The top three continue to roll and separate themselves, while the rest of thee teams were jumbled. That started with the teams right at or on the edge of the top five and continued throughout the middle. Mostly, the biggest shifting comes at the end of the top 25 where a host of new teams emerge. We kick it off at the top though, where once again BYU comes in at #1.
1. BYU COUGARS
- 20-0 (10-0, WCC)
- Last Week: #1; Won vs. Loyola Marymount (3-0), vs. Pepperdine (3-0)
- Next Week: at Portland, at Gonzaga
- A ramped up week in terms of WCC competition didn’t matter, and BYU now has four straight sweeps. A formerly ‘on the cusp’ Portland team on the road catches the unbeaten mark’s attention this week.
2. STANFORD CARDINAL
- 18-1 (10-0, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #2; Won at Oregon State (3-1), at #16 Oregon (3-1)
- Next Week: at USC, at UCLA
- Half of Stanford’s four match road trip is in the books and they are 2-0 with a pair of four set wins. That ramps up this week in Los Angeles, but as of now they haven’t shown much weakness.
3. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
- 16-2 (10-0, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #3; Won vs. #25 Iowa (3-0), vs. #5 Nebraska (3-1)
- Next Week: at Michigan State, at Michigan
- The Golden Gophers got the illustrious season sweep of Nebraska and are now 10-0 in league play with the other top tier teams beating each other up. Their next three come on the road, but if they come out unscathed only a meeting at Penn State down the line comes as a big hurdle.
4. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
- 17-3 (8-2, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #4; Won vs. Rutgers (3-0), at Rutgers (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Indiana, vs. Purdue
- The Nittany Lions got Big Ten bottom-dweller Rutgers twice and took care of business. They’ve now won eight in a row as their final half schedule really ramps up with seven against teams ranked or on the cusp – and five in the top 15.
5. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
- 18-3 (7-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #6; Won vs. #14 Michigan (3-2), vs. Michigan State (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Maryland, at Nebraska
- Illinois picked up their seventh ranked win in downing a good Michigan squad before sweeping through Michigan State. They’ve got a huge match at Nebraska for their chances of potentially earning a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament now this week.
6. WISCONSIN BADGERS
- 14-4 (7-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #7; Won vs. #5 Nebraska (3-2), vs. #25 Iowa (3-0)
- Next Week: at Michigan, at Michigan State
- The Badgers got a big win if they still want a shot at a top four seed in taking out a team in contention with them. Then they followed it up with revenge over Iowa. The back-half of their schedule features six of 10 on the road, which starts this week.
7. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
- 15-5 (6-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #5; Lost at #7 Wisconsin (2-3), at #3 Minnesota (1-3)
- Next Week: at Ohio State, vs. Illinois
- We’ve finally been reminded with results that this Nebraska team is so young, after they out-played that really since their opening night loss. Still, they can correct their tough week at Ohio State and at home against Illinois.
8. PITTSBURGH PANTHERS
- 22-0 (10-0, ACC)
- Last Week: #8; Won vs. Notre Dame (3-0), vs. (RV) Louisville (3-1)
- Next Week: at Wake Forest, at Duke
- The Panthers swept Notre Dame and then took their biggest challenge since early in the year – fellow ACC unbeaten Louisville. They were pushed, but came out on top. They don’t get a return trip, but they’ve got their next four on the road and six of their final eight.
9. TEXAS LONGHORNS
- 12-4 (7-1, Big 12)
- Last Week: #9; Won vs. Texas Tech (3-0)
- Next Week: at Iowa State, vs. Oklahoma
- Texas is back in first in the Big 12 after Kansas was upset twice. Still, the Longhorns have some concerns, though they looked solid in a sweep of a potential NCAA Tournament team in Texas Tech.
10. CREIGHTON BLUEJAYS
- 18-4 (10-0, Big East)
- Last Week: #12; Won vs. Xavier (3-2), vs. Butler (3-0)
- Next Week: at Marquette, at DePaul
- The BlueJays have rolled through Big East play and swept Marquette the first go around. It hasn’t always been pretty – a la Xavier and earlier Butler – but they’re 10-0. That means another win over Marquette, this time on the road, is critical for the league race.
11. USC TROJANS
- 15-6 (7-3, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #10; Won at #17 Washington (3-1); Lost at #20 Washington State (2-3)
- Next Week: vs. Stanford, vs. California
- USC had a split week, but with both against top 20 foes, the loss is pretty excusable. They’ve got a big opportunity at home this week to score a marquee victory in what would go a long way toward their resume.
12. CAL POLY MUSTANGS
- 19-1 (9-0, Big West)
- Last Week: #13; Won at CSUN (3-0), at LBSU (3-1)
- Next Week: at Hawaii
- The Mustangs have made it to this point undefeated in Big West play, which has a great chance to continue barring a loss this week. This is their toughest test in the regular season left, as they travel to Honolulu for a huge showdown.
13. FLORIDA GATORS
- 18-4 (9-1, SEC)
- Last Week: #11; Won at Ole Miss (3-1); Lost vs. (RV) Missouri (2-3)
- Next Week: at Mississippi State
- The Gators had some five set escapes earlier, but couldn’t repeat that in playing with fire against a solid Missouri squad. A one match week now awaits the Gators before their big meeting on Halloween night at Kentucky.
14. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
- 18-3 (7-3, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #14; Lost at #6 Illinois (2-3); Won at Northwestern (3-0)
- Next Week: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Minnesota
- Michigan doesn’t drop for a split week because they swept Northwestern and fell at a top-tier team in five. Their biggest week of the season now comes, where another split would still do wonders.
15. MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
- 19-4 (9-1, Big East)
- Last Week: #15; Won vs. DePaul (3-0), at (RV) Northern Iowa (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Creighton, vs. Providence
- The Golden Eagles swept DePaul and then dipped out of conference and got a solid resume booster at Northern Iowa. That should help their RPI, but the most important aspect is what comes this week as they try to move into a first place tie for the Big East with a win over Creighton.
16. OREGON DUCKS
- 13-7 (6-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #16; Won vs. California (3-0); Lost vs. #2 Stanford (1-3)
- Next Week: at Arizona State, at Arizona
- Oregon swept what has been a pretty good Cal team but then lost a valiant effort with Stanford. With teams losing below and the tough loss to the Cardinal, they stay at #16 for the time being due to a similar resume and a head-to-head win over #17.
17. WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
- 15-5 (6-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #20; Won vs. #10 USC (3-2), vs. #21 UCLA (3-0)
- Next Week: at Utah, at Colorado
- Washington State got their biggest win of the season in downing USC in five and followed it up with another impressive outing in dominating UCLA. A trip to the Mountain time zone is always tough as they look to keep rolling.
18. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- 14-4 (8-0, SEC)
- Last Week: #18; Won at LSU (3-0), at Texas A&M (3-2)
- Next Week: at Georgia, vs. South Carolina
- The Wildcats had lost just three sets in conference play prior to being pushed by Texas A&M. It wasn’t pretty, but the Aggies have been solid in SEC play, so a road win is a road win. They’ll need another at Georgia before having two straight huge home matches (vs. South Carolina and Florida).
19. UCLA BRUINS
- 11-6 (6-4, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #21; Won at #17 Washington (3-1); Lost at #20 Washington State (0-3)
- Next Week: vs. California, vs. Stanford
- The Bruins have picked things up of late and saw success at Washington. That quickly ended though in a poor showing at Washington State, as they fall into a mush of Pac-12 teams at 6-4. Still, the win over Washington and others struggling pops them into the top 20.
20. WASHINGTON HUSKIES
- 13-7 (5-5, Pac-12)
- Last Week: #17; Lost vs. #10 USC (1-3), vs. #21 UCLA (1-3)
- Next Week: at Utah, at Colorado
- The Huskies have now lost three in a row and four of their last five overall. It won’t be easy to turn it around any week in the difficult Pac-12, but they’ll try to regroup on the road.
21. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
- 17-4 (6-4, Big Ten)
- Last Week: #23; Won vs. Maryland (3-1), vs. Ohio State (3-0)
- Next Week: at Rutgers, at Penn State
- The Boilermakers won their third in four tries against Maryland before making it four in five in a sweep of Ohio State. They’re still looking for a true marquee win, but overall have been strong this season.
22. ARIZONA WILDCATS
- 16-6 (5-5, Pac-12)
- Last Week: RV; Won vs. #24 Colorado (3-0), vs. Utah (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. Oregon State, vs. Oregon
- The Wildcats made a brief hiatus outside of the top 25, but pop back in with a pair of wins in the difficult Pac-12. That pushes them into the top 25 with a rash of losses in this area from last week.
23. TENNESSEE LADY VOLS
- 16-5 (7-2, SEC)
- Last Week: RV; Won at Texas A&M (3-2), at LSU (3-1)
- Next Week: vs. South Carolina, at Georgia
- Tennessee has flirted with the top 25 for awhile now, but finally emerges with a 2-0 week, including a win over a solid Texas A&M team. It also helped that arguably their best win, over Missouri, looks a lot better with the Tigers rising.
24. MISSOURI TIGERS
- 18-4 (8-2, SEC)
- Last Week: RV; Won vs. Auburn (3-1), at #11 Florida (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. LSU, vs. Texas A&M
- The Tigers are now ranked with their breakthrough victory at Florida. That also keeps them around the SEC title race as they give the SEC a fourth ranked team for now.
25. UCF GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- 18-3 (9-0, AAC)
- Last Week: RV; Won at East Carolina (3-0), at (RV) Cincinnati (3-2)
- Next Week: vs. Houston, vs. SMU
- The Golden Knights are now ranked for the first time this season following a huge road win over Cincinnati, which also puts them in a good spot in the AAC title race – and even to potentially host in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve now won 15 straight.
On the Cusp/’Receiving Votes’:
Colorado* (12-9) (#24)
Kansas* (13-6) (#19)
Baylor* (12-7) (#22)
Northern Iowa (16-7)
Iowa* (12-9) (#25)
South Carolina (15-4)
Texas State (20-5)
Others who Dropped Out:
Note: * signifies dropped out (previous ranking)
Previous 2018 Polls:
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
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