1. Oklahoma State (2) - Warning bells flashed when LetsRun.com darlings Oklahoma State lost a close meet to previous #5 NAU, #13 Bill and Mary and DII #1 Adams State at their signature home meet. Pay no attention to the warning bells. If German Fernandez ran and won the meet, NAU 5000m NCAA runner-up David McNeill ran and was 2nd, and Ryan Vail ran 3rd for the Cowboys, then the meet scoring looks significantly different. NAU then goes 2, 4, 8, 16, 17 (47) and Ok St. goes 1, 3, 6, 7, 21 (38). Girma Mecheso (23rd) ran way below his normal level for the Cowboys and pretty much cost them the meet, which they would have won even without 2 of their best guys had Mecheso been with, say, John Kosgei.
2. Stanford (3) - Did not race after going 1-4 (without stud Heath) at last weekend's Stanford Invite. They're going to be good though they haven't really beaten anyone yet to earn this ranking.
3. NAU (5) - Came down from Flagstaff altitude to spank Ok St on their home course. Loggers unveiled a secret weapon to the NCAA, community college transfer from Zambia Jordan Chipangama who pulled away from a high-quality front-end to win by almost 80m. They now have 3 guys who look like top-20 NCAA talent (Chipangama, McNeill and Diego Estrada).
4. Alabama (9) - Tide's 5 Kenyans took down national #1 Oregon and a strong BYU team at the Dellinger Invite. They're an injury away from falling out of the top-10, but who isn't? *Update: LetsRun.com has received an email from a former Alabama grad assistant that told us Alabama, who went 1-2 at Dellinger, didn't run their #2 man Emmanuel Bor. If Bor is truly their #2 man, then they are perhaps even better right now than #4.
5. Oregon (1) - Oregon ran the full squad (Centro, Mercados, Acosta, Puskedra, Klotz, McNamara) minus injured (?) Andrew Wheating, got no help from younger runners and lost by 18 points to Alabama, 8 points to BYU and won by 2 over Portland. The Ducks are going to have to work to make the podium this year. Bright side is Centro ran great, meaning they can look forward to having Puskedra and Centro as low scorers at NCAA with dependable All-American Mercados following them up.
6. BYU (12) - Beat Oregon in Oregon. Ran right with Alabama. Led by 5th-year soph Miles Batty, 7th-year senior Rich Nelson, Syracuse's FM standout Tommy Grunewald, 4th-year soph Alden Bahr and 6th-year junior Nathan Ogden.
7. Wisconsin (4) - Wisconsin is a work in progress, but trust us they'll be good despite getting trounced at home by unranked Syracuse and previous #10 Georgetown this weekend. Landon Peacock and Craig Miller are not race ready yet (Miller faded really badly after front-running most of the race), Reed Connor is really good and ran unattached and freshman Mohammed Ahmed may be really, really good. He beat Colby Lowe and some other really good runners this August, setting a Pan-Am junior record 14:12 in Trinidad & Tobago and is yet to compete after observing Ramadan. Wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian and former Badger 2-time NCAA CC Champ Simon Bairu.
8. Portland (8) - Portland ran stride for stride with Oregon this weekend (they came up 2 points short, 73-71). They lived up to the ranking. Trevor Dunbar, Joash Osoro and Alfred Kipchumba provide big punch.
9. William & Mary (13) - Bill & his Lady almost took down the Jamboree on Saturday which would have been a really cool thing for their program. The hammerin' Tribesmen earned a top-10 ranking by finishing just behind NAU in Stillwater. Looking at the teams below them in the rankings I can easily make the argument that the Tribe earned this ranking. They did just beat our #1 team, after all.
10. Syracuse (NR) - Syracuse may not stay in the top-10, but they performed like a top-10 team in a big-time beat down of #10 Georgetown and previous #4 Wisconsin in Madison. They had the meet locked up at 5k. They're deep and Tito Medrano and Brad Miller look really good.
11. Washington (22) - Huskies won the Notre Dame Invite over #15 Providence 113-119 with depth. They won't do as well in a much bigger meet. No front-running standouts. Good pack makes them good now. Top-10 good? Yes. They clobbered half a dozen ranked teams in South Bend despite the travel.
12. Georgetown (10) - Georgetown confirmed they are very good. Andrew Bumbalough is a top-15 candidate for NCAA's, head and shoulders better than the field on Saturday.
13. Colorado (6) - Won a low-key Rocky Mountain Shootout led by Kenyon Neuman. I think Colorado may have less talent on their team than any other team in the top-15. They haven't done much yet but that's no surprise. Compared with #2 Stanford who also haven't run a big race, Colorado isn't in the same league talent-wise.
14. Indiana (NR) - Props to the Hoosiers for beating previous #7 Iona and top-20 NC State at Paul Short Friday. They're running way better than expected... 7 weeks from the big dance.
15 (tie). Iona College (7) - Runner-up finishes in '08 and '07 helped their ranking in '09. I am surprised they ran as well as they did at Paul Short to earn runner-up to unranked Indiana. They beat a good NC State (19) team by a healthy margin. Iona graduated Mo Khadraoui, Andrew Ledwith and Harbert Okuti from their previous NCAA podium teams.
15 (tie). Providence College (15) - Traditional northeast powers looked good at Notre Dame and scored wins over half a dozen ranked teams. I feel bad about this ranking and probably should have them higher but who cares about the rankings anyway.
2. Oklahoma State
7. Iona (beaten by Indiana)
11. Tulsa (not good in Notre Dame)
13. William & Mary
14. Virginia (won a low-key meet)
15. Providence (ran well at Notre Dame, probably deserve a top-15)
16. Iowa State (idle after winning Griak)
17. Arkansas (80 pts behind Wisco in Wisco, not a good performancce)...
22. Washington (ran great) ...
unranked: Syracuse, Indiana