North Pole Poll Lovin’ Up the Pac-12; Lionsfan on The Week That Was

Lionsfan on The Week That Was

Clear View of the Top 3?

Lionsfan’s secret to perfect vision

So here’s what we learned during this last week of competition.

  • Penn State can play great against a tough team on the road (I think Louisville is tough, too…but that was early in the season and many still aren’t sold)
  • Washington is for real…like, really for real.

Those were two questions many fans still had at the start of last week, and both of the teams passed their tests with flying colors.

Last week, I didn’t think Penn State was No. 1 at all.  This week?  They may have a slightly more convincing claim to the top spot (but don’t get it in DigNittany’s North Pole Poll, below).  At least the top three teams are clear at this point, although I still think UCLA will be the most dangerous team come tournament time (you still aren’t fooling me, Bruins!).

Rock Chalk!

Special props to the Kansas Jayhawks.  After knocking off Tulsa and Creighton in late September (both teams were receiving votes in the poll earlier in the season), Kansas started getting votes of its own in last week’s poll.  From

On Wednesday, the Jayhawks upset No. 19 Iowa State–who moved to No. 22 on Monday– to propel them into the national rankings for the first time since Sept. 24, 2005. . . . The first RPI projections of 2012, released by the NCAA on Monday, unveiled news even more promising than the team’s national ranking, as KU debuted at No. 9.  A year ago, the Jayhawks started at No. 39 in the RPI and remained in the top-50 for the remainder of the season, ending at No. 47.

Read it at

Who Dat?

Fans of women’s volleyball (not pictured above — that’s just for the shirt) are asking “Who Dat?” about which team?

Why, it’s Saint Mary’s College!

At home, the Gaels knocked off two ranked conference foes last week: Pepperdine and previously unbeaten BYU.  They next travel to San Diego for a Wednesday night clash against another ranked conference foe, which you can see on ESPNU.  Can they make it three in a row? From the Saint Mary’s site:

If recent history is any indication, the match-up between the Gaels and Toreros will be an all-out battle. Last year on October 13, USD defeated SMC 19-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 15-11 in Moraga.  The Gaels turned the tables on USD in another five setter on October 26 in San Diego as SMC took a 17-25, 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-10 match in a match-up on ESPNU.  The Toreros and Gaels have split the season series in three of the last four seasons.

Read it at

Hottest Teams

Washington, Kansas, Saint Mary’s

Losing Steam

Pepperdine — Sorry  Waves, it happens.

 Waves can lose steam.  We checked.

“Receiving Votes” Team Most Likely to Crack Top 25

Saint Mary’s (who else?)

RPI on 10/1/12

RPI is a subject of some significant controversy.  For a good primer on the topic, go to our friends at VolleyBlog Seattle for their post “They’re baaack! The season’s first volleyball RPIs.

Controversy aside, here’s a listing of the NCAA’s Top-25 RPI as of October 1, 2012 (see entire list at

DigNittany’s North Pole Poll: Lovin’ Up the Pac-12

We’ve taken the votes of Penn State’s head coach Russ Rose (as published by the AVCA in the DI Poll Voters Weekly ), and added them to the votes of Lionsfan and DigNittany’s crack team of statisticians and researchers (we pretend to pay them, they pretend to work).

We still don’t have Penn State at #1.  But the Pac-12 should be happy, as we have Oregon at #1 and Washington at #2 — and UCLA tied for 4th, Stanford in 6th, and USC in 7th.  That’s some serious Pac-12 love!

Here’s the poll for October 1, 2012:

DigNittanyVolleyball's North Pole Poll (It's Cold at the Top) 10-1-12

North Pole
WinsLossesNorth Pole
Poll Points
Russ Rose's
Top 10
(as voted
in the
AVCA Poll)
Top 10
(AVCA does
not include
vote. Their
Top 10
(Our slacker
(10 Pts)
(9 Pts)
(8 Pts)
Penn State141241Penn StatePenn StatePenn State
(7 Pts)
Nebraska 112193NebraskaUCLANebraska
(6 Pts)
(5 Pts)

(4 Pts)
(3 Pts)
(2 Pts)
(1 Pt)

Lionsfan Looks Ahead

AVCA Top Ten Matches

  • 1. Penn State @ Northwestern, @ #21 Illinois
  • 2T. Oregon @Cal, @ #7 Stanford
  • 2T. Washington @ Utah, @Colorado
  • 4. Nebraska @ #12 Purdue (Note: This match will be on B1G Network on Friday), @Indiana
  • 5. USC vs. Arizona, vs. Arizona State
  • 6. UCLA vs. Arizona State, vs. Arizona
  • 7. Stanford vs. #2 Oregon, vs. Oregon State 8. Hawaii @ Cal Poly, @UC Santa Barbara
  • 9.  Texas vs. TCU, @ #14 Kansas State
  • 10. Minnesota vs. Michigan, vs. #25 Michigan State

Other Key Clashes

  •  #22 Iowa State @ #14 Kansas State,
  • #15 San Diego @ #23 Pepperdine,
  • #19 Ohio State @ #21 Illinois,
  • #25 Michigan State @ #10 Minnesota

Upset Alerts

  • Arkansas/Kentucky @ #11 Florida,
  • North Carolina/N.C. State @ #13 Florida State,
  • Saint Mary’s @ #15 San Diego (Note: This match will be on ESPNU on Wednesday),
  • Baylor @ #24 Kansas

Crystal Ball

So Lionsfan wasn’t perfect last week (1-2 — our crack team of researchers and statisticians tells us that’s darn close!) but he is not deterred!

Lionfan’s picks for this week:

  • Penn State over Illinois
  • Oregon over Stanford
  • Nebraska over Purdue
  • Kansas State over Texas

Next Week’s Top 10

1. Penn State, 2. Oregon, 3. Washington, 4. Nebraska, 5. USC, 6. UCLA, 7. Stanford, 8. Hawaii, 9. Texas, 10. Minnesota

RPI Bracket Watch

First some predicted future results:

  • Washington has passed a huge test, and at worst I think they at least split some difficult road trips and remain tough at home.
  • I think young Stanford will have a misstep or two
  • Oregon’s problem is they only get UCLA and USC once this season. That may limit how far the Ducks can move up.
  • I would be shocked if Penn State wins at Nebraska.
  • Florida has a lot of chances to move up from RPI 24, with potential wins over three conference teams ahead of them.
  • Kansas State and Louisville both have huge statement games in the next few weeks to maintain or lose their solid positions.

If the tournament were held today, based on RPI, those predicted future results, and a healthy measure of guesstimology, here are the predicted brackets:

  • Purdue Regional: 1. Penn State, 2. Oregon, 3. Purdue, 4. Florida
  • Texas Regional: 1. Washington, 2. Louisville, 3. Texas, 4. Michigan
  • Nebraska Regional: 1. Nebraska, 2. Stanford, 3. Minnesota, 4. Oklahoma
  • Cal Regional: 1. UCLA, 2. Kansas State, 3. USC, 4. BYU