova
- Following a sweep victory to start Big East play at Providence, Marquette couldn’t get past Creighton to really emerge as the Big East favorite. What’s more disappointing is that they were swept. Still, if they can gather up wins, they’ll get a chance to get them back at home.
20. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 12-1 (1-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #20; Lost vs. Illinois (1-3); Won vs. Northwestern (3-1)
- Next Week: at Maryland, vs. #3 Wisconsin
- Purdue couldn’t down Illinois, but did take a set off of them. Then they bounced back with a four-set win over Northwestern. A road meeting at Maryland right before a home contest against Wisconsin could be dangerous for a young team.
21. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 7-4 (1-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #22; Won at Tennessee (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Arkansas, vs. (RV) Missouri
- The Wildcats had a one match week with some time in between to prepare for the start of SEC play and came out with a hard-fought road victory against Tennessee. This week’s match with Missouri should be a good test of how much they have progressed.
22. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 9-3 (0-2, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #21; Lost at #14 Washington (2-3), at #16 Oregon (2-3)
- Next Week: vs. (RV) Utah, vs. #23 Colorado
- The Cougars just fell short of a comeback against the Huskies, but had a valiant five-set loss. Then they led 2-1 in sets against #16 Oregon, but eventually fell 12-15 in the fifth. They aren’t penalized too much for the tight losses, but it was a missed opportunity to earn a big victory.
23. COLORADO BUFFALOES
- 9-4 (1-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: RV; Won vs. #25 Utah (3-2); Lost vs. #10 USC (2-3)
- Next Week: at #13 Washington, at #22 Washington State
- The Buffaloes re-emerge in the rankings and have hit a hot streak since Naghede Abu has come back from injury and won four straight, including over Utah. They came just short of winning five, as USC downed them in five but overall it was still an impressive week.
24. IOWA HAWKEYES
- 9-4 (1-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: RV; Won vs. Michigan State (3-0); Lost vs. #19 Michigan (1-3)
- Next Week: at #4 Illinois, at Northwestern
- Iowa had seven straight wins – including against Iowa State, Wyoming and then Michigan State – before falling at home to Michigan in which every set ended with a two or three point deficit. They emerge into the rankings for the first time with many others around this area falling.
25. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
- 10-3 (0-2, Big 12)
- Last Week: #23; Lost vs. #6 Texas (2-3), at Oklahoma (0-3)
- Next Week: at West Virginia, vs. TCU
- The Wildcats first Big 12 match was as impressive of a loss as could come, losing in extra points in five to Texas. However, they were swept on the road by a middling Oklahoma team, so mainly stay in the top 25 with other struggles for teams in this area.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Oregon State* (10-4) (#24)
Ohio State (10-4)
Northern Iowa (7-6)
Saint Mary’s (9-3)
Utah* (8-5) (#25)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
VolleyMob Week 4
VolleyMob Week 3
VolleyMob Week 2
VolleyMob Week 1
VolleyMob Week 0/Preseason
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