Come on, Big East: As a writer, unexpected results can be fun. They give you more to write about. But when you've written that a given week should "bring the Big East race into clearer focus," and then last week happens? Not cool, guys, very not cool. Notre Dame goes 2-0 for the week: ok, I can live with that. Villanova beats Georgetown on Wednesday: boom, there's clarity, Georgetown is probably done. Saturday rolls around, Georgetown beats St. John's, fresh off the Johnnys upset of then-#1 Notre Dame...thanks, Big East.
I think Albany just scored again: There must be something awesome in the Hudson this year. The Great Danes of Albany have cemented their status as This Year's Most Fun Team To Watch. Offensive coordinator Eric Wolf has the Danes scoring more than 15 goals a game; they hung 24 on Hartford this week. Middie Lyle Thompson is second in the country with 6.45 points per game. The Danes' 10-9 upset of then-#10 Johns Hopkins on Friday night was Albany's fourth one-goal game, including a season-opening upset of Syracuse. Albany now sits at #12 with three very winnable games before the regular season finale against Stony Brook and the America East Conference tournament.
Stability, the new chaos: The past week was mostly smooth sailing and no surprises for the top 10. UNC-Chapel Hill moved up from third to fourth, swapping places with Denver. Hopkins dropped from 10th to 15th. Princeton's loss to Syracuse dropped the Tigers from tied for 8th to 10th, and Bucknell moved up two spots to #9 after a close win over Army. The real fun was in the bottom half of the top 20: the aforementioned Albany jumped eight spots to #12, while Hopkins, St. John's and Drexel all fell five rungs down the ladder. And Virginia dropped out of the poll altogether.
Quest for imperfection: Oh, VMI. It's so cute that you pretend to play lacrosse each year. The Keydets lost 13-8 to Jacksonville (zomg Florida lacrosse?) and watched their win column stay clean and clear: 0-10 is VMI for the year. Their closest loss was by three goals to Canisius, and four of the losses have been by 10+ goals. With Mercer, Manhattan and Siena left on VMI's slate, the zen of nothingness could soon be their's to obtain. (For the sake of domestic tranquility, I'm not going to mention VMI has company in the 0-fer group, even though Michigan, my girlfriend's alma mater, is 0-11. Not going to mention that.)
What's next: Lots of rivalry games this weekend. Cornell and Syracuse play for top ten positioning and upstate supremacy in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. Virginia travels to Durham to take on Duke Friday night. Army-Navy, Hopkins-Maryland, and Ohio State-Michigan are all on the Saturday slate. The only other clash between top ten teams is Denver-Loyola at 1 PM Saturday.
USILA Top Ten for 4/8/13
- Maryland (8-1)
- Cornell (10-1)
- UNC-Chapel Hill (8-3)
- Denver (9-2)
- Notre Dame (8-2)
- Loyola (9-2)
- Duke (9-4)
- Syracuse (7-2)
- Bucknell (10-2)
- Princeton (6-3)
(Virginia is unranked because we can't have nice things.)