With a few weeks of competition left before Selection Sunday, the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Sport Committee has provided a top-10 ranking.
The committee tabbed two-time defending champion Florida as the No. 1 team in the country with games played through April 24. The Gators are 45-3 overall and 15-3 in SEC play. Their only losses this season are to fellow top-10 ranked teams Alabama and Auburn.
“With three weeks left in the season, this is the first time the DI Softball Committee has released an initial Top 10 ranking to build excitement and buzz as selection Sunday approaches,” said Mollie Lehman, chair of the committee and Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer at the Western Athletic Conference.
“This ranking included discussion of teams around several selection criteria as well as conversations with eight regional advisory committees across the country. These teams certainly have built impressive resumes and the Committee looks forward to the opportunity to re-evaluating this as the season progresses.”
Michigan earned the second spot with a 37-4 overall record and 15-2 mark in Big Ten play. Oklahoma is ranked No. 3 at 38-7, including a 9-1 record in Big 12 play. The Sooners boast 13 consecutive victories, including wins in 20 of their last 21 games. Auburn follows at No. 4 with a 45-5 record and 15-3 mark in SEC play. The Tigers are 9-1 in their last 10 games, with a lone 4-3 loss to Florida State.
Alabama rounds out the top five with a 41-9 record and a 12-6 record against its SEC opponents. The remainder of the top 10 includes James Madison, Oregon, Florida State, Washington and La.-Lafayette.
This ranking announcement will have no bearing on the final bracket, which will be revealed at 10 p.m. ET Sunday, May 15, on the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Show, aired on ESPNU.
The ranking is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 64 teams for the Division I Softball Championship and include strength of schedule, Rating Percentage Index, head-to-head competition, results versus common opponents, significant wins and losses and locations of contests. Additionally, input is provided by the regional advisory committees for consideration by the Division I Softball Committee.
Top 10 ranking (record through games played by April 24):
1. Florida (45-3)
2. Michigan (37-4)
3. Oklahoma (38-7)
4. Auburn (45-5)
5. Alabama (41-9)
6. James Madison (40-3)
7. Oregon (35-6)
8. Florida State (38-5)
9. Washington (30-10)
10. La.-Lafayette (35-6)