Week six brought the second week of conference play in which we now get a bit more of an idea about races in league play. It also brings about upsets and chaos in some of the top leagues with constant high-level matches. That created a mess in the teens area of the rankings, but at the top we keep consistency with BYU at number one.
1. BYU COUGARS
- 15-0 (5-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won at Pepperdine (3-0), vs. Gonzaga (3-0), vs. Portland (3-0)
- Next Week: at San Diego
- With a three match week, one could have questioned how BYU would handle things. It’s the same answer they’ve given all season: dominate. They won all nine sets against upper echelon league teams. Maybe their best chance of tripping up this regular season comes this week at San Diego.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 12-1 (4-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won vs. #17 UCLA (3-0), #9 USC (3-0)
- Next Week: at (RV) Utah, at #24 Colorado
- What a statement week it was for Stanford over the Los Angeles schools to re-assert their dominance atop the Pac-12. Now comes a tough following week with the trip to the Mountain time zone.
3. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 13-1 (4-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Won at Northwestern (3-0), at #4 Illinois (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. #25 Iowa, vs. #4 Minnesota
- Make it 13 straight wins for Nebraska now, with their most recent maybe their most impressive. They went on the road and won a four-set match with Illinois where the three games they won, they outscored the Fighting Illini 75-50.
4. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 10-2 (4-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Won vs. #3 Wisconsin (3-0), at Indiana (3-0)
- Next Week: at Northwestern, at #3 Nebraska
- The Golden Gophers looked very impressive in a sweep of Wisconsin and didn’t have a let-down against what has been a feisty Indiana team to this point. Now comes their biggest test as they face Nebraska on the road for first in the early Big Ten standings (assuming they can get by Northwestern on the road).
5. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 10-2 (3-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Lost at #7 Minnesota (0-3); Won at #20 Purdue (3-0)
- Next Week: at #7 Illinois, at #25 Iowa
- The Badgers aren’t quite done on the road, as this gauntlet of a stretch continues at Illinois and at Iowa. A split last week though isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially with how ‘on’ Minnesota was in the match.
6. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 8-3 (3-0, Big 12)
- Last Week: #6; Won vs. #18 Baylor (3-0), at West Virginia (3-0)
- Next Week: at TCU, vs. Iowa State
- After being pushed to five in their Big 12 opener, Texas made quick work for their second week of play with the 18th-ranked Bears and the Mountaineers. They look like the runaway favorite in the Big 12.
7. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 14-1 (3-1, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Won vs. #24 Iowa (3-0); Lost vs. #5 Nebraska (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. #5 Wisconsin, vs. Northwestern
- It wasn’t the best showing for Illinois in a home loss to Nebraska, although they did have one really strong set. They can really rebound though this week right away with a home match against Wisconsin.
8. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 15-0 (4-0, ACC)
- Last Week: #8; Won vs. Miami (FL) (3-0), Florida State (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Syracuse, vs. Boston College
- 10 straight set victories came to an end against Florida State in the first, but the Panthers fended off the upset attempt by coming back to win and remain undefeated. Syracuse and Boston College have both shown some strong flashes this season as Pitt looks to keep that going.
9. USC TROJANS
- 11-4 (3-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #9; Lost at #2 Stanford (0-3); Won at California (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon
- Losing on the road to Stanford isn’t a big knock against the Trojans, who then won in four against Cal. They’ve still got as many ranked wins as anyone, including the win over Florida to keep them at nine for now.
10. FLORIDA GATORS
- 13-3 (4-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #10; Won at LSU (3-0), at (RV) Alabama (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Texas A&M, vs. (RV) Georgia
- Nine straight wins and the Gators have yet to lose a single set in SEC play. Ever since the loss to NAU, Mary Wise has gotten Florida on the right track as they try to keep it going that way to an SEC title.
11. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 12-4 (4-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #11; Won at Butler (3-2), at Xavier (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Seton Hall, vs. St. John’s
- Creighton survived a poor showing at Butler, but at the end of the day they keep the wins coming and are still undefeated in Big East play.
12. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 11-3 (2-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #12; Won at Michigan State (3-0), at #16 Michigan (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Maryland, vs. Ohio State
- The Nittany Lions got off the schneid in Big Ten play by sweeping Michigan State and then continued to impress in a top 20 road win over Michigan. They’ll go home now for the first time in Big Ten play, with a chance to get some revenge on Ohio State in the process.
13. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 15-1 (5-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #15; Won vs. CSUN (3-0), LBSU (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Hawaii
- The Mustangs continue to roll and haven’t lost a set since September 15. Now comes one of their big tests with their perceived challenger for the league title, as they host Hawaii.
14. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 11-3 (3-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #13; Won vs. #23 Colorado (3-1); Lost vs. (RV) Utah (1-3)
- Next Week: at #18 Arizona, at (RV) Arizona State
- Washington was off to a pristine start in the Pac-12 with a strong opening three victories, but then were upended at home by Utah in an off match. With so many losing in the teens, they only drop one spot and now have a tricky week ahead in Arizona.
15. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 12-4 (3-1, Big East)
- Last Week: #19; Won vs. Georgetown (3-0), Villanova (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Xavier, at DePaul
- The Golden Eagles bounced back from their loss to Creighton with a pair of sweeps as they will look to keep winning to set up a rematch with Creighton for the top of the league down the road.
16. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 9-4 (3-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #21; Won vs. Arkansas (3-0), (RV) Missouri (3-1)
- Next Week: at Mississippi State
- Kentucky got a nice sweep over Arkansas before downing a strong Missouri squad. They’ve now won nine of their last 10 and are playing better, but the question of whether they can compete with the top teams, i.e. Florida, won’t be tested quite yet.
17. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 13-2 (2-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #16; Won vs. Rutgers (3-0); Lost vs. #12 Penn State (0-3)
- Next Week: vs. #23 Purdue, vs. (RV) Indiana
- The Wolverines’ week started with a sweep of Rutgers but then were swept at home to Penn State. A loss to the Nittany Lions isn’t the worst thing in the world though and with so many in this range losing, they only slide a spot.
18. ARIZONA WILDCATS
- 14-2 (3-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: UR; Won at #14 Oregon (3-2), at (RV) Oregon State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. #14 Washington, vs. #20 Washington State
- Arizona had a strong record throughout the season, but has been looking for their calling card win. They finally got that at Oregon and then added likely their second best at Oregon State. That not just puts them in the rankings for the first time, but vaults them into the top 20.
19. OREGON DUCKS
- 9-4 (2-1, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #14; Lost vs. Arizona (2-3), Arizona State (0-3)
- Next Week: at #21 UCLA, at #9 USC
- The Ducks hot streak of nine wins in 10 tries was halted by Arizona in a five-set upset. Then, things got even worse as they were swept at home by Arizona State. The schedule doesn’t get any easier as they head to L.A. this week.
20. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 11-3 (2-2, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #22; Won vs. (RV) Utah (3-2), #23 Colorado (3-1)
- Next Week: at (RV) Arizona State, at #18 Arizona
- Washington State squeaked out a tough win with Utah and added to a nice week with a four-set victory over Colorado. A trip to the Arizona schools looks even tougher this week as they try to add to their resume.
21. UCLA BRUINS
- 7-4 (2-2, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #17; Lost at #2 Stanford (0-3); Won at California (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. #19 Oregon, vs. Oregon State
- The Bruins were swept for the second time in Pac-12 action, this time to Stanford. They bounced back with a win at Cal but still drop to 21 with some big wins by Washington State and Arizona just in their league.
22. BAYLOR BEARS
- 10-5 (2-2, Big 12)
- Last Week: #18; Loss at #6 Texas (0-3); Won vs. Oklahoma (3-1)
- Next Week: at Kansas
- Baylor couldn’t handle Texas to make a statement at the top of the Big 12, but did rebound with a win against Oklahoma. A match at Kansas this week could really show what this Bears team’s trajectory is.
23. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 13-2 (2-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #20; Won at Maryland (3-1); Lost vs. #3 Wisconsin (0-3)
- Next Week: at #17 Michigan, at Michigan State
- The Boilermakers took down a solid Maryland team on the road but were stopped in straight sets by Wisconsin. That drops them a tad, but they remain in the Top 25 with two tough matches ahead.
24. COLORADO BUFFALOES
- 9-6 (1-3, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #23; Lost at #13 Washington (1-3), at #22 Washington State (1-3)
- Next Week: vs. California, vs. #2 Stanford
- The Buffaloes lost their second straight in a match at Washington then made it three to Washington State. None of those come against poor opponents, so for the time being they hang on to a spot in the rankings.
25. IOWA HAWKEYES
- 10-5 (2-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #24; Lost at #4 Illinois (0-3); Won at Northwestern (3-2)
- Next Week: at #3 Nebraska, vs. #5 Wisconsin
- The Hawkeyes couldn’t handle Illinois on the road and almost fell to Northwestern, but when you can get a Big Ten road win, you clearly take it. This week will be quite the challenge, but if they can even split it would be huge.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Northern Iowa (10-6)
South Carolina (13-1)
Texas Tech (14-3)
Arizona State (12-4)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
VolleyMob Week 5
VolleyMob Week 4
VolleyMob Week 3
VolleyMob Week 2
VolleyMob Week 1
VolleyMob Week 0/Preseason