Power Rankings Poll: Groundhog’s Day Edition

Disclaimer: These rankings have zero impact on seeding for the National Tournament or actual ranking. They provide insight into where teams are currently performing during a given part of the season.

gvsu-logo1. Grand Valley State University  LR: 1

OT Loss to a good MSU team. Rebounded back to beat MSU 3-0 in their second game. Not a lot to complain about per usual.

msu-logo2. Michigan State University  LR: 2

Solid win over GVSU. However, they complain about calls more than LeBron and Sidney Crosby put together. Dudes (and Becca) need to chill out. #DonaldPeters2017

jmu-logo3. James Madison University LR: 3

BEAST will tell a lot. Hard to see them losing a game at this one, even with MSU in attendance. If they beat State, hard to not put them at #2.

tu-logo4. Towson University LR: 4

If the groundhog sees his shadow expect big things from this squad at Nationals. If he doesn’t…might as well just kiss their season goodbye.

cmu-logo5. Central Michigan University LR: 5

Very interested to see how they play without Mike Riley if and when he returns. Waiting to see if it is a positive or negative impact for them. Want to believe it will be a positive one.

uk-logo6. University of Kentucky LR: 6

Three easy wins (as expected) over their competition at home. How they perform against East Coast teams will say A LOT about their true potential.

svsu-logo7. Saginaw Valley State University LR: 7

Solid victories over DePaul, BGSU and UWP. Quite a lot on the line at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. They upset many by finishing second at it last year. Can they do it again?

psu-logo8. Penn State University LR: 12

I guess they like to save up all their energy for the 2nd semester of play…Solid 3-0 start for the Nittany Lions. Hopefully they don’t blow it like their FB team did at the Rose Bowl…

kent-logo9. Kent State University   LR: 11

Sitting at 13-6. Not bad. Waiting for them to get a BIG victory before I start believing in this team. As per usual, they will bring it at Nationals, but that is still months away.

vcu-logo10. Virginia Commonwealth University   LR: 9

Played an impressive 20 games so far, compiling a 12-8 record. Can’t think of really anybody that ever saw this coming when this program first started…other than Shadeed.

wku-logo11. Western Kentucky University   LR: 8

All the hype this squad received was in the end futile. They are right in the middle of the pack as expected.

osu-logo12. Ohio State University   LR: 13

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”
-Leonard Bernstein

bgsu-logo13. Bowling Green State University   LR: 14

Impressive wins over UWP and DePaul. Lost a close game to SVSU, which is saying something. The Falcons have played the most games of any team this season, sitting at 21.

uwp-logo14.  University of Wisconsin-Platteville  LR: 10

Whether it was the lack of talent that they brought to DePaul or the lack of numbers, this team was demolished by the other teams in attendance. They are falling quickly.

ohio u15. Ohio University LR: 15

Playing well and always improving. They are becoming a staple in the league and it is fantastic to see.

depaul-logo16. DePaul University LR: 17

Solid thrashing of UWP. Middle of the pack.

akron-logo17. Akron University  LR: 16

Tough loss to Ohio. Surprises me this team is not performing better. They have a lot of talent at their disposal.

ung18. University of North Georgia   LR: 18

Loss of their Captain for the rest of the year is a major blow to this rising power.

uva-logo19. University of Virginia   LR: 19

Nothing happening.

umd-logo20. University of Maryland   LR: 20

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
-Albert Einstein

miami-logo21. Miami (OH) University    LR: 23

The fighting Ben Roethlisbergers fight on another day. Had trouble attending UK’s tournament.

unl-logo22. University of Nebraska-Lincoln   LR: 21

No changes. Just corn.

stevenson-logo23. Stevenson University LR: 22

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”                      -Winston Churchill

bw-logo24. Baldwin Wallace University LR: 24

Not a thing.

niu-logo25. Northern Illinois University LR: 25

“I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying ‘flee at once – all is discovered.’ They all left town immediately.”
-Mark Twain

unt-logo26. University of North Texas LR: 26

Still working on getting them some competition.

pitt-logo27. University of Pittsburgh LR: 27

Pitt may want to head to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see the groundhog and hope maybe, just maybe he will rub off some good luck on them. Worth a shot right?

uww-logo28. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater       LR: 28

No Changes. More Cheese.

gsu-logo29. Georgia Southern University       LR: 29

Hoping to host their own tournament in the next month. It would be great to see some more teams make it out there besides North Georgia.

