Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rankings Rollout

When I was a kid, my favorite time in the fall wasn't football season or the World Series. The best moment was shopping at Loblaws and spotting the new Street & Smith's College Basketball Preview on the magazine rack. I'd immediately flip to the back of the book to look for the Division II rankings to see if my beloved Golden Knights were listed. Man was it cool to see Gannon mentioned in a national magazine! And if the Knights made the top 10, they might get a one-paragraph writeup as well. The paragraph included information I already knew (and some misinformation I could have corrected), but I'd read it a hundred times anyway. It was so cool to see "Mitchell Smith" in black and white.

Now I understand that national DII rankings are worthless, and pre-season rankings are a step below that if possible, so the romance is gone from my favorite autumn moment. Furthermore, the rankings are announced online and seeing "Gannon" on the internet is no big deal.

But I still get a kick out of the first poll of the year. It means the Maroon/Gold game then season opener can't be far away. Here's the Division II Bulletin pre-season rankings, courtesy of Gannon SID Dan Teliski. You'll notice only one PSAC team (#24 Stroud) and only one other school from the Atlantic Region (#1 West Liberty). Coming off a 14-12 campaign, Gannon of course didn't make the Top 25. But the little boy in me is thinking, "Well, they must be #26 then."

1. West Liberty
2. Franklin Pierce
3. Findlay
4. Washburn
5. Metropolitan State
6. Alabama-Huntsville
7. Colorado School of Mines
8. Western Washington
9. Bellarmine
10. Seattle Pacific
11. Winona State
12. Stonehill
13. Christian Brothers
14. Bloomfield
15. Florida Southern
16. Montevallo
17. Southern Indiana
18. Chico State
19. Northwest Missouri State
20. Indianapolis
21. Barton
22. Midwestern State
23. Saint Leo
24. East Stroudsburg
25. Lincoln Memorial