Rankings breakdown: Preseason polls not best at predicting national champs

Ohio State getting the No. 1 preseason national ranking does not carry much weight in predicting that the Buckeyes will repeat as national champions.

Only twice has the top-ranked team in the AVCA preseason national coaches poll ended the season as NCAA champions since the rankings became an annual poll in 2007.


Despite non-effective track record of predicting the national champion, no team ranked lower than No. 7 in the preseason has won the NCAA title in the last 10 years. Ohio State, UCLA, BYU, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, Lewis and Hawai’i all finished the top seven of the 2017 preseason poll.

Check out how in previous years the No. 1 ranked team in the AVCA preseason coaches poll ended the season.

2016 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: Won MPSF championship and lost in NCAA Tournament finals
NCAA champion: Ohio State
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Ohio State (No. 6)

2015 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: Pepperdine
Season recap: Lost in MPSF Tournament finals and did not qualify for NCAA Tournament
NCAA champion: Loyola
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Loyola (No. 2)

2014 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: UC Irvine
Season recap: Lost in MPSF Tournament quarterfinals and did not qualify for NCAA Tournament
NCAA champion: Loyola
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Loyola (No. 7)

2013 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: UC Irvine
Season recap: Last team to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll and win the NCAA championship
NCAA champion: UC Irvine
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 1)

2012 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: Lost in MPSF Tournament semifinals and did not qualify for NCAA Tournament
NCAA champion: UC Irvine
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 2)

2011 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: USC
Season recap: Won MPSF regular season championship and lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals
NCAA champion: Ohio State
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Ohio State (No. 7)

2010 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: USC
Season recap: Lost in MPSF Tournament quarterfinals and did not qualify for NCAA Tournament
NCAA champion: Stanford
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Stanford (No. 3)

2009 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: Penn State
Season recap: Won EIVA championship and lost in the NCAA Tournament semifinals
NCAA champion: UC Irvine
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 6)

2008 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: BYU
Season recap: Lost in MPSF Tournament finals and did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament
NCAA champion: Penn State
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: Penn State (No. 4)

2007 SEASON
Preseason No. 1: UC Irvine
Season recap: First team in the rally scoring era ranked No. 1 in the preseason to win the NCAA title
NCAA champion: UC Irvine
NCAA champion’s preseason ranking: UC Irvine (No. 1)