LetsRun.com’s Quick 2013 NCAA Men’s Cross-Country Preview – We Expect Oklahoma State To Defend Their National Title

  • submit to reddit

by LetsRun.com
September 12, 2013

The 2013 NCAA cross-country season normally gets under way in full force during the first full week of September, meaning things should get going this weekend. Who will hoist the trophy in Terre Haute in November?

Well, we want you to tell us by voting in the 2013 LetsRun.com Fan Polls.

But before you vote in those, we want to share with you our insight. To get you educated, we’ve done a little research ourselves. In the year 2013, big breakthroughs at the NCAA level are few and far between, as most runners are pretty well-coached and training at a pretty high level before they even set foot on a college campus.

Thus it’s our belief that the best way to predict what is going to happen this year is to go back and look at last year’s NCAA results and simply remove the seniors, particularly on the men’s side. Yes, a few newcomers will make a difference, but it’s VERY hard for a freshman to make a big impact. Last year for example, on the men’s side, there was one freshman in the top 30 at NCAAs and he was born in Kenya (Anthony Rotich). In terms of American-born freshman, there was only one in the top 50 at NCAAs (Pierce Murphy of Colorado) and he was a redshirt.

What we did was take out the seniors (and a few other people we knew weren’t returning) from last year’s NCAA meet and ranked the teams based on top 3 returners (we gave everyone the same finish last year – we didn’t move them up) and then again with the top 4 returners, moving a few people to their new teams if they transferred (you can see the whole results at the bottom of this article. We put Eric Jenkins on Oregon with his 2011 NCAA result).

We then compared those results with the two pre-season rankings we are aware of – the Coaches Poll and the Wood Report. For the most part, the LRC Returning rankings, National and Wood Ranking line up pretty well but it’s interesting to compare all three and see where the biggest differences are.

By looking at the two polls and the LRC Returners Rankings, you have a pretty good idea of where everyone should finish in November.

The results are as follows:

LRC Top 3 Returners RankTeam (Top 3 Returners Score)ReturnersCoaches RankingWood RankingLRC Top 4 Returners2012 finishLRC Comment
1Oklahoma St. 313, 11, 17, 40, 7911711Unless NCAA shuts down the Athletic Department, we don’t see anyone stopping them.
2NAU 798, 23, 48, 54, 582213344th last year. Strong bet for podium yet again but we don’t see them challenging for the win.
3Colorado 8524, 28, 33, 47, 169331323Colorado is in the conversation again; let’s see how good Saarel is.
4BYU 15625, 62, 69, 82462386Returns a ton from last year but NCAA isn’t letting 7th placer Jared Ward run XC and there goes their podium chances.
5Portland 10919, 42, 67, 96, 119, 1778920512Picked up a transfer from OU, so a little under-rated?
6Tulsa 11613, 32, 71, 72, 107, 1135151887Most people return from top 5 from last year. If O’Hare is on his game, #15 is too low for them but # 5 is probably a little too high.
7Princeton 13131, 43, 57, 121, 130, 204101125211Returns a lot of firepower (1-2 at Heps) up front in Bendsten and Arroyo-Yamin.
8Arkansas 14310, 34, 99, 1675531010The addition of 8:24 steepler Stanley Kebenei sure helps.
9E Kentucky 16627, 29, 110, 160, 196, 199, 200111628624All seven back. Very solid. Have 13:48, 13:52, an NCAA score in steeple, a 29:42, an 8:15 and 14:15 in top 7.
10New Mexico 18120, 63, 98, 105, 187, 19119728621Seem to be WAY under-rated nationally.
11UCLA 18218, 64, 100, 126, 141, 195131730813Seem likely to finish between 10 and 20.
12Syracuse 20541, 70, 94, 150, 156, 1749835515Will have to improve to crack top 10.
13Oregon 24652, 74, 115, 124, 129, 184, 20312437020Oregon unlikely to have NCAA 1,500 champ Mac Fleet finish 203rd and 13:31 man Parker Stinson finish 184th. Plus they add in Cheserek and Jenkins, so Wood ranking is more accurate.
14Stanford 26165, 87, 109, 136161039716How the once mighty have fallen.
15Texas 27212, 81, 1791512NA9Old coach was really looking forward to coaching this steam but they don’t look like a podium team to us.
16Wisconsin 28136, 88, 168, 1757Wild Card45627th seems like a stretch
17Indiana 28880, 90, 118, 162, 16520NR45018Not ranked in Wood report? We bet they make it.
22Virginia 3169, 135, 144, 208172149614Ranked #3 in smart school poll behind Princeton and Stanford.
23Columbia 37739, 198, 151, 202, 205182550017Lost a lot from last year but track team is full of distance runners.
24Iona 41746, 111, 143, 159, 206141945*29Went into NCAAs ranked #2 last year and ended up 29th. This year looks tough on paper.
Florida State78, 104, 122, 152211845655th last year but lost a ton. Thankfully, they got Rojo’s son, Kevin Johnson, to transfer from Cornell.
Notre Dame76, 85, 155, 201221451728Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Florida53, 138, 1862329NANRGotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Georgetown133, 139, 145, 193, 198242061025Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
NC State251326Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Michigan262723Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Villanova272327Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Duke28NR30Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Dartmouth29NRNRGotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Michigan State303131Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Auburn22Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Virginia Tech24Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Washington26Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Georgia28Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Iowa State30Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
Michigan State31Gotta be ranked in the top 20 for us to say something about you, unless you have a Cornell transfer.
# of sub-14:00, 28:20 or 8:40 St. guys returning
BYU4
Arkansas3
Colorado2
Harvard2
NC State2
Oklahoma State2
Oregon2

So what does it all mean?

Three takeaways –

We expect Dave Smith and the Cowboys to be happy again this year. *2012 NCAA Cross-Country Photo Gallery

1) Oklahoma State is significantly better than everyone else and then there is a good group of five schools – NAU, Colorado, BYU, Arkansas and Oregon – battling it out for the podium (top 4 finish).

We know Oregon got a lot better with Eric Jenkins transferring but we explained earlier why we still don’t think they are as good as Oklahoma State on paper.

2) Most under-rated team in the coaches rankings? New Mexico.

3) Most over-rated team in the coaches rankings? Wisconsin.

We are big Mick Byrne fans, so maybe he can work some magic, but the Badgers basically are almost starting over this year.

Do you agree or disagree? Well we want to hear from you so vote: 2013 LetsRun.com Fan Polls.

But before you vote, be sure to read our women’s preview: LetsRun.com’s Quick 2013 NCAA Women’s Cross-Country Preview – Ray Treacy’s Providence Lady Friars Are The Team To Beat.

As for the specifics of our LetsRun Returner Rankings, you can see the 2013 NCAA results here. We took the seniors out, including Ward of BYU (who was listed by the NCAA last year as JR but isn’t allowed to run this year), except we gave an extra year to the following guys we were told were given a 6th year – Finnerty (Wisconsin), Heyes (Tulsa). We included the following two transfers – Jenkins (Northeastern to Oregon included with his 2011 NCAA result) and Poland (Oklahoma to Portland).

More From The LRC Vault: LetsRun.com’s 2012 NCAA Coverage
*2012 NCAA Men’s Results
*2012 NCAA Women’s Results
*2012 NCAA Photo Gallery


Like LetsRun.com on Facebook!
Posted in: Other