4 min read

Are Upsets in February really upsets?

Why the preseason poll got ASU wrong and how big was the win for BYU at Clemson?

How High Should Dominican Climb?

The buzz this past weekend was the Dominican sweep in Arizona. With wins over #19 Arizona and #7 Arizona State (with the ASU win being in kind of commanding fashion), the question is naturally “how high should the Pangs climb in the next poll”.

It’s a tough question because nobody knows how good ASU or Arizona is this year.

The Sundevils are ranked #7 in the preseason poll, which is 1 spot higher than they ended last year. But is that really warranted? They graduated their most productive attackman (Marthens, 2nd Team AA) who averaged over 4.5 points per game, one of the top FOGOs in the country (Driscoll, HM AA) who won 69% of his face-offs, and their goalie (Perlite, 3rd Team AA) who saved 64% of the shots he faced.

This is a very young Sun Devils team. They return 1 senior. They should not have started this year higher in the preseason poll than they ended last year. They may end up proving to be a Top 10 team by the end of the year, but it would be tough for any team to weather those kinds of losses.

So back to the question at hand, where do you rank the Pangs? I don’t have a great answer for where they should land, but it better be ahead of ASU and Arizona on every ballot. But should they get credit for a top 10 win? Maybe for this week, but constant re-evaluation will be required as we learn more about the Arizonas.

Without working out a full ballot, I’d think in the 10-15 range is probably the right starting point.

Did BYU Save Their Season with a Win at Clemson?

Don’t be ridiculous, headline.  It’s February.  It’s way too early to be talking about must-win games.

But then again, if you look back at last season maybe it’s not such a ridiculous thought.  We know the 3 teams fighting for the last at-large bid for the tournament were Utah Valley, Santa Clara, and BYU.  UVU was the first team eliminated in the discussions and it came down to BYU and Santa Clara.  The Broncos were eventually given the nod over the Cougars. The millstone around BYU’s neck was a February loss against  Santa Barbara.

There were certainly plenty of chances for the Cougars to make a case for the tournament even with the loss, but they started the season in a hole they couldn’t dig out of.

An early February road trip across the entire country is a tall task. Coming home 3-0 would have been a huge feat, but 2-1 still sets the Cougars up nicely to find their way back to the tournament. Beyond the fact they ran with a Top 5 team, they snagged a Top 25 win (for now). BYU will now be big Tiger fans the rest of the year. (The Tigers from Auburn could have done them a huge favor by finishing the upset against FSU, but it wasn’t to be.)

Looking at the schedule the rest of the way it’s hard to not see 10 wins minimum left for BYU. This isn’t the most challenging schedule the Cougars have ever faced. If they get to 11 they are locks to find their way back to Salt Lake, but they likely need more than that to get a competitive seeding


Age-old question. How would the top teams from DII stack up if they played in Division I. Minnesota’s early-season slate the past few years has given us a slight glimpse into the answer, even if it’s nowhere near definitive.

This past weekend saw the Gophers take down St. Thomas (10-9) and St. John’s (12-7). They also lost to Minnesota Duluth (7-11).

On its face, you have a team that bowed out in the DII quarterfinals taking out a DI tournament team in convincing fashion. And that’s true, but Minnesota played their first round of games under a new head coach, and Duluth is a very good team that is returning a ton of experience (13 seniors!). The Bulldogs are going to be a DII force. Things are probably much more up in the air for the Gophers.

So put a pin in this question. We can revisit later.

Along Came Poly

Cal Poly turned a few heads this weekend with a solid 9-6 win over Concordia. Probably not an “upset” by any stretch, but a solid win for the Mustangs over a 2019 tournament team.  The Dominican/Poly game this weekend is suddenly a lot more interesting.

LSU’s Short Stint in the Top 25

After starting the season ranked #25, LSU has dropped 3 of their first 4 games. The loss to South Carolina was expected, but for a team looking to return to SLC for a second straight year, the losses to A&M and TCU throw a wet blanket on the early enthusiasm.

On the plus side if you are TCU you just picked up a ranked win! (first one ever?)

On the downside, come next week it will be another unranked win. Such is the life of early-season lacrosse.

Looking for DII Content? Us too.

We wish we had unlimited time to cover the MCLA, but truthfully, we probably don’t have enough time to even cover one division properly. But we’ll try.

That leaves DII out for a lot of our content, but we would like to have more content focused on it throughout the year.  If you are interested in chipping in a quick DII segment for our weekly email, shoot me a message at jordan@virtuallyvarsity.com and we will make sure we get some of that DII goodness every week.