2) Grand Valley – Grand Valley State lost the Michigan Dodgeball Cup in brutal fashion last month, blowing a 3-0 lead in the second half of their match against Michigan State. Despite this, the voters slid them right above MSU in the PR. Standing at 13-2 on the year, GVSU does have a strong case to still be in the top 2 nationally, but they enter the home stretch of the season with a lot to prove. First off, can this team get healthy (and remain healthy) during the always grueling 2-day Nationals? Secondly, what went so spectacularly wrong for GV during their collapse at MDC, and can they find a way to fix those issues? Grand Valley has made it to the title match every year but once in their program’s history (2012). This team has their work cut out for them, but they have the talent to once again get to that game, and win it.
3) Michigan State – Michigan State ripped a 17-year monkey off their back in February, winning the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. The Spartans overcame a 3-point deficit in the final game of MDC against Grand Valley State to win the title, with exceptional performances from veterans and rookies alike. This team has impressive depth, and clearly has the ability to perform in the clutch. While their overall record may be worse than the two teams above them, there is a very real argument that this group should be #1 in the PR after the way they played at MDC. The Spartans next mission will proving that performance was no fluke.
4) Ohio State – Coming in at 4th in the March PR are the Ohio State Buckeyes. After a tough showing at the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, going 1-2 with losses to rivals Cincinnati and Bowling Green, Ohio State bounced back nicely with big wins over Towson, Cleveland State, and Akron. We all can agree Ohio State has the talent to beat any team on any given weekend, but do they have what it takes to make a deep run Sunday at Nationals? At 11-4, Ohio State played their first “complete” tournament, running the table, and it’s a good sign to be playing well in February. With no matches on the horizon for the Buckeyes until April, now’s the time to get healthy and go into Nationals confident and prepared to play 7 matches.
5) James Madison – What a turnaround for James Madison. After a rough start to the year, including losses to Towson and Penn State in October and an 0-3 record at Ohio University’s tournament in November, JMU is undefeated in 2022. The Dukes are 6-0 in the second half of the season, with two of those wins over East Coast rival Towson (one was a blowout win, the other a forfeit). To give you a little bit of perspective on how great JMU has been since the start of the new year, on their current win streak the Dukes have amassed a point differential of 31-1. Uhh… is JMU back? People are talking.
6) Ohio – Ohio leap frogs the competition all the way up to 6th for our March Power Rankings, and for good reason. They went 3-0 at The War V, including an absolute beatdown over rival Bowling Green State. The Bobcats will put their progression to the test once more before Nationals as they travel to Cincinnati at the end of March. We’ll have a good idea then just how far the Bobcats can go Sunday in April.
7) Penn State – Penn State’s only activity since the fall was at the Happy Valley Throwdown, where they scored a big 4-2 victory over Towson, but also fell 6-1 at the hand of James Madison. As of now, they look to be the second best team in the region, but we would’ve loved to see them in action at BEAST (Spring Break schedules throw a wrench in late February/Early March around the league). Penn State is a serious wild card as we enter the final month of the season, since they haven’t ventured outside the East Coast, but have scored a few impressive wins.
8) Akron – Talk about a model of inconsistency. There has been no team more up and down this season than the Akron Zips. Big wins over Michigan State and Towson, but a head scratching loss to the likes of Saginaw Valley and perhaps underperforming all year against constant foes Ohio State and Cincinnati. We’d love to see Akron make a good run to at least the Elite 8 Sunday at Nationals, if not farther, but we need to see more consistent play from the Zips.
9) Bowling Green State – Bowling Green is a tough team to judge right now. They just beat Ohio in overtime at the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, but turn around and get absolutely destroyed by the same Ohio team just three weeks later. What team will show up at Nationals? Tough to tell, they’re all over the place competitively at the moment. Hopefully they’re able to bring a full roster to Nationals in April.
10) Towson – A tough tumble for the Towson Tigers down to their lowest Power Rankings spot in several years, tenth. To say the Tigers have stumbled this semester is an understatement, going 1-9 on the semester (including 3 forfeits). Don’t count this team out from making a run Sunday at Nationals however, and they have a “get right” tournament at Maryland 2 weeks prior. Hopefully the Tigers can rebound back to a decent standing with a good showing at the end of March.
11) Saginaw Valley State – Saginaw Valley lands at #11 after a solid month overall. This team may have gone 1-2 at MDC, but their losses were to MSU and GVSU, and they passed the eye test on the weekend. They followed it up with a 2-3 weekend at WAR, taking wins over Miami and Akron. The Akron win in particular is a good sign. If this squad can continue to improve, they could be a fun team to watch at Nationals.
12) Nebraska – The Cornhuskers are 5-1 on the year, losing their last match to Wisconsin-Platteville. We truly don’t know what to expect from this team, as they have yet to play a team other than UWP this season. This content team is excited to find out exactly how high this team’s ceiling is come Nationals.
13) Cleveland State – Cleveland State boasts a very big club numbers wise this year, which is always great for the longevity of any program. Their biggest issue we’ve continued to see this year is that Joe Walsh is nearly a one man show offensively for the Vikings. With some more firepower surrounding him, you’ve gotta think this team is competing in the next tier up skill wise. Regardless, the Vikings have had a productive first year post-COVID.
14) Maryland – Maryland went 2-1 since our last power rankings, with a forfeit win over Towson and a 3-1 victory over VCU. The Terps didn’t bring their best roster overall to JMU for BEAST, so the blowout loss to the Dukes doesn’t look great, but also isn’t the end of the world. This team could make some noise at Nationals if they get a few solid matchups on day 1.
15) Wisconsin Platteville- UWP made the trip to Akron for WAR V. While they didn’t have their best roster, it was still great to see a team from the Midway Conference play some teams from other regions (earlier in the season they attended a CSU tournament as well). Platteville went 1-2 at WAR, gaining some valuable experience in the process. They also snagged an OT win over Nebraska in February, so overall it wasn’t a bad month for the Pioneers.
16) Kentucky – Kentucky hasn’t seen action since the Cincinnati Super Smackdown back in December. The Wildcats were unable to make the trip to WAR after previously being on the list of teams set to travel there. Whenever we see UK in action next, it will be interesting and insightful. They are a bit of an unknown heading into Nationals.
17) Western Michigan – Western Michigan went 0-3 at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup, but showed some signs of life. A few players on this team are really stepping up, including Peter Broe and Evin Cooper. WMU hosts Nationals, so expect a full roster and their best performance of the year at that event.
18) Virginia – Virginia has not competed in any events since the start of the new year, but word on the street is they plan to attend Nationals. Exciting to hear.
19) Miami – Miami missed the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, but was able to attend WAR V. While they went 0-3 at the event, they were able to score a point in each match, and fell by a score of 2-1 to CSU. Look for this team to keep improving heading into Nationals.
20) Virginia Commonwealth – Tough month for VCU. The Rams lost 6-0 to JMU, and that score isn’t an accurate representation of the demolition JMU put on their opponents that day; they stopped the score at halftime and did an exhibition in the second half. VCU also lost to UMD at BEAST X, but that game was much closer, with the Rams closing the gap to 2-1 with under 5 minutes to play before Maryland grabbed an extra point in the final minutes.