As Conference Play Begins, Georgia Still No. 1 in NFCA/USA Today Division I Top 25 Poll
March 15, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Georgia Bulldogs opened Southeastern Conference play with a three-game sweep of then-No. 21 LSU and as a result stayed on top of the NFCA/USA Today Division I Top 25 poll for the fourth consecutive week, according to the latest edition of the rankings released by the Association on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (21-1) received 25 of 30 first-place votes in the latest poll and increased last week’s lead over No. 2 Florida (25-1) from five points to 29 points. Meanwhile, the Gators, who suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of then-No. 19 Nebraska, received four of the other five first-place votes. The final first-place vote in this week’s poll went to No. 3 Alabama (24-1), who went 4-0 in the East SEC/ACC Challenge. This also marks the third straight week that the SEC trio has held the poll’s top three spots.
The nation’s lone remaining undefeated team, Washington (19-0), moved from fifth to fourth in the newest rankings, while Michigan (25-1), who also fell for the first time in 2011, went from sixth to fifth.
This biggest gain of the week went to Baylor (22-3), who jumped from 23rd to 18th after taking two of three games from then-No. 4 Arizona (21-4) in Tucson. The now seventh-ranked Wildcats will look to rebound at this week’s Judi Garman classic in Fullerton, Calif., where they will take on three Top 25 teams.
After weeks of teetering on the edge of the rankings, the Kentucky Wildcats (16-4) finally moved into the Top 25 by winning two out of three games at home against then-No. 7 Tennessee (20-4). Kentucky’s addition to the weekly poll now gives the SEC seven teams in the rankings, tying them with the Pac-10 for the second most of any conference. The Big XII currently leads all conferences with eight representatives in this week’s poll.
Syracuse (19-5) was the only team to leave the poll this week, just one week after earning its first ranking in program history.
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Records as of Mar.13, 2011 are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses.
Dropped Out: No. 25 Syracuse
Others Receiving Votes: Fresno St. 17, DePaul 13, Georgia Tech 10, Notre Dame 7, Virginia 5, Syracuse 3, Long Beach St. 3, Kansas 1, Northwestern 1, S.C Upstate 1, Troy 1