It’s still summer. Fall ball is only manifesting itself in team Twitter announcements right now, tournaments and practices are yet to begin full force. But if you want to get your head wrapped around the upcoming regular season, Jac Coyne from Lacrosse Magazine is your guy. As part of his annual “Midsummer Night’s Power Rankings” series, Jac Coyne has recently released his MCLA D1 Power Rankings.
A quick taste of Jac’s point of view on creating his, admittedly very early, rankings:
“The MCLA is a trickier animal to stack up. Not only do [you] have to determine what a team has coming back in terms of personnel – no easy task with the transient MCLA – but we also have to gauge what a team’s schedule looks like. Unless a team is a lock for a conference automatic qualifying bid, all of the players in the world won’t make a difference on Selection Sunday if the schedule is soft. Further complicating the matter is the association’s members aren’t obligated to submit their final schedules until December, so as you can see, trying to create a summer power ranking is an imperfect science.”
Coyne has a great point about the schedules. We’re currently residing in that weird, administrative purgatory where game commitments are still in discussions and scheduling at different stages for many teams. Sure, the more established teams have their schedules in place, but there are scatterbrained and procrastinatory members of the MCLA D1 elite.
There isn’t really a way to improve the information gap at this point either. The MCLA can make some arbitrary mandate for schedules to be submitted earlier, but it’s likely that it will only result in more dreaded cancellations come springtime. That would be more of a black mark on the league and its attempt at establishing credibility around its scheduling contracts.
With this power rankings list out there early, however, no team has an excuse for not attempting to schedule some of the predicted top teams in MCLA D1. Most of the consistent MCLA D1 elite teams schedule very tough, and often play many of their fellow top 20 teams. If you or a team you know would like to get into the MCLA Top 20, you have to schedule these teams.
The Oregon Ducks, a consistent member of the MCLA D1 top 20, are already talking about scheduling tough:
Oregon playing 8 teams in the top 20? That’s strong material for an at-large bid if they stumble in the PNCLL conference tourney. Other teams should take note. The MCLA Tournament Selection committee established a strong precedent in 2010 with the selection of Colorado as an at-large team: if you schedule strong and play tough opponents, you can still make it to the tournament with some losses.
Bonus points for getting discussion about their schedule out there before one of those awful, “We’ve Announced Our 2012 Schedule!” articles. Side rant: NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING is more time-wasting than those schedule announcement articles. If I want to see your schedule, I will look it up on MCLA.us in January. Recruits can find your schedule on your own team website, they don’t need to sift through 78 articles announcing each individual MCLA team’s schedule.