Author: Jacob Leski

Former President of Central Michigan's Club Dodgeball team. 2x First Team All-American (2015, 2016). 2nd year as Director of League Expansion and Retention.

3 thoughts on “Power Rankings Poll: Groundhog’s Day Edition”

  1. There’s going to be a lot of shifting within the next two weeks: BEAST on the 4th, Bobcat Bash on the 11th, MDC and VCU tournament on the 19th. All of which we will probably see some upsets and/or close enough games to show just how tight the league is this season.

  2. #1 and #2 with GVSU and MSU respectively: I agree with. On a constant basis, they have demonstrate they are the top two teams within the league.

    #3-#10 That is up for debate depending upon who you talk to, what the situations that each team had to compete under (in terms of numbers of people they show up, when in the season that they play, people’s bias on the team based off of past, current, and future history, and the actually games themselves). I can say without a shadow of a doubt that that no one had the opportunity to see every single team play this year in person, through youtube videos, AND in individual practices to have a full understanding of what each team is capable of and bringing into the table when it comes to tournaments. The biggest thing that comes into play for me is consistency: how does the team perform on a regular basis in tournaments because that is what each team is being judged for.

    Working full-time at my job, I have to perform at a high level consistently if I’m expected to keep my job, earned the respect of my peers, and receive a promotion with a high rating. There are days that I feel great; there are other days I don’t feel like getting up out of bed. However knowing that I have bills every single month on a consistent basis doesn’t excuse me from going to work and putting in that time and effort that is necessary for me to be successful. I can’t have 2 weeks of work that I’m just on top of my game and then have 6 weeks of poor performance and expect my supervisors to give me a pat on the back saying “You’re doing a great job at work”. No, they are going to call me out on it. So in the same sense, I have to do the same thing for each team past the #2 spot and give you my honest opinion as of February 1st, 2017th:

    #3 is UK. They were able to bounce back from early losses against WKU and Kent with an opportunity to add more wins to their resume against JMU and TU (two foes they haven’t faced this year) in the BEAST tournament this weekend. Of course beating MSU help their cause in this discussion as well. I’m expecting a strong showing from this team this weekend.

    #4 is JMU. I understand that they played a limited schedule in comparison to other teams but they have shown that they can still compete with the toughest opponents within the league. They defeated every single East Coast team (with the exception of PSU I believe this year) and they did very well against GVSU back in October at Towson (I was there and it was a competitive match to say the least). I’m expecting a strong showing from this team as well.

    #5 is TU. I have the opportunity to practice with this team on many occasions last semester with my drives back and forth from Richmond, VA and honestly this particular team this year is not a team that I wanna pissed off. When Towson plays with a chip on their shoulder, they’re a force to be reckoned but even they admitted to me that they have to play better more often. It wouldn’t shocked me if they go 4-0 or 3-1 this weekend at JMU. They have what it takes; I’m very aware of what they are capable of doing in difficult situations.

    #6 is CMU. I’m not from the Michigan region, I haven’t had the opportunity to travel out there yet, and I don’t get pay to provide my comments either… so take this opinion with a grain of salt. So far, they haven’t looked like the CMU team that played against GVSU in the championship game in last April. The league as a whole is getting better and CMU knows they need to pick up the pace sooner rather than later. More than likely, the only opportunities that they have will be against Michigan teams before Nationals. It’s time for them to turn on the switch.

    #7 is SVSU. Same thing applies for this team (even with the fact that I play them against them at Nationals this year). Historically, this is a 2nd half team and they play very well when they’re disrespected and view as underdogs. I’m expecting this team to start performing better now until their final match at Nationals.

    #8 is Kent. I always know that Kent is going to play well and play hard. I know that Kent practice hard as well. Here’s the thing though: everybody works hard, everybody has been putting in the work. Tournaments are what we are being judged here, not practice and not in the weight room either. To me, Kent is the top team within the Ohio region and I’m very aware of that. They are very capable of being very competitive against some of the top teams within the league and they have are capable of winning the big games. Right now, this isn’t the Kent team that went to the Final Four several years ago but they have the potential to make it that far if they are able to put it together in tournaments. I know Kent is very eager to have a rematch against VCU but JMU and Towson are looking forward to them in March. Captain Cassie knows this team better than I do and I’m expecting them to have a strong 2nd half.

    #9 is OSU. Captain Jeff Star admits that his team is a young team but he is doing a great job taking this mixture of young and experienced together to have a team within the top 10. OSU has the opportunity to make a strong statement and/or telling others to “put some respek in their name” with the JMU BEAST tournament this weekend. Every single opponent that is playing against OSU are looking forward to the opportunity of playing them.

    #10 is PSU and I have to give asterisk to this team. VCU have the opportunity to travel to PSU in January and they play very well at home. The PSU/VCU game was a great game of chess with different adjustments along with the way throughout the match. My team fell short because I didn’t do my job stalling out PSU for 90 seconds. That loss falls on me and I accept full responsibility for that. I can’t rank them higher on the account that they haven’t play in a lot of tournaments. If I rank this team lower, it wouldn’t be that much lower (#12 at worst). They remind me of a stronger version of WKU. FYI: Penn State is only 2 hours and 41 minutes away from Towson and only 2 hours 29 minutes away from Pittsburgh. I’m just saying.

    #11 is VCU. I know what I’m capable of doing and I know what my team is capable of doing. With the exception of Towson and Akron, the majority of our opponents either A. Don’t take VCU very seriously, B. Behind closed doors don’t respect VCU, and/or C. Both. I say those two teams is because Towson has a lot of mutual respect for VCU and always had for a long time and Akron because we have a fierce rival between the two teams. As a whole, VCU is very aware that we have to play better more frequently against quality opponents to order to gain more respect around the league. This JMU BEAST is the most important tournament that VCU will play up to date (that includes Nationals as well).

    #12 is WKU. I noticed that VCU has been getting better within each tournament and I would say the same thing for WKU with the exception of the previous tournament. VCU will have more opportunities to play against opponents that are at the same or higher level than them and VCU has shown the willingness to travel to places far away from Richmond, VA while WKU haven’t always shown that level of passion. As a result, VCU have more opportunities to get better as a team in tournaments while WKU won’t have that luxury. Opportunities and experience is the difference that separate these teams at the moment.

    I’m fine with the other rankings within the league and I will end with these comments:

    Ohio is improving within each tournament and it is very hard to ignore their level of consistency especially on the account that they are willing to play against teams better than them. I respect Ohio on the account that they will always give you their best effort regardless of the situations and time of day it is within the tournament. Caleb admits that they need to work on stamina and the ability to finish a game but that will come with time (to be honest with you probably sometime in the next one or two tournaments). If they continue this path forward, next year they will be a scary team.

    Akron plays hard against their opponents and they have some core players on their teams. Captain Adam admits they haven’t been able to pull together 50 minutes of straight play along with the fact that they need the new people to be on the same level. They had a tough junior season in comparison to their sophomore season; they will get better in time.

    UNG has the luxury of making a short drive to both WKU and UK. In the future (starting next season), I would highly encourage them to make those trips often; quality opponents come to both schools and that will give them additional experience to play against other quality opponents.

    GSU reminds me a lot about VCU in the sense that they had a tough start within their program history but they have a very positive attitude and a good outlook on life. They understand that the game of dodgeball is something that we do for fun and not something that should be taken seriously 100% of the time. They are a good group of people and I look forward in traveling to GSU either sometime this season or next season to help them out and encourage them within this process.

  3. Honestly in my mind there’s not any questioning at the moment that GV is worthy of #1. They deserve the position they currently hold.

    That being said, this weekend is going to tell a lot about who’s 2-5. Furthermore, regardless of the outcome, I’m not sure that #1 is as safe in that position as they have been in the past from the rest of the field come Nationals.

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