NEW ORLEANS -- Gone from the Division I national team computer rankings’ formula are preseason marks from the 2013 season in the week four edition released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Also gone with them is last week’s top-ranked team.The defending national co-champion Florida Gators reclaimed the top spot side after a one-week absence. This week in the rankings annually sees the most upheaval with marks from 2014 left to stand on their own in the rankings formula. The lone exception are combined event marks from the previous season, which remain through week five.
Of the top 25, only two remained stationary. None of the top 10 teams held steady from last week, including a hard fall by last week’s top-ranked Oregon. Summer may be fast approaching, but the Ducks migrated south three spots to No. 4 while new No.1 Florida, defending national co-champion No. 2 Texas A&M and No. 3 Arkansas all stepped up one spot.
The Gators (329.29 team rankings score) benefitted from the change with a 10-point improvement to its score, while A&M (291.70) stayed close with a slight five-point loss.
Not surprisingly, Florida also topped the list of top-10 performers and top-three performers with 13 and six, respectively, followed by Texas A&M with 10 and four.
Arkansas’s team score of 211.88 was down nearly 65 points from last week, but that paled in comparison to Oregon’s 127-point dive – more than a third of its score from last time – to 208.87.
Most notably, Oregon has not yet pushed its distance runners – including three-time NCAA champ and reigning national athlete of the week Edward Cheserek – to run their fastest in the races in which they have competed.
Georgia (180.98) moved up a spot to round out the top five.
Two new teams joined the top 10 in No. 6 BYU (172.74) and No. 7 Texas (162.77), which were up 11 and seven spots, respectively. Both No. 8 Alabama (156.38) and No. 9 Texas Tech (138.95) improved one spot after LSU (136.51) dropped two to No. 10.