USC will end the regular season as the unanimous No. 1 in the national rankings.
The Trojans after winning the MPSF regular season championship during the weekend received every first-place vote in the new national media poll released Tuesday.
Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why I ranked each team where I did.
Let the debate begin on who are the best teams in the nation.
Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll
1. USC — 100 (10) points
2. UC Irvine — 84 points
3. BYU — 80 points
4. Stanford — 74 points
5. UCLA — 62 points
6. Penn State — 47 points
7. Ohio State — 32 points
8. Lewis — 30 points
9. Pepperdine — 20 points
10. Long Beach State — 18 points
Others receiving votes: Harvard, Loyola
My Volleyball Magazine Men’s Division I-II Top 10 Poll ballot
1. USC (22-4, 18-4 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge
The Trojans won their second consecutive MPSF regular season championship and are on a nation-best 17 match winning streak entering the postseason. Regardless of how the season ends for USC, it would be a disappointment if Bill Ferguson doesn’t win National Coach of the Year.
2. BYU (23-6, 17-5 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Penn State twice
The best part of the BYU and Penn State match was the fan who created a 20-foot sign of outside attacker Taylor Sander as an action super-hero “The Sandman.” Sander is second in the nation in kills per game average and is on the short-list for National Player of the Year.
3. Stanford (20-6, 17-5 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC Santa Barbara and UCLA
Everyone forgot about the Cardinal because they took almost all of March off, but Stanford is a legitimate Final Four contender. Setter Evan Barry is the least talked about All-American candidate in the game. Barry leads the nation in assists per game average but not many people outside of the West Coast can name Stanford’s starting setter.
4. UC Irvine (21-5, 17-5 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated UC San Diego
UC Irvine took care of business in its regular season finale against UC San Diego to clinch a home match in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. Could any volleyball Star Wars fan ask for anything better. The Jedi master of Al Scates going up against his former padawan learner in John Speraw.
5. UCLA (22-7, 16-6 MPSF)
Last week’s results: defeated Pacific, lost to Stanford
Everyone has hit the panic button on UCLA following its loss to Stanford. However, this is the one low seed in the nation that has a legitimate chance to win their conference tournament. Plus, the UCLA matches up well against UC Irvine in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.
6. Lewis (23-6, 9-3 MIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Grand Canyon
Lewis’ recovered from their one horrible week in conference play — losing to Loyola and Ohio State — and clinched the No. 2 seed for the MIVA Tournament. If any team has a chance to end the Ohio State dynasty it’s Lewis this year.
7. Penn State (20-5, 13-0 EIVA)
Last week’s results: lost to BYU twice
The positive news is last week’s West Coast road trip wasn’t as bad as Penn State’s first trip out west in March. However, the Nittany Lions really needed to get another signature win against a West Coast team just for the players’ psyche.
8. Ohio State (20-8, 9-3)
Last week’s results: defeated IPFW and George Mason
Ohio State set a conference record during the weekend winning its sixth consecutive MIVA regular season championship. It’s the most impressive dynasty in the conference’s history and it will take a near-perfect performance to beat the Buckeyes at home in the tournament.
9. Harvard (18-5, 10-4 EIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated Rutgers-Newark, lost to NJIT
The Crimson are now a marked team in the EIVA and learned what that means in their loss Friday. Harvard, though, will make sure that Penn State doesn’t waltz to the NCAA Tournament this year.
10. Loyola (18-11, 8-4 MIVA)
Last week’s results: defeated IPFW
The Ramblers towards the end of the season started to live up to the preseason hype winning eight of their final nine matches. If Loyola survives its first-round match against IPFW, it has the capability to upset Lewis and Ohio State to win the MIVA Tournament